Last Word on Baseball is back with your fantasy baseball waiver grabs of the week. A couple of Baltimore Orioles, Anthony Santander and Renato Nunez, stand out in an American League edition. At the bottom, see how last week’s targets have fared.
For the sake of continuity, ESPN 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.
All stats below as of end of day July 25.
Anthony Santander, BAL, OF (7% rostered)
Last 7 days: 34 AB, .353/.371/.794, 8 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB
Another widely available red-hot bat belongs to Baltimore Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander. The 24-year-old has become a mainstay in the lineup since early June. No matter where he’s slotted in the order, he’s found a way to produce. So far in 19 July games, Santander’s line looks great: .303/.333/.513. He’s scored 12 runs, hit four homers, and knocked in 13. All four of those home runs have come in his last seven. The Orioles don’t have much going for them this season, but it’s certainly nice to see Santander provide this kind of pop. It’s worth noting, however, that his minors stats haven’t been eye-popping. They could be deemed average at best. Regardless, he’s raking right now. Make sure he’s not raking for someone else in your league.
Mike Tauchman, NYY, OF (3% rostered)
Last 7 days: 24 AB, .500/.538/.833, 10 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB
This week’s list of fantasy baseball waiver targets begins in the AL East. The New York Yankees seem to have no shortage of offensive firepower. Last year we saw breakouts from two rookies: Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. This year it’s 28-year-old outfielder Mike Tauchman. Tauchman has spent the past several years in the Colorado Rockies organization. Up until this point, he hadn’t done anything noteworthy in the big leagues, but his minor league numbers are excellent over the past three seasons (combined slash line of .309/.393/.544 in AAA). Despite hitting in the bottom third of the order, Tauchman can help in most categories, especially if your league counts on-base percentage. He likely won’t provide a ton of power, but he could boost your other categories. It would be an added bonus if his speed shown in the minors comes to fruition as the season moves on.
Oscar Mercado, CLE, OF (34% rostered)
Last 7 days: 32 AB, .313/.324/.531, 4 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB
Former St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Mercado is enjoying a nice rookie season with the Cleveland Indians. Slashing .286/.335/.469 and swiping nine bases has kept Mercado as a constant fixture in the two slot over the past two and half months. Batting behind Francisco Lindor and ahead of Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez is prime real estate for fantasy purposes. The lack of steals is somewhat surprising given his impressive stolen base total over his minor league career, but he has the speed to make an impact. Mercado has recorded two RBI in five of his past 12 games, hitting four homers and stealing three bases. Cleveland is scorching so far in July, so look for Mercado’s production to continue.
Miguel Sano, MIN, 3B (28% rostered)
Last 7 days: 26 AB, .231/.355/.731, 6 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB
Minnesota Twins slugging third baseman Miguel Sano has had fantastic July. Usually known for one thing, smashing long balls, Sano lately has been a well-rounded fantasy asset. He currently sports a very respectable .277 AVG and a robust .982 OPS this month. As usual with Sano, the strikeout rate is still high at 33%. But he’s scored 14 runs, hit 5 homers, and driven in 12. Sano has the ability to mash with the very best in the league. The power stroke has especially gotten going this past week. Third base is a relatively thin position. The sacrifice to batting average is worth it to if he can keep this kind of pace. He’s still young enough to blossom into the power hitter Twins fans have been dreaming of for years.
Renato Nunez, 3B/1B, BAL (24% rostered)
Last 7 days: 28 AB, .321/.441/.679, 6 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB
Yet another Oriole is on our list of fantasy baseball waiver targets: corner infielder Renato Nunez. Eligibility at both 1B and 3B gives added value to his torrid bat of late. July has been kind to Nunez, whose OPS is 1.021 in 18 games. He’s shown excellent power, smashing six homers and batting in 14 runs. The contact is there as well. Nunez has registered two hits in eight games this month. Getting the bulk of his at-bats in the cleanup spot is helping to pad those RBI numbers. If you’re looking for help at the hot corner, Nunez can provide a spark. Expect some regression given the strikeouts and low walk rate, but ride the heat wave in the meantime.
Reynaldo Lopez, CWS, SP (16% rostered)
Last 7 days: 1-1, 15 IP, 18 K, 2 BB, 2.40 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
Chicago White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez has built a reputation of being a streaky streaming starter in fantasy. For our final waiver target this week, consistency has been his downfall. He’ll string together some truly great outings, only to follow up with another string of terrible ones. Lopez is trending up again, pitching three straight quality starts. Granted, the most recent came against the dreadful Miami Marlins. Before that, he pitched very well on the road in two tough matchups against the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays. White Sox fans have no doubt loved the strikeout numbers lately: 25 in his last 21 innings. Sometimes he looks like a deadly strikeout pitcher (season high is 14), but other times he looks flat (five strikeouts or less in 13 starts this season). In other words: when he’s on, he’s on. Lately, he’s been on. Might as well grab him and see if he can keep it up.
Last week’s list and their performances over the last seven days:
Keston Hiura: 22 AB, .364/.391/.727, 4 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB
Danny Santana: 27 AB, .370/.370/.630, 2 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB
Nate Lowe: 11 AB, .000/.154/.000, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Brandon Crawford: 22 AB, .182/.280/.182, 1 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB
Tyler O’Neill: 23 AB, .087/.087/.087, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Travis d’Arnaud: 17 AB, .235/.381/.647, 3 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB
Jeff Samardzija: 0-1, 5 IP, 7 K, 0 BB, 7.20 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Michael Pineda: 0-0, 5.1 IP, 8 K, 5 BB, 5.06 ERA, 1.69 WHIP
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