The fantasy baseball waiver wire has been flooded with a lot of prospects this season. Add two more to the list among the latest pickups. The Cincinnati Reds called up left-hander Andrew Abbott to make his major league debut on Monday and the Braves are expected to start AJ Smith-Shawver later this week after sending Mike Soroka to Triple-A.
There are always risks with rookies. Mariners pitcher Bryce Miller is the perfect example. In his first five starts, he looked to be one of the best waiver wire pickups of the season. He pitched 31.1 innings and allowed 13 hits, four earned runs, three walks and struck out 28. The last two starts were awful. Miller pitched seven innings and allowed 19 hits, 15 runs, two walks and struck out five.
Some rookie pitchers called up have been good. Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, Taj Bradley, Bobby Miller, and Eury Perez have been positive for fantasy baseball teams. Injuries have created the need for fantasy teams to take a chance on these rookie pickups. As always, continue to hit the waiver wire and consider adding some of the players below.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Joc Pederson, OF, San Francisco Giants (25% – Yahoo, 5.7% – ESPN)
Pederson is scheduled to come off the injured list on Tuesday and it sets up as a great week. Not only are the Giants facing six right-handed pitchers, the first three games are at Coors Field in Colorado. Pederson is batting .235 with a .352 on-base percentage with 12 runs, five home runs and 18 RBIs in 81 at-bats.
Mitch Garver, DH, Texas Rangers (12% – Yahoo, 1.2% – ESPN)
Garver recently came off the injured list and has mostly appeared as a designated hitter. He could gain eligibility at catcher soon depend on league settings. He has appeared in four games, including three starts as a catcher this season. Garver is 5-for-13 with four runs, one homer and two RBIs since coming off the IL and hits in one of the best lineups in baseball.
Luis Urias, 2B/SS/3B, Milwaukee Brewers (18% – Yahoo, 10.2% – ESPN)
Urias has been on the injured list with a hamstring injury he sustained on Opening Day and he returned to the lineup on Monday, playing third base and hitting sixth. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. Urias his 23 home runs in 490 at-bats two years ago and had 16 home runs in 406 at-bats last season.
Josh Donaldson, 3B, New York Yankees (7% – Yahoo, 4.4% – ESPN)
Donaldson is more for deeper leagues. He's 37 and an injury risk and coming off a disappointing season. He returned from the injured list on Friday and hit two home runs. He has only 24 at-bats, but has hit the ball hard.
Will Brennan, OF, Cleveland Guardians (1% – Yahoo, 0.4% – ESPN)
Brennan has been getting consistent playing time lately and producing. Over the last six games, Brennan is 11-for-21 with three runs, two doubles, a home run, and four RBIs. Brennan is batting .254 with 15 runs, three home runs, 15 RBIs and five stolen bases in 134 at-bats and can at least be used in the short-term as a streamer while he's hitting.
Darick Hall, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (4% – Yahoo, 0.9% – ESPN)
Hall is only eligible at designated hitter in some leagues, but he will play first base when he comes off the injured list. He's been out since the start of April with a thumb injury and is on a rehab assignment. He is eligible to return and it's a matter of when the Phillies believe he's ready. Hill will sit against most left-handers, but he can provide power.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
Andrew Abbott, SP, Cincinnati Reds (37% – Yahoo, 6.7% – ESPN)
Abbott made his debut for the Reds on Monday and was good. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing one hit, four walks and struck out six against the Brewers. A second-round pick by the Reds in 2021, Abbott dominated Double-A and Triple-A this season. He had a 2.50 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 90 strikeouts over 54 innings.
AJ Smith-Shawver, SP, Atlanta Braves (13% – Yahoo, 2.6% – ESPN)
Indications are Smith-Shawver could make a start Saturday against the Nationals after Mike Soroka was sent to Triple-A after two starts. Smith-Shawver made his debut Sunday in relief and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings with one walk and three strikeouts. The 20-year-old began the season in High-A and made it to Triple-A. He pitched seven innings in his final start at Triple-A. Smith-Shawver has a good fastball with a nasty slider and between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, he had a 1.09 ERA, 0.94 WHIP with a 45:12 K:BB ratio over 33 innings.
Hayden Wesneski, SP, Chicago Cubs (11% – Yahoo, 2.5% – ESPN)
Justin Steele has a forearm strain, opening up a spot in the starting rotation for Wesneski. He opened the season as a starter, but struggled and was removed. He had a great spring and two bad starts to open the season in which he allowed eight runs in six innings. Since then, including a relief appearance, he had a 3.65 ERA. He gets a two-start week on the road against the Angels and Giants.
Justin Lawrence, RP, Colorado Rockies, (3% – Yahoo, 0.7% – ESPN)
Pierce Johnson has been the closer for the Rockies, but he hasn't been good recently. He has allowed seven earned runs over his last 3.1 innings and has a 6.85 ERA and 12.8% walk rate. Lawrence has a save in each of his last two outings and has a 3.06 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 35:12 K:BB ratio in 32.1 innings. Lawrence isn't a lock to get saves going forward, but if you're in need of saves it's worth taking a shot to see if he sticks.
Mark Leiter Jr., RP, Chicago Cubs (28% – Yahoo, 5.4% – ESPN)
The Cubs haven't generated many save chances. Leiter has received two of the last three saves for the Cubs with Adbert Alzolay getting the other. It appears Leiter is the preferred option for now. In 23.2 innings, Leiter has allowed 14 hits, seven walks and struck out 36 with a 2.66 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
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