Last Word on Baseball is back with your fantasy baseball waiver targets of the week. At the bottom, see how last week’s targets have fared.
For the sake of continuity, ESPN Fantasy Baseball leagues are the baseline, and for a player to make this list, they must be rostered on no more than 50% of teams across the site (rounded to the nearest whole number). Slash lines are AVG/OBP/SLG. The list is in no particular order.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups of the Week
J.D. Davis, NYM, 3B/OF (11% rostered)
Last 7 days: 22 AB, .409/.462/.955, 7 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB
Kicking off Week 21’s waiver pickups is New York Mets 3B/OF J.D. Davis. The Cal State Fullerton product has enjoyed a nice minors career so far, but things have started to click this year at the major level. Davis has dealt with being juggled all over the batting order, sporting a season slash line of .308/.375/.516. He’s hit 13 HR and added 36 RBI.
The total numbers aren’t spectacular, but J.D. Davis is making the most when given the chance. For the month of August (nine games so far), he’s hitting .393 with three homers and seven RBI. If it weren’t for a weak May, his numbers would be elite. Here are his OPS totals per month: March/April was .913, May was .620, June was .881, July was 1.017, and currently August is 1.312. Davis is eligible at a relatively thin position. The Mets as a team are on fire, and J.D. Davis is a big reason why.
Aristides Aquino, CIN, OF (10% rostered)
Last 7 days: 18 AB, .556/.579/1.278, 7 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 0 SB
It doesn’t get much smaller than an eight-game sample, but red-hot Cincinnati Red Aristides Aquino can’t be ignored. Making his first appearance on August 1, Aquino went hitless in his first two games. Since that point, he’s been one of the best in all of baseball. The season is pretty much a wash for the Reds at this point, so Aquino should continue to see playing time just so the team can see what he can do. So far it’s been special. Before joining the big league club, Aquino mashed 28 home runs in only 78 AAA games. His season line there was .299/.356/.636.
Outfield is very deep in fantasy. Aquino is just another name to add to the seemingly endless list of late-season adds at the position. This is the time of year where guys like him get a shot to strut their stuff. It’s crunch time in the fantasy world, and you can get a leg up by keeping your eyes open for the guys that make a splash. Aquino hasn’t had a stellar minors career until this year, but it’s very encouraging to see his success continue in the majors. He’s shown some speed in the past, but this year there hasn’t been much to speak of. He tends to average about one strikeout per game. So over a full season you could expect somewhere north of 150. Still, he should be an asset as the season winds down.
Francisco Mejia, SD, C (5% rostered)
Last 7 days: 17 AB, .588/.588/.824, 5 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB
San Diego Padres catcher Francisco Mejia has had a bit of an offensive resurgence lately. The once-touted prospect – ranked as high as #5 in 2018 for Baseball Prospectus – has had five straight multi-hit games in which he’s started. In that time frame, he’s scored five runs, stolen a base, and hit a homer to boot. From the ultra-thin catcher position, you could be doing much worse.
Mejia has had an up-and-down minors career, but he’s always gotten on base at a respectable rate. He only played 18 games in AAA this year, yet they were outstanding. Slashing .365/.411/.746, Mejia hit four homers and drove in 12 runs. The Dominican’s rookie status is still intact, and at 23 years old, there’s more room for development. You may be in need of a catching upgrade at this point in the season, and again, you could be doing worse. Mejia is one to keep an eye on in dynasty leagues. He’s showing growth.
Brian Anderson, MIA, 3B/OF (35% rostered)
Last 7 days: 28 AB, .393/.471/.929, 8 R, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB
The Miami Marlins are utterly terrible, but one bright spot lately has been 3B/OF Brian Anderson. Streakiness has afflicted the third-year hitter throughout his career, but right now it’s in full force. The power numbers have been exploding. Dating back to July 28, Anderson has clobbered seven homers and driven in 13 runs in 13 games. That’s basically two straight weeks of homering every other game and averaging an RBI each night. He’s only struck out seven times in that span, when before that point his season rate was 21.8%.
Anderson has shown before he can put together lengthy periods of sustained production. The problem is he always seems to do the opposite in between. For his career, June and August have been his most productive months in terms of AVG and OPS. If he follows that trend, he could be a useful addition to your team in these vital final weeks of the fantasy regular season. His season OPS still sits at a respectable .802. Lately, however, he’s too hot to let sit in free agency.
Dinelson Lamet, SD, SP (8% rostered)
Last 7 days: 1-0, 7 IP, 12 K, 4 BB, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP
Concluding our Week 21 waiver targets is another Padre, starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet. The 27-year-old Dominican doesn’t have much MLB experience to his name. However, he has shown elite peripherals when given the chance. Lamet is fresh off a stunning outing in which he tossed seven scoreless frames, punching out 12 batters. He even carried a no-hitter through six. His ERA is not very appealing (career 4.43 in the majors). Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll see an ocean of potential.
Lamet missed the entire 2018 season after having Tommy John Surgery. His 2017 rookie campaign had Padres fans ecstatic. Across 114.1 IP, he had allowed only 88 hits and struck out 139. He would benefit from getting his walk rate down. He currently sits at 3.9 BB/9 in the MLB, with a slightly better 3.4 BB/9 across AAA and A+ ball earlier this year. On the flip side, his strikeout rate is still elite and better than it was before surgery. Right now it’s at 12.6 K/9 for San Diego, and it was 12.4 iK/9 in the minors. No matter the level he’s faced, Lamet’s numbers have been sensational. All of this to say Lamet has the makings of a superstar, and he showed just what he can do last time out. Fantasy Baseball owners can look for that success to continue.
Last week’s list and their performances over the last seven days:
Matt Thaiss: 13 AB, .000/.133/.000, 1 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Adam Duvall: 30 AB, .133/.212/.167, 2 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB
Bryan Reynolds: 24 AB, .417/.462/.750, 6 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB
Bo Bichette: 30 AB, .367/.406/.867, 6 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB
Will Smith (LAD): 18 AB, .222/.300/.333, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB
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