Jeff Trela @jtrela20
Waiver Wire: 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 14
Another exciting week for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 14 Waiver Wire. The fireworks may start on Sunday night when you check your FAAB results. We have two very exciting first base power prospects called up this week. As always, we also focus on saves and steals, and search for the Streamer of the Week! Get your checkbooks ready.
Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Kansas City Royals (unowned)
Vinnie Pasquantino absolutely raked in AAA, with 18 home runs and a ridiculous 67 RBI. He has struggled a bit since his callup on Monday but has gotten on the ledger with his first Major League homer. He profiles as one of the best power-hitting prospects in the game.
With Carlos Santana traded away, "Italian Breakfast" is and will be the Royals starting first base for a very long time. He has already settled into the cleanup spot behind fellow rookie phenom Bobby Witt, Jr.
Already a cult hero on Twitter and a 50-round Draft Champions darling, it's easy to project a 30 home run pace with a fairly disappointing batting average for the former Old Dominion standout the rest of the way. You are going to have to bid very aggressively to acquire his services.
Darick Hall, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (unowned)
While I could call Darick Hall a poor man's Vinnie P, there is nothing cheap about him.
The Phillies' season appeared on the brink when the reigning MVP got plunked in the thumb. He broke the bone, putting him out for all of July, and likely more.
Hall was having the same breakout year as Pasqwuantino, with 20 home runs and exactly 67 RBI. The difference is Hall stepped right in at the MLB level and didn't miss a beat.
Through his first career 13 at-bats, Hall has recorded three home runs out of the cleanup spot for the Phitins. There is no denying his raw power, but it does come with a bad strike-out habit, as well.
For the long term, the Phillies might be better served to hide the gloves of Alec Bohm and Nick Castellanos in the DH spot. For the short term, Hall is one of the hottest home run hitters on the planet. I would temper my expectations, expecting the first slump to relegate Hall to part-time duty.
Josh Smith, SS/3B, Texas Rangers (38%)
We always need to mention a cheap middle infield option for the weekly FAAB Run. This week it is new leadoff man Josh Smith. He qualifies at two positions in the NFBC which we always love.
Smith, who came over to the Rangers in the 2021 Joey Gallo trade, enjoyed an outstanding first full season in pro ball last year. In only 78 games across A and AA, he stole 26 bases, popped 13 home runs, and hit at a .309 clip. While those numbers are down this year, he has 10 stolen bases between the minors and majors. We always have room on our squad for a 24-year-old base stealer that hits at the top of the order. It's quite refreshing how the stolen base is returning to baseball this year.
Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners (68%)
Jarred Kelenic looks like a glimpse of his old self down in Tacoma. While he still is having trouble with breaking balls, he closed the month of June with a .299 average and .909 OPS for the Rainiers. Importantly, his strikeout rate in the minors is 22%, a far cry from the 30% he has experienced at the Major League level through nearly 500 plate appearances.
Julio Rodriguez might as well be alone in the Seattle outfield. Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis are both on the IL. Jesse Winker just got slapped with a six-game suspension for his role in last week's brawl. Desperation signing Justin Upton can't hit even half his weight anymore, and the soon-to-be-mentioned Sam Haggerty is a mere stopgap Four-A type player. Add in Seattle's best hitter, Ty France, hitting the injured list, and there is an open window for Kelenic's return.
The Mariners have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this year, just one season removed from winning 90 games. Kelenic should get the callup soon and be under much less pressure than in his previous MLB stints. We should get a chance soon to see if we were all wrong about what was once considered possibly the worst trade in Mets history. It is a great week to make a lowball speculative bid.
Sam Haggerty, OF, Seattle Mariners (unowned)
Haggerty is the current beneficiary of the above quagmire. He has almost no upside but currently has the at-bats. This week he is 4 for 10 with a stolen base. Bid a dollar or two if you're just looking for a very short. term stop gap.
