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.

As roles start to come into focus following the trade deadline, there are plenty of players to target who should have a fantasy impact down the stretch. Atlanta also called up another top prospect this week in Vaughn Grissom, and he should have a chance to carve out regular playing time over the next few weeks due to injuries to Ozzie Albies (foot) and Orlando Arcia (hamstring).

Starting Pitcher

Jose Suarez, Angels: Suarez gave up 10 runs in 7.1 innings over his final two starts before the All-Star break, but he's turned things around to begin the second half of the season. The southpaw has allowed just one run (zero earned) on 10 hits and five walks while striking out 16 in 17.1 innings over his last three starts. He's been rewarded with three consecutive wins and is coming off his best start of the season in which he struck out eight in seven scoreless frames. After a lackluster first half of the season, Suarez has generated more consistency following the All-Star break. FAAB: $6

Dane Dunning, Rangers: Dunning missed time with an ankle injury prior to the All-Star break but

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.

As roles start to come into focus following the trade deadline, there are plenty of players to target who should have a fantasy impact down the stretch. Atlanta also called up another top prospect this week in Vaughn Grissom, and he should have a chance to carve out regular playing time over the next few weeks due to injuries to Ozzie Albies (foot) and Orlando Arcia (hamstring).

Starting Pitcher

Jose Suarez, Angels: Suarez gave up 10 runs in 7.1 innings over his final two starts before the All-Star break, but he's turned things around to begin the second half of the season. The southpaw has allowed just one run (zero earned) on 10 hits and five walks while striking out 16 in 17.1 innings over his last three starts. He's been rewarded with three consecutive wins and is coming off his best start of the season in which he struck out eight in seven scoreless frames. After a lackluster first half of the season, Suarez has generated more consistency following the All-Star break. FAAB: $6

Dane Dunning, Rangers: Dunning missed time with an ankle injury prior to the All-Star break but returned to action in late July and has been effective since then. Over his last three starts, the right-hander has posted a 2.00 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 18 innings. He's picked up just one win over that stretch, but it's been encouraging to see him generate solid ratios following his IL stint. Although he isn't a strong source of counting stats, Dunning has been a decent contributor in other categories recently. FAAB: $5

Justin Steele, Cubs: Steele has posted a 1.40 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 19.1 innings over four starts since the All-Star break but has been particularly dominant at striking out batters recently. He struck out eight batters in 8.2 innings over his first two starts after the break, but he's racked up 19 strikeouts in 10.2 innings over his last two outings. Although he's been forced to settle for two consecutive no-decisions, it's been encouraging to see him generating more strikeouts to complement his improved ratios. FAAB: $5

Antonio Senzatela, Rockies: Senzatela has had his fair share of struggles this season but has posted quality starts in each of his last three outings. Across that span, he's logged a 3.66 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 19.2 innings. In spite of his improved ratios, the right-hander struck out just 12 batters during that time and hasn't earned a win since June 19. The right-hander has to pitch his home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field and is in a division loaded with offensive talent, but his recent quality starts make him worthy of consideration in deeper fantasy leagues. FAAB: $2

Relief Pitcher

Rowan Wick, Cubs: Wick was behind several pitchers in the closing mix over the first half of the season, but he's taken over as the Cubs' primary closer after the team traded David Robertson and Mychal Givens prior to last week's deadline. Wick has performed well over the last week, converting both of his save chances while striking out four in 3.2 scoreless frames. The right-hander hasn't given up a run in over a month, tossing 11.1 scoreless innings over his last 10 appearances. Wick should have decent job security as the Cubs' closer in the team's new-look bullpen. FAAB: $8

Seranthony Dominguez, Phillies: Although the Phillies acquired David Robertson ahead of the trade deadline, Dominguez has still been in the mix for save chances over the last week. Dominguez has picked up saves in the last two games and has converted all five of his save chances while also picking up a hold in 8.1 scoreless innings over his last nine appearances. Philadelphia's closing committee has certainly become more crowded since the trade deadline, but Dominguez has proven that he's still firmly in consideration for high-leverage work. FAAB: $7

Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks: Kennedy picked up just four saves over the first half of the season but has been much more in high-leverage work since the start of August, while Mark Melancon has shifted mainly to a setup role. Kennedy has picked up three saves over his last four appearances, allowing just one run while striking out six in four innings during that time. While Melancon also picked up a pair of saves over his last two outings, Kennedy currently appears to be the slight favorite for closing duties. FAAB: $6

Catcher

MJ Melendez, Royals: Salvador Perez has served as the Royals' primary catcher recently, but Melendez has maintained regular playing time due to his abilities in the outfield. Melendez has been on a tear at the plate over the last week, slashing .360/.419/.880 with four home runs, a double, 12 RBI and six runs over the last several games. The 23-year-old has taken on an everyday role for Kansas City following the All-Star break and has served as the team's leadoff man against right-handed pitchers. Melendez should have plenty of chances to remain in the lineup over the final two months of the season after the Royals traded several offensive contributors last week. FAAB: $9

First Base

Christian Walker, Diamondbacks: Walker has been the Diamondbacks' everyday cleanup hitter throughout the season despite hitting just .211. However, he's been much more productive over his last five games, slashing .471/.500/.765 with a home run, two doubles, five RBI and three runs during that time. Fantasy managers shouldn't count on getting long-term production out of Walker given his struggles at the plate for most of the season, but he should maintain an everyday role for the Diamondbacks and is a viable fantasy option while he's swinging a hot bat. FAAB: $5

