In weekly FAAB leagues, your waiver wire claims have likely already been processed. Our FAAB Insights articles are great sources for finding targets ahead of weekly waiver deadlines.
Here, you will find players you can pick up if you have daily waiver claims or if you are able to pick up players throughout the week.
These are players you should consider adding from the waiver wire for matchup number 17 who are available in 60% or fewer of ESPN leagues.
Endy Rodríguez (C – PIT) 2% Rostered
Endy Rodríguez debuted last week. He went 0-for-7 in his first two games but has a hit in each of the three games since. He picked up his first home run in the majors on Saturday and now has two runs and an RBI. Here is his first big league homer:
Endy Rodriguez hits his first major league home run! pic.twitter.com/EUmTRSx1am
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 23, 2023
It’s been somewhat of a slow start, but do not let that keep you from adding Rodriguez. He possesses a great eye at the plate, and may just need a little time to adjust. His worst strikeout rate at any of his minor league stops was 20.8% at the high-A level. Otherwise, he had a sub-20% K rate in seven of nine minor league stops. He also had double-digit walk rates at every level of the minors. Those things should eventually translate to the majors.
Early returns on his hard contact look excellent. He already has two barrels in 17 plate appearances and has a 42.9% HardHit rate. Rodriguez has the power to get to double-digit homers in a full season, and he is already showing that off.
Rodriguez has other skills that should translate to his time in the bigs, including being able to line and pull the ball well. Those skills should help him rack up some hits.
The most important thing going for Rodriguez now is that he should get consistent playing time, and should have a long leash as the primary backstop for the Pirates. Henry Davis has mostly played outfield, so there isn’t much competition for playing time at catcher. That makes Rodriguez particularly enticing at a thin position in fantasy.
Make Rodriguez a waiver wire target this week if you need help at catcher.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand (3B – CIN) 22% Rostered
Christian Encarnacion-Strand is up to a homer, four runs, four RBI, and a .250 AVG through his first week as a big leaguer. He launched a homer, which also happened to be his first hit, in his second game with the Reds:
CHRISTIAN ENCARNACION-STRAND PINCH HIT GO AHEAD HOMER FOR HIS FIRST BIG LEAGUE HIT pic.twitter.com/sIxYq18zCl
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 19, 2023
If CES is available in your league, he is a player that you need to find room for on your roster in nearly every format. He has a ton of power in his bat, crushing 20 homers across 67 games at AAA this season. But he can also hit for average – he never left a stop in the minors with an AVG lower than .296.
Encarnacion-Strand has been excellent throughout the minors at driving the ball, ending four of five minor league stops with a 23% LD rate or higher. He also never left a minor league stint with a pull rate under 40%. If he can keep those numbers similar in the majors, he should be able to hit for AVG, even if his strikeout rate sits in the high 20% range.
CES has been aggressive at the plate so far, swinging nearly 60% of the time at the plate. He has a 40% chase rate but has crushed balls in the zone, so his overall contact rate sits at 82%. That could be at risk if he continues to swing so aggressively.
All things considered, Encarnacion-Strand should be a priority waiver wire add for the week ahead.
Edouard Julien (2B – MIN) 11% Rostered
If not for CJ Abrams, Edouard Julien would be the hottest-hitting middle infielder in fantasy over the last two weeks. Since July 8, Julien has gone 17-for-33 (.515) with three homers, 10 runs, five RBI, and a steal. For the season, he has nine homers, 27 runs, 16 RBI, 2 steals, and a .310 AVG in 52 games played. Check out this absolute nuke from last week:
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 20, 2023
This is no surprise for Julien who hit double-digit homers for Minnesota’s high-A and AA affiliates (he also swiped double-digit bags those seasons too). He also left three of four minor league stints with a batting average over .290.
Julien has mashed the ball, barreling the ball 16.5% of the time with a 44.7% HardHit rate. If he qualified, those would rank first and fourth among qualified second basemen.
Not only has Julien been hitting the ball hard, but he has been driving and pulling the ball well too. He has a 21% LD rate and a 44% pull rate, which should keep his BABIP and AVG from plummeting (although his .430 BABIP is likely to regress along with his AVG).
Where Julien needs to improve most in order to be able to sustain a high AVG in the majors is in his plate discipline. Despite possessing a sub-20% chase rate, Julien has just a 71% contact rate that would rank among the worst in the league.
He has a swing rate that would rank among the lowest in the league if he qualified, so perhaps being more aggressive at the plate could benefit him.
Despite that, Julien has been so hot and has shown no signs of slowing down. He is a must-add from the waiver wire wherever available.
