Is there anything going on in baseball besides Elly De La Cruz? It didn't feel like it this week. The Reds infield prospect was the talk of baseball this week and he's the highlight of the fantasy baseball waiver wire for leagues in which he's still available. In most leagues, he's already on a roster. Unless he was drafted in the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC), he's a free agent. In some leagues, you can't add a player until they are called up and with free agent pickups on Sunday, De La Cruz is available in some of those formats, too. Almost every week there has been a big waiver wire pickup to spend on and De La Cruz will go for big money. He doubled in his first game, hit a 458-foot home run in his second game and stole a base in his third game and has been hitting fourth in the lineup. In his first four games with the Reds, he's slashing .333/.412/.733 with one double, one triple, a home run, two RBI, and a stolen base. As a young player, he will strike out often and has struck out nine times in 15 at-bats. De La Cruz will go for big money as possibly one of the final impact bats off the fantasy baseball waiver wire the rest of the way. He has power and speed and plays his home games in one of the best parks for hitters. By now, you should know how aggressive your fantasy baseball league is and looking at others remaining budgets can help gauge how much to spend. As always, do take advantage of all our Fantasy Baseball Season-Long Tools, including Fantasy Baseball Rest of Season Projections, Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings, and more to dominate you leagues!


Top Waiver Wire Hitters

Elly De La Cruz, SS, Cincinnati Reds, 40-50%

Hopefully, you have been reading this column the last few weeks and saw De La Cruz as a recommended stash. If so, it saved a lot of money. The buzz has been building for De La Cruz as the top prospect in baseball. In 38 games at Triple-A, De La Cruz slashed .297/.398/.633 with 38 runs, 12 home runs, 36 RBI, and 11 stolen bases in 38 games.

Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins, 6-8%

Sanchez missed some time with a hamstring injury and has played well since returning. He has started the last seven games and is 8-for-27 with four runs, three home runs and seven RBI. Sanchez has always showed good power and is slashing .306/.376/.582 with 13 runs, six home runs, 17 RBI, and three stolen bases in 98 at-bats. Sanchez has a 46.4% hard hit rate.

Nolan Jones, OF, Colorado Rockies, 6-8%

Jones has been good since being called up and is getting consistent playing time. He is slashing .349/.404/.581 with four runs, two home runs, ten RBI, and four stolen bases. He batted .356 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 39 games at Triple-A and will at least be worth streaming in games at Coors Field in deeper formats.

Joey Wiemer, OF, Milwaukee Brewers, 6-8%

Wiemer started strong and went through a long slump. Wiemer has started to hit over the last eight games with five doubles, seven runs, three home runs, nine RBI, and two stolen bases with a 1.563 OPS. Over his last 19 games, Wiemer is slashing .288/.354/.576 with four home runs and four stolen bases.

Eddie Rosario, OF, Atlanta Braves, 6-8%

Rosario began the season slowly, but he's been much better lately. He will sit against most left-handers, but the Braves face five right-handers in their seven games next week against the Tigers and Rockies. Over his last 12 games, Rosario is 13-for-48 with eight runs, three home runs, and nine RBI.

Mitch Garver, DH, Texas Rangers, 6-8%

Garver has appeared in five games at catcher, so he's eligible in some leagues and will be in others soon depending on league rules. Injuries have limited Garver the last few seasons and he recently came off the injured list. He started the first four games after coming back and went 6-for-16 with five runs, a home run, and three RBI. Being able to slot Garver at catcher is most appealing and he's hitting in one of the best lineups in Major League Baseball.

Will Brennan, OF, Cleveland Guardians, 3-5%

Brennan is a good option if you miss out on the higher-priced bats or don't have enough money in the budget left. Brennan has been playing every day and hitting well. He has 18 hits in his last 39 at-bats with four runs, two home runs, eight RBI, and a stolen base.

Gary Sanchez, C, San Diego Padres, 3-5%

Sanchez was designated for assignment by the Mets last month and has hit well since coming to the Padres. In nine games with San Diego, Sanchez is slashing .275/.318/.700 with eight runs, five home runs, and 12 RBI. Sanchez has always showed good power, but tends to strikeout often leading to a low average. He can be used as a second catcher in leagues that start two while he's hitting well.

Ryan Noda, 1B, Oakland Athletics, 2-4%

Noda is more for deeper formats, especially in on-base percentage leagues. The A's lineup is awful, but Noda is slashing .255/.415/.473 with 32 runs, seven home runs, 23 RBI, and two stolen bases. While he's striking out 33% of the time, he has a 19.8% walk rate and a 45.8% hard hit rate.


Top Waiver Wire Pitchers

Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins, 10-12%

Garrett is still widely available in Yahoo leagues. The overall stats look worse due to an awful performance against the Braves in which he allowed 14 hits and 11 runs over 4.1 innings. Since that start, Garrett has pitched 32 innings and allowed 25 hits, 12 earned runs, seven walks, and struck out 38.

AJ Smith-Shawver, Atlanta Braves, 10-12%

The 20-year old began the season in High-A and is already in the majors. Smith-Shawver made his first appearance in relief and got a start on Friday night against the Nationals. He pitched 5.1 innings and allowed three hits, two runs (none of which we earned), walked two, and struck out two. 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. He gets another favorable matchup in his next start against Detroit.

Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati Reds, 10-12%

Abbott was good in his big league debut on Monday, going six scoreless innings and allowing one hit, four walks and struck out six against the Brewers. He had a favorable matchup and only had ten swings and misses. He doesn't throw hard and deception is part of the reason for his success. The hitter’s ballpark in Cincinnati doesn't help either, so don't break the bank.

Aaron Civale, Cleveland Guardians, 3-5%

Civale missed almost two months with an oblique injury and returned June 2nd. In his first two starts back, he has pitched 10.2 innings and allowed eight hits, two runs, walked four, and struck out seven. Civale won't get a lot of strikeouts, but his velocity is up and he keeps the walks down.

Jaime Barria, Los Angeles Angels, 3-5%

Barria started the season in relief but has made three starts recently and looked good. He has pitched 15 innings over that span allowing nine hits, three runs, walked four, and struck out 15. Barria has allowed a low hard-hit rate of 24% and has an xERA of 2.81.

Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins, 3-5%

Rogers is close to returning as he's on a rehab assignment. He was supposed to start Friday and the game was rained out, pushing his final rehab start to Saturday. Rogers threw 70 pitches and five scoreless innings in his last rehab start on Sunday.


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