Week 17 Waiver Wire: Outfield

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Welcome back to the Outfield Waiver Wire, where we look at the best outfielders available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. Consider this column your recommendations for Week 17 outfield waiver wire pickups.

We're past the halfway point of the season, but there are still plenty of guys who can help you floating around on the waiver wire. Not every move can be a blockbuster. Value is value, wherever you can find it. This column is designed to help you do just that.

Let's get down to business.

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Week 17 Outfield (OF) Waiver Wire Targets

Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles (46% owned)

Mancini is hitting .304/.350/.524 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI in roughly half a season’s worth of plate appearances. That’s despite going deep just once since June 25. He’s provided value to fantasy owners even with the power outage. A multi-hit game on Sunday was his seventh during the month of July. Mancini has remained in the everyday lineup after Chris Davis’ return from the disabled list; he’s started every game in left field since the break. It’s worth noting that despite the downturn in his surface stats, Mancini has cut several points from his whiff rate over the last few weeks.

Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, Kansas City Royals (41%)

A longtime organizational soldier, Merrifield has taken a step forward at the plate in 2017. The 28-year-old has cut his strikeout rate nearly in half compared to his rookie season, all while flashing more pop. After hitting two homers on Sunday, Merrifield’s season line checks in at a healthy .293/.337/489 with 10 bombs and 80 R+RBI. He’s also running both more often and more efficiently, with 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts so far. Nine of those thefts have come in the last four weeks.

Josh Bell, 1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (40%)

His plate discipline metrics have taken a step back this year, but Bell (and those fantasy owners who invested in him) likely isn’t losing sleep over that. Not when he’s smashed 18 homers so far in 2017 after going deep only three times in 45 games as a rookie. Bell has hit in the middle of the Pirates’ lineup for most of the year, which has helped him total 103 R+RBI in 98 contests. While his batting average checks in at a middling .248, Bell has hit .313 in July. He has five multi-hit games since Independence Day, and hasn’t gone hitless in a game he started during that time either.

Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (11%)

Williams was your classic “great tools, bad approach” prospect. He regularly posted walk rates below five percent in the minors, and a promotion to Triple-A last year brought with it a spike in strikeouts. It was fair to wonder if Williams could succeed at the major-league level swinging out of his shoes at every pitch. It’s, uh, worked out okay so far. After homering on Sunday, Williams is hitting .309/.347/.603 with four homers and 25 R+RBI through his first 19 games in the bigs. A small sample, to be sure, but the 23-year-old hasn’t looked anything close to overmatched in the early going.

Rajai Davis, OF, Oakland Athletics (10%)

Davis is not now, nor he has ever been, all that great of a hitter. What he has always been is a great base stealer. Despite swiping only one bag in his first 21 games, Davis has 19 thefts on the year, more than all but seven other players in baseball. That’s in large part due to running wild recently; the aging vet has nine steals in 10 attempts since June 30. With how difficult it is to find speed on the wire this year, it’s surprising to see him so widely available, even considering his offensive shortcomings.

 

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