At this point in the season, it can sometimes be difficult to find quality on the waiver wire. Here are five players who are available in at least 75 percent of Yahoo leagues and 60 percent of ESPN leagues.
Catcher: Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres (24% Yahoo, 22% ESPN)
Hedges isn’t perfect. He’s hitting just .218, has been streaky and is striking out in nearly 30 percent of his plate appearances. Let’s be honest, though – you’re not going to find a flawless catcher on the wire in any league. Hedges leads all MLB backstops with 52 games played, and is one of only two players at the position who’s cracked double digits in home runs.
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Middle infield: Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics (18% Yahoo, 36% ESPN)
Lowrie is 33 years old and has played 150 games in a season just once in his career. That tells you all you need to know about his ability to stay healthy. Right now, though, he’s playing every day and performing well. Lowrie appears to have bought into the fly ball revolution, and it’s working; he’s currently hitting .296/.365/.492 with 33 runs scored and seven homers.
Corner infield: Lucas Duda, New York Mets (20% Yahoo, 17% ESPN)
Duda missed nearly a month with an elbow injury, and it took him another week or so to shake off the rust. Over the last two weeks, however, he’s hit a blistering .372/.438/.884 with six homers, nine runs and 14 RBI in just 11 games.
Outfield: Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays (24% Yahoo, 32% ESPN)
Kiermaier was awful at the plate in April, hitting just .220/.304/.300 and striking out nearly 30 percent of the time. He’s been much better since the calendar flipped to May, with a .287/.359/.513 line, six homers, five steals and 33 R+RBI. Kiermaier managed a 12 HR, 21 SB season despite missing two months last year, and he’s on pace to easily surpass those totals in 2017.
Starting pitcher: Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves (14% Yahoo, 13% ESPN)
It’s been a tough season on the pitching end of things for many fantasy owners, between the rash of injuries and the continuance of the leaguewide power surge that began in late 2015. Consequently, the waiver wire pickings are particularly slim. Foltynewicz is worth considering if you can tolerate his inconsistency. Nearly half of the runs he’s allowed so far came in his two worst starts. In the rest of his appearances, he’s posted a 2.17 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 3.1 K/BB.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.