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Waiver Wire – Week 17

Daulton Varsho, OF/C, ARZ (CBS: 22% rostered): Daulton Varsho has earned a back-to-back mention in the Waiver Wire, and for good cause. Last week we mentioned that an opportunity was at-hand. This past week Varsho seized that opportunity and had four consecutive two-hit games, homered in three consecutive games, and drove in eight runs while scoring seven. We won’t condemn him for not swiping any bases. It appears that our patience is finally being rewarded.

Travis d’Arnaud, C, ATL (CBS: 27% rostered): d’Arnaud has been sidelined since early-May with a ligament issue in his left thumb but it now appears a mid-August return date is in the cards. A healthy d’Arnaud has the potential to be a significant upgrade behind the plate for both the Braves and your Fantasy squad.

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (CBS: 6% rostered): The Brewers didn’t trade for Rowdy Tellez to have him ride the pine, and if this past week is any indication, the only lumber he’ll be seeing on a regular basis has Louisville stamped all over it.

Thairo Estrada, 2B, SFG (CBS: 4% rostered): Brandon Crawford finds his way to the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain and the Giants have turned to one time Yankee farmhand Thairo Estrada to fill the void. He’s off to a great start, going 7-for-21 this week with a home run and four RBI. Everything the Giants touch turns to gold this season. Why not add Estrada to the list?

Luis Guillorme, 2B/3B/SS, NYM (CBS: 1% rostered): The power and speed potential are limited but with a 20/15 BB/K ratio he does know his way around the strike zone. In deep and NL-only formats, until the return of Francisco Lindor, Guillorme is worthy of our attention.

Andy Ibanez, 3B, TEX (CBS: 1% rostered): The struggling Nick Solak has been demoted to Triple-A and it appears that Ibanez is going to be filling the void. He is off to a 7-for-13 start with a home run this week. That’s a great way to introduce yourself to the new gig!

Jose Miranda, 3B, MIN (CBS: 4% rostered): Between Double and Triple-A, Miranda is up to 20 homers and 58 RBI in 290 at-bats this year. He’s currently sporting a .338 BA and .402 OBP. The Twins are calling it a year and it would be in their best interest to see what the future may hold with Jose Miranda potentially being an integral part of the Twins 2022 plans.

Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT (CBS: 12% rostered): A Gregory Polanco sighting has occurred. It has been a while since we’ve uttered those words. He’s coming off a 5-for-16 week with a pair of homers, six RBI, and two stolen bases. It’s worth a small bid to see if he can continue his current hot streak into next week.

Victor Reyes, OF, DET (CBS: 3% rostered): Niko Goodrum has hit the 10-day IL with calf tightness and the Tigers will turn to Victor Reyes to hold down the fort until his return. Some pop, some speed, and hopefully a few less strikeouts await those playing in deeper formats.

Aristides Aquino, OF, CIN (CBS: 4% rostered): The wrist injury suffered by Nick Castellanos has opened the door for Aquino to get another opportunity at regular at-bats in the Cincinnati outfield. He’ll likely do what he does best, strikeout a ton and hit the ball a long way when he doesn’t strikeout.

Harrison Bader, OF, STL (CBS: 19% rostered): It has been a tough year for the young Cards centerfielder. He missed five weeks with a fractured rib cage, returning July 1, and has made up for lost ground. Three homers, 12 RBI, a couple of stolen bases and a .394 OBP in July is making up for lost ground and in a big way.

Jake Eder, SP, MIA (CBS: 4% rostered): It’s a long shot, but maybe just maybe the Marlins might give Eder a shot this season. He has shoved it at Double-A this year to the tune of a 1.95 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and an off-the-charts 92 strikeouts in 64 2/3 IP in 13 starts. The Vanderbilt alumni is looking like he could be a force in Southern Florida for many years to come.

Joe Ryan, SP, MIN (CBS: 4% rostered): The return in the Nelson Cruz deal to the Rays, Ryan and that 75/10 K/BB ratio in 57 innings at Triple-A is very enticing. I’m wagering that the Twins will want to give him an opportunity show off that stuff in Minnesota before the season concludes.

Braxton Garrett, SP, MIA (CBS: 4% rostered): Suddenly, the deep Marlins rotation is starting to look a tad on the lean side, prompting the Marlins to turn to Garrett on Saturday. He responded in fine form tossing seven strong innings of four-hit one walk ball, with ten strikeouts and allowing only two earned runs against the vaunted Padres offense. He was sent down after the game but have no fear. He will be back up with the Marlins, sooner rather than later. 

Touki Toussaint, SP, ATL (CBS: 31% rostered): Yes, it was only one start, but it was a very good one. On Tuesday he tossed 6 2/3 innings of one run ball against the Padres in his first start of the season. He has the Phillies today, another good test. The stuff is filthy. His success will ultimately be determined by his ability to limit the free pass.

Logan Webb, SP, SFG (CBS: 22% rostered): In his past six starts, going back to May 11, Webb has allowed a total of five earned runs. In those 29 IP he’s struck out 32 batters while allowing only seven walks. Why is he rostered in only 22% of the Leagues using CBS?

Dillon Tate, RP, BAL (CBS: 1% rostered): Six consecutive scoreless appearances, the most recent of which on Saturday resulted in a save, and we have a new clubhouse leader for the ninth-inning gig in Baltimore. Bid small and hope he does something the rest of the relief corps in Baltimore has failed to do this year. Hold the job.

Blake Treinen, RP, LAD (CBS: 20% rostered): It’s not like we haven’t seen Kenley Jansen struggle before and it’s happening again. Will the Dodgers stick with him during his current struggles? Probably, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore a potential “Plan B”. Currently, Blake Treinen is “Plan B”.

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Waiver Wire – Week 16

Daulton Varsho, C, ARZ (CBS: 12% rostered): One homer and two stolen bases to go along with a .473 OPS isn’t getting the job done. The DBacks traded Stephen Vogt this past week, effectively giving Varsho the catcher gig until the return of Carson Kelly. It’s audition time for Varsho and we better see a much better level of play than we’ve seen thus far.

