Available Today, Rostered Tomorrow
Steven Kwan, OF, CLE (CBS: 15% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Here’s what we wrote in the off-season.
“Kwan was a fifth-round pick out of Oregan State in 2018, and the ceiling was considered a fourth outfielder. He’s always been able to hit, posting a .301 batting average in 217 minor league games with an even more impressive .380 OBP. He has good speed, will steal some bases, and is a great outfielder. However, he never showed any power. He added loft to his swing this year without sacrificing contact and slugged .539 in Double-A. After his promotion to Triple-A in early September, he kept hitting and hitting with power. If this is a new baseline, then his ceiling moves from an extra bat to potentially a full-time regular.”
So far, so good!
Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (CBS: 43% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): The #1 pick (7’th overall) by the Reds in 2019 enjoyed a great Spring, posting a 9/1 K/BB ratio in 7 1/3 innings while allowing only one run. That strong Spring earned him, along with Hunter Greene, spots in the Reds rotation and high expectations.
Josh Lowe, OF, TBR (CBS: 46% rostered, ESPN: 11% rostered): The big question heading into 2022 was how the Rays work Lowe into their everyday lineup and when. It appears those questions have now been answered. When you mash 22 home runs and swipe 26 bags in 402 at-bats last year at Triple-A, those fantasy-friendly skills will be cause for some serious FAAB spending this weekend.
Tylor Megill, SP, NYM (CBS: 54% rostered, ESPN: 18% rostered): He went from 18% rostered at CBS last week to 54% this week. I wonder if that five-inning shutout gem against the Nationals on Thursday has a bearing on Megill’s sudden popularity?
Heliot Ramos, OF, SFG (CBS: 10% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The 22-year-old is getting the call Sunday to try and put some spark in a Giants outfield that badly needs one. The Giants outfield has gone a combined 3-for-23 with two RBI and no runs scored to start the season. The fantasy-friendly skills from Ramos should be highly sought after in this week’s Waiver Wire runs.
Nick Senzel, OF, CIN (CBS: 23% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): It has always been about the health with Senzel, and that hasn’t changed. He’s got the job. Let’s hope he stays healthy and proves it is worth the wait.
Seth Beer, 1B, ARZ (CBS: 27% rostered, ESPN: 6% rostered): Let’s be honest, folks. Who doesn’t like beer?
Paul DeJong, SS, STL (CBS: 18% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): Many thought Edmundo Sosa was the favorite to start the season at shortstop for the Cards. The Cards disagreed, turning to the veteran DeJong and thus far have been rewarded with an early home run. As a MI option in deeper Leagues, that 20+ homer potential becomes enticing.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, SDP (CBS: 20% rostered, ESPN: 30% rostered): Many have soured on Hosmer after last year’s abysmal performance, but after a solid 6-for-12 start, it might be time to find a home for him in deeper formats. At the very least, a bench slot.
Connor Joe, OF, COL (CBS: 30% rostered, ESPN: 6% rostered): A crowded lineup in Colorado with the addition of Randall Grichuk and Kris Bryant was a concern for Connor Joe heading into the season. Going 3-for-7 start with a home run in his first two games will help alleviate those concerns.
Merrill Kelly, SP, ARZ (CBS: 43% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): In his 2022 debut against the Padres, Kelly tossed four shutout innings of two-hit, four walk baseball, with seven strikeouts. Throwing 51-of-75 pitches for strikes is a recipe for success. It’s a shame he can’t pitch against the DBacks, as his opportunity for wins would improve immensely.
Miguel Rojas, SS, MIA (CBS: 23% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): He’s boring, but in a solid sort of way, and that 10-10 potential with an acceptable batting average is a fine complement as an injury replacement player.
Cheap Options…..for Now
Roansy Contreras, SP, PIT (CBS: 14% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The Pirates are turning to Contreras to get some quality pitching into their rotation, something they sorely lack. Initially, he will be pitching out of the ‘pen as he builds up his arm strength, but buying in now can bring some tangible rewards once he settles into the rotation. A consensus Top-100 prospect shouldn’t be ignored, especially when he posted an 82/13 K/BB ratio at Double and Triple-A last year.
Johnny Cueto, SP, CWS (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Lance Lynn and now Lucas Giolito are both hurting and are likely to miss at least the next 2-to-4 weeks. The signing of Johnny Cueto to that $4.2 million deal with an opt-out on May 15 if he’s not in the Majors looks to have been a solid move for the Southsiders. The opt-out provision isn’t going to come into play.
Yan Gomes, C, CHC (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: 1%): Over the past four full seasons, Gomes has slugged 14, 16, 12, and 14 homers. In two-catcher leagues, that’s a solid value. Toss in the fact that the Cubs could move pending Free Agent Willson Contreras in a deal, which would do nothing but boost Gomes’ value.
Michael Pineda, SP, DET (CBS: 11% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Pineda was late to camp because of visa issues and, therefore, will be knocking off the rust and getting into game shape at Triple-A Toledo until the end of the month. A cheap bid now, and you’ll have him ready to roll heading into May.
Stephen Piscotty, OF, OAK (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The A’s don’t have much to offer, both in the actual game and fantasy, but Piscotty has posted decent numbers when healthy. The problem is he hasn’t been healthy the past three seasons. The last time he was healthy was in 2018, and he launched 27 homers while driving in 88 runs.
Matt Vierling, OF, PHI (CBS: 7% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Odubal Herrera is dealing with a right oblique strain and is likely out until early May. Mickey Moniak, who enjoyed a great Spring, was plunked in the Phillies’ final Spring Training game and is out for at least six weeks with a broken hand. By the process of elimination, that brings us to Matt Vierling, who should see a steady diet of at-bats and some pop and speed until the wounded walking return.
Kyle Wright, SP, ATL (CBS: 15% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): We’ve seen glimpses, albeit short ones, of the potential that Wright possesses. Tossing six shutout innings of two-hit ball against the Reds on Saturday has us hoping that his next start against the Padres brings us more of the same.
Matt Bush, RP, TEX (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Matt Bush did amass ten saves for the Rangers back in 2017, and still, with the Rangers, he’s part of a committee that also includes Joe Barlow and Greg Holland. I don’t know why the Rangers are not giving Joe Barlow a serious shot at the ninth-inning gig, but until they sort things out, a Bush stash is a decent option.
Tyler Duffey, RP, MIN (CBS: 13% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The Twins moved Closer Taylor Rogers to the Padres, opening up an opportunity for Tyler Duffey and possibly Jorge Alcala and Jhoan Duran down the road. Duffey has been outstanding for the Twins the past three seasons, so what does he do in his first opportunity to close out a game this year? He allows two runs and blows the save opp. The job is his to lose, but the leash will be short.
Jorge Lopez, RP, BAL (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The trade of Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott has created a hole in the O’s pen. Dillon Tate is probably still considered the favorite for saves, but I’ll play “Devil’s Advocate” and spend light on Jorge Lopez, hoping he quickly works his way into saves in Baltimore. Call it a gut feeling, but Dillon Tate holding onto the job doesn’t fill me with confidence.
Tony Santillan, RP, CIN (CBS: 16% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): The injury to Lucas Sims created an opportunity in Cincinnati. My early favorite for the ninth inning gig, Art Warren, watches former starter Tony Santillan go out and shut down the Braves, earning the save. It’s a messy situation, but when in doubt, go with the guy that has gotten it done and hope that trend continues.