Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 4
One stud prospect, two power-hitting bats, and a couple of overlooked arms make up this week's waiver wire pickups and streaming options.
Below, I’ll break down a few names I’m targeting on the waiver wire, as well as the starting pitching streaming option of the week. Waiver wire threshold is any player owned in less than 60% of Yahoo leagues, and streaming threshold is any pitcher owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Nolan Gorman – 2B – St. Louis Cardinals
Yahoo ownership – 64%
If you’ve listened to the Just Fantasy Baseball podcast or read my previous articles, you’ll know I love hitters who hit the ball hard and in the air. It’s a combination that allows good things to happen, and Nolan Gorman, a second-year man who played well in an 89-game stint last season, has been doing just that. His hard-hit rate is currently sitting at 54.5%, and his line drive rate ranks among the top 10 qualified hitters.
The knock on Gorman is the strikeouts, which he’s been able to keep mostly in check thus far as he rocks a 25% strikeout rate. That’s fine for my liking with all of the power he brings to the table. Even better, he’s hit as high as fifth in the Cardinals lineup this year, and he looks to be settling into a nearly everyday role against righties. He’s a must-add in most leagues.
Brent Rooker – OF – Oakland Athletics
Yahoo ownership – 14%
What’s this? Another guy who hits the ball hard in the air? Say it ain’t so!
Brent Rooker is as post-hype as they come, and get this: he hit 28 home runs in just 81 Triple-A games last year. That’s stupid crazy power that only a few other bats in baseball possess, and now we’re seeing his approach develop at the big league level through a small sample this year. His strikeout rate sits at a very comfortable 18.2% through 33 plate appearances, while his out-of-zone swing rate has decreased and his in-zone contact rate has increased. I’m intrigued, and at the very least, he’s worth a speculative add through this hot streak.
Brett Baty – 3B – New York Mets
Yahoo ownership – 34%
“If you’re reading this, it’s too late” is not only the greatest Drake album in existence but also likely what you’re going through right now if you haven’t already scooped Baty in your league. Listeners of Just Fantasy Baseball will know Baty needed to be added weeks ago as the inevitable was about to happen, and on Sunday, it finally did. Baty will now be taking over as the starting third baseman for the New York Mets, and there may not be a hotter minor league hitter than Baty. There might be slight growing pains upon his arrival in Queens, but players with Baty’s approach tend to make the transition quite quickly. If he’s still sitting on your waiver wire, take a shot!
Garrett Whitlock – SP – Boston Red Sox
Yahoo Ownership – 43%
I wrote about Whitlock in my waiver wire article two weeks ago. He just returned from a hip injury and was roughed up in his season debut against the Rays last week. You know who else was roughed up against the Rays? Well, everyone, but Whitlock turned it around and dominated the Angels on Sunday afternoon, turning in seven innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts. Whitlock should be a quality start machine with the number of ground balls he gets, and he very well might be the Red Sox’s best starting pitcher.
Starting Pitcher Streaming Option of the Week
Spencer Turnbull – SP – Detroit Tigers
Yahoo Ownership – 2%
Spencer Turnbull made his return from Tommy John this season after not pitching since 2021. He struggled in his first two starts against the Rays and Red Sox but settled in against the Blue Jays last time out, surrendering one run over six innings with six strikeouts. He has groundball stuff and the ability to get strikeouts. Turnbull should fare well against a Guardians offense that ranks 24th in wRC+ this season. This is a prime streaming option.