Gavin Sheets, 1B, CWS (CBS: 21% rostered): How many first base types does it take to play in the White Sox outfield this year? The answer is two now that both Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets are getting regular at-bats. That’s something one doesn’t see every day, but desperate times require desperate measures. The 25-year-old Sheets has helped fill that outfield void and with two-homers in his past five games is demonstrating that he is up to the task.

Dylan Moore, 2B/3B/OF, SEA (CBS: 38% rostered): It has been a disappointing year for Moore, but with eight homers and 14 stolen bases on the season all is not lost. If he can break out of his season-long funk and return to his 2020 form, there could be value at the very least in those wheels.

J. D. Davis, 3B, NYM (CBS: 43% rostered): After a long stint on the IL, Davis returned to the Mets lineup last night and immediately made his presence felt, going 3-for-4 with a pair of two-run homers. The Mets will need a hot second half from Davis as they attempt to offset the loss of Francisco Lindor to an oblique injury.

Joc Pederson, OF, ATL (CBS: 41% rostered): The season-ending injury suffered by Ronald Acuna forced the Braves hand, and they turned to the Chicago Cubs and Joc Pederson to help provide some respite. He isn’t going to help us forget the loss of Acuna but he will take a walk and does have power potential. Combined with the fact that he will see every day at-bats in the leadoff slot down the stretch and Pederson becomes very relevant in our second half plans.

Derek Hill, OF, DET (CBS: 1% rostered): Derek Hill is a fourth outfielder. Derek Hill also has great wheels, as evident by his five stolen bases this year in only 17 at-bats. He’s not going to play every day, but when he does the potential is always there for a boost in those speed numbers.

Josiah Gray, SP, LAD (CBS: 19% rostered): On Friday, Dave Roberts mentioned Josiah Gray as a possible option to replace Clayton Kershaw against the Giants this week. Gray has spent most of the season on the IL dealing with a shoulder issue but has recently returned to the Oklahoma rotation and has been lights out. He’s currently sporting a 2.87 ERA, .64 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts in 15 2/3 IP. As a streaming option and possibly more he should have our attention.

David Price, SP/RP, LAD (CBS:  41% rostered): Remember when the Dodgers rotation consisted of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Trevor Bauer, Julio Urias, and Dustin May? David Price was merely an afterthought, but that afterthought is now going to be rolled out every fifth day for the foreseeable future.

Kyle Muller, SP, ATL (CBS: 43% rostered): Don’t let the fact that Muller was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett just before the All-Star break sway you. He’ll be back occupying a regular slot in the Braves rotation this coming week and every fifth day thereafter.

Heath Hembree, RP, CIN (CBS: 34% rostered): Two weeks ago Hembree was rostered to the tune of one per cent. Since then, he has added three more saves in five appearances while allowing but a single earned run. The job is his to lose and the competition isn’t pushing him hard. At some point in time, we must believe, right?

Drew Pomeranz, RP, SDP (CBS: 22% rostered): When healthy, Drew Pomeranz is one of the best relievers in the game. Unfortunately, he just can’t seem to stay on the field. Well, he’s back on the field and the Padres won’t hesitate to use him in high-leverage situations. If you are in a League that uses holds, get him rostered and active immediately.

Ranger Suarez, RP, PHI (CBS: 32% rostered): The hold on the job is far from rock solid, but the 25-year-old southpaw is now up to three saves this season and sporting a very impressive 1.22 ERA. Toss in the better than a strikeout per inning potential and he should be rostered in a lot more Leagues than his current 32 per cent level.

Zack Britton, RP, NYY (CBS: 10% rostered): Aroldis Chapman is struggling. Chad Green had a rough outing in his last trip to the mound. Jonathan Loaisiga is currently on the Covid-19 IL. Britton has just recently returned from the IL, but with the mess that is currently the Yankees bullpen, could find himself in the mix for the odd save opportunity in the short-term and amassing holds long-term.  

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2021 Mid Season Top 100 Prospect List

1. Wander Franco (TB, SS) – He’s struggled upon his promotion to the Major Leagues.  However, the approach and swing mechanics point to a high on-base, solid power and speed for years to come.

2. Jared Kelenic (Sea, OF) – Yeah, it wasn’t good; and yeah, maybe he’s not the next Mike Trout like some thought, but he’s going to be very good with a chance to be a 20-20 performer at his peak.

3. Bobby Witt Jr. (KC, SS) – Once Wander and JK graduate, he’ll stand as my top prospect in the game.  It’s a complete package with power and speed and a feel to hit.  The upside is a first-round draft pick in a fantasy draft.

4. Adley Rutschman (Bal, C) – I know many fantasy players ignore catchers, but Rutschman has a chance to be the best catcher in the game.  The smart fantasy player knows the value in that.

5. CJ Abrams (SD, SS) – He’s lost for the rest of the year with a broken leg, but he’s already showing enough to be considered one of the best prospects in the game.  The 80-grade speed is his carrying tool and if he repeats his feel for hitting as he moves through the system, he could develop into a dynamic leadoff batter.

6. Julio Rodriguez (Sea, OF) – He’s going to be your classic right fielder with huge power.  He struggled a little with upper-level minor league pitching but assuming he works on his pitch recognition skills, the ingredients are there for him to be a star.

7. Austin Martin (Tor, SS) – I’m not sure where he plays, but the tools are fantasy-friendly, and it looks like he can hit.  While Torkelson has the better hit tool and power, the speed for me is the separator.

8. Spencer Torkelson (Det, 1B) – I’ve now seen him play multiple times and I’ve become a big believer.  He’s going to hit with a chance for plus power.  He’s not big but has strong wrists that should allow him to get to his power.

9. Marco Luciano (SF, SS) – He’s still a few years away, but the power is coming quickly, and I think he’s going to hit. There are 30 plus home runs in the bat but don’t expect a lot of stolen bases.

10. Edward Cabrera (Mia, RHP) – Let’s see…he throws 100 MPH with an 80-grade change-up and a slider that while not consistent flashes plus as well.  He has all the making of one of the best pitchers in the game. In my opinion, he deserves to be the top-ranked pitching prospect in the game.

