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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds for Week 2

It goes without saying, but having baseball back is a great thing. While sample sizes are still small, and we’ll continue to hear that disclaimer for the next few weeks, we have real baseball action to enjoy on a daily basis. We can now put statistics up to the projections and start to dig into our teams. We still want to eliminate the overreactions, but we also need to be proactively improving our teams. With that being said, let’s dig into some fantasy baseball waiver wire adds for the upcoming week.

As we go through this process on a weekly basis, the criteria for inclusion will be any player rostered in less than 50% of Fantrax leagues (as of 4/03). Our options will be listed at increasing levels of availability.

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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Recommendations

Willi Castro, 3B/OF, Minnesota Twins

Entering the season, there was some buzz around Willi Castro towards the end of drafts. Between the multi-positional eligibility and strong performance last year, he was an interesting option. In 2023, Castro hit .257 with nine home runs and 60 runs scored in 409 plate appearances. However, we did bury the lead as Castro stole 33 bases.

Castro began the season as a utility player, but with Royce Lewis already on the Injured List, the former has now been in the lineup each game. With that being said, he is hitting just .125 and is without a stolen base. It is just 20 plate appearances, so it won’t take much for Castro to turn things around. For those a little light from a speed perspective, Castro could be an interesting option to consider.

Connor Joe, 1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

We have seen this before from Connor Joe, but sometimes it’s all about going with the hot hand. Right now, that is Connor Joe as the Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten off to a surprisingly strong start. With a .348 batting average in five games with seven runs scored and five RBI, Joe has played a part in that from the middle of Pittsburgh’s lineup.

While Joe isn’t an overwhelming power hitter, he limits the strikeouts and also walks at a double-digit rate. The opportunity is here for Joe to continue with regular playing time, and he can be a solid streaming or depth option.

Orion Kerkering, RP, Philadelphia Phillies

After dominating his way through four levels of the minor leagues last season, Orion Kerkering burst onto the scene in the postseason. It was a small sample size at the end of the season, but his potential and tools were on full display. With 14 minor league saves, Kerkering has already shown the ability to pitch in high-pressure, late-game situations.

Following a Spring Training illness, Kerkering began the season with a quick stint on the Injured List. He has already pitched at the Triple-A level this season, and he should be back at the major league level by this time next week. There is clear strikeout upside here as Kerkering was consistently in double-digits in the minor leagues last year. With the back end of the Phillies’ defense in flux, the opportunity for saves is there.

Justin Foscue, 2B/OF, Texas Rangers

Not to bring a pun into this, but it was a tough break for Josh Jung. His impending absence for the next six weeks means there is a void in Texas’ lineup. Following his promotion, Justin Foscue is in position to take advantage of the opportunity. With Nathaniel Lowe also sidelined, at-bats are available for Foscue. Additionally, the Rangers are not going to call up one of their top prospects for him to sit on the bench.

In 122 games at Triple-A last year, Foscue hit .266. Perhaps most impressive, is the fact that he walked (15.1%) more often than he struck out (12.4%). While his power (18 home runs) and speed (14 stolen bases) don’t truly stand out, he does bring solid production to the table. Foscue also scored 94 runs to go along with 84 RBI, and there is a strong overall volume of stats. This can especially be helpful at second base.

Jose Caballero, 2B/SS, Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay wasn’t kidding around when they traded for Jose Caballero. The infielder has found his way into steady playing time with the Rays to begin the season. They have moved him up and down the lineup, but through six games, it hasn’t mattered.

Caballero is hitting .316, but with a .228 career average, in just 109 games, we can’t expect that to truly continue. Regardless of that fact though, there is one thing we are after here. Stolen bases. So far, Caballero has three of them and this is something that can’t be overlooked.

Justin Lawrence, RP, Colorado Rockies

It is truly a never-ending quest to find saves. To do so, we need to identify the closer for each team and we often spend a lot of FAAB and waiver capital to do so.

The Colorado Rockies have yet to have a save opportunity this season, but the working theory is that Justin Lawrence does have that role. In the one game that the Rockies had a lead in the ninth inning, Lawrence did get the ball. It was a five-run lead so there was no save, but it was a scoreless inning for Lawrence after he end the year in the role for Colorado. That is the only game Lawrence has gotten into this year after posting a 3.72 ERA last year while striking out more than a batter per inning.

Lawrence is currently available in almost 70% of Fantrax leagues, so the investment required is minimal.

Travis d’Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves

It was Sean Murphy who was the first Atlanta catcher to head to the Injured List this year. That means truly regular playing time for Travis d’Arnaud as he also takes advantage of a stacked Braves lineup.

With a 9% barrel rate last year, d’Arnaud makes solid contact. The quantity of at-bats will be there, and there should also be no shortage of RBI opportunities. For as long as d’Arnaud remains healthy himself, there should be plenty of playing time available with solid counting stats.

Nick Martini, OF, Cincinnati Reds

After two home runs on Opening Day, Nick Martini generated a fair share of buzz and excitement. While that is not something that can be overstated, it’s also important to exercise some level of conservatism.

Martini is slated to receive regular playing time against right-handed pitching for the Reds, so that means he will get a fair amount of at-bats. While he hasn’t gone deep again, Martini is hitting .333 with nine RBI and four runs scored. Martini has previously had some hot stretches in his career while also showing some power. The home park is a favorable one and he has historically had success against right-handed pitching.

JJ Bleday, OF, Oakland A’s

In a previous time, JJ Bleday was a top prospect. Granted it was for the Miami Marlins and he has had some major league struggles since then, but maybe it’s not time to give up on Bleday just yet.

We know that Oakland is far from an ideal situation, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact that Bleday is batting in the middle of the order on a daily basis. Despite the struggles, he didn’t lose the tools that made him a top prospect overnight. Through 29 plate appearances, Bleday is hitting .333 with a home run and four RBI. This certainly qualifies as very much a post-hype sleeper.

Julio Teheran, SP, New York Mets

The fact that the New York Mets gave Julio Teheran a major-league contract is quite telling. There is a clear gap in their rotation, and it appears the Mets are looking to the veteran to fill it.

They aren’t wasting any time as Teheran is already slated to start on Monday, albeit it against the Braves, which puts him in place to potentially start twice next week. The veteran did have a strong Spring Training with a 3.38 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13.1 innings so he should be prepared to be a streaming option.

If you play in a deeper league, check out Todd Hedberg’s top waiver wire adds.

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