Sal Frelick (OF – MIL) 5% Rostered
Sal Frelick may have had one of the best debuts in MLB history. He went 3-for-3 with a run and two RBI…
How much better is Sal Frelick’s debut gonna get??? pic.twitter.com/bAG17GrKXC
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 23, 2023
…plus he made two incredible catches in the outfield that potentially saved runs:
Sal Frelick is making this Major League thing look easy. 😤
Two incredible catches in the same inning in his debut! pic.twitter.com/HoPTlgES8o
— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2023
Frelick started the season late due to injury, playing 40 games at AAA this season before getting the call from Milwaukee. In his time in the minors this season, he followed what he did in previous stints, hitting two homers and swiping eight bags. He had a .247 AVG, one of just two times he left a stop in the minors with an AVG below .291.
Speed and AVG are Frelick’s calling cards, as he possesses what could amount to an elite eye at the plate. He never had a strikeout rate higher than 18% in the minors and ended six of eight minor league stints with a walk rate of at least 10%. Expect him to perform similarly over the rest of the season for the Brew Crew.
Frelick likely will not hit for power, so he is more so an add from waivers if you need steals or average and already have plenty of power in your lineup. Regardless, he is worth consideration from waivers in nearly every format and league size.
Honorable Mention: Alex Kirilloff (9%), Nolan Jones (6%), Chas McCormick (25%), Jarren Duran (23%), Seiya Suzuki (46%), Andrew Benintendi (19%), Mike Tauchman (2%), Will Benson (5%), Trent Grisham (5%), Lars Nootbaar (16%), Mickey Moniak (20%), Michael Conforto (10%), Bryan De La Cruz (20%), Kerry Carpenter (3%), Jose Siri (5%), Jake Fraley (37%), Riley Greene (18%), James Outman (22%), Travis Jankowski (2%), Adam Duvall (23%), Max Kepler (3%)
Tanner Bibee (SP – CLE) 27% Rostered
Tanner Bibee has been excellent this season, pitching to a 3.04 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with an 85:29 K:BB ratio over 83 IP.
Bibee does not have enough innings to qualify, but his 9.2 K/9 rate would rank just outside of the top-25, right behind Corbin Burnes. While his 3.1 BB/9 rate is a bit high, it is still better than league average, as is his 78% LOB rate.
Bibee has a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. His offspeed and breaking stuff has helped him to such a good K/9 rate. Bibee’s changeup in particular has been special. It has a .220 batting average against, with a 40% whiff rate and a 27% putaway rate. Only eight pitchers aside from Bibee can claim to have those stats on a changeup while throwing the changeup in at least 25 PAs (Shane McClanahan and Brandon Williamson are the only starters among that group).
Here he is showing off his stuff:
Tanner Bibee's 7th and 8th Ks.
Thru 7. pic.twitter.com/arzhTyFxX1
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 23, 2023
Our PLA data likes his slider the most of his pitches, but still grades his changeup as above league average:
With a few injuries to Cleveland’s starting pitchers, and his continued stellar performance, Bibee should continue to have a long leash. There are some signs that regression is coming. Our PLA data is comparable to ERA and it has him at 4.10. His HR/FB rate is a bit low, so that could cause his ERA to climb a bit as it gets closer to league average.
Despite the possibility of regression, Bibee has great stuff and an electric arm. If he is available on waivers in your league, he is a must add.
Honorable Mention: Michael Lorenzen (17%), Kyle Bradish (43%), Matt Manning (11%), Johnny Cueto (2%), James Paxton (49%), Clarke Schmidt (11%), Patrick Sandoval (29%), Bobby Miller (34%), JP Sears (12%), Brandon Bielak (3%), Logan Allen (11%), J.P. France (16%), Seth Lugo (19%), Josiah Gray (16%), Grayson Rodriguez (15%), Hyun Jin Ryu (4%), José Quintana (4%)
Justin Lawrence (RP – COL) 3% Rostered
Justin Lawrence has been called upon to save five games out of his last nine appearances. In those 10.1 IP, he has 12 strikeouts to just five walks. His ERA sits at 2.52 after 50 innings for the season.
Lawrence has apparently taken control of closing duties in Colorado. He has done so while possessing a 9.1 K/9 and a 50% GB rate. A large part of his success is thanks to his sweeper.
Lawrence tosses a sinker in addition to his sweeper, but his sweeper is his best pitch by far. It has a .103 batting average against, with a 38% whiff rate and a 33% putaway rate. Yency Almonte and Shohei Ohtani are the only other pitchers who have thrown a sweeper in at least 25 PAs that can claim to have a 30% whiff and putaway rate on it. I mean…
Justin Lawrence, Frisbee 85mph Sweeper. 🥏
21 inches of horizontal break. pic.twitter.com/9OOf7Lc2it
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 1, 2023
Lawrence is at risk of regression – he has a 70% LOB rate, a 4.1 BB/9 rate, a .240 BABIP, and a 2.6% HR/FB rate – but is worth an add for the time being if you need saves. Saves are few and far between on the waiver wire, and Lawrence is getting them, so add him as soon as you can.