11. Noelvi Marte (Sea, SS) – The biggest mover from the pre-season list.  As one of the youngest players in Low-A, he’s more than holding his own.  He’s two years away but there is a 20-20 upside with great on-base skills.

12. Vidal Brujan (TB, 2B) – His carrying tool has always been his double-plus speed.  However, as he’s matured and put on weight, he’s developing some pop.  The fantasy upside is significant, but he needs to establish himself quickly or could find himself in a super-utility role in a fickle Tampa Bay lineup.

13. Riley Greene (Det, OF) – Has a great swing and should continue to make steady progress through the minor leagues.  I know we all love Tork, but don’t forget about Greene.

14. Logan Gilbert (Sea, RHP) – He’s been very good since he got the call to the Majors, striking out over eight per nine and limiting walks. He’s getting squared a little too often, but the overall stuff looks very good with a ceiling of a number two starter.

15. Hunter Greene (Cin, RHP) – Tremendous athlete who can throw 100+ MPH.  After missing the entire 2019 season recovering from TJ Surgery, his stuff appears back with a chance to be a #1 starter.

16. Alex Manoah (Tor, RHP) – He’s been good in his eight starts in the big leagues – a 2.90 ERA with over 11 strikeouts per nine.  The stuff is very good, not elite, but he’s avoiding hard contact and with his size and bulldog approach on the mound, the upside for me is a solid number three or low-end number two starter.

17. Luis Patino (TB, RHP) – He’s had some modest success in a few appearances in the big leagues, but I still like him as a mid-rotation starter despite his smallish stature.

18. Francisco Alvarez (NYM, C) – I talked to a lot of professional evaluators in doing this job and the comps I’ve gotten for Alvarez are impressive.  One told me he was a better prospect than Adley Rutschman. The bat could be special and fantasy managers, yes, sometimes they even come as catchers.

19. Shane Baz (TB, RHP) – Last year I wrote he had premium stuff, but the control was lacking.  So far in 2021, the control has come around.  The upside is a solid number two starter if not more.

20. Matt Manning (Det, RHP) – If you take out that awful outing against the Indians, he’s been good in his five starts in the big leagues.  He’s not striking out anyone and the fastball velocity is not what it was when I saw him in 2019. However, he has the size and the overall arsenal to be a solid number three starter if not more.

21. Jack Leiter (Tex, RHP) – Great stuff and pitchability with the bloodlines to get you excited.  I don’t think it will take him long to reach the Major Leagues.  But the Rangers are going to struggle to score runs for a while, so wins might be an issue early in his career.

22. D.L Hall (Bal, LHP) – Athletic with solid stuff that should only get better as he matures.  He’s flying under the radar in most Dynasty Leagues, but he’s a Top 5 lefty prospect for me.

23. Joey Bart (SF, C) – He’s had a very nice season-to-date and while the 40% strikeout rate he showed in the Majors in his brief debut is still fresh, the upside is a Top 10 offensive catcher with 20+ home runs and a .250 batting average with a .340 OBP.

24. Cade Cavalli (Was, RHP) – He’s a lot better than I thought and has quickly become one of the better pitching prospects in the game.  He’s moving quickly and could see the Majors in 2022.

25. Sixto Sanchez (Mia, RHP) – Showed a 100 MPH fastball in his Major League debut with an equally impressive change-up.  He still needs work on his slider and despite throwing 100, the fastball is pretty straight.   Unfortunately, he’s hurt and won’t see the Major Leagues again until 2022.

26. Grayson Rodriguez (Bal, RHP) – I’m not a big fan of the delivery but you can argue that he’s had the best season in the minor leagues for any pitcher.  There’s solid mid-rotation ceiling if not more.

27. Brandon Marsh (LAA, OF) – Athletic with fantasy-friendly skills.  Unfortunately, injuries have spoiled his 2021 campaign to date, but there is still a lot to like.

28. Jordan Lawler (Ari, SS) – A tooled-up high school shortstop with some concern about how much he’ll strike out at the highest level.  For now, it doesn’t matter as you need to invest in the tools.

29. Max Meyer (Mia, RHP) – Smallish pitcher with two double-plus pitches in his fastball/slider.  He could be homer-prone with a backup plan being an elite bullpen arm.  However, assuming his third pitch comes around, there’s a chance for a solid mid-rotation starter.

30. Robert Hassell (SD, OF) – He’s looking very good so far in his first 50 games in the minor leagues with a slash line of .288/.371/.447.  There’s plus speed and solid potential to go along with good bat-to-ball skills.

31. Jasson Dominquez (NYY, OF) – We finally have a stat line and a TV appearance by the man, the myth, the legend.  Visually, he looks the part.  Although, he’s a big kid and could already be maxed out physically.  Candidly, I still don’t know what to think as we still need more data and eyes on the player.  So, for now, I’m still buying into the hype.

32. Marcelo Mayer (Bos, SS) – Despite his size, he should be able to stay at short long-term with a chance for plus power potential.  He’s only an average runner and will likely lose a step as he fills out.  But, there is 25+ home run pop in his profile with a chance to hit.

33. Cristian Pache (Atl, OF) – He can really play defense and so far, that’s all he’s shown in his limited big-league at-bats.  I still like the profile long-term, but there’s still work left.

34. Alek Thomas (Ari, OF) – He has very friendly fantasy tools with a feel to hit.  He doesn’t have the loudest tools on this list, but I think he’ll be a solid performer with 15-15 upside in the profile.

35. Zac Veen (Col, OF) – He’s off to a fine start to his professional career, slashing .249/.366/.397.  However, he’s striking out too much and is a little passive at the plate.

36. Kumar Rocker (NYM, RHP) – The most famous guy in the 2021 draft fell to the Mets at #10.  There’s still a lot to like from his physicality to his stuff.  But, inconsistencies and an inability to repeat his delivery caused hesitation at the draft table.  I’m betting the Mets help him figure it out and therefore I’m taking him high in Dynasty League rookie drafts.

37. Daniel Lynch (KC, LHP) – Started three games in the big leagues and nothing went well. An exit velocity of 95 MPH and a .550 batting average on his four-seamer will leave a mark.  I still view him as a number two starter, but I must admit, my confidence is rattled.

