Waiver Wire: 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 16
As we head into the All-Star Break tomorrow, the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 FAAB Run is here to help you with the two most difficult categories, saves and steals. As always, this column focuses on leagues that are 15-teams or very deep rosters. We have three very exciting runners that can rewrite the landscape of the stolen base category.
As we do not know how pitching rotations will line up next week due to the shortened schedule, there is not much to recommend on the hill. We will reassess that in next week's FAAB Run. There will be plentiful two-start options going into Week 17 coming out of the break. Players we have mentioned in the past such as Jared Kelenic, Freddy Peralta, and Ozzie Albies make for great pick-up stashes this week if they have been dropped in your league. If you haven't picked up Seranthony Dominguez and Alexis Diaz yet, welcome to the column. I've talked about them nearly every week and they now appear ready to run away with their respective jobs. Enjoy the All-Star Break!
Carlos Santana, 1B, Seattle Mariners (38%)
Veteran Carlos Santana appears to have found his power stroke. He has clubbed four long balls in the past week and appears comfortable in his new lineup. The 36-year-old is actually a candidate to get to 300 home runs by next year if he can maintain regular playing time.
Unfortunately, he hasn't had a season with a respectable batting average in several years. If you can stomach only getting mediocre production in two categories and absolutely nothing everywhere else, this is your guy. He does come with the old man discount we've seen on players like Miguel Cabrera and Miguel Rojas this year, so he should only cost $1 or so.
Esteury Ruiz, OF, San Diego Padres (unowned)
The Padres' most dynamic prospect appears to have an opportunity to run away, literally, with a starting outfield gig. Esteury Ruiz half season minor league stat line is straight out of a video game. In 77 games, he has amassed a .333 average, 13 home runs, and SIXTY stolen bases. While the 60 jumps off the page, it's the 13 that is most intriguing for Ruiz's long-term prognosis as it already represents his career best.
The Padres have played him every day this week, and he has hit safely in five of the six games, with one stolen base. If he continues with regular at-bats, the stolen base upside is immense. Those of us mourning the loss of John Berti may find solace on the waiver wire tonight, but it will come with a steep price tag.
Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers (10%)
Akil Baddoo was a revelation last year. He came out of nowhere to club 13 home runs and swipe 18 bases for the Tigers. He has been quite successful this year at AAA to the tune of a .300 average, three home runs, and seven steals over the course of the last month.
With Robbie Grossman irrelevant and Austin Meadows unable to get on the field, the opportunity has opened up for Baddoo in both the long and short term. There is intrigue in the speed/power combination he brings, and may be widely ignored because Ruiz is the shiny new toy.
Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers (40%)
Leody Taveras once had the luster as a stolen base threat that Ruiz now carries. A .161 batting average seemed to have tarnished it all last year. But now Taveras is back and running. Between all levels this year, he has ten home runs and 12 stolen bases. Four of those swipes have come with the big club in the last week. Importantly for him to stay on the field, the plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills have greatly improved, as could be noted by the .346 average so far. He's worth a hefty chunk of FAAB if you need the steals and miss out on Ruiz.
Max Meyer, SP, Miami Marlins (unowned)
Well, this is a tough one to call. Max Meyer was supposed to be the darling of tonight's FAAB. The former third overall pick from the 2020 draft out of the University of Minnesota was called up to make his Major League debut yesterday. He appeared poised to take his place in the Marlins rotation and not give it up.
Instead, he was rudely interrupted by the Phillies who dropped a 10-spot on Miami yesterday, spoiling the anticipated debut. Meyer was hit hard, giving up seven hits including two home runs while not getting through the sixth inning.
This sets up for an interesting situation later tonight. Meyer could potentially be sent back down as soon as today. Or, if he is given a longer rope, this becomes a pretty big buying opportunity. His price will be suppressed based on this performance. If you can afford to risk 5-7% of your budget, you could be paid off handsomely. His upside in the strikeout category alone would be off the purchase price. It's a slippery slope because it could be FAAB set on fire. But on my teams that need pitching help, I will be taking the plunge.
Kyle Finnegan, RP, Washington Nationals (3%)
With Tanner Rainey now out for the season, Kyle Finnegan has to be the clear choice for what saves the Nationals will get. Recent callup Tyler Clippard can find himself in the mix, as well. The 37-year-old veteran does have 74 saves on his career resume.
Finnegan was quite average last year in the role. He averaged a strikeout per inning around a terrible WHIP to earn 11 saves. The team is among the worst in the league so the opportunities will be scarce. If you are desperate for the categorical help, keep your bid to about 10% of what you have remaining in FAAB. The ceiling will be approximately 8-10 saves the rest of the way.
Brett Martin, RP, Texas Rangers (78%)
Brett Martin on the other hand offers a bit of upside you can get excited about. He notched three saves in four days last week after Joe Barlow was removed from the closer's role.
Martin is a junkball pitcher who keeps batters off balance and limits hard contact. While he does not offer the strikeout upside you like out of a high leverage reliever, he limits baserunners and gives his team a chance to win. The Rangers are an up-and-coming team that will remain competitive through September, so Martin's save upside is a little better than that of Finnegan.
For a deeper discussion on the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 FAAB Run, I can be reached on Twitter @JTrela20. Otherwise, check me out streaming on YouTube on the Stack Attack Fantasy Podcast. This article originally appeared on fantasysixpack.net.