In a year where most of the talk in the 2023 MLB season is about fantasy baseball injuries, there was some good news this week with the return of Jose Altuve, Corey Seager, and Nico Hoerner over the last few days. Unfortunately, more players landed on the injured list. Manny Machado, Cody Bellinger, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Anthony Rendon, C.J. Cron, Dustin May, and Seth Lugo will all miss time. While it's unfortunate for managers with those players on their fantasy baseball roster, it means more players to add off the fantasy baseball waiver wire. Every week, it's been a busy one for pickups, especially with prospects continually getting the call to the majors. No matter how many injuries you get, don't get discouraged because good players are emerging every week. There have been some significant free agent adds off the waiver wire, including Christopher Morel, who has been featured in the last few articles. The suggested FAAB percentages are a guideline and should be adjusted based on your roster and needs.


Top Waiver Wire Hitters

Jake Burger, OF, Chicago White Sox, 15-20%

Burger is a priority add. Even with Yoan Moncada back, Burger is getting playing time between third base and DH. Since coming back from an oblique injury, he is 7-for-12 with three home runs. Burger is slashing .277/.344/.723 with 14 runs, 10 home runs, and 20 RBI. While Burger has a 30.1% strikeout rate, he is in the 100th percentile of max exit velocity.

Josh Naylor, 1B, Cleveland Guardians, 15-20%

Naylor is not available in most competitive leagues but is available in 65% of Yahoo leagues. Naylor hasn't been great but he has homered in four of the last five games to go with 12 RBI. Naylor has hit the ball really hard and had some bad luck with a .231 BABIP.

Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins, 8-10%

Kirilloff has been mentioned here several times. Injuries have been the biggest issue for him and he has always hit well in the minors with a .322 batting average and .522 slugging percentage. He had three home runs and 12 RBI in ten games at Triple-A before being called up and will get playing time, especially with the Twins dealing with several injuries. He is slashing .342/.457/.579 with six runs, two home runs and five RBI in 38 at-bats.

Matt McLain, SS, Cincinnati Reds, 8-10%

McLain was called up this week and is being given the opportunity to play every day at shortstop. In his first three games, he went 4-for-12 with three runs, one double, one RBI with a 5:1 K:BB. He has been hitting the ball hard and was crushing at Triple-A with a .378/.474/.710 line with ten stolen bases.

Mark Vientos, 3B, New York Mets, 4-6%

Vientos finally got the call to the majors this week after crushing at Triple-A. Vientos started against a left-hander the day he was called up and went 1-for-4 with a home run and hit every ball hard. The next day, Vientos sat against a right-hander. He started against a right-hander on Friday night as the DH and went 1-for-4 with one RBI against a right-hander, which is a good sign. The playing time is questionable, but he's worth a shot in deeper formats due to the power. The good thing with Vientos was the reduction of strikeouts (20.5%) at Triple-A and a 1.105 OPS against right-handers. He hit 13 home runs in 38 games at Triple-A.

Brenton Doyle, OF, Colorado Rockies, 4-6%

Playing time was the concern when Doyle was called up, but he has been producing and has started 10 of the last 12 games. He is slashing .255/.293/.545 with 13 runs, four home runs, 11 RBI, and six stolen bases. The Rockies are home for seven games in the upcoming week. Doyle has a 34.5% strikeout rate, but he's making hard contact and is in the 98th percentile of sprint speed.

Paul DeJong, SS, St. Louis Cardinals, 3-5%

DeJong was injured to begin the season and with a lot of options for the Cardinals, playing time seemed to be a real concern. DeJong has been playing almost every day and is hitting well. He is slashing .274/.346/.562 with 13 runs, six home runs, and 10 RBI and has cut down his strikeouts and increased his hard hit rate from 37.6% last season to 49% after hitting below .200 in each of the last two seasons.

Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins, 1-2%

If you have the room to stash a player, it's time to think about Lewis. The top prospect is eligible to return at the end of the month as he started his rehab coming off a torn ACL. Through his first five rehab starts, Lewis is 8-for-18 (.444) with three home runs and three stolen bases.


Top Waiver Wire Pitchers

Taj Bradley, Tampa Bay Rays, 10-15%

Bradley is back in the majors and might have been dropped in some leagues. He should stay in the rotation for a while if he performs due to all the injuries to Tampa’s pitchers. He was solid in his start against the Mets on Thursday, going five innings and allowing three hits, two runs, two walks, and striking out four. In 20.1 innings with the Rays, he has a 3.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and a 27:4 K:BB ratio.

Kyle Bradish, Baltimore Orioles, 8-10%

Bradish showed some good signs late last season, but got off to a bad start this season. Over the last three starts, Bradish has looked better. In that span against the Braves, Pirates. and Angels he has pitched 17.2 innings and allowed 12 hits, four earned runs, walked three, and struck out 15.

Matthew Liberatore, St. Louis Cardinals, 8-10%

Liberatore wasn't good last season in the majors with a 5.97 ERA in nine games. He was excellent in his first start on Wednesday against the Brewers, pitching five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, three walks, and he struck out six. The velocity is up and he had more strikeouts and increased his swinging strike percentage 2.9% at Triple-A. His next start is at Cincinnati and he needs to pitch well to remain in the rotation, so he's more of an add in deeper formats.

James Paxton, Boston Red Sox, 6-8%

Paxton had another impressive start on Friday. He hit 98 miles with his fastball. He pitched six innings and allowed five hits, one run, two walks, and struck out five in a win over the Padres. In his first start against the Cardinals, he went five innings and allowed four hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out nine. Staying healthy long term is a concern based on his history, but use him while he's healthy.

Garrett Stone, Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-8%

Dustin May is on the injured list with a flexor pronator strain and Stone will take his place in the rotation. Stone made one start and it wasn't good against the Phillies. He pitched four innings and allowed eight hits, four earned runs, walked two, and struck out one. Stone has pitched well in his last four starts at Triple-A with a 1.74 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. He has a 15.7 swinging-strike percentage over eight starts. Stone has a two-start week, but the matchups are as tough as it gets with a start in Atlanta and another at Tampa Bay.

Miguel Castro, Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-6%

Castro was mentioned in the last article last week and I managed to pick him up. He's not officially the closer, but he's in the mix. In his last four appearances, he has two saves and a win. Castro has a 2.75 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and cut his walk rate from 11.5% last season to 7.8%. Castro doesn't get a lot of strikeouts but he limits hard contact with a 23.6% hard hit rate.


More Fantasy Baseball Content

MLB Injury Report

Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid

Cash It Podcast

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report