38. Jarren Duran (Bos, OF) – I continue to worry that there is fourth outfielder risk, but he has top-flight speed and could be a real asset in fantasy leagues.

39. Gabriel Moreno (Tor, C) – He’s having a solid season in Double-A with eight home runs and an ability to control the strike zone.  With his power upside of 20 home runs and his ability to hit, he could be a Top 10 catcher, maybe more, in fantasy baseball.

40. O’Neil Cruz (Pit, SS) – He’s quietly having a nice season in Double-A showing both power and speed.  With his size, he’s going to strike out, but there is top-flight power in the profile with a chance for some speed early in his career.

41. Matthew Liberatore (Stl, LHP) – Was very impressive in his Futures Game appearance and looks just about ready for the show.  There’s a number three starter if not more upside.

42. Nick Gonzales (Pit, 2B) – His 32% strikeout rate in High-A is candidly surprising.  While I never believed the power he showed in college, I thought he would hit.  In his defense, he did spend time on the injured list this year and only has 116 plate appearance, so I’m still willing to give him a mulligan.

43. Royce Lewis (Min, SS/OF) – He’s got plenty of tools with plus foot speed and bat speed.  However, he lost the entire 2021 season with an ACL tear.  Plus, we still don’t know about the hitch he developed in 2019.

44. Henry Davis (Pit, C) – He went 1:1 in the 2021 draft, and yeah, I know, he’s a catcher.  But, he can really hit with solid power and even a little bit of speed.  It might have been a safe pick for the Pirates, but he also has the ceiling of a Top five fantasy catcher.

45. Jordan Groshans (Tor, 3B) – He’s been ok in 2021 but hasn’t shown the kind of breakout I would have expected.  I still believe he’ll hit and there is plenty of bat speed to project future plus in-game power.

46. Ronny Mauricio (NYM, SS) – Came in as the Mets’ #1 prospect but both Rocker and Alvarez have passed him.  There’s significant power upside and early in his career, he’ll provide some speed.  However, he’s very aggressive at the plate and is striking out too much (25% strikeout rate and a 4% walk rate).  There’s still a lot of work left before he’s ready for the Major Leagues.

47. Luis Campusano (SD, C) – Continues to show solid skills in Triple-A with the ability to control the strike zone and high exit velocities.  He’s had a few uninspired plate appearances in the big leagues this year but nothing to get him going.  The upside continues to be a Top 10 fantasy catcher.

48. Reid Detmers (LAA, LHP) – It appears the Angels scored with Detmers.  He’s been excellent in Double-A, striking out 16 per nine while keeping the walks down.  He’s got plus stuff and a great feel for pitching. The ceiling for me is a number two starter.

49. Emerson Hancock (Sea, RHP) – He has good size with a plus fastball/change-up combination which could give him early success in the big leagues.  The outstanding question is his slider.  If it develops, he could pitch at the top of the rotation.  However, that’s far from guaranteed.

50. MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP) – The problems started about a year ago at the “Alt site” when his control disappeared.  Now, he’s dealing with blisters and a potential change to his unusual mechanics.  He’s still got great stuff and is very athletic, but the future is candidly murky.  Is this the right place for him in the rankings?  I don’t know, but I do know he needs to right the ship…and soon.

51. Nate Pearson (Tor, RHP) – He has the stuff of a #1 pitcher but he needs to stay healthy; something that has eluded him in his professional career.

52. Brennan Davis (CHC, OF) – Plenty of fantasy-friendly tools who is showing a feel for hitting.  That was on full display in the Futures Game where he hit two home runs and earned MVP honors for the game.

53. Corbin Carroll (Ari, OF) – His season ended early when he tore his labrum in his shoulder on a home run.  While disappointing, he showing plenty of tools with a feel to hit.  At 5-foot-10, he’s not a big guy. We’ve always compared him to Andrew Benintendi, the good one that is.

54. Khalil Watson (Mia, SS) – He fell in the draft to Miami who had the 16th pick.  The tools are above-average across the board and if it comes together, he could be the steal of the draft.

55. Quinn Priester (Pit, RHP) – He’s establishing himself as one of the better pitching prospects in the game.  He’s got a plus fastball-curveball combination and is still working on his feel for his change-up.  There’s a strong number three starter upside.

56. Drew Waters (Atl, OF) – He’s been pushed and has performed well despite his tendency to expand the strike zone.  That’s where seeing the player is so important as sometimes the stat line doesn’t tell the full story.  There are fantasy-friendly tools for sure, but the last I saw him (in 2019), there was still work left to do.

57. Josh Lowe (TB, OF) – He’s often overlooked as a top prospect.  But in 51 games in Triple-A, he’s slashing .290/.362/.518 with nine home runs and 12 stolen bases.  He’s a great fantasy prospect and could see the big leagues later this summer.

58. Garrett Mitchell (Mil, OF) – Speedster with a good approach at the plate.  He needs to add loft to his swing to develop more power.  He handled High-A well but has struggled in his first five games in Double-A.

59. Josiah Gray (LAD, RHP) – He’s still developing as a pitcher, so the best is yet to come.  He’s not a flame thrower and instead, sits 93 to 95.  The secondary pitches are improving but not yet there.  However, the Dodgers should be getting desperate for starting pitchers, but I still think Gray will work better in the bullpen this year.  Long-term, I see him as a starter.

60. George Kirby (Sea, RHP) – Everyone kept telling me I was light on George Kirby and I’m starting to think they were right.  He’s shoving it in High-A, striking out 11.6 per nine while walking less than two.  The stuff does play down because of lack of deception and spin, but there’s no denying what he’s doing season-to-date.

61. Nolan Jones (Cle, 3B) – He has yet to tap into his big power, but it’s there.  He’ll likely move to first base, but he could be a 30-home run threat with a solid OBP but with pressure on his batting average.

62. Tyler Soderstrom (Oak, C) – When he was drafted, we thought the bat would quickly develop and it has.  In 48 games in Low-A this year, he’s slashing .311/.396/.568 with nine home runs.

