The calendar may have flipped to September a week ago, but the MLB Top Prospects just keep getting brought up. More recently we saw the likes of Jordan Lawlar and Evan Carter get brought up by their respective teams. Even Mason Miller was brought back by the Oakland Athletics, albeit in a reliever role. With just a few weeks left in the season, could we see other names still be called upon? Maybe a Jackson Holliday sighting for the Baltimore Orioles? We’ll touch on all these young names in this weekend’s edition of the Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire article to help you dominate your fantasy baseball playoffs!
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks; FAAB Bid: 6-8%
Lawlar is yet another MLB top prospect to get the call to the show. Lawlar was the sixth overall draft pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and was the tenth-ranked prospect in all of Major League Baseball at the time he was brought up. In 105 games across Double-A and Triple-A this season he totaled 20 home runs with 36 stolen bases. He actually improved his batting average at Triple-A on his way to the show. The Diamondbacks are still in the thick of it for one of the NL Wild Card spots. Lawlar has gone 1-for-7 so far through two games.
Evan Carter, OF, Texas Rangers; FAAB Bid: 5%
Carter, like Lawlar, is a top ten prospect according to Major League Baseball. Carter was ranked slightly ahead of Lawlar, but I prefer adding Lawlar just because it’s a position without much depth. Carter doesn’t boast a ton of pop, but he did have a dozen home runs at Double-A this year. He’s mostly the kind of player that exhibits great discipline, but he’ll still likely come with some growing pains. He stole 25 bases across 105 games at Double-A and Triple-A so he’s just another top prospect to be thrown into the fire as the Rangers get ready for the postseason. He went 1-for-4 in his debut on Friday.
Jackson Holliday, SS, Baltimore Orioles; FAAB Bid: 2%
I don’t want to use significant FAAB on Holliday but I do think he’s worth adding. Jordan Lawlar’s visit to Triple-A lasted just a bit longer than a cup of coffee and he was called up by Arizona for the postseason push. What’s to stop Baltimore from doing something similar? Holliday is the top prospect in all of baseball and he’s only 19 years old. He was the top pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and he’s the son of Matt Holliday, who had some great seasons with the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. Jackson Holliday has only appeared in a few games at Triple-A but he’s cruised through each level of the minor leagues and a call up to the O’s big-league squad could be on the horizon despite his young age.
Nelson Velazquez, OF, Kansas City Royals; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
Velazquez never really got a solid chance at regular playing time with the Chicago Cubs. However, that’s certainly changed now that he’s with the Kansas City Royals. He’s one of the hottest hitters in baseball with a .253/.300/.653 slash line since joining the Royals with a dozen home runs, 16 runs scored, and 17 RBI. He’s done a lot of this damage from the bottom of the order which is fairly impressive actually. I’m willing to ride this bat until he cools off. He had gone yard in three straight games prior to Friday night’s action.
Ryan O’Hearn, 1B/OF/DH, Baltimore Orioles; FAAB Bid: 1%
It’s hard to get excited about a 30-year-old hitter when so many young prospects are being called up. But O’Hearn has been hitting the ball very well since June and he’s really turned it up over the last few weeks. Over the last four scoring periods (basically since August 14th) he touts a .362 batting average and a .986 OPS. His hard-hit data are all career bests or their second and he already has three multi-hit games in September while scoring runs in four straight games. Playing time is the obvious concern. As good as he’s been when in the lineup, it’s not regularly. But I still like the way he’s been trending the last couple months especially with Baltimore on the cusp of the postseason.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
Jose Quintana, SP, New York Mets; FAAB Bid: 4%
It may not bring you much excitement adding a starting pitcher from the Mets, but Quintana has been just fine since making his 2023 season debut towards the end of July. He’s only 2-5 in nine starts but he has a 3.00 ERA and he’s allowed just one home run across 54 innings of work. The strikeouts aren’t abundant, but he eats up innings and has seven quality starts. He gets two home starts next week against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cincinnati Reds. At this point I think I’m okay using him for both matchups.
Griffin Canning, SP, Los Angeles Angels; FAAB Bid: 2%
I’ve been a little cooler than most on Canning. I think it’s mostly that I’ve used him so many times in the past and been burned that I couldn’t stomach that he might be a worthy fantasy baseball option for our lineups. He hasn’t been great and honestly, I’d probably prefer either Jose Quintana or the next pitcher we’ll discuss. But in his last three starts Canning has worked 18.1 innings allowing six earned runs with 19 strikeouts to just three walks. He still plays for the Angels and run support will be minimal, hence why he’s taken the loss in his last two appearances. He gets a home start next Friday against the Detroit Tigers.
Ryan Pepiot, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
Pepiot was mentioned a few weeks ago in the mid-week Waiver Wire column. He’s managed to get consistent work the last few weeks and he’s been impressive. The latest problems surrounding Julio Urias allow for Pepiot to stick in the rotation and continue to get additional starts. On Thursday he was outstanding against the Miami Marlins. He worked seven innings of shutout baseball. While he only struck out three opposing hitters, he yielded just one hit, and zero walks. In 21 innings as a starter over the last month he’s allowed just nine hits and two walks. He could potentially get another start next Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.
Reese Olson, SP, Detroit Tigers; FAAB Bid: 1%
Olson isn’t among the most elite prospects in the game, but he does have a five-pitch arsenal and he’s looked better across his last two starts. He averages just shy of a strikeout per inning, but in his last two starts (both against the Chicago White Sox), Olson has pitched a total of 13.2 innings allowing just two earned runs on six hits and one walk. This is more of a deep-league waiver wire suggestion, but he was previously working into just the fifth inning before being pulled so I do like that he’s gone deeper in his last two outings.
Mason Miller, SP/RP, Oakland Athletics; FAAB Bid: 0%
I really don’t want to commit any FAAB to Miller because it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll get any starts for Oakland. But he made his return earlier this week after being shut down with forearm tightness. The plan is for Oakland to ease him back into the swing of things. He worked two perfect innings in relief on Wednesday and he’ll likely be deployed for similar situations over the last few weeks of the season. He’s Oakland’s top pitching prospect and features a blazing fastball that can reach 99-100mph. If you play in a league that uses ‘holds’ as a category then I’d give him a look. He may get some long relief work, but his pitch likely won’t exceed 50.