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8 Waiver Wire Hitters to Kick-Start Your Fantasy Baseball Offense

Didn’t draft Aaron Judge? How about Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, Mookie Betts, or Bobby Witt. Jr? Me neither, and let me tell you, what a shame! Nearing the 2024 season’s halfway mark it can be very difficult and extremely trying to put up with middling/below-average offensive returns. As a result, mid-June is the perfect time for fantasy baseball skippers who missed out to start making changes and looking for ‘spark plug’ hitters off waivers to (at long last) provide some offense. 

And with that, let us explore: Eight hitters – all of whom are readily available on waivers – that enterprising skippers can consider taking a chance on to kick-start a stagnating lineup.

Eight Potential Spark Plugs off the Waiver Wire

Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA

(Check out the Savant numbers!) 

Slashing a modest .233/.280/.337 with 4 HR, 23 RBI, 6 SB, and 16 R over 193 ABs on a last-place Marlins team, it’s easy to see why the ability Sanchez showcased last season (.252/.327/.450, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 3 SB, 43 R over 125 G) has been largely overlooked. Given the numbers, there simply hasn’t been a reason to justify claiming him over other hitters off waivers.

However, for managers in deep leagues who consider themselves savants, allow me to present one very valid reason why Sanchez might be worth a look: Savant. Eye-poppingly, a look into Sanchez’s page reveals he has the potential to be hitting at an elite clip. Everything from xBA, xSLG, barrel rate, hard-hit percentage, average exit velocity, and bat speed are all well above league average and in the high percentiles. The only caveat is a poor chase rate, the stark discrepancies between Sanchez’s actual stats and his Savant page are incredible. While he isn’t hitting yet, gutsy managers looking to get ahead of the game might strike gold with Sanchez as the season goes on.

Brendan Rodgers/Adael Amadour, 2B, COL

Rodgers: .327/.333/.545, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 8 R over his last 15 games (55 ABs)

Amadour: .276/.390/.440, 38 HR, 151 RBI, 73 SB, 277 R over minors career (277 G) 

Ultimately, there is a great deal of untapped potential up the middle in Colorado just waiting on waivers. While the moment to capitalize off of Ezequiel Tovar passed a few months ago, Brendan Rodgers and No.1 prospect Adael Amadour offer skippers a lot. 

Rodgers, the third overall pick behind fellow shortstops Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman in 2015, is currently on the IL with a left hamstring strain retroactive to June 7. His season average was a pedestrian .275 and there wasn’t much else supporting his numbers (3 HR, 22 RBI, .699 OPS). However, he had beaten a cold start and was finally living up to his potential. In fact, he was enjoying a solid hot steak – only heightened by Coors and the rewarding five-hole in the Rockies lineup. His injury is not considered major and he should be back soon.

Having said that, Rodgers’ untimely injury opened the door for one Adael Amadour. The number one prospect for the Rox (also a shortstop by trade, but forced to second because of Ezequiel Tovar), his potential is crystal clear. Despite a less-than-ideal slash (.115/.115/.115 over 7 G) his wizardry on the bases and aptitude at the plate could carry a fantasy team from mediocre to the promised land. Thus while it’s not clear what will come of the second base snafu at Coors once Rodgers returns, certainly, there is a lot of possibility for fantasy managers if just one of the two plays to their potential. More than likely they’re both still on the wire.  

Donovan Solano, INF, SDP

2024: .284/.360/.420, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R over 88 ABs.

Understandably, there is some hesitancy surrounding Solano because of his deserved reputation for being an average-only fantasy asset. But this season that has been balanced by 3 HR. More importantly though, the Padres have been batting Solano either fifth, sixth or even cleanup (mostly fifth, of late) in a good San Diego lineup. 

Knowing that and the opportunity for counting stats, of all the hitters off waivers, why not Solano? 

Nolan Jones, OF, COL

2023: .297/.389/.542, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 20 SB, 60 R over 106 G.

2024: .196/.293/.294, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 SB, 13 R over 102 ABs.

At the beginning of the season, Nolan Jones was listed with an ADP in the mid-50s, right around the neighborhood of Tarik Skubal, Manny Machado, and Kyle Schwarber. Obviously, it has not worked out and the 30/30 promise he had back in March is out the window.  

The good news? Jones has been on the IL since April 30th and was just activated. His disappointing play coupled with his extended absence have let his roster rates plummet and in a surprising amount of leagues (especially ones without/limited IL slots), Jones finds himself available on the wire. Given his play last year and that tantalizing combination of power and speed, taking a shot on a healthy Jones (or buying low, if needed) is probably worth it. Nothing is assured (although Jones was his old self over the weekend), but if available Jones is the best and only elite option on this list.         

Spencer Horwitz, 1B, 2B, TOR

2024 AAA: .335/.456/.514, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB, 41 R over 212 ABs.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Justin Turner, and Daniel Vogelbach ahead of him, it seemed as though Spencer Horwitz and his path to the majors were both blocked. But with his exceptional minor league numbers forcing the hand of the Blue Jays, the first baseman began to see time at second and in left field for Triple-A Buffalo until his eventual (and due) call-up on June 7th. 

Long story short: He hasn’t stopped hitting. The Jays have suffered another year of sluggish offense and with a slash line of .333/.419/.370 upon his return, Horwitz suddenly finds himself batting leadoff. In the last week and a half infielder Cavan Biggio and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach were both DFA’d, effectively clearing the way for Horwitz to play every day at either second or first. All signs point to success for the 26-year-old and now is the time for fantasy managers to capitalize.

(*Similarly, also see Cleveland’s newly promoted utilityman Daniel Schneemann*)  

Gio Urshela, 3B, DET

2024: .280/.325/.364, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 12 R over 143 ABs.

It’s a little bit surprising to see just how available Gio Urshela is at this point in the season. Sure he was injured for a while and perhaps does not excel when it comes to counting stats, but the numbers don’t lie and he has the pedigree. Also, it doesn’t hurt that his bat has been hot of late (.360/.448/.400, 5 RBI over his last 7). 

With a faith-inspiring savant page, it seems as though it’s only a matter of time until Urshela hits the .300 mark and his ownership rate skyrockets. Fantasy managers should consider acting fast on the veteran third baseman.    

Mauricio Dubon, UTIL, HOU

.301/.326/.422, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 2 SB, 22 R over 166 ABs

If guys like Joc Pederson or Jesse Winker are still available, they are probably better options. However, that shouldn’t take away from what Dubon brings to the table. With elite positional versatility around the diamond, an average hovering around .300 and a surprising amount of RBI (23), Dubon can provide skippers that necessary spark.

He offers a little bit in each category, and that’s really all it takes to kick-start a team. Frankly, it’s difficult to do better as far as hitters off waivers go. Definitely, at the very least, monitor Dubon. 

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