Week 12 Waiver Wire Adds – 15% Rostered Or Fewer

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players rostered in less than 15% of fantasy leagues who you should consider picking up. Many of these players will have the most value in deeper leagues where waiver wire options aren’t as plentiful. Still, they could also occasionally be useful additions in other, more standard-sized leagues depending on your options at their position. This week it’s Brusdar Graterol, Tyler Wells, J.D. Davis, and Jack Suwinski who are worth your time as potential additions in deep leagues.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via Yahoo fantasy leagues as of Sunday afternoon.

 

Brusdar Graterol – 4%

 

With Daniel Hudson set to miss the rest of the season due to an ACL tear, Los Angeles’ bullpen suddenly takes on a vastly different look.

Hudson, who currently leads all Dodgers relievers in fWAR with a 0.8 metric as of the beginning of play on Sunday, was also the only other pitcher besides Craig Kimbrel to log a save this season. The veteran had five saves to Kimbrel’s 13 saves. The former National also paced the team with nine holds and was second in high-leverage appearances.

In short, he was a crucial bullpen piece for Dave Roberts and company. Certainly, in saves+holds leagues, Hudson’s injury opens the door for other relievers to step up in terms of providing holds and forming a bridge to Kimbrel.

But, given the 34-year-old’s uneven results, it also opens the door for another reliever to take over for Hudson as the ninth-inning-option-in-waiting should the longtime closer continue to struggle. That reliever might just be Brusdar Graterol.

Kimbrel’s 2.20 FIP is much better than his 4.30 ERA would indicate, but he’s also allowed base runners in 20 of his 24 appearances and his swinging strike percentage is down from 18.1% last season to 13.1% this season. Elsewhere, he’s given up 17 hits, 12 runs, 10 earned runs, and eight walks in his last 14.1 innings.

It could just be a rough stretch, but if Los Angeles ever makes a switch at closer, Graterol looks like the reliever to roster now in place of Hudson.

Armed with an over-powering pitch arsenal fronted by a power sinker and cutter, the former Twin is elite at limiting hard contact, with an average exit velocity of 84.7 MPH and a 24.7% hard-hit rate against. That’s obviously in part due to the power stuff. And while he doesn’t miss an other-worldly amount of bats like Kimbrel – he has a 10.9% swinging strike percentage to go with 7.71 strikeouts per nine innings – Graterol clearly earned the trust of Roberts in key situations.

Most High Leverage Appearances By Dodgers Relievers

He’s someone to pick up immediately in saves+holds leagues and certainly someone to stash for potential saves down the line if you have the roster space in more standard-scoring leagues where only saves are part of the scoring system.

 

Tyler Wells – 15%

 

Wells, like Graterol, isn’t logging gaudy strikeout numbers at this point in time. He’s striking out 5.57 batters per nine innings and owns a 15.3% strikeout rate. He probably won’t help you in that category. But, there’s a chance he’ll help you in a potentially significant way in most other pitching categories.

The 27-year-old made his first start for the O’s earlier this season on April 10 and allowed four earned runs, two walks, and a home run in 1.2 innings while striking out a pair of batters against the Rays. That start was significant for a number of reasons.

One, it was the last time the right-hander has allowed more than three earned runs in a start. Two, it was also one of just eight starts where Wells has walked a batter.

Pitching in the oftentimes unfriendly confines, for pitchers at least, of the American League East, Wells has worked to a 3.34 ERA and a 4.28 FIP in 64.2 innings spanning 14 starts. He’s also struck out 40 batters compared to just 16 walks surrendered.

The former Twins prospect has also allowed two runs or fewer in 10 of his 14 starts this season, including road outings at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium (twice), and Rogers Centre.

How deep he works into games is a question at this point, as he has yet to pitch into the seventh inning so far, but it is worth noting that Wells has thrown at least six innings in three of his last five starts after accomplishing the feat just once in his first nine.

 

J.D. Davis – 1%

 

Davis was sporting a .672 OPS and a 31.3% strikeout rate in 163 plate appearances for the New York Mets entering play on Sunday, but should probably be much more productive than that.

Most of his expected stats are excellent, including a .377 xwOBA that is vastly different than his current .303 wOBA, but it’s a few of his other metrics that specifically catch the eye.

The 29-year-old is sporting a 12% barrel rate and a sublime 64.1% hard-hit rate. The barrel rate is currently in the 82nd percentile league-wide. The hard-hit rate? That’s in the 100th percentile league-wide.

He’s largely hit in the bottom third of the Mets’ lineup this season but makes for a quality fill-in option at third base for fantasy managers who have injured starters like Manny Machado or Ty France on their rosters.

J.D. Davis Plate Appearances By Place In The Lineup

Hitting further down a lineup certainly isn’t ideal, but if that continues to be the case, Davis should see consistent plate appearances after a number of quality hitters and on-base threats. Pete Alonso (.358 on-base percentage) has seen the lion’s share of plate appearances as New York’s cleanup hitter this season, while Jeff McNeil (.386 on-base percentage) and Mark Canha (.370 on-base percentage) have split the majority of New York’s plate appearances at the fifth spot in the order this month.

That’s especially relevant considering how Davis has thrived with men on base and runners in scoring position this season.

J.D. Davis In 2022

 

Jack Suwinski – 14%

 

The 23-year-old has made an early impact for the Pirates so far this season despite hitting just .211 with a .286 on-base percentage.

If you’re adding the 23-year-old, you’re adding him for his home run power. The rookie might not be a consistent contributor in other categories like batting average or on-base percentage yet, but he’s been excellent at providing over-the-fence power.

Since making his Major League debut on April 26, Suwinski has connected on 12 home runs in 186 plate appearances. Over the same span, that’s the same as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., José Ramírez, and Kyle Tucker, all in far fewer plate appearances

Notable Hitters Since April 26, 2022

The 12 home runs are also more than Juan Soto, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Bo Bichette, George Springer, and Manny Machado during that span. It’s a small sample size to be sure for Suwinski, but it’s a promising start for the rookie. And given his 13.8% barrel rate and 112.4 MPH max exit velocity, the power certainly looks sustainable too.

There’s home run potential with the former 15th-round pick, but there’s also a bit of stolen base upside as well. The outfielder currently ranks in the 87th percentile in Statcast’s Sprint Speed Metric and already has a pair of stolen bases.

 

Image adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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