We have rounded the first quarter of the season and we hope our Waiver Wire updates have provided you a lot to think through. This week, it’s prospect week as many of the game’s best prospects have been called. Not all will stay for good on their first call. While we’ve tried handicapping those players, in the end, it’s a guessing game. We believe that it’s not just about talent but also the teams who have needs and are out of it. See Vlad Jr and Nick Senzel as examples. Those two should play regardless. Using that logic, that should put Nicky Lopez at the top of the list followed by Shaun Anderson and possibly Jared Walsh.
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Shaun Anderson, SP, SF (CBS: 5% owned)
The Giants have dispatched Derek Holland to the bullpen and Tyler Beede was given his chance, but couldn’t find the strike zone walking 8 over 6 2/3 IP. The Giants turned to the 24-year-old Anderson and he turned in a solid effort in his first start against the Jays. The success in his debut has earned the 24-year-old Anderson him a second start. I’m betting that we see a third.
Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, BOS (CBS: 22% owned)
At 29-years-of-age I simply can’t believe he’s finished as at least a semi-productive bat. In what was considered a down year, in 2018 he still managed to hit 13 homers and steal 17 bases. I’ll toss down a buck and stash him on my bench in the hope we can see some semblance of a return to form.
Willie Calhoun, OF, TEX (CBS: 37% owned)
Calhoun was quietly (something he hasn’t been in the past) tearing the cover off the ball at Triple-A. He gets the call and promptly goes 9-for-20 with two homers and six RBI in his first four games. The Texas outfield has plenty of mouths to feed, but as long as he keeps hitting, the Rangers will find a way to get that bat into the lineup.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, ARZ (CBS: 19% owned)
Dyson is currently tied for third overall in stolen bases with Dee Gordon and Jose Ramirez, behind only Tim Anderson and Adalberto Mondesi. He has stolen five bases in only three games this week. He’s riding the pine against southpaws so it’s prudent that you check the matchups, but if your need is speed, go get him!
Junior Guerra, RP, MIL (CBS: 8% owned)
Josh Hader is being worked hard….very hard. It’s a long season and an effective Guerra, at least until Jeremy Jeffress proves that his shoulder is 100 percent, will earn the odd save and be a steady contributor in the holds category.
Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL (CBS: 67% owned)
Last week we mentioned that Keston Hiura was nearing a call-up. Well that didn’t take long, did it? A week later, Hiura is playing full-time in Milwaukee and his ownership level has gone from 29-to-67 percent. If you happen to be in a League where he’s sitting in the Free Agent pool, this week will be your last kick-at-the-can.
Carson Kelly, C, ARZ (CBS: 9% owned)
In his past seven games, Kelly has gone 6-for-19 with three homers. His K/BB ratio over that same time span is 3/3. In two-catcher formats, it’s time to make a small bid and get him in your active lineup.
Nicky Lopez, SS, KC (CBS: 26% owned)
The Royals have determined that the future is now and have moved Whit Merrifield to the outfield and brought up Nicky Lopez to man the “keystone corner.” He’s off to a solid start with six hits in his first 20 at-bats. In a week where there are plenty of top-tier young players making their debuts, the stellar on-base skills and speed potential could make Lopez the best buy of the lot.
Austin Riley, 3B, ATL (CBS: 74% owned)
Riley now has four games under his belt and has gone 8-for-15 at the dish with two homers. He could be on his way to forcing Ender Inciarte into the role of a fourth outfielder.
Brendan Rodgers, COL (CBS: 62% owned)
Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson didn’t get the job done, leaving the Rockies to turn to top-prospect Brendan Rodgers. Down on the farm, Rodgers had nine homers, 21 RBI, and an outstanding 1.065 OPS. With any success, he could be calling the Rockies infield home for the duration of his career.
Gio Urshela, 3B, NYY (CBS: 22% owned)
Known more for his glove, Urshela is also making a statement with his bat this year. In his first 98 at-bats in the Bronx, he’s hitting .347 with two homers and 16 RBI. Miguel Andujar is done for the season and it will be at least another month before the return of Didi Gregorius, making Urshela a solid short-term option in deeper Leagues.
Five under 5%
James Karinchak, RP, CLE (CBS: unowned)
Unfortunately, his fast track to the Cleveland bullpen has been derailed due to a strained hamstring, but the numbers are simply so off-the-chart good he’s still worthy of a mention. In 13 innings split between Double and Triple-A, Karinchak is yet to allow an earned run. He has allowed only five hits, three walks, and struck out an amazing 32 batters. There’s a K/9 to be proud of. Toss in the six saves, and the label of “future closer” fits very well.
Carlos Gomez, OF, NYM (CBS: 1% owned)
Yes, this is the Carlos Gomez that long ago and far away went 20-40. That was a long time ago, but with Michael Conforto hitting the IL with a concussion, Gomez could see a fairly steady diet of short-term at-bats. He did have six homers and five stolen bases in 126 at-bats at Syracuse.
Dawel Lugo, 2B, DET (CBS: 1% owned)
The Tigers finally tired of the struggling Jeimer Candelario and dispatched him to the Mud Hens. They’ve turned to Lugo as a fill-in until Candelario rights the ship. A small bid might hold some value in AL-only Leagues.
Devin Smeltzer, SP, MIN (CBS: 1% owned)
I do like my “crafty” southpaws, and Smeltzer fills that bill to a “t”. He has allowed the grand total of 6 earned runs this season between Double and Triple-A, resulting in a stellar 1.09 ERA. He could be next-in-line when the Twins need a starter and in Dynasty Leagues deserves a bit more love than his current 1 percent level of ownership.
Jared Walsh, 1B/RP, LAA (CBS: 1% owned)
The kid can hit, as evident by the 10 homers and 26 RBI at Triple-A Salt Lake City. He also has a win and a save in five appearances out of the bullpen. The Halos are cornering the market on multi-role players.