63. Jordan Balazovic (Min, RHP) – He continues to fly under the radar despite posting a 3.56 ERA in seven starts in Double-A, striking out nearly 12 per nine and keeping his walks under 2.5 per nine.  He did start the season with a back injury but appears to be fully healthy now.

64. Jeter Downs (Bos, SS/2B) – A high floor player with a solid feel to hit with good power and speed.  As he adds leverage to the swing, the power should emerge. 

65. Simeon Woods-Richardson (Tor, RHP) – He’s hit a bit of a rough patch so far in 2021 but the arsenal continues to look very promising with the ceiling of a number three starter.

66. Keibert Ruiz (LAD, C) – Don’t forget about Ruiz.  The offensive upside is still significant and you only have to look at this year’s production. In 41 games at Triple-A, he’s slashing .287/.372/.592 with 12 home runs and as many walks as strikeouts. Wait a minute, why is he only ranked #66? Maybe I’ve started to forget about him #ProspectFatigue.

67. Triston Casas (Bos, 3B) – He’s not showing a lot of power this year, but he reduced his strikeout rate substantially to a league average rate of 20.9%.  You buy him for the power and I think that will come. 

68. Nolan Gorman (Stl, 3B) – Sigh.  Big power and big strikeouts.

69. Josh Jung (Tex, 3B) – Hamate surgery derailed a potential Major League debut in 2021.  While that still might happen, he hasn’t torn it up in Double-A yet.  I think he’ll hit, but I do question how much power he eventually has.

70. Asa Lacy (KC, LHP) – For being the top pitcher in the 2020 draft, Asa Lacy has gotten off to a rough start to the season.  In 12 starts in High-A, he’s striking batters out at a high rate but is also showing 20-grade control as he’s walking 6.7 per nine.  That’s not going to work.

71. Orelvis Martinez (Tor, SS) – Huge raw power with a chance to hit 30 plus home runs annually.  There’s plenty of swing and miss in his game but he does work walks.  While these players are frustrating, provided fantasy owners know the risk, they can have value.

72. Jose Barrero (Cin, SS) – Jose Garcia changed his name in the off-season to honor his mother who passed away from Covid.  He was over-matched in his big-league debut last season but there is some power and speed in the profile as well as the ability to hit.  I don’t see a star, but his ceiling is a full-time regular.

73. Clarke Schmidt (NYY, RHP) – He has the dreaded flexor strain and is trying to rehab it.  He’s still hasn’t made his minor-league debut in 2021, but assuming he does soon, he could still help the Yankees this year.

74. Tyler Freeman (Cle, SS) – He’s far from a sexy fantasy contributor but he makes elite contact and does have above-average speed.  Amed Rosario is playing well, so he’s blocked.  However, if he gets a chance, he’s not going to hurt your fantasy team and should be able to contribute in batting average and run categories.

75. Pete Crow-Armstrong (NYM, OF) – Was impressive to start the season, but a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder ended his season early.

76. Jackson Jobe (Det, RHP) – Athletic with plus stuff and surprising control and command for a high school draftee.  The upside is extremely high but so is the risk.

77. Xavier Edwards (TB, 2B) – It’s been an odd year for Edwards as he’s not running.  Since he has 20-grade power, if he doesn’t run, there’s not much to like.  However, he continues to control the strike zone quite well and his .347 batting average and .434 OBP reflect that.  But, he needs to start running.

78. Colton Cowser (Bal, OF) – Plus runner with good bat speed that points to above-average in-game power.  In college, he walked more than he struck out.

79. Mick Abel (Phi, RHP) – He’s having a nice pro debut in Low-A striking out over 13 per nine.  He has a premium fastball-slider combination and just needs time to develop.  The upside is a number two starter.

80. Luis Matos (SF, OF) – He’s one of the higher upside kids on this list with a nice combination of bat and foot speed.  As a 19-year-old in Low-A, he’s slashing .287/.329/.435 with five home runs and 15 stolen bases.

81. Diego Cartaya (LAD, C) – The bat could be special and at 19, he’s not having any problems in Low-A slashing .295/.409/.600 with nine home runs.

82. Matt McLain  (Cin, SS) – A little bit of speed.  A little bit of power and a kid who I think should hit.  He might not be a high-impact player, but the floor should be high.

83. Nick Lodolo (Cin, LHP) – I’ve been all over the map on Lodolo.  Today, I think he has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter but the stuff lacks life and I do worry about how well that will translate once he makes his Major League debut.

84. Brady House (Was, 3B) – High school draftee with plus power potential but will likely come with some swing and miss.

85. Oswald Peraza (NYY, SS) – It’s odd for a Yankees prospect to be underrated, but you just don’t hear much about Peraza.  I’ve seen him now about a dozen times and he’s a plus runner with good bat speed and an idea at the plate.  He’s a full-time regular in my book and likely a good one.

86. JJ Bleday (Mia, OF) – The power hasn’t shown up yet but he’s making solid contact and walking a lot.  I don’t see a star, but he’ll get to the Majors.

87. Roansy Contreras (Pit, RHP) – One of the breakout pitchers this year with over 12 strikeouts per nine and two walks per nine.  The stuff is solid across the board with enough fastball command to be effective.  Given his height, he could be homer prone.

88. Brice Turang (Mil, SS) – Plus runner who should be able to hit enough to be a full-time regular.  Just know the tools are not very loud.

89. Anthony Volpe (NYY, OF) – After adding good weight, the tools have gotten louder and the results better. He’s slashing .302/.455/.623 in Low-A and appears to be ready for his next challenge. 

90. Sal Frelick (Mil, OF) – At 5-foot-9. he’s not a big guy.  However, there’s plus speed and enough ability to hit to become a full-time regular.

91. Pedro Leon (Hou, OF) – He struggled early in the season but has shown flashes of being an impact player.  Making things more complicated, the Astros are converting him to shortstop.  The upside could be significant, but until he fully knocks off the rust, we will not know.

92. Nick Pratto (KC, 1B) – Has remade his swing and is now on a path to being a full-time regular.  I still think he’ll struggle to hit .250, but he should get on base enough to allow his 25+ home run upside to play.

