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Hitters Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 1 - Fantasy Baseball After The Draft

Darick Hall fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers waiver wire pickups

Opening Day is on the horizon and most of your drafts are complete. That means it is time to tune on the waiver wire radars and sharpen your talents beyond the draft. I spoke on pitcher adds yesterday and now it is time to step into the batter's box!

For our purposes, we'll examine players with fantasy potential that are rostered in roughly 30% or fewer of Yahoo leagues. The usual caveats apply that available options will vary according to your league size and settings.

Now, let's review the top Week 1 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and adds for hitters to consider after your drafts have already been completed as injury replacements or high-upside stashes.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Hitter Waiver Wire Adds

Yandy Diaz (TB, 1B/3B) - 35% rostered - It isn’t flashy but a strong batting average resource with potential leadoff volume for Tampa demands respect. Don’t turn your nose up at a steady trickle of stats collecting on your ledger.

Gabriel Moreno (ARI, C) - 31% rostered - If Moreno can consistently lift the ball then Carson Kelly’s injury opens the door for a top-10 catcher worth rostering in every league. He and Danny Jansen are both rostered at the same rate but Moreno’s PT could wind up being an edge despite the lineup advantage in Toronto.

Jake Fraley (CIN, OF) - 25% rostered - Fraley was already a hot commodity given his path to playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. But then he went and used his first 50 at-bats this spring to thwack three homers with five steals and a .982 OPS. Those looking for a deeper play toward Cincy PT should see Will Benson (1% rostered)

Oswaldo Cabrera (NYY, MI/OF) - 23% rostered - Cabrera is another spring surge with a 1.020 OPS and four home runs through 53 ABs. The Yankees boast a stacked depth chart but Cabrera’s wild versatility gives him myriad avenues to the starting nine.

Oscar Colas (CHW, OF) - 22% rostered - Colas should be Chicago’s right fielder on Opening Day and looks to hit his next power gear in 2023. He split time between Cuba and Japan but legal disputes over his contract led to him being a free agent at the end of 2020 but waited until the White Sox had international funds to get him in January 2022. His swing produced a .314/.371/.524 line with 23 home runs over 117 games between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A.

Jurickson Profar (COL, OF) - 21% rostered - Profar gets a chance to produce in Coors after hitting 15 home runs with a .723 OPS last season. It isn’t much, but he’s posted a walk rate above 11% in back-to-back seasons and is just one year removed from 10 steals. The new rules could make him a 15/10 bat if he can play five games a week. But you’ll have to mind the home/road splits!

Darick Hall (PHI, UT) - 20% rostered - Hall should gain eligibility at first base in short order following Rhys Hoskins’ season-ending knee injury, so don’t sweat that UT tag too much. The 27-year-old got a late start in the majors and had nine home runs in just 142 plate appearances, but it came with a 31% strikeout rate and a lowly .282 OBP. Take a chance at his power and see if he can swim against left-handed pitching.

Adam Duvall (BOS, OF) - 20% rostered - Duvall’s big swing could crush the Green Monster beneath its mighty club. He may be 34 years old but for little cost, it's worth seeing if his HR/FB rate can rebound from last year’s 12.2% to 20% or higher from 2019, 2020, and 2021. He’ll strike out a ton, he may not hit above .230, but peppering the monster with pulled fly balls gives him a chance at it!

Elvis Andrus (CHW, SS) - 18% rostered - Andrus debuted at 20 years old so you may feel he’s ancient by now, but he’s only 34 (no jokes, please) and just popped 17 home runs with 18 steals over 149 games in ‘22. We won’t blindly extrapolate that over 2023, but the White Sox offense is a nice place to hang out.

While the overall Statcast profile doesn’t point to any finite cause for the renaissance, it appears he simply optimized his swing for fastballs and did what damage he could on them. He hit .200 against breakers and offspeed while hitting .290 with 33 of his 49 extra-base hits coming off of the heat. With 2B/SS eligibility coming soon, I’ll take the modest power and speed contributions from Andrus, who is set to lead off, off the wire.

