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Wire Warriors: Week 8

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Heath scours the waivers!

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week I told you to add Juan Soto. If you didn’t act quickly, you probably missed out. I tried to get you the hookup, okay? Now let’s scour the airwaves for the less obvious names.

Note: I pen this on Saturday night, so some statistics and percentages may be slightly off come Sunday morning. So if something goes boom overnight don’t @ me.

CATCHER

John Hicks, Tigers (47% owned)

If Hicks exists on your wire I think you have to grab his power potential and ride the proverbial wave until Miggy returns. Since he is raking, though, it would make sense for V-Mart to lose out on playing time instead of Hicks. Look, catcher is such a cesspool that any semblance of power with a tolerable average is attractive. Playing time might be a concern eventually, but it doesn’t take a ton of numbers to be relevant as a catcher. The Atlanta platoon from 2017 is a perfect example. Over the past two weeks Hicks is the No. 2 backstop in the game behind Evan Gattis. He’s hitting .321 with a pair of home runs over that stretch, and he’s scored more runs (10) and has more hits (17) than any backstop over that time. Already ranked 9th among catchers, Hicks could easily finish as a starting-caliber option in 2018.

Honorable Mention: Jorge Alfaro, Phillies (7% owned)

FIRST BASE

Mitch Moreland, Red Sox (44% owned)

In case you missed it, the Red Sox are parting ways with Hanley Ramirez. This means more playing time for the GOAT, Mitchy-Four Bags. That’s right, I changed the name all by my lonesome. Moreland will now receive the lion’s share of at-bats at first base for Boston, and he hit cleanup on Friday night (the first lineup sans HanRam). The opportunity for a career year in every major category certainly exists. I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW. In case you were unaware that yours truly was a Mitch Moreland truther, allow me to direct you here. And here. And here. Okay I’ll stop now. Go add Moreland already.

Yonder Alonso, Indians (25% owned)

I’m still a fan of Yonder Alonso to turn things around in the batting average department. But honestly, you know why I like him already? Because just like all Tim Tebow does is win, all Yonder Alonso does is hit home runs. He cranked his 10th of the season on Saturday night, meaning only five first basemen have hit more dingers than him on the year. Alonso has an unlucky .237 BABIP despite making loads of hard contact (35.8%) so far. He could benefit from a few more line drives, but if the home runs keep coming I’ll take what I can get if I”m digging this deep on the wire.

SECOND BASE

Niko Goodrum, Tigers (14% owned)

Niko is the sort of guy I like: power and speed with a questionable batting average. Okay sure, I love a guy who isn’t a concern in the average department. But the power/speed guys who are a plus in batting average are elite draft commodities for a reason. If we are digging around the waiver wire we aren’t getting that lucky. Anyway, Goodrum is up to five home runs and five swipes this year, a feat only four other second baseman have achieved so far—Cesar Hernandez, Jose Ramirez, Ozzie Albies, and Javier Baez are the others, in case you were wondering what sort of company Goodrum keeps. The obvious difference is that those guys have superior batting averages, but Goodrum is one hot streak away from toting an average similar to Baez. Let’s just call him Baez-lite and enjoy the counting stats.

SHORTSTOP

First I’d look for Marcus Semien (64% owned) or Brandon Crawford (52% owned). But if they are gone you can scope out:

Jurickson Profar, Rangers (18% owned)

Profar is the No. 12 shortstop in the game over the past month and the No. 5 shortstop over the last two weeks. Who knew? I did, because I’ve been leaning on him as outfield depth in the TGFBI. He’s mostly batting third in the order for the Rangers, who are in the top third of the league in runs scored (11th). Hopefully you get to use him as shortstop or middle infield depth, but he qualifies at short and outfield in the Yahoo game, and offers a little pop and some speed.

THIRD BASE

If you can’t add Matt Chapman (55% owned) or Christian Villanueva (44% owned) you can look for...

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Rangers (2% owned)

Digging deep with a pair of Texas players this morning. But hey, I’m a sucker for good hitting environments and solid offenses. He’s got some speed, so he’s a bit of an unconventional pick at the hot corner. But third base is a literal cesspool. Kiner-Falefa qualifies at second and third base and is mostly batting third or sixth in the order for Texas. In hindsight, Goodrum is a better fit here as a third baseman and Kiner-Falefa would be better suited as your second base depth—both guys qualify in both places.

OUTFIELD

Guys like Juan Soto, Austin Meadows, and Tyler O’Neill are the hottest recent names. But I want to look a little deeper...

Travis Jankowski, Padres (27% owned)

He’s not getting a lot of love, but he is stealing a lot of bases—eight in fact, over the last month of the season. That’s more than any other outfielder in the game. Cheap speed, man. Can’t beat it.

Brandon Nimmo, Mets (16% owned)

I like his more well-rounded skill set a little better than Jankowski, as Nimmo has some pop in his bat. Over the past week he is the No. 6 outfielder in the game, with a pair of home runs, a steal, and a .296 batting average while leading off for the Mets.

STARTING PITCHER

I’d look for Jack Flaherty (57% owned) or Andrew Heaney (43% owned) first. After that...

Ross Stripling, Dodgers (36% owned)

He’s the No. 9 pitcher in the game over the past two weeks. He has 19 strikeouts over his last 12 23 innings. His 1.74 ERA is backed by a 1.97 FIP, and he’s even sporting a high BABIP of .352. His 86.6 LOB% is bound to regress, but Stripling has put together some solid efforts of late.

Trevor Cahill, Athletics (26% owned)

I’ll keep doing the familiar refrain until his owned percentage resembles the likes of Tyson Ross (another guy once found in this space repeatedly). Cahill missed a little bit of time on the DL and then faced the world-beating Red Sox in his first start out (5.0 IP, 1 SO, 5.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP). His next turn against Seattle was more of what we expect, though—7.0 IP, 3 SO, 2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP. He’s an underrated commodity in the fake game.

RELIEF PITCHER

Here are some saves options if you are in need:

Blake Parker, Angels (46% owned)

Nate Jones, White Sox (45% owned)

Seranthony Dominguez, Phillies (23% owned)

Dominguez may not have the gig locked down yet, but he’s earned a lot of trust in a short amount of time. You could speculate in worse ways.

It was a quick effort today, ladies and gents—I was out of town doing a family thing. But feel free to hit me up on Twitter @HeathCapps with any questions and we’ll go from there. Good luck grinding.