93. Michael Harris (Atl, OF) – An intriguing power-speed guy who has some swing and miss in his game and is very aggressive at the plate.  So far, he’s had a nice season slashing .310/.338/.462 in Low-A.

94. Gunnar Henderson (Bal, SS/2B) – I like the tools a lot, but his high strikeout rate caught up to him upon his promotion to High-A.  It’s a game of adjustment, let’s see if Henderson can make it.

95. Erik Pena (KC, SS) – We finally have a stat line and so far, so good.  In 36 at-bats in Rookie Ball, he’s slashing .278/.381/.420.  While he’s a high-risk, high-reward talent, I think he makes it.

96. Matt Allan (NYM, RHP) – Matt Allan had Tommy John Surgery in May and will miss the entire 2021 and season and part of 2022.  We still love the upside, but he must drop in our rankings.

97. Sam Bachman (LAA, RHP) – I would have taken Rocker with the #9 pick, but the Angels took Bachman; a likely reliever.  But, he throws 100 MPH with a great slider, so at a minimum, he could be a lock-down closer.

98. Maximo Acosta (Tex, OF) – Another of the high-end 2019 international draft class.  He’s got plus speed and power potential.  While it’s only six games, he’s already showing that speed by stealing four bags.

99. George Valera (Cle, OF) – He’s showing good plate zone awareness, but the production has been light to date.  I still see him as an impact full-time regular at the highest level.

100. Wilman Diaz (LAD, SS) – One of the tooled up 2021 International signees.  We don’t yet have a stat line on him, well, he went 0 for 2 in his debut last night, but I heard “he was a man amongst boys” during training camp for the Dominican Summer League.

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Waiver Wire – Week 15

Joey Bart, C, SFG (CBS: 22% rostered): The left thumb contusion that sent Better Posey to the 10-day IL has resulted in Joey Bart getting the call. He went 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI in his 2021 debut. How long will Posey be sidelined? The answer to that question is yet to be defined, but it’s worth a small bid on Bart to find out.

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (CBS: 7% rostered): Keston Hiura is currently not a full-time bat and the addition of Rowdy Tellez from the Jays to more than likely platoon with Hiura is a smart and relatively inexpensive gamble. The abbreviated 2020 campaign was a good one for Tellez and the Brewers are hoping he replicate that production down the stretch.

John Nogowski, 1B, PIT (CBS: 1% rostered): The 28-year-old Nogowski was acquired from the Cardinals for cash considerations at the beginning of July. Filling in for the injured Colin Moran, Nogowski is off to a great start going 13-for-24 at the dish and could provide injury respite in NL-only formats.

Vidal Brujan, 2B, TAM (CBS: 54% rostered): A strong debut in which he flashed that top-shelf speed and stole his first base was followed up by a 0-for-3 effort and two days riding the pine. He’ll definitely provide a boost to your speed numbers, but it’s the Rays and the Rays do what they do. Expecting full-time everyday at-bats is asking for something that rarely occurs in Tampa Bay. Bid accordingly.

Hoy Jun Park, SS, NYY (CBS: 1% rostered): Clint Frazier has struggled and is currently on the IL with a yet to be determined malady. Aaron Hicks is on the 60-day IL after wrist surgery and is unlikely to return this season. Brett Gardner is currently penciled into center field and is sporting a robust .613 OPS. Maybe, just maybe, the Yankees will give Hoy Jun Park a call and see what the kid has to offer. At Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he is sporting a .342 BA with an incredible .495 OBP. Toss in eight homers and six stolen bases and Park is enjoying quite the season. Brett Gardner and Tim Locastro are not the everyday answer in the Yankees outfield.

Jose Miranda, 3B, MIN (CBS: 3% rostered): The 23-year-old corner infielder is enjoying a huge year at St. Paul. In 234 at-bats, Miranda has pummeled the opposition, slugging 16 home runs with 46 RBI and a great .346 BA. The Twins should be tearing it down in the second half being they are currently 15 games behind the front-running White Sox and Miranda should be in-line for an early second half audition.

Ben Gamel, OF, PIT (CBS: 4% rostered): Over the past 14 days Gamel has hit five homers, driven in ten runs, and has produced a .404 OBP while filling in for the injury depleted Pirates. It may only be a short-term gig, but he’s currently tearing it up and more than worthy of our attention.

Oscar Mercado, OF, CLE (CBS: 3% rostered): A 3-for-4 Saturday night against the Royals with a home run, stolen base and four RBI rekindles those memories of that breakout 2019 campaign.

Drew Waters, OF, ATL (CBS: 15% rostered): The horrible injury suffered yesterday by Ronald Acuna leaves the Braves outfield in a rather precarious situation. Will the Braves turn to one of their top prospects to help fill the void? Waters got off to a slow start, but since the calendar flipped over to July has been on fire, slugging two homers with 8 RBI, three thefts, and a .389 BA. It’s worth a small bid to secure that power/speed combo as we enter the second half.

Kole Calhoun, OF, ARZ (CBS: 30% rostered): It has been a tough start to the 2021 season for Kole Calhoun, with a serious hamstring injury limiting him to only 51 at-bats. Well, he’s back and for those looking for power numbers, it is important to remember that in 2019 he mashed 33 homers and in only 190 at-bats last season added a further 16 taters. It’s time to part with some of that FAAB.

Brian Goodwin, OF, CWS (CBS: 4% rostered): Pressed into service because of injuries and ineffectiveness, Goodwin should receive a steady diet of at-bats on the South Side until the walking wounded start returning.

Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE (CBS: 8% rostered): Seven shutout innings of one hit one walk baseball with nine strikeouts should have our attention. His effort yesterday against the Royals was by far his best outing of a rather tough 2021. Is it a sign that better days are ahead? It’s worth spending a few bucks to find out.

Ryan Weathers, RP/SP, SDP (CBS: 35% rostered): The 21-year-old southpaw is currently sporting a 3.02 ERA to go along with four victories. The Padres rotation currently has a few more unanswered questions than answers and hopefully Weathers steps up and provides a steady fifth day option for both San Diego and your Fantasy squad in the second half.

