MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our MLB FAAB Factor series.

This FAAB article is in addition to the AL and NL FAAB articles that run Sunday. Bids are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Throughout the season, this column will have two goals:

1. Identify FAAB targets for fantasy managers in leagues with Thursday FAAB.

2. Offer a preview of FAAB targets ahead of Sunday's columns.

Mariners prospect George Kirby has generated plenty of buzz since his strong debut Sunday, and now fantasy managers in leagues with Thursday FAAB finally have a chance to acquire him following his call-up. Several other prospects have made an impact recently, while there are also plenty of veterans who have been hot recently and have a chance to provide fantasy value.

Starting Pitcher

George Kirby, Mariners: Kirby has been one of the top pitching prospects in baseball the last few seasons, and he finally made his major league debut Sunday despite never pitching above Double-A. The right-hander made a strong impression by striking out seven in six scoreless innings against the Rays, and he induced 15 swings-and-misses. Kirby will make his second start against the Mets on Saturday and is a strong candidate to remain in the Mariners' rotation, particularly since Matt Brash is working in a relief role in the minors. Kirby's velocity dropped slightly as his start went on, potentially as some of the adrenaline stemming from his major-league debut wore off, but he has plenty of fantasy upside if he remains comfortable against big-league talent. FAAB: $30

Tyler Anderson,

This FAAB article is in addition to the AL and NL FAAB articles that run Sunday. Bids are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Throughout the season, this column will have two goals:

1. Identify FAAB targets for fantasy managers in leagues with Thursday FAAB.

2. Offer a preview of FAAB targets ahead of Sunday's columns.

Mariners prospect George Kirby has generated plenty of buzz since his strong debut Sunday, and now fantasy managers in leagues with Thursday FAAB finally have a chance to acquire him following his call-up. Several other prospects have made an impact recently, while there are also plenty of veterans who have been hot recently and have a chance to provide fantasy value.

Starting Pitcher

George Kirby, Mariners: Kirby has been one of the top pitching prospects in baseball the last few seasons, and he finally made his major league debut Sunday despite never pitching above Double-A. The right-hander made a strong impression by striking out seven in six scoreless innings against the Rays, and he induced 15 swings-and-misses. Kirby will make his second start against the Mets on Saturday and is a strong candidate to remain in the Mariners' rotation, particularly since Matt Brash is working in a relief role in the minors. Kirby's velocity dropped slightly as his start went on, potentially as some of the adrenaline stemming from his major-league debut wore off, but he has plenty of fantasy upside if he remains comfortable against big-league talent. FAAB: $30

Tyler Anderson, Dodgers: Anderson started his last three outings, winning the last two. Since joining the rotation, he has a 3.07 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 14.2 innings, and he had a career-high seven strikeouts in Saturday's start against the Cubs. Anderson's role is uncertain once Andrew Heaney returns, but the Dodgers are using a six-man rotation anyway in the midst of 33 games in 31 days. FAAB: $6

Reid Detmers, Angels: When a prospect as highly regarded as Detmers throws the first individual no-hitter in 2022, it's hard not to be excited about his potential. While it was certainly encouraging to see him quiet the Rays' bats Tuesday, the southpaw struck out just two batters, and he has a less-than-stellar 16.8 percent strikeout rate this season. Tuesday's no-hitter was also just the second time that Detmers had lasted at least six innings in a major-league outing. The 22-year-old's potential to limit runs was on full display Tuesday, but his lack of ability to force swings-and-misses certainly hinders his fantasy upside. FAAB: $5

Kyle Bradish, Orioles: Bradish lasted just four innings during his second major league start, but he bounced back Tuesday by allowing two runs while striking out 11 in seven innings against the Cardinals to earn his first win. The right-hander has had some issues against the long ball, allowing a home run in all three of his starts, but he's still been relatively effective at limiting runs while posting a 25.0 percent strikeout rate. Bradish has shown early in his major league career that he'll likely experience some growing pains, but his upside was on display during Tuesday's start. FAAB: $5

