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Outfield Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 8

We have completed another week of MLB action, and we have once again been littered with injuries. Both good and bad things arise from injuries. Let's start with the bad, which means losing a player, sometimes a key player from your roster. The good is a chance to add a new player, and certain players suddenly finding new playing time. The outfield position has been getting more and more depleted as the season goes on, at least from a fantasy perspective. Many other recent options in this article are still available in leagues and are still worth the pick-ups. With the playing pool getting depleted, it is getting tougher and tougher in deeper leagues, but keep grinding as more injuries are opening up more and more options. Just look at Jarred Kelenic, Trevor Larnach, and others who have gotten the call to the bigs in recent weeks.

Some outfielders would be better suited to stream for a hot bat. Others need to be replaced just because they are no longer on the field (IL). That is a situation that affects many owners, and there is nothing you can do except find a suitable replacement as quickly as possible or risk losing valuable counting stats. In this article, I’ll discuss waiver wire targets for the outfield in Week 8. This week, we cover a few guys on a little hot streak while a couple of other players have enticing matchups.

Even in the first few weeks, ownership can change quickly. Be quick to check your leagues for their availability. Key points - this list will focus on players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues. When you want to chat it up regarding outfielders, prospects, or dynasty leagues, message me directly on Twitter @bdentrek.

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Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles

44% Rostered

Santander (ankle) injured his ankle in April and has slowly been rehabbing his way back to the Orioles. This past weekend, he played in minor league rehab games, and if all continues to go well, he will return to the Orioles next week.

Santander got off to a rough start this season, only hitting .196 with an increased strikeout rate of 27.4%. Santander was hitting the ball better than the initial stat line suggests. He had a .246 xBA over the first 16 games with a .385 xwOBAcon. Santander was barreling the ball 9.5% of the time with a 50% hard-hit rate and a 112.6 maxEV. The quality of contact numbers were right in line with the previous season for Santander.

Santander's average could be down a bit with an increased 50% groundball rate. If he returns to become more of a fly ball/line-drive hitter than previous seasons, then you will be adding a steal right now. Santander was a quality power and run-producing fantasy asset in recent seasons. Add him where you need some outfield help and enjoy a solid addition at this point in the season.

 

Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox

32% Rostered

I've been pounding the Vaughn drum in the DFS streets, and seeing he's only rostered in 32% of season-long leagues is just wrong. I know Tony La Russa can ruin many things, including Vaughn's playing time, but that is getting better as he plays nearly everyday for the White Sox. In May, Vaughn has started in 10 of the White Sox 12 games entering Saturday.

Through those 10 games, he is hitting .265 with a .235 ISO and a 144 wRC+. His power is arriving, and that is backed by a 14.8% barrel rate and 59.3% hard-hit rate. Vaughn is even showcasing elite plate discipline for a rookie with a 14% walk rate. Vaughn has seen his spot in the order sitting at seventh most of the time but has even hit sixth in two of the last three games.

With TLR finally realizing the need to play Vaughn everyday, it is time to grab him in every league you're in. He has a good chance to go on a Rookie of the Year-type campaign for the rest of the season.

Robbie Grossman, Detroit Tigers

30% Rostered

Grossman had a horrific start to the season, and many that drafted the Tigers' outfielder likely dropped him for another option. Well, the time is now to hop back on the Grossman wagon. Over the last two weeks, 14 games, Grossman is hitting .294 with a .235 ISO and 160 wRC+. He has been leading off for the Tigers, and the .294 average with a 14.5% walk has been a recipe for fantasy goodness. Grossman has scored nine runs over the last two weeks and has stolen four bases.

It is not just walks and steals for Grossman as he also has six XBH, including two home runs and 11 RBI. Grossman's quality of contact has increased tremendously as well, with an 11.6% barrel rate and 51.2% hard-hit rate over the last 14 games.

Bottom line, Grossman is improving in all aspects at the plate and is back to being the player many drafted before the season began. It is time to jump back on the Grossman train and add him this week.

 

Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers

19% Rostered

I wrote up Calhoun last week. I will try not to write up players in back-to-back weeks, but Calhoun is still too low-rostered in fantasy leagues. He was 16% rostered when I wrote this last week; only a 3% jump is just wrong. Calhoun continues to lead off for the Rangers, a sneaky productive offense, and he is hitting .294 with a .362 OBP.

Calhoun's power continues to improve as he has hit three of his four home runs in May. Over those 12 games, he is hitting .295 with a .250 ISO. Calhoun will not steal many bases, but he continues to set the table for the Rangers' offense and should be rostered in more leagues very soon.

 

Pavin Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks

18% Rostered

Smith became a regular in the DBacks' lineup when Christian Walker (oblique) went to the IL for the first time. He hit well, but there was always a concern that regular playing time would slowly disappear. Well, the DBacks continue to rack up injuries, with Ketel Marte (hamstring) and Kole Calhoun (hamstring) hitting the IL as well as Walker going back on the IL after a few games back. These injuries pretty much lock Smith into regular playing time for what appears like quite a while.

Smith has hit safely in seven of his last nine games, good for a .324 average. As the DBacks leadoff hitter, his .324 average over the last nine games has been great, leading to six runs scored. Sadly the power has been inconsistent, and he will not steal many bases. Smith has 14 XBH, including three home runs, so the power may come back on the season. Smith is a solid add for deeper leagues and should at least be on the watch list in your shallow leagues as we wait for the power potential to return.

 

Harrison Bader, St. Louis Cardinals

6% Rostered

Bader joined the Cardinals on April 30 and has played 14 games so far this season. He has hit safely in 11 of 14 games, good for a .261 average with a .217 ISO. Bader has three home runs this season, but his 11.3% walk rate to help form a .340 OBP is great for the speed aspect of Bader's game, which has already contributed two steals.

Bader has sadly been hitting at the bottom of the Cardinals' order, but regular playing time, a preseason concern, seems to be in the rearview mirror. Bader will be one of the few power and speed combos available on the wire, especially in deep leagues. The projections have Bader potentially hitting another 10 home runs while stealing another 10 bases. Those projections may be cautious, as they usually are when it comes to projections.

Go and grab Bader where you need a solid power/speed source as the rostered percentage will keep rising.



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