With two games left in the “first half” of the 2022 MLB season before we head into the All-Star break, now is not the time to let up on the pedal. Fantasy baseball teams need constant tinkering, so let’s take a look at who caught our eye this week as they move up the Fantasy Baseball Rankings and have become worthy of an MLB Waiver Wire claim.
Waiver Wire Hitters
Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B (NYY); FAAB Bid: 2-3%
Carpenter emerged out of nowhere to be a real power threat for the Yankees this season. With the struggles we are seeing from Joey Gallo, among others, it only makes sense that Carpenter’s at bats increase and that has been the case as of late. He went deep on Thursday for his 11th home run of the season, in just 83 plate appearances and it should not be surprising that Carpenter’s ISO currently sits at an astronomical .529. That comes along with a .338 batting average, 24 RBI, and 19 runs scored as the adjustments Carpenter made this past winter clearly have taken hold. Even with that being said and his past as an All-Star, this is still an insane level of performance which is supported by a 19.6%-barrel rate and 25.9-degree launch angle. Now that the Yankees have started using him in the outfield, it bodes even better for his outlook and expected playing time.
Jarren Duran, OF (BOS); FAAB Bid: 1%
What really captures my attention with Duran is the fact that he has two stolen bases over his past three games. That gives the speedy outfielder seven stolen bases on the season in 26 games which is a ratio we can work with as there is always going to be a need for speed. Duran is hitting a solid .273 with 15 runs scored so while he is not a perfect option, the outfielder can fill a statistical need.
Jarred Kelenic, OF (SEA); FAAB Bid: 1%
Please, stop me if you have heard this before; Kelenic is tearing up Triple-A. It is getting to the point where Seattle’s hand is really going to be forced with their young outfielder to see if he can actually produce at the Major League level. So far this season, he is batting just .140 at the big league level in 30 games with three home runs, 10 RBI, and three stolen bases. The Triple-A performance tells a vastly different story though as Kelenic is at .302 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 45 games. As the Mariners look to make a run at the postseason in the second half, I am thinking they give Kelenic one more shot to see if he can be a spark, or while this is purely my personal speculation, maybe they investigate a change of scenery as they look to improve their team. Either way, I would stash Kelenic with the thought process that we see him at the Major League level once again in the near future.
Frank Schwindel, 1B (CHC); FAAB Bid: 1-2%
Prior to heading to the Injured List, Schwindel was having his best month of the season in June as the first baseman was hitting .278 in 15 games. He had been receiving regular playing time all season with Chicago and now that he is back, I would expect that to resume. While his eight home runs and 33 RBI in 62 games are not going to jump off the page at you, Schwindel can be a solid contributor after ripping through the second half last season.
José Iglesias, 2B/SS (COL); FAAB Bid: 1-2%
I apologize if I am putting you to sleep here, but sometimes you simply need “boring” options to fill a hole or close a gap in production. Iglesias is proving to do just that as not only does he play every day for Colorado, but the middle infielder is hitting .302 on the season. That immediately pushes him over other options even if he does not show any power or speed with just three home runs and two stolen bases. We have gotten 33 RBI and 29 runs scored out of Iglesias so there is some production to work with here.
Waiver Wire Pitchers
Domingo Germán (NYY); FAAB Bid: 1%
German’s return was already imminent as he winds down his rehab stint, in which he has pitched well, but there is a heightened sense of urgency with the placement of Luis Severino on the Injured List. Entering the second half of the season, the right-hander should be all set to join the Yankees’ rotation as part of a team that is humming offensively. When we last saw German in 2021, he had a 4.58 ERA (4.09 xERA) and 1.18 WHIP with 98 strikeouts in 98.1 innings.
Brad Keller (KC); FAAB Bid: 2-3%
After being unable to make the trip to Toronto, Keller should be well-rested entering the second half of the season for Kansas City. The main reason why Keller is so readily available stems from the lack of upside in the strikeout department, 6.17 per nine innings, but the overall body of work is pretty solid here. Keller generates a 51.6% ground ball rate which is quite helpful and also a large component of his 3.96 ERA (3.82 xERA). Opposing hitters have a barrel-rate against Keller of just 5.5% so that bodes well for his continued success at the level we have seen to this point.
Braxton Garrett (MIA); FAAB Bid: 1-2%
Granted it did come against the Pirates on Thursday, but any time a pitcher throws six shutout innings while allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out 11, it is going to get our attention. The start brought Garrett’s ERA down to 3.70 (3.45 xERA) in 41.1 innings as the left-hander is striking out close to a batter per inning while walking just 2.18 per nine innings. Garrett has flashed success in Triple-A over the past two years and he is showing enough through this point that he is worth a look.
Alexis Díaz (CIN); FAAB Bid: 3%
Diaz emerged on the scene pitching well before heading to the Injured List, but now that he is back, he is worthy of a look once again. The right-hander has four straight scoreless outings while also picking up his third save of the season which caught our attention. Through action on Thursday, Diaz had a 2.16 ERA while striking out 11.61 batters per nine innings. Diaz is not perfect as we have to watch out for his 5.13 walks per nine innings, but the strikeout upside and the fact that he is likely in line for more saves puts him on our radar.
Andrew Chafin (DET); FAAB Bid: 1%
Chafin is not going to find himself in line for saves, but as a left-handed reliever with a strong track record of success he will find himself on a contender over the next few weeks. Based on the fact that he throws with his left hand, Chafin will be utilized in high leverage situations and with a 2.30 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through Thursday, he has proven to be more than capable while striking out 33 batters in 27.1 innings.
Related MLB Links:
- Previous Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets
- 2022 MLB Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report
- 2022 MLB Injury Report
- Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Ups
- Fantasy Baseball Closer Reports