Wily Peralta, RP/SP, DET (CBS: 14% rostered): The veteran reliever has been stretched out and is looking at a regular turn in the Tigers rotation over the balance of the 2021 campaign. In his past two starts he has earned victories against the Indians and Rangers, allowing no earned runs with 11 strikeouts in 12 IP. The one-time Brewer starter is looking to reclaim some of that 2014 magic.

Joakim Soria, RP, ARZ (CBS: 18% rostered): Looking at the DBacks bullpen, Soria is not only the best option but he is pretty much also the only option. With three saves in his past five appearances, he has cemented that fact.

Anthony Bender, RP, MIA (CBS: 9% rostered): Yimi Garcia has done a fine job as the closer for the Marlins, but he’s heading into Free Agency and could very well be moved at the deadline. Bender, behind the stellar 1.59 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 28 1/3 IP, is the likely candidate to benefit should Garcia be traded or stumble in the second half.

Andrew Chafin, RP, CHC (CBS: 8% rostered): The news that the Cubs are actively shopping Craig Kimbrel should not come as a surprise, but with each move comes another and the Cubs will need someone to cover off on the ninth inning assuming the Cubs find a take for Kimbrel. Why not Andrew Chafin? He has owned the setup role this year and comes with a solid resume of stats including 17 holds and a 1.42 ERA. A dollar now could save you a bundle down the road.

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Waiver Wire – Week 14

Elias Diaz, C, COL (CBS: 5% rostered): It hasn’t been a great season for the 30-year-old backstop, but he has feasted on both the Pirates and Cardinals pitching during the Rockies recent homestand. Four homers in four consecutive games this past week will attest to that fact.

Jace Peterson, 1B/2B/OF, MIL (CBS: 4% rostered): Over his past six games, Peterson has been on a tear going 10-for-22 with one homer and 11 RBI. Toss in the roster flexibility and in deeper Leagues he could be just what the doctor ordered.

Enrique Hernandez, 2B/OF, BOS (CBS: 31% rostered): Hernandez is now up to 10 homers (four in his past seven games), 28 RBI, and 40 runs scored out of the leadoff slot in Boston. Being rostered to the tune of only 31 percent seems a tad on the low side for a player you know will score a ton of runs hitting at the top of the order in Beantown.

Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, WAS (CBS: 19% rostered): Harrison is doing something very important in the big scheme of things in Washington, he’s staying off of the IL. The Nats have players dropping like flies forcing them to look at Harrison at the top-of-the-order. With Trea Turner and Juan Soto hitting behind him it should generate plenty of run-scoring opportunities.

Jake Burger, 3B, CWS (CBS: 8% rostered): It’s great to see Jake Burger finally healthy and contributing. In 171 at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte, he amassed 10 homers, 36 RBI, and an outstanding .964 OPS. Should the hand injury suffered by Yoan Moncada result in an IL stint, Burger looks to be the best option for the White Sox to fill that void. In AL-only and deep Mixed Leagues, it’s worth a small bid to find out.

Oscar Mercado, OF, CLE (CBS: 2% rostered): Do you remember when Oscar Mercado was the hottest thing since sliced bread? Well, it was a while back, 2019 to be exact and after toiling in the Minors most of the past two seasons he has finally been released from purgatory and is back with the big league squad. Based on the power/speed potential a small speculative bid could net some solid rewards.

Garrett Cooper, 1B/OF, MIA (CBS: 22% rostered): it has been a tough start to the 2021 campaign for Gettett Cooper. A lumbar strain, an oblique injury, a foot problem, and an adverse reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination shot have seriously limited his ability to stay on the field. Finally healthy, he’s starting to put up some numbers with two homers and six RBI to his credit over the past five starts. In deeper Mixed League he’s worthy of a small bid.

Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (CBS: 37% rostered): Duran was recently left off of the Olympic roster and the reason for it does not require an explanation. Down on the farm, he has mashed 15 homers, driven in 31 runs, swiped 10 bases, and is sporting a .969 OPS. This is a pretty good indication that he doesn’t have a lot left to prove at Triple-A.

Harrison Bader, OF, STL (CBS: 11% rostered): Multiple stints on the IL have contributed to a total of only 85 at-bats but even with that limited playing time he hit five homers and stole three bases. He’s finally healthy and back in the everyday lineup and with that comes the hope for bigger and better numbers as we head into the second half.

Merrill Kelly, SP, ARZ (CBS: 33% rostered): On the surface that 4.67 ERA doesn’t scream “got to have him in my lineup” but it’s been a different tune of late. In his past three starts, all victories (which in Arizona is bordering on a miracle) he has allowed a total of only four earned runs over 20 innings and chipped in with 17 strikeouts. With a $5.25 million club option for 2022, Kelly could find himself a hot commodity at the trade deadline.

Kyle Muller, SP, ATL (CBS: 41% rostered): In a bit of a surprising move, the Braves optioned Muller to Triple-A Gwinnett after his outing on Saturday. He has yet to give up more than three runs in any of his three starts this year and you can be guaranteed that he’ll be back with Atlanta sooner rather than later.  It’s a good time to be buying low.

Jordan Lyles, SP, TEX (CBS: 6% rostered): Every Fantasy squad needs #5/6 type starters, and Jordan Lyles pitching in pitcher-friendly Globe Life Field, shouldn’t be forgotten. In his past three outings, he has two wins while allowing a total of only five earned runs. Those numbers are definitely worthy of a roster spot in deeper Leagues.

Chad Green, RP, NYY (CBS: 16% rostered): In his past four appearances Aroldis Chapman has allowed a total of seven earned runs including his first career grand slam. No, he currently isn’t in danger of losing his job, but the struggling Yankees need the Chapman performing at the level we witnessed in the first two months of the season. Should Chapman be dealing with an injury or need an opportunity to recharge the batteries, Green is a most competent option. An ounce of prevention can prove to be worth a pound of cure.

Cole Sulser, RP, BAL (CBS: 6% rostered): It’s a closer-by-committee situation in Baltimore but lately the O’s have turned to Sulser and for good cause. He has two saves in his past three appearances and is sporting a 2.05 ERA on the season with 43 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. He will be an option in Baltimore, along with Paul Fry, and quite possibly the best option in the second half.

