Heading toward another new week, here are five additions to consider off the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.
5. Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics
Before going 0-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored on Saturday, Chapman was 6-for-14 with one home run and five RBI in his first four August games. After hitting 16 home runs in 175 Triple-A at-bats, he has seven home runs in 113 at-bats this year with Oakland, surrounding a disabled list stint due to a knee injury.
Chapman is in line to be in Oakland’s every day lineup for the rest of the season. On power potential alone he should already be owned in AL-only leagues, but he’s now on the radar in deeper mixed leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 3.8%
4. Chase Headley, 3B/1B, New York Yankees
Since the acquisition of Todd Frazier, and a shift over to first base, Headley is hitting .358 (19-for-53) with two home runs, six RBI and a 1.009 OPS in 16 games. Some good fortune has been in play over that span (.459 BABIP), but Headley has been pretty productive since June 1 (.307/.387/.434 slash-line, 22 RBI and 27 runs scored).
2012’s power surge (31 home runs with the San Diego Padres) is not coming back, but Headley has been a relative asset for over two months. With multi-position utility too, there’s value for fantasy owners to cultivate.
He won’t win a league on his own, but as a corner infielder in deep mixed leagues Headley is worth a roster spot.
ESPN Ownership: 9.3%
3. Arodys Vizcaino, RP, Atlanta Braves
Vizcaino has stepped in as closer for the Braves, and he’s 3-for-3 in save opportunities already this month. Overall this season he has a 2.45 ERA, 17 holds, a 9.4 K/9 rate and a 2.9 BB/9 rate over 40.1 innings.
Previous closer Jim Johnson is a prime candidate for an August trade, which would officially remove any lingering threat to Vizcaino’s ninth inning role. Save opportunities aren’t likely to be consistent as the Braves wind down another non-playoff season, but Vizcaino has arguably had the stuff without the role all season.
ESPN Ownership: 18.2%
2. Trevor Rosenthal, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
Rosenthal has stepped back into closing games for the Cardinals, with five straight scoreless appearances and four saves over that span. He has walked a bit of a tightrope on his last two appearances, with three baserunners allowed, but there’s no real sign Rosenthal will give up the ninth inning anytime soon.
Rosenthal’s ownership rate has more than doubled in ESPN leagues recently, but some skepticism may still bring hesitancy from fantasy owners. That skepticism provides an opportunity though, if your league isn’t buying Rosenthal’s resurgence. But a closer look shows an elite strikeout rate (14.4 K/9) and a functional walk rate (3.7 BB/9) compared to 2016 (6.5 BB/9).
Rosenthal should be added in mixed leagues immediately, no questions asked for those that need a boost in saves.
ESPN Ownership: 50.5%
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians
This has been an injury-riddled season for Kipnis, dating back to a shoulder injury that delayed his start, and he’s hitting just .232 with eight home runs and 26 RBI over 66 games (254 at-bats).
But he has been activated from the disabled list after being sidelined by a right hamstring issue, and he will be in the lineup Sunday against the New York Yankees.
Kipnis’ power came back in 2016, with a career-high 23 home runs, and outside of 2014 (.240, six home runs, 41 RBI) his track record is pretty good fantasy-wise. He has apparently been dropped in a lot of leagues though, rather than simply stashed on the DL, so now’s the time to consider at least a speculative add as the season winds down.
ESPN Ownership: 55.7%