Eric Haase, C/OF, Detroit Tigers (58%)
Eric Haase is up to his old ways from last year, hitting home runs and giving just enough production to warrant a role on fantasy teams as a solid second catcher.
With three home runs in the last two weeks and a .286 average for the month of June, momentum is on his side after a miserable start. You can do a lot worse at the position.
Dean Kremer, SP, Baltimore Orioles (38%)
Oh boy, here I go again with streaming Orioles pitchers! Dean Kremer has been red hot, with five straight starts of three runs allowed or less, including three straight goose eggs.
This week he has two favorable home matchups against the Rangers and Angels. I've made living out of picking up low strike-out rate pitchers in weeks they pitch twice against teams that strike out a lot. The Angels just happen to be the worst in the league right now.
Considering the 1.29 ERA and 1.14 WHIP and the opportunity for a 10 strikeout week, there is a lot to like about this Streamer of the Week!
Jake Odorizzi, SP, Houston Astros (68%)
The Houston Astros pitching staff has been the best in baseball over the last month. Jake Odorizzi figures to return this week from an ankle injury. We do not know exactly where he fits in, as the Houston rotation has been lights out one through five.
The best-case scenario for Odorizzi is he slides back into the rotation with Cristian Javier going back into the pen, solidifying a lights-out relief corps. The worst case is Odorizzi is the odd man out.
Either way, he is worth a 5% bid with the hopes of plenty of win equity down the stretch.
Dylan Bundy, SP, Minnesota Twins (73%)
Last week I put my neck out there and recommended Dylan Bundy and Devin Smeltzer in this space. Hopefully, Smeltzer doesn't punch me in the stomach later today, but for now, I got away with it!
I'm willing to take a second pull in this Russian Roulette game with Bundy. The two favorable matchups against the White Sox and Rangers are worth the risk.
Of note, this week Twins' pitching coach Wes Johnson quit on the team to take the same job at LSU, being replaced by bullpen coach Pete Maki. Maki basically told local media to be prepared to suck for a bit. My kind of guy.
My contention with Bundy all year has been with an inconsistent pitch mix, specifically concerning the usage of his ineffective sinker. Perhaps we will see a change under Maki's tutelage.
Will Smith (28%) and AJ Minter (8%), RP, Atlanta Braves
I always mention save options when they present themselves. There are many teams struggling to make headway in the saves category out there, some of which are mine.
Once again, Kenley Jansen has been placed on the Injured List in Atlanta with an irregular heartbeat. While the stay is not expected to be lengthy, who knows what this can lead to. We have known about this situation with Jansen for a few years, and he has missed time with it while in Los Angeles. But this is not an injury that needs simple rehab, it is an actual medical condition with a range of outcomes everywhere from ten days out to immediate retirement.
There is an easy case to be made for both possible fill-ins in his absence. Will Smith has the experience in the role, so much that he was an integral piece and one of the heroes of their World Championship just last year. Meanwhile, 28-year-old AJ Minter can make a case for being the best reliever in all of baseball so far this year. his 30.4% CSW rate yields a 35.8% strikeout rate. Add in a 4.1% walk rate and league-best .171 xBA, who is actually getting on base against this guy?
Adding in the fact that both pitchers are left-handed makes the speculation that much harder. With Atlanta, the hottest team in baseball, save opportunities will be plentiful. There is room for both of these relievers on your fantasy team. So far this week, both have earned saves. While the younger Minter received and converted the first of the opportunities, the last two have gone to Smith.
On teams where saves are a categorical need for me, I will be bidding about 15% on both options. While getting both might give me headaches, I would embrace the 30% investment hoping one potentially runs away with the role. The upside could be the league leader in saves for the rest of the season.
For more discussion about the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 14 NFBC FAAB Run, feel free to reach out on Twitter @JTrela20. Otherwise, I will be LIVE this Wednesday night on the Stack Attack Fantasy Podcast on YouTube at 9pm! This article originally appeared on fantasysixpack.net.