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ESPN Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Week Of August 13, 2017

At this time of the year, the trade deadline for many fantasy leagues has either passed or will pass very soon. The waiver wire then becomes an owner’s only means for adding players to help with the stretch run or adding young talent for future seasons.  So let’s take a look at some players on the waiver wire that are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues. Stats as of August 11.

Tim Beckham, SS, Baltimore Orioles

Beckham has been red hot since joining the Orioles in a trade from Tampa Bay. He won American League Player of the Week and batted .536/.552/1.036 with three home runs, six RBI, and seven runs scored in his first seven games with Baltimore.  Beckham has a career OPS of .752 at this point, but over the last 106 games, he has an OPS of .796. His other numbers are showing improvement, as well. He has a 42.2 percent hard hit rate, nearly eight points above his career rate of 36.4 percent and is also hitting line drives at a career-high 24 percent and infield fly balls at a career low 1.6 percent. The change in scenery with the chance to be the long term shortstop for the Orioles makes Beckham a valuable acquisition.

Reynaldo Lopez, SP,  Chicago White Sox

In his first outing since being called up by the White Sox,  Lopez limited the Royals to two runs and four hits in six innings. Lopez rocked the radar gun at 97 mph with his first pitch and struck out five of the first eight batters he faced against Kansas City. He made his big league debut for the Nationals in 2016, when he went 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 44 innings. Lopez had a 3.79 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 131 strikeouts in 121 innings across 22 starts at Triple-A Charlotte this season.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF Philadelphia Phillies

Hoskins clobbered 67 homers in his minor league stops at Reading and Lehigh Valley and has hit the ball hard ever since the Phillies drafted him in the fifth round. Even though he is a true first baseman, the Phillies are going to play him in left field in order to get as many at-bats as possible. This is a bonus for fantasy owners. At Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Hoskins struck out only 11 more times than he walked, which is nice to see a power hitter with plate discipline. His numbers at Triple-A this year had him hitting .284 with 29 homers and 91 RBI.

Alex Avila, C, Chicago Cubs

Looking for a replacement now that Willson Contreras is on the disabled list? Look no further than his replacement, Alex Avila. Even before Avila had a little slump prior to being traded to from the Tigers to the Cubs, he owned a stellar .387 on-base percentage over 274 plate appearances to go along with 11 home runs and 32 RBI. He will see plenty of playing time as early indications are that Contreras could be out for about a month.

Tyler Flowers, C, Atlanta Braves

Not sold on Alex Avila? Take a look then at Tyler Flowers of the Atlanta Braves. Flowers has been catching in about 70 percent of Braves games this season. He is hitting .301 with nine home runs and 37 RBI for the season. What has helped him at the plate has been trimming his strikeout rate to a career-low 21.2 percent and posting a 22.8 percent line-drive rate with a 36.1 percent hard-hit rate.

Aaron Hicks, OF, New York Yankees

Hicks returned just in time from the disabled list to help the Yankees beat the Red Sox on August 11 by hitting a home run and throwing out a runner at third in the ninth inning. Hicks was hitting .290 with a .913 OPS, 10 homers and 37 RBI in 60 games when he went on the disabled list in late June. His main competition for playing time, rookie Clint Frazier, was just recently placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Before returning,  Hicks hit .333 with a homer and three RBI in seven minor league rehab games.

Dexter Fowler, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Since returning from the disabled list, Fowler has started two games hitting sixth and two hitting fourth. He’s hitting as well or better than he has all season. In his latest series against the Royals, Fowler hit 6-for-13 including a grand slam. In addition to hitting 15 homers in only 303 at-bats, Fowler has exhibited his normal patience with 46 walks thus far in 2017. He is also sporting a career-high .228 ISO this season.






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