Will the 2023 MLB season produce a Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles World Series? It seems far-fetched and it's only April, but it has been a wacky start to the season. The Pirates were a lineup with little fantasy baseball appeal, and they have several waiver wire pickups. Adjusting to the landscape and acting quickly is key when making free agent pickups. The injuries are on the rise compared to the last few seasons and the fantasy baseball waiver wire has become more crucial every week. The percentages are a guideline and should be adjusted based on your roster and needs.
Top Waiver Wire Hitters
Jorge Soler, OF, Miami Marlins; 10-15%
While Soler is on most teams in deeper formats, he's available in too many leagues. He is slashing .241/.330/.518 with 11 runs, five home runs, and 10 RBI. Soler has cut his strikeout rate by six percent to 23.4% and is walking 10.6% of the time. Soler hit 27 home runs two years ago and the Statcast numbers look great. He is in the top ten percent of hitters in six categories, including hard hit percentage and barrel percentage.
Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox; 8-10%
Duran is off to a great start and should be added in most formats. He will sit against most left-handers, but he is slashing .400/.425/.629 with seven runs, one home run, ten RBI, and two stolen bases. Duran is consistently making hard contact and is in the 85th percentile of sprint speed.
Rodolfo Castro, 2B/SS/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates; 8-10%
I don't know how many times he has to be listed here, but he has ever since Oneil Cruz got injured, yet he's not rostered enough on a few platforms. He has eligibility at multiple positions and plays every day. He is slashing .279/.383/.471 with 10 runs, three home runs, 12 RBI, and one stolen base. He's walking more and making hard contact.
Jack Suwinski, Of, Pittsburgh Pirates; 8-10%
Suwinski showed some potential last season despite hitting .202. He had 19 home runs and four stolen bases in 326 at-bats. After playing part-time to begin the season. Suwinski has been playing every day over the last two weeks. He is slashing .276/.397/.603 with eight runs, five home runs, 13 RBI, and four stolen bases. He has a 17.8% walk rate, ranks high in several Statcast categories and is in the 89th percentile of sprint speed.
Connor Joe, 1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates 6-8%
Joe is playing almost every day and producing with a slash line of .304/.392/.580 with 14 runs, three home runs, ten RBI, and one stolen base. Joe isn't chasing pitches and is in the 89th percentile of hard-hit rate and 81st percentile of barrel rate.
Jake Burger, 3B, Chicago White Sox; 6-8%
Burger appeared to be a short-term pickup the last few weeks, but Yoan Moncada has a disc issue in his back and is a few weeks away from a rehab assignment. Burger will remain the third baseman while Moncada is out and while he strikes out often, the power is there. Burger homered again on Friday for the second straight game and has seven home runs on the season.
Brenton Doyle, OF, Colorado Rockies; 3-5%
Yonathan Daza has been out with a hand injury and missed his fourth straight game Friday. Doyle has filled in and started four straight games in center field. Doyle has three hits in his first 11 at-bats with two runs, and two stolen bases. Doyle had high strikeout rates in the minors, but showed power and speed.
Top Waiver Wire Pitchers
Bailey Ober, Minnesota Twins; 20-25%
Many hoped Ober would win a spot in the starting rotation, but it didn't happen and he began the season in the minors. He recently had a start with the Twins and could be in the rotation a bit longer. Kenta Maeda has a triceps strain and will be shut down for the next week or so and Tyler Mahle has a right elbow impingement. Ober's lone start came against the Nationals and he pitched 5.2 innings and allowed three hits, one run, three walks, and struck out four. Ober made 11 starts last season with the Twins and had a 3.21 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 22.5% strikeout rate, and 4.8% walk rate.
Logan Allen, Cleveland Guardians; 10-15%
Allenwas impressive in his Major League debut. He was called up last week and took advantage of a favorable matchup against the Marlins. He pitched six innings and allowed five hits, one runs, one walk, and struck out eight. The 2020 second-round pick had a 1.43 ERA in three starts at Triple-A. The risk with Allen is him getting sent down as Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie work their way back from injuries.
Tanner Bibee, Cleveland Guardians; 10-15%
Bibee was outstanding in his Major League debut against the Rockies. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing six hits, one run, no walks, and struck out eight. His slider was nasty and the only question is how long does he stay up? He will travel with the team for the next series, but even if he gets sent down shortly, it's difficult to envision him being down for long. In competitive and deeper formats, people will spend on Bibee.
Gore has looked excellent and is coming off a dominant performance against the Mets, who don't strike out often. The Nationals left-hander went six innings, allowed four hits, one run, walked two, and struck out ten. He consistently hit 97 miles per hour with his fastball, getting 12 of his 19 swinging strikes on the pitch. Gore has a 31.5% strikeout rate and is in the 86th percentile of barrel rate. If he can cut down on his 14.4% walk rate, he will be even better.
Yennier Cano, Baltimore Orioles; 3-5%
Cano has pitched 8.2 innings and allowed no hits, no walks, and struck out ten. He has four holds and a 38.5% strikeout rate. Felix Bautista is the closer, although his walk rate has increased lately. Cano is good for holds leagues and those in deeper formats aiming to help ratios or trying to stash a potential closer in case Bautista gets injured.