Fantasy Baseball: Early Waiver Wire Possibilities

Early in the year some players stay hot and some stay hot and some fade off. Today I am going to take a look at the waiver wire and what guys are better bets to pick up because your team is facing early injuries, slumps or you just are very intrigued by the player.

Akil Baddoo: Baddoo is a popular pick-up right now because his start as a rookie is amazing. He is the only Tiger to ever hit 4 homers in his first 8 games and three of these were opposite field shots and one went over 450 to dead center off of Zack Greinke in Houston. He is also a fast and all-around exciting player. The Tigers really did find a gem in Baddoo and it seems that he will see a solid amount of PAs this season. My biggest concern with Baddoo is pitchers had essentially no report on him as he never played higher than single A and will adjust on him. Baddoo has already shown that he is super aggressive and likes to swing as he has a worse than average whiff, strikeout and walk percentage. I think Baddoo has potential in a dynasty league for sure, but his hot start will cool off. His aggressive approach is working right now and he’s hitting everything in sight but he will start to see a mix of off-speed pitches and I think Baddoo will need to adjust and develop and it’s unrealistic to expect him to go crazy all year. He also hasn’t gotten a hit off of a lefty yet, despite an extremely small sample size. His rookie year may go better than anticipated and he may well even be a star in the future but there will be some regression and if you pick him up you will have to stick with him through the ups and downs. The bright side is I think he’s talented enough to sprinkle in good moments where he hits a homer or makes impact plays and his speed isn’t going anywhere, btu at the end of the season a realistic expectation is hitting .250 with a bright future.

Adam Duvall: I like Duvall a lot. He started off as a one trick power pony but he has actually developed as a player and on top of that has a power track record. Alex Chamberlain has a great leaderboards tool and uses a stat called blasts, which is just a subset of barrels that are elite barrels, not just hits that barely qualify as a barrel. Duvall had a 8.8% of his 13.9% of barrels and that is a pretty solid amount. Bottom line is his power is pretty obviously real and he’s showing that he hasn’t lost anything in his game. In fact he makes more hard contact and his wOBA and xwOBA has been high the last few seasons, higher than in 2016 his career season. He will hit .220 probably and he has strikeout issues but his swing and overall made slight improvements since that 2016 season and him hitting 40 homers has an outside chance of happening. He fixed his swing in 2019 from what he called being “too rotational” per Mark DeRosa from MLB Network and stand more quietly and shortening his bat path and ever since he has raked. He’s definitely a guy to target if you need power. It’s hard to find a five tool player on the waiver wire but he may well be one of the best early season pick-ups you can target this season.

Jazz Chisholm Jr: Chisholm has homered off of Jacob DeGrom and has played an eye catching and exciting brand of baseball this season and is doing so at the scarce second base position. He is both in the borderline elite sprint speed and hard hit rates. He might not light the world up on fire with his average but he has 20-20 potential and he could be like a Tim Anderson before he became a batting champ where he offers 20-20 value but the volatile average stats. The thing is Chisholm has a great swing and makes loud contact and he could be a start in the making. If he is not owned in your league, you should pick him up because a t second base he could sneak his way into the top 5 conversation this season, especially if he K and BB rates did improve a bit.

Evan Longoria: Longoria has seemed like he has started to regress but he’s off to a hot start this season and could be worthy of bench consideration. He obviously isn’t going back to the glory days but he has proven he can be a consistent and valuable bench commodity. He has improved his average exit velocity every season since 2018 and has impressive batted ball data and an impressive track record. Longoria and Brandon Belt get destroyed by this park, I think they’d both hit 30 homers annually in a fair ballpark. Longoria will cool down but he has a good chance of putting up a solid season and if he pulls the ball more he could hit for more power but he seems like he will have a good all-around season with the bat.

Colin Moran: Moran seems like a post hype sleeper. He seemed like a great bat first prospect but he never started to hit until last year and he has carried it into this year to the point where he has enough of a sample to really take him seriously. He has really good power and the good thing with Moran is he will get counting stats like RBIs and runs as he will be hitting in the middle of the Pirates subpar line-up he will eat up the prime chances. The driver behind the changes is not only him hitting the ball better than ever but he has also improved his plate discipline. It looks like he’s finally living up to some of his hype and he could continue this into a good guy to play in your utility slot all season. At only 20% in ESPN leagues he could be a real good target in your free agent pool.

A note on Robbie Grossman: In slightly deeper OBP leagues Grossman is going to help you. He saw 30 pitches in a game against the Astros and is walking left and right. He also has some power and speed and should play every day in the Tigers line-up and he should compile a solid season

A note on Tim Locastro: Locastro is a solid hitter and sure thing stolen base threat. He then got caught for the first time on his 30th attempt and broke his pinky which is key to his swing. If it’s something heals quickly he is worth a look as he is a stolen base threat that is a solid hitter and gets on base a lot and I think he would’ve seen more playing time this year.

There’s lots of good potential help early, but make sure you choose wisely if your league has limits on moves. Don’t just go on the hype.

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