Dane Dunning, Rangers: After failing to last longer than five innings in his first three starts, Dunning has put together three consecutive outings in which he's pitched at least 5.2 innings. The right-hander is coming off back-to-back quality starts, and he gave up just two runs while striking out 12 in 13.2 innings. Dunning's 9.7 percent swinging-strike rate doesn't jump off the page, but he's turning things around after a rough start. FAAB: $4

Josh Winder, Twins: Winder's first three major league appearances came as a reliever, but he's started his last two outings. The right-hander has dominated as a starter, allowing just one unearned run while striking out 15 in 12 innings en route to back-to-back wins. While the 25-year-old could return to a bullpen role once Dylan Bundy and Bailey Ober return, Winder's performance during his two spot starts makes him worthy of fantasy consideration, at least as a short-term option. FAAB: $4

Max Meyer, Marlins: Meyer hasn't been called up by the Marlins, but Elieser Hernandez's early season struggles could prompt a move sooner than later. Meyer is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and a leading candidate to start if Miami decides to move Hernandez out of the rotation. The 23-year-old Meyer has made eight Triple-A starts, posting a 1.52 ERA, 56:11 K:BB and 0.85 WHIP in 41.1 innings the last two seasons. Fantasy managers with an extra spot on their bench could pick him up early to avoid paying a higher FAAB premium once he's officially called up. FAAB: $3

Relief Pitcher

Dany Jimenez, Athletics: Lou Trivino returned in early May, but he hasn't picked up a save in four appearances since getting back on the field. Instead, Jimenez earned the save during Monday's win against Detroit. The 28-year-old has converted all five of his save chances in 2022, and he has yet to allow a run in 12 innings over 12 appearances. Trivino is the more proven closing option after earning 22 saves last year, but Jimenez appears to be the favorite for ninth-inning work. FAAB: $5

Dylan Floro, Marlins: Floro missed the first month of the season due to a shoulder injury but was reinstated from the 10-day IL on Monday. The right-hander's season debut against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday didn't go as planned, as he gave up three runs in one inning. In spite of Floro's struggles Tuesday, he's still a strong candidate to see some ninth-inning work since Anthony Bender's results have been inconsistent. Floro will certainly have to put up better performances than the one he had Tuesday, but he converted 15 of 21 save chances last year and likely will get some looks as Miami's closer. FAAB: $5

Spencer Strider, Atlanta: Strider is highly unlikely to close games anytime soon, but he's been productive as a long reliever and is a strong option for Atlanta's fifth starter at some point. In his first six appearances, the right-hander has logged a 2.16 ERA, 24:9 K:BB and 1.08 WHIP in 16.2 innings. His 98.6 mph average fastball has helped contribute to his 36.4 percent strikeout rate. Particularly in deep leagues, Strider is a player to stash, as his fantasy value will increase if he starts at some point. FAAB: $2

Catcher

Jonah Heim, Rangers: Heim hit just .196 in 82 games last year, but he's been productive as a backup this season, batting .356/.463/.622 with three homers, 12 runs and 10 RBIs in 16 games. Mitch Garver was placed on the injured list with an elbow issue Tuesday, so Heim should now have a chance to operate as the Rangers' primary catcher. While the 26-year-old likely will return to a backup role once Garver is cleared to return, Heim has hit the ball well to begin the season and at least provides a decent short-term option at catcher. FAAB: $2

First Base

Juan Yepez, Cardinals: When Yepez was included in the column last week, it wasn't yet clear whether he would see consistent playing time after his recent call-up. However, the 24-year-old has started seven consecutive games and has had multi-hit performances in five of those matchups. Yepez is batting .444/.483/.778 with two homers, three doubles, five runs and four RBIs since joining the major-league club, and he's had a consistent spot in the heart of the order. He doesn't draw many walks, but he has some defensive versatility and has provided a spark in the Cardinals' offense. FAAB: $8

Josh Naylor, Guardians: Naylor has hit for good average early in the season, and he's in the midst of a stretch in which he's showcased decent power while driving in plenty of runs. The 24-year-old has homered three times in the last two games, and he's driven in at least one run in eight of the last 10 matchups. In that 10-game stretch, he's hit .389 with four home runs, two doubles, 17 RBIs and six runs. Naylor has had consistent playing time at first base and appears to be well on his way to a career season. FAAB: $6

Second Base

Brandon Drury, Reds: Drury had inconsistent playing time for the Reds early in the season, but he's now started the last 14 games. The 29-year-old has crossed the plate in six consecutive games, batting .381/.552/.810 with two home runs, three doubles, nine runs and eight RBIs during that time. Drury's playing time could slightly decrease as the Reds return to full health, but his recent performance has likely earned him relatively sustainable playing time. FAAB: $5

Kolten Wong, Brewers: Wong has recorded hits in seven of his last eight games and has batted .357/.444/.571 with a homer, three doubles, seven runs, three RBIs and three stolen bases during that time. The 31-year-old still hasn't hit the ball particularly hard, but he hits at the top of the Brewers' lineup against right-handed hitters and has showcased his speed, leading to 17 runs and six steals in 2022. Following his slow start to the season, Wong has turned things around in the last week. FAAB: $4

Third Base

Colin Moran, Reds: The Reds have strung together several wins recently, and Moran has been a significant factor behind those victories. The last four games, the 29-year-old has hit .313 with four homers, a double, 11 RBIs and six runs. Moran has started the last nine games, and he's had relatively consistent at-bats against right-handed pitchers. His playing time likely will decrease once Joey Votto returns, but Moran should still be in the mix for time in the lineup since Votto struggled mightily prior to landing on the COVID-19 IL. FAAB: $2

Shortstop

Jorge Mateo, Orioles: Mateo's speed hasn't been a concern this season, as he leads the majors with nine stolen bases. The 26-year-old has recently complemented his speed with increased on-base skills, and he's riding a seven-game hitting streak. During that time, he's hit .296 with a homer, a triple, two doubles, five runs, two RBIs and two stolen bases. His recent uptick in hits alone wouldn't be enough to warrant much fantasy consideration, but he should provide value for teams in need of steals. FAAB: $4

Outfield

Alek Thomas, Diamondbacks: Thomas is one of the top prospects in baseball, and he's hit the ball well since making his major league debut Sunday. He has three extra-base hits in four games, hitting .385 with a homer, two doubles, four runs and three RBIs. The 22-year-old's success has been over a limited sample, but he's had consistent playing time in center field while Daulton Varsho has moved behind the dish. As long as Thomas maintains relatively consistent at-bats, he has decent power and speed tools. FAAB: $8

Manuel Margot, Rays: Margot has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury, but the team is hopeful he'll be able to return to action Friday. In the nine games prior to his absence, the 27-year-old was one of the top fantasy players in baseball. He had a nine-game hitting streak in which he batted .484/.515/.903 with three homers, a triple, two doubles, 13 RBIs, eight runs and four stolen bases. Margot doesn't have a particularly high hard-hit rate, but he has some long-term speed and contact potential. FAAB: $7

Yadiel Hernandez, Nationals: Hernandez has cooled off slightly since five consecutive multi-hit performances between late April and early May, but he's been a bright spot in the Nationals' lackluster lineup recently. Since April 30, the 34-year-old has batted .417/.462/.639 with a home run, five doubles, eight RBIs, seven runs and a stolen base. Hernandez has had a consistent spot in the heart of the order and has been effective at producing runs in spite of his 51.6 percent groundball rate. FAAB: $3

Ben Gamel, Pirates: Gamel has been used as Pittsburgh's leadoff man against right-handed pitchers recently, and he's responded with five multi-hit performances in his last eight games. During that time, the 29-year-old has hit .406 with a homer, a triple, three doubles, seven RBIs and five runs. Gamel had hit just .230 prior to his recent hot streak, so it's possible his results won't be sustainable. However, he has a .383 xwOBA in 2022 and at least presents a decent short-term option in deeper leagues. FAAB: $1

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Shebilske
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019 as his first position covering fantasy sports. In addition to RotoWire, he writes for Sports Broadcast Journal.
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