Nelson Cruz (SD, UT) - 12% rostered - Being able to see well is critical to most things in life. Chopping up vegetables, not stepping on Legos, tracking 90-mph sliders, etc. We can’t say that the inflammation and extra skin on the inner corner of his left eye was his primary detriment in ‘22 and not the aging curve. But those who came in subpar on their power projections could take a flier here and see.

Luis Garcia (WSH, 2B/SS) - 11% rostered - Garcia won’t win any OBP hearts but the 22-year-old has flashed upside with the bat worth targeting. His 113.4-mph max exit velocity from last year was in the top 8% of the league. And that’s as a young man learning how to navigate the majors! The Nationals aren’t exciting but they should see if he can manage versus left-handed pitching (.577 OPS in very limited work last year against the .751 OPS against righties).

Elehuris Montero (COL, 1B/3B) - 9% rostered - Montero thwacked a home run on Opening Day (away from Coors!) and looks like the primary third baseman for Colorado. The maddening home/road splits feel inevitable and Montero had a hot sprint last August before stumbling through September.

The overall 32.4% strikeout rate over his 185 PAs hurt last season. Can he improve his consistency? He either got a hit or struck out on Opening Day, so I won't hold my breath. But nevertheless, he's a name to tuck away for Rockie homestands.

James Outman (LAD, OF) - 8% rostered - Outman’s path to playing time in a cushy Dodger lineup is more valuable than a single-digit rostered rate. He'll begin on the heavy side of a platoon and hit 31 home runs with 13 steals in just 125 minor-league games last year. Mix in the Dodger R+RBI potential and we could be quite happy.

Logan O'Hoppe (LAA, C) - 7% rostered - O’Hoppe gets a chance at momentum with primary catching duties out of the chute with Max Stassi (hip) starting on the injured list. A healthy Angels team boasts immense offensive upside and O'Hoppe was scorching in LAA's Double-A system last year. Once he came over from Philly, the 23-year-old turned 29 games into 11 home runs with a 1.147 OPS. Those who punted at C should give him a long look.

Spencer Steer (CIN, 1B/3B) - 5% rostered - Steer has an opportunity to be an everyday player for Cincinnati in GABP at third base. If he succeeds then you’ve got a CI candidate likely hitting 20 home runs with decent R+RBI production. If he fails then cut bait and maybe stash Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

Michael Massey (KC, 2B) - 4% rostered - Massey has crushed the ball throughout spring training and looks to bring his well-rounded skill set to the majors in full this season. He was inconsistent through his first 194 MLB PAs last year but has nothing left to prove in the minors. In 87 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Massey had 16 home runs, 13 steals, and hit roughly .315 with an OBP of around .370.

Jose Siri (TB, OF) - 3% rostered - Speedy Siri has sped off to 10 steals this spring and could be a deep option in AL-only circles. He's beginning the season as the primary center fielder and had the second-best sprint speed among 393 qualified players last year. If he gets on base enough to maintain the job then he should generate fantasy value. (Homering on Opening Day is neat as well!)

Ramon Urias (BAL, 2B/3B) - 3% rostered - Urias and the Orioles feasted on a 2023 version of Corey Kluber that probably shouldn't be anyone's first arm out of the chute. Still, Urias' fourth-inning home run could help construct a hot start that leaves him starting a useful ~5 times a week. He did club 16 home runs in 118 games last year so let's see how often Baltimore stuffs an infielder into the DH slot (it was Gunnar Henderson on OD) to get Urias in there.

Eddie Rosario (ATL, OF) - 2% rostered - Rosario is another fixed-vision project where we’re hoping an offseason helped the effects get cemented. He returned from his laser eye procedure to correct his blurry vision/eye swelling in early July but there’s no immediate guarantee. We’ll know early on whether Rosario’s contact rates and overall discipline is worth holding onto and a spot in Atlanta’s top-flight offense is worth speculating on.

David Hensley (HOU, UT) - 1% rostered - Hensley will step into Jose Altuve’s spot at the keystone for Houston and that has value. He’s allegedly sharing the role with Mauricio Dubon but that’s hard to buy given a head-to-head between the two. Houston hasn’t had an opening for Hensley but don’t let his age (27) fool you, as he has exceptional discipline (an OBP north of .400 is very possible) with sneaky pop and speed.


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