Heath Hembree, RP, CIN (CBS: 1% rostered): I sure didn’t see this move coming, but with the failures and injuries in Cincinnati, why not give Hembree a shot. So far so good as he recorded back-to-back saves on Friday and Saturday and currently looks to be the ninth-inning favorite for the Reds.

Ranger Suarez, RP, PHI (CBS: 5% rostered): Hector Neris had the ninth-inning gig for most of the season and then fell into tough times losing the job to Jose Alvarado. Alvarado has struggled since gaining Joe Girardi’s trust and now he’s turning to the 25-year-old Suarez. Suarez has posted great numbers this year and is definitely deserving of the opportunity. The million-dollar question is will he hold onto it.

Paul Sewald, RP, SEA (CBS: 4% rostered): Very quietly, Paul Sewald has been getting it done for the Mariners and is now penciled in the setup role in Seattle. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past 14 appearances and is sporting a 23/ 5 K/BB ratio over those 14 appearances. Toss in the three wins, one save, and three holds and he’s a must roster in Leagues that count holds.

Bailey Falter, RP, PHI (CBS: 2% rostered): The Phillies called up Falter on June 14, and even though his longest stint has been four innings, he’s sporting a 2.57 ERA in six appearances with a stellar 16/1 K/BB ratio.  The possibility that he could wind up starting games in Philly can’t be ruled out.

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Waiver Wire – Week 13

Alejandro Kirk, C, TOR (CBS: 15% rostered): Alejandro Kirk was off to a solid start with three homers in his first 40 at-bats and then incurred a hip flexor at the end of April that sent him to the IL. He is heading off to Triple-A Trenton with a rehab stint in his immediate future. For those looking at a second catcher, it’s worth giving your Free Agent pool a quick spy to see if Kirk found his way there during his injury.

Keston Hiura, 1B/2B, MIL (CBS: 35% rostered): The hamstring strain suffered by Dan Volgelbach has forced the Brewers’ hand and they’ve called up Keston Hiura to fill his spot on the roster. We know the results from his first trip to Nashville and they were not pretty. Let’s hope for better results in his return from his second visit; although the 25% strikeout rate in 51 plate appearance in his second stint in Nashville would argue that nothing really has changed.

LaMonte Wade, 1B/OF, SFG (CBS: 2% rostered): Brandon Belt is off to the 10-day IL, this time dealing with knee inflammation and the possibility of surgery. As the five homers and two thefts in 88 at-bats will attest, Wade has performed very well in limited opportunities with the Giants this year and this opportunity has the potential to be anything but limited.

Wilmer Flores, 1B/2B/3B, SFG (CBS: 11% rostered): Flores has been a steady producer for the Giants, slugging seven homers and driving in 25 runs. He is currently filling in for Evan Longoria at the hot corner and with Longoria probably a month away from returning from his sprained left shoulder injury, Flores will have plenty of opportunities to build on those numbers.

Abraham Toro-Hernandez, 3B, HOU (CBS: 28% rostered): There is still no timetable for the return of Alex Bregman from his quad strain, but Toro-Hernandez has stepped up and given the Astros a solid option in the interim. In eight games since Bregman hit the IL, Toro-Hernandez has gone 10-for-30 with two homers and 10 RBI. It’s time to find a home for Toro-Hernandez in your CI slot.

Daz Cameron, OF DET (CBS: 8% rostered): He’s still striking out at an alarming rate, but at the same time in his first 39 at-bats, Cameron has hit three balls out of the park with an equal number of stolen bases. In deeper Leagues, he shouldn’t be ignored.

Taylor Ward, OF, LAA (CBS: 20% rostered): With Mike Trout and now Justin Upton confined to the 10-day IL until likely after the All-Star break, Ward will get no shortage of opportunities in the Angels outfield. Don’t let the fact that he’s currently mired in a 2-for-27 slump sway you. This will come to pass.

Zach Thompson, SP, MIA (CBS: 12% rostered): Last week we mentioned Thompson and with that great six-inning 11 strikeout performance against the Nats yesterday, it’s time for a reminder. Next up for Thompson is a rematch against the Braves, the team he blanked on his way to his first victory of the year.

Anthony Kay, SP, TOR (CBS: 2% rostered): Pressed into service with Steven Matz on the Covid-19 IL, Kay tossed five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts against the Orioles in gaining his first win of the season. Next on the agenda for Kay is a solid matchup and great streaming opportunity against Justus Sheffield and the Mariners.

Jose Alvarado, RP, PHI (CBS: 28% rostered): You have to go back eight appearances, to June 5, to find the last time Alvarado allowed an earned run. Phillies Manager Joe Girardi announced a change in the bullpen hierarchy on Friday with Alvarado taking over in the ninth and he promptly blew the save on a throwing error. Hector Neris is inserted to close out Saturday’s game and walks Luis Guillorme to tie the game before a sacrifice fly by Michael Conforto ends it. Jose Alvarado will get the next opportunity in Philly to close out a game.

Amir Garrett, RP, CIN (CBS: 21% rostered): First Lucas Sims hits the IL with a forearm strain on Thursday, followed by Tejay Antone on Saturday with the exact same injury. This leaves us with Amir Garrett manning the fort, or at least attempting to, with former Oriole closer Brad Brach in the setup role. Garrett did earn the save Saturday night, his fifth of the season, and should get the bulk of the save opportunities and another chance to establish himself as the go-to guy for saves in Cincinnati.

Seth Lugo, RP, NYM (CBS: 12% rostered): The Mets activated Lugo at the end of May, and in eleven June appearances, he has now amassed a win, a save, and four holds while allowing only three earned runs over 11 1/3 IP. Toss in the 17 strikeouts and Lugo has quickly established himself as a late-inning force for the Mets and your Fantasy squad.

Collin McHugh, SP/RP, TBR (CBS: 5% rostered): In six appearances since the calendar rolled over into June, McHugh has tossed 12 1/3 innings allowing only 7 hits, one walk, no runs and has chipped in with a pair of wins and 21 strikeouts. These numbers are attention-worthy in AL-only and deep mixed formats.