HomeSportsFantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Hunter Brown returns, Drew Thorpe debuts, Shane Baz...

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Hunter Brown returns, Drew Thorpe debuts, Shane Baz looms

The latest Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column sifts through the flotsam and jetsam lying around on the waiver wire, looking for potential impact contributors. This week’s selections highlight Hunter Brown returning to fantasy relevance, Drew Thorpe on track to make his big league debut, Shane Baz returning to form in the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery, and Tyler Locklear finally arrives in Seattle.

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Hunter Brown, SP, Astros
Available in 47 percent of Yahoo! competitions

There’s a strong possibility that Brown was jettisoned by fantasy managers, especially in shallow leagues, especially after struggling with an inflated 9.78 ERA, 2.22 WHIP and 20.9 percent strikeout rate in 23 innings (six starts) in the opening month of the year. The 25-year-old former top prospect has righted the metaphorical ship in recent weeks, which was a bit predictable considering his projected stats suggested he was extremely unlucky in April. Lately he’s been leaning more on his cutter again, which is a positive development as it pairs well with his existing ball slide, and was getting solid results before desperately tinkering with his arsenal in late April. It’s no coincidence that Brown has turned things around since early May, allowing three earned runs or fewer in five consecutive starts since May 17, and posting a sparkling 3.10 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 31/11 K/BB ratio. to take 29 innings during that span. span. He’s in line for a pair of favorable matchups against struggling AL Central foes in the Tigers and White Sox in his next few outings and should be included in all fantasy formats. He’s just the latest example of why fantasy managers shouldn’t completely abandon a talented young starter after a few rough outings, especially early in a season-long marathon.

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Drew Thorpe, SP, White Sox
Available in 82 percent of Yahoo! competitions

Thorpe will make his long-awaited major league debut Tuesday against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, following a stellar 11-start run for Double-A Birmingham to open the year in which he posted a microscopic 1.35 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 56 /17 K/BB ratio over 60 innings. The 23-year-old righty, who was at the epicenter of the high-profile Juan Soto and Dylan Cease trades last season, doesn’t possess an overpowering fastball as he relies heavily on a near-elite changeup to rack up his strikeout totals. the minors of recent years. It’s a borderline double-plus offering that will generate plenty of buzz in the Majors upon arrival and numbers that will make him at least a mid-rotation above-average starter in the big leagues. His appeal to fantasy managers is based on the fact that the rebuilding White Sox essentially have no other quality alternative in the starting rotation at this point and will likely give Thorpe a longer runway to smooth things out at the highest level. . For his stellar changeup alone, Thorpe is at least worthy of a speculative roster spot as a low-upside ratio booster across all fantasy formats.

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Shane Baz, SP, Rays
Available in 75 percent of Yahoo! competitions

Baz still has no definitive timetable to return to the majors as the Rays have been extremely cautious with his workload in the final stages of his post-Tommy John surgery rehab process. The 24-year-old top pitcher looked like a potential starter in the front rotation in his final rehab appearance for Triple-A Durham last Saturday, recording a season-high 10 strikeouts in five innings. Not only did he average 96.1 mph with his electric fastball during that outing, but he also generated nine swinging strikes with the offering, which is exactly what made him an elite pitching prospect a few years ago . There’s no word yet on when exactly Tampa Bay will call him back to the Majors, but he will immediately impress fantasy managers as one of the highest-ceiling pitching prospects in the game. He deserves a place on the list across all fantasy formats as a speculative