The State of the Waiver Wire

Have you scoured the waiver wire for a hitter in your standard leagues lately? If you have, you’ll completely understand the point of this article.

In one of my standard leagues, I have been looking for an extra hitter for the past week and a half, and decided to forgo a trade in favor of plucking someone off the waiver wire. Over this past week and a half, I have yet to pick up a hitter for one very good reason: there isn’t a whole lot of hitting talent on the waiver wire at the moment.

If you actually take a look at who’s available on the market at the moment, you’ll notice most of them have a fatal flaw of some kind. For example, take a look at Freddie Freeman, who’s available in two-thirds of Yahoo! leagues. Over the past month, Freeman has hit over .300 with four dingers and a good number of runs and RBIs. He’s really young and has great upside, so why shouldn’t you be racing to pick him up? His June BABIP sits around .375 and his strikeout rate is above 30%. Freeman never had large K rates in the minors, so two straight months with strikeout problems are concerning.

Scrolling through the list of players who have been ranking highly on Yahoo!’s board this past month, you’ll see most of them are doing it with batting average, with not a whole lot of power available at this point and time. I don’t know about you, but the best power threat available to me is Jorge Posada. When a 39-year old catcher is the best you can find on the waiver wire, you’re probably better off leaving your team be for the time being.

If you’re looking for hitting on the waiver wire, you’re going to be left empty handed. At this point, you may be better off adding an extra pitcher and flipping one of your current starters for a bat. If you play in a league that makes trading difficult, you going to be S.O.L. if you’re looking for that one bat to put you over the top, so try and find a one-category stud on the wire to boost your numbers as best you can.



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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.


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Detroit Michael
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Detroit Michael

I don’t think there is such a thing as a “standard” fantasy baseball league. I don’t know what you mean by that term.

In general, because so many leagues (including the one I play in) still use 14 batters and 9 pitchers, a greater percentage of available batters tends to be rostered than available pitchers, leaving less batting talent in the pool.

Steve Balboni
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Steve Balboni

I read Standard League to mean 5×5, MLB, 12 teams. Is that wrong? (note, it doesn’t matter if 50% or 20% or 80% of leagues conform to that description, it could be a term of art with its own definition, like Quality Start).

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