Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Wishlist (Week 7)
Matt Mervis, 1B, Chicago Cubs – in a previous waiver wire article, I recommended picking up Mervis, so hopefully you got in before it was too late and/or cost you too much to acquire “Mash." He is a must own in all formats. I saw a great piece on the term "must add" and why that term gets used too much with prospects and then questioning if Mervis falls into that.
No one, and I mean no one, can predict if a prospect is going to turn into fantasy gold or into a pumpkin. Rookie performances like what we saw from Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr. and even Juan Soto many years ago, are rare. Sometimes they work out and turn into immediate real life and fantasy superstars and sometimes they don’t pan out right away (Gunnar Henderson or Jordan Walker.) The latter of that being the most likely case. Rookies tend to struggle out of the gate against major league pitching, the pressure of performing, and still working on things at the plate.
I receive the “should I drop XYZ player for XYZ prospect?” A LOT and my answers are always going to be the same – it depends. It depends on league size, format, scoring, your team need, your backups in case the prospect doesn’t work out, who is on the wire should the prospect not work out and much more.
In essence – you are buying a lottery ticket with Mervis and any top prospect for that matter. If
you have the roster space available, while considering the factors above, then yes – add Mervis immediately. Mervis, 25, was hitting .286/.402/.560 with 6 HR in 24 games in Triple A.
In 137 games last season: .309 AVG, .379 OBP, .605 SLG, .984 OPS 92 R, 36 HR, 119 RBI and 2 SB. He reminds me a lot like Vinnie Pasquantino and can be an immediate fixture in the middle of the Cubs' lineup.
At the time of this article, in his first two games, Mervis has gone 2-8 with 2 RBI singles. If you
have him, I can’t stress enough to remain patient as it will take him time to adjust.
Esteury Ruiz, OF, Oakland Athletics – Like I mentioned in last week’s article, it feels weird recommending an Oakland Athletic for your fantasy teams. Only 59-percent rostered, the league leader in stolen bases should not be this available in Yahoo leagues. Over the last two weeks, Ruiz has gone 14/57 (.246 AVG) with 0 HR, 7 RBI but 11 stolen bases and 8 runs scored. If nothing else, Ruiz will score runs and steal bases in front of guys like Brent Rooker. If you need help in the stolen base department, Ruiz is an immediate add.
Jason Adam, RP, Tampa Bay Rays – He is the favorite for saves on the best team in baseball – need I say more? Adam is only 58-percent rostered in Yahoo leagues. Pete Fairbanks went on the 15-day IL with right forearm inflammation. Not sure how familiar you are with baseball, pitchers and anything forearm/elbow related – but that is usually not a good sign. Fairbanks also said his forearm issue isn’t related to the finger numbness associated with Raynaud’s Syndrome. While he doesn’t believe the injury to be serious, it will remain an issue throughout the season most likely.
Since Adam has taken over the closer role, across four games, he has 9 strikeouts with 3 saves. If/when Fairbanks returns, I would bet good money the Rays alternate between Adam and Fairbanks to keep them both fresh. So, Adam will retain value once Fairbanks returns with a share of the closer role (something the Rays are accustomed to doing,) with elite ratios and Ks. Strong add in all formats. You’ll have at least one more full week of just Jason Adam as the
Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers – A former top prospect within the Tigers' system, Greene is starting to heat up. Over his past seven games (BAL, NYM, and STL,) Greene has gone: 14/36 (.388 AVG) with 7 runs scored, 1 homerun, 6 RBI and 1 stolen base. Only 48-percent rostered, playing in a scarce position for fantasy purposes (OF,) and hitting a top of the lineup offering across the board production – he is likely available in your league. He is certainly worth a speculative add. If you’re not ready to add him quite yet, he needs to be at the very least on your watch lists next week. Be ready to pounce on him – like a Tiger.
Nick Senzel, 3B/OF, Cincinatti Reds – If you follow me on Twitter (@MKBFantasy) – you know that I am a BIG Nick Senzel fan. The often-injured former top prospect has only played in a total of 192 games since his rookie season, 2019 to date. Playing in a very hitter friendly home ballpark, Senzel over the past two weeks has delivered to the tune of 15/41 (.366 AVG) with 9 runs scored, 3 homeruns, 11 RBI and 1 SB. He also qualifies at two of the scarcest positions in fantasy – 3B and OF. His spot in the lineup is not ideal (6th or 7th ) but I expect that to change soon if he continues to hit.
Ladies and gentlemen, are we officially witnessing the long-awaited breakout of Nick Senzel?