Fantasy Baseball: Week 18 Waiver Wire

SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 20: Vinnie Pasquantino #73 of the Kansas City Royals poses during Photo Day at Surprise Stadium on March 20, 2022 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

We have entered the final stretch of the fantasy season. By now, it might be clear if you have a chance to win your league or if you have turned your focus toward your football draft. If you find yourself looking for an edge to push you into the playoffs or add to a category, I have five names for you to consider.

Brady Singer – SP – Royals (35.6% ESPN)

Past Five Starts: 1.67 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 10.6 K/9

After starting the year in the bullpen, Singer rejoined the rotation in May with mixed results early on. Since mid-June, Singer has settled in allowing four or less runs in each start. No, that’s not remarkable but he’s flashed excellence at times with two one-hit outings over his past four starts.

Singer’s 9.26 K/9 is around his career average while his 2.16 BB/9 is a career-low. Limiting hard contact is something he still needs to iron out as his 10.6% barrel rate is double his 2021 number. Finding starting pitching this time of the year is difficult and Singer’s pedigree gives me hope that there’s still some upside in 2022.

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Vinnie Pasquantino – 1B/DH – Royals (9.5% ESPN)

Past Two Weeks: .356/.388/.711, 4 HR, 7 RBI

The rookie slugger was poised for a breakout. After an ice cold start to his career, Pasquantino has finally found his groove. Pasquantino has a 10% walk rate, while only striking out 14% of the time. The power has finally started to match the impressive exit velocity numbers homering four times in the past two weeks. An 11% barrel rate, 50% hard hit rate, and ranking in the 88th percentile in max exit velocity prove there’s plenty to get excited about for the rest of the year.

Patience at the plate combined with his power makes Pasquantino a must add in any league. If you missed out on him during his initial call up, do not make the same mistake again. Pasquantino is about to take off.

Alexis Diaz – RP – Reds (4.6% ESPN)

2022 Stats: 1.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 44.1 IP, 60 SO, 5 SV

Alexis Diaz is starting to show he’s more than just Edwin’s brother. The rookie has established himself as the most reliable piece in the Reds bullpen. A 12.18 K/9 jumps off the page and the advanced metrics show Diaz has all the ability to be considered for save situations.

The Reds have been using Hunter Strickland as their closer recently and his performance has been disastrous. Cincinnati is in the midst of a lost season and roles might change quickly. There’s a great chance Diaz could slide into the primary closer role to finish off the season drastically increasing his value.

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Elehuris Montero – 1B – Rockies (2.3% ESPN)

Past Two Weeks: .326/.340/.522, 1 HR, 7 RBI

Known as part of the return for Nolan Arenado, Montero put up a .310/.392/.541 slash line with 15 home runs in Triple-A before earning a call up. His power profile is an intriguing fit in Coors Field if your deep league needs an upside bat. Montero has logged seven games at third and is on track to gain that additional positional flexibility.

The concern is approach and patience at the plate. Montero holds an alarming 1.2% walk rate and 34.1% strikeout rate in a small sample size. Deeper leagues looking for an upside flier should pick up Montero and see if he can establish himself down the stretch.

Jake McCarthy – OF – Diamondbacks (1.6% ESPN)

Past Two Weeks: .225/.326/.250, 5 RBI, 5 SB
Arizona traded veteran outfielder David Peralta at the deadline opening everyday at-bats in left field. McCarthy has absorbed most of the playing time and has performed well enough to be considered in deeper leagues. He is not going to help much in the power department, but category leagues looking for steals should absolutely add McCarthy.

Ranking in the 99th percentile in sprint speed, McCarthy has used his greatest tool to swipe bags every chance he gets. Although he’s single category specific, if you need steals, he’s an easy pick up that will get everyday at-bats. All signs are pointing to Arizona letting McCarthy run at will.