Fantasy Baseball: Week 6 Waiver Wire

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Week five of the MLB season is in the books so let’s take a look at some Week 6 Waiver Wire options that can help you both this week and going forward. Below are four hitters and two pitchers who I feel are worth adding and likely available in the majority of standard leagues.

Note: The ownership percentages below are from Yahoo and for the purpose of this exercise I’m only including players who are available in at least 60% of leagues.

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Brett Gardner |OF| New York Yankees
(40% owned)

  • While Gardner did get off to an extremely slow start, that still doesn’t explain why he’s this widely available. Everyday leadoff hitters on good offenses will always provide value, especially ones that offer both power and speed. Gardner has 5 homers and 5 steals through the season’s first month and although the long balls won’t last, he’s stolen at least 20 bases in three of the past four years. Many of the Yankee bats are clearly playing above their heads right now so here’s your chance to get in before the lineup inevitably cools down.

Hernan Perez |2B,3B,OF| Milwaukee Brewers
(39% owned)

  • It appears last season’s waiver wire MVP is once again requesting our attention. It’s only been 75 AB’s, but Perez is slashing .280/.337/.533 and slowly proving that perhaps 2016’ wasn’t a fluke after all. While an everyday job is still not technically guaranteed, his versatility makes getting onto the lineup card much easier. 9 starts in the last 10 games is evidence of that and Ryan Braun‘s recent injury could open up even more playing time in the coming weeks.  

Jorge Soler |OF| Kansas City Royals
(16% owned)

  • The Royals activated Soler from the disabled list on Saturday and given the putrid state of their offense he should quickly assume an everyday spot in the lineup. Still, with only 765 major league plate appearances to his name, he’s a difficult player to project. Plate discipline has always been an issue and we know Kauffman Stadium depresses homers; at the same time Soler has the raw power to easily hit it out of any ballpark. Even with the risk the 24 year-old slugger with an elite prospect pedigree is worth a flyer in deeper leagues.  

Yonder Alonso |1B| Oakland Athletics 
(9% owned)

  • Much was made this spring about Alonso’s reworked swing and improved launch angle and the early results certainly seem to validate that excitement. For a player who’s career high in homers for a season is 9 (in 549 ABs), Alonso already has 6 in only 27 games to begin 2017. He’s always had a good eye at the plate so the average shouldn’t be a concern and perhaps best of all, two of those six homers have come against lefties. If you’re struggling at CI, Alonso is available to help in over 90% of leagues.

J.C. Ramirez |SP,RP| Los Angeles Angels
(21% owned)

  • Typically we see failed starters re-invent themselves as relievers, not vise versa. Up until about three weeks ago, Ramirez’s career consisted of 111 relief appearances, an ugly 5.14 ERA and an unimpressive K/9 of 6.4. Since then he’s made four starts, pitching to a 3.97 ERA and 1.02 WHIP across 22.2 innings. The strikeout rate has also jumped to an astounding 11.1/9. Now obviously this is an insanely small sample size and there’s not really a logical explanation for why Ramirez’s stuff would play up in extended outings. That said, if you’re in an AL only or even  a 15-team mixer it’s worth taking a closer look in the chances that this odd improvement continues for a few more starts.

Jose Berrios |SP| Minnesota Twins
(8% owned)

  • Berrios’ major league exposure last season was an absolute disaster. His line; 8.02 ERA, 1.89 WHIP is more fitting of a singular bad start than a 58-inning trail trun. Yet this is still a high-end pitching prospect who’s been utterly dominant in the minors; Berrios has a 2.54 ERA, sub-one WHIP and 246 strikeouts accross 223 career innings at AAA. Maybe there’s a chance he’s a bust, your typical quad A guy, but to me it’s clear the stuff is plenty good enough to get results at the next level. Last year’s struggles seemed to be far more mental in nature and if Berrios can maintain his control (2.5 BB/9 in AAA, 5.4 in MLB) I still see him as a potential top-60 SP. The Twins are expected to make the call-up at some point this week so those in competitive leagues should be proactive and make the add now.

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