Just when the parade of rookies called up to the majors slowed down, another wave of prospects hit the majors over the last few days making the trip to the fantasy baseball waiver wire full of options. The anticipation for Reds infielder Christian Encarnacion-Strand has been building for months and he finally is in the majors. Zack Gelof and Tyler Soderstrom were brought up by Oakland to start the second half.

One of the top pitching prospects, Grayson Rodriguez, is back in the majors after an awful start to his career earlier this season. Oswald Peraza is back with the Yankees and led off on Monday and Endy Rodriguez made his major league debut for the Pirates on Monday. There are more waiver wire pickups available to help fantasy teams down the stretch. After the waiver wire looked thin over the weekend, several options have emerged over the last couple of days.


Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Cincinnati Reds (43% – Yahoo, 11.2% – ESPN)

The wait is finally over. Encarnacion-Strand was called up from the minor leagues after anticipating this for fantasy players for weeks. In many leagues, he was stashed. In some formats, like the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC), he won't be available until the weekend. In 278 at-bats at Triple-A, Encarnacion-Strand hit .331/.405/.637 with 65 runs, 20 home runs, 62 RBIs and a 1.042 OPS. Chasing bad pitches and plate discipline were an issue early in the season, but he has 30 walks over his last 39 games after three in the first 28 games. While he's a first baseman, he played some third base in the minors. With the call up, he should get playing time in the infield, outfield and at designated hitter. He was the designated hitter and batted seventh in his debut Monday, going 0-for-2 before the game was suspended in the eighth inning due to rain.

Zack Gelof 2B, Oakland Athletics (9% – Yahoo, 3.6% – ESPN)

Gelof made his Oakland debut on Friday and played all three games over the weekend. He's a good add, especially if you need stolen bases. He went 4-for-12 with three runs, two doubles, one triple, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Gelof hit .304/.401/.529 with 60 runs, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 20 stolen bases at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Chas McCormick, OF, Houston Astros (13% – Yahoo, 3.3% – ESPN)

McCormick is hitting .280/.365/.522 with 28 runs, 11 home runs, 32 RBIs and nine stolen bases. McCormick is playing almost every day recently and has been productive since the start of June. Since June 1, he is 34-for-100 (.340) with 19 runs, seven home runs, 18 RBIs and five stolen bases. This is a good week to use him with two games at Coors Field, four games against Oakland pitching and three left-handers. 

Oswald Peraza SS, New York Yankees (4% – Yahoo, 1.6% – ESPN)

Peraza was called back up with Josh Donaldson going on the injured list. Peraza is expected to get regular playing time, according to manager Aaron Boone. At Triple-A this season, Peraza hit .261/.352/.495 with 34 runs, 12 home runs, 28 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Over the last two seasons at Triple-A, he has 31 home runs and 44 stolen bases over 144 games. Peraza led off on Monday and went 1-for-1 with four walks and a stolen base.

Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B, Oakland Athletics (29% – Yahoo, 4.6% – ESPN)

Soderstrom isn't eligible at catcher in all leagues and that's where he's most appealing, especially if you need to start two. He hit .254/.303/.536 with 45 runs, 20 home runs and 59 RBIs with a 27.6% strikeout rate at Triple-A. Soderstrom has started all three games since being called up, including one at catcher and is 3-for-10 with two doubles and two walks.

Mike Ford, 1B, Seattle Mariners (7% – Yahoo, 1.4% – ESPN)

Ford can help in deeper formats and at least be a streamer for the week with six right-handers slated to start. He is 13-for-36 (.414) with six runs, three home runs and nine RBIs in July. Ford has a .927 OPS and 49.2% hard hit rate and can help short-term.

Endy Rodriguez C, Pittsburgh Pirates (6% – Yahoo, 1.4% – ESPN)

Rodriguez is another young player that received the call to the majors. He had a great season last year across three levels over 125 games with 39 home runs. He missed some time early in the season with a forearm injury. In 67 games at Triple-A, Rodriguez hit .268/.356/.415 with 54 runs, six home runs, 38 RBIs and four stolen bases. In leagues that start two catchers, he should be added unless you have two good catchers.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers

Grayson Rodriguez, SP, Baltimore Orioles (51% – Yahoo, 13.8% – ESPN)

Rodriguez started the season with the Orioles and he was one of the worst starters in baseball with a 7.35 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and 10% walk rate over 45.1 innings. It's difficult to find pitching on the waiver wire, especially in deeper formats and Rodriguez can be a difference maker. After going to Triple-A, he had a 1.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 33.1% strikeout rate and 11.2% walk rate. He pitches in a good home park for pitchers and a good team. Rodriguez pitched better than the line showed on Monday against a tough Dodgers offense. He allowed one run going into the sixth inning and allowed a run before being replaced and both inherited runners scored. The rookie went five innings and allowed seven hits, four runs, two walks and struck out four.

Kutter Crawford, SP, Boston Red Sox (8% – Yahoo, 2.8% – ESPN)

The Red Sox are starting to let Crawford go deeper into games with the pitch count increasing after spending some time in the bullpen. Crawford is coming off one of his best starts of the season on Sunday, throwing six scoreless innings with one hit, four walks and nine strikeouts on 89 pitches, including 17 swings and misses. He has a 3.74 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 24.5% strikeout rate and 6.2% walk rate.

Cristopher Sanchez SP, Philadelphia Phillies (13% – Yahoo, 2.9% – ESPN)

Sanchez is a player I have added in multiple leagues over the last couple of weeks. In 30.1 innings, he has a 3.26 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.  He has allowed 25 hits, 11 earned runs, walked five and struck out 27 with a  four-percent walk rate that has helped lead to a great WHIP and he has a 3.27 xERA.

Nick Pivetta, SP, Boston Red Sox (7% – Yahoo, 5.7% – ESPN)

Pivetta has been coming in after an opener and excelling. Against the A's on Monday, he pitched six scoreless innings, allowing no hits, two walks and struck out 13 for a win. Manager Alex Cora said he will be a bulk reliever again in his next start against a struggling Mets offense. Over his last 18.1 innings, Pivetta has allowed seven hits, five earned runs, seven walks and struck out 34. He has a 27.1% strikeout rate.

Kyle Finnegan, SP, Washington Nationals (33% – Yahoo, 7.1% – ESPN)

Hunter Harvey is on the injured list and Finnegan will likely take over as closer after opening the season in the role. He has 12 saves, but has blown seven with a 3.32 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 22.7% strikeout rate and 8.6% walk rate. Finnegan recorded a four-out save on Monday, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Reese Olson, SP, Detroit Tigers (6% – Yahoo, 2.5% – ESPN)

Olson has pitched well and is an option in 15-team leagues or deeper. Over the last 20 innings, he has a 2.70 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and a 24:4 K:BB ratio. On Sunday against the Mariners, Olson pitched 5.1 innings and allowed six hits, two earned runs, walked none and struck out five.


More Fantasy Baseball Content

MLB Injury Report

Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid

Cash It Podcast

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report