Joey Meneses, Nationals: Meneses was called up by the Nationals following the trade deadline, and he's seen playing time at first base and in the outfield over the last week and a half. The 30-year-old has recorded hits in six of his first seven major-league games, slashing .348/.400/.870 with four homers, six runs and six RBI over that stretch. He homered in each of Washington's three games at Wrigley Field and should continue to see fairly regular playing time as long as his talent continues to translate to the major-league level. FAAB: $3

Second Base

Luis Rengifo, Angels: Rengifo has been an everyday player for the Angels in recent weeks and has had strong run-producing abilities. The 25-year-old has crossed the plate in four consecutive games and has been a well-rounded contributor to begin the second half of the season. Over 20 games since the All-Star break, Rengifo has slashed .293/.326/.476 with two homers, a triple, seven doubles, 12 RBI, eight runs and two stolen bases. After struggling at the plate over the last two seasons, Rengifo has turned things around in 2022 and has been particularly effective recently. FAAB: $6

Christian Arroyo, Red Sox: Arroyo missed several weeks in July due to a groin injury, but he's started 10 of Boston's 11 games since being reinstated from the injured list. The 27-year-old has logged hits in nine of his 10 appearances, slashing .421/.450/.632 with a homer, a triple, three doubles, six runs and three RBI across that span. While Trevor Story resumed swinging a bat this week as he continues to recover from a wrist injury, Arroyo should continue to serve as the Red Sox's primary second baseman until Story is cleared to return. FAAB: $4

Third Base

J.D. Davis, Giants: Davis was traded from the Mets to the Giants last week, and he's been productive to begin his time with his new club. Over his first seven games with San Francisco, the 29-year-old has slashed .333/.385/.708 with three homers, four runs and four RBI. Most of Davis' recent starts have come against left-handed pitchers, but it seems as though he'll have more regular playing time with the Giants than he had with the Mets, even if he continues to sit against some righties. FAAB: $5

Elehuris Montero, Rockies: Montero was recalled by Colorado at the beginning of August and has recorded hits in eight consecutive games following his promotion. While starting the last eight games, the 23-year-old has slashed .433/.452/.667 with a home run, four doubles, five runs and four RBI. Montero has spent time at first base, third base and as the designated hitter for the major-league club this year and should continue to see playing time for Colorado while Kris Bryant remains sidelined. FAAB: $4

Shortstop

Vaughn Grissom, Atlanta: Grissom was called up from Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday, and he immediately made his presence felt by going 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs, two RBI, a stolen base and a strikeout during his major-league debut against Boston. The 21-year-old was a well-rounded contributor in the minors to begin the season, slashing .324/.405/.494 with 14 homers, 72 runs, 67 RBI and 27 stolen bases over 96 games between the High-A and Double-A clubs. Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia seem unlikely to return until late August or early September, so Grissom should serve as Atlanta's primary second baseman and certainly warrants fantasy consideration. FAAB: $12

Paul DeJong, Cardinals: DeJong rejoined the major-league club at the end of July and has racked up plenty of extra-base hits following his promotion. Over 10 games since returning to the big leagues, the 29-year-old has slashed .333/.439/.848 with four home runs, five doubles, 13 RBI and eight runs. Although DeJong struggled mightily before being sent to the minors, he's reclaimed an everyday role for the Cardinals and has had little trouble reaching base recently. FAAB: $6

Outfield

Nick Gordon, Twins: Gordon has been productive at the plate in recent weeks, slashing .405/.455/.649 with a home run, six doubles, seven runs, seven RBI and two stolen bases over the last 12 games. The 26-year-old served mainly as a fourth outfielder earlier in the year but should see regular playing time now that Alex Kirilloff has been ruled out for the season. Gordon has been a well-rounded fantasy contributor recently and should have additional opportunities to prove himself over the final two months of the season. FAAB: $7

Tyler Naquin, Mets: Naquin has continued to work in the strong side of a platoon after being traded from the Reds to the Mets in late July, and he's been effective when on the field over the last several weeks. Over 10 games since he was traded, the 31-year-old has slashed .367/.387/.867 with three home runs, two triples, two doubles, seven runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. Even if Naquin continues to receive days off against left-handed pitchers with his new team, he's been a well-rounded fantasy contributor since joining the Mets. FAAB: $6

Franmil Reyes, Cubs: Reyes was considered a strong fantasy asset heading into the year, but he struggled to produce over the first half of the season and was ultimately designated for assignment by the Guardians on Saturday. He found a favorable landing spot with the Cubs, who claimed him off waivers Monday. The 27-year-old has started two games with his new club, going 3-for-8 with an RBI and two strikeouts. While fantasy managers shouldn't necessarily expect the same kind of production out of Reyes that he displayed in past seasons, he'll likely see regular playing time with the Cubs and will be playing his home games at hitter-friendly Wrigley Field. FAAB: $5

Lars Nootbaar, Cardinals: Nootbaar is in the midst of a four-game hitting streak in which he's gone 5-for-14 with two triples, a double, three runs, two RBI and a stolen base. The 24-year-old has taken on an everyday role for the Cardinals to begin the second half and has slashed .311/.414/.511 over 16 games following the All-Star break. Nootbaar was an unreliable contributor over the first half of the season but has some fantasy value in deeper leagues given his performance over the last few weeks. FAAB: $3

Kyle Isbel, Royals: Isbel had inconsistent playing time earlier in the season, but his at-bats have increased following the trade deadline. He's started five of the last six games and has gone 7-for-17 with a home run, two triples, two doubles, eight runs, seven RBI and a steal over that stretch. The 25-year-old has started against just two left-handed pitchers this year, but he should see plenty of playing time against righties as part of the Royals' new-look lineup and has some fantasy appeal in deep leagues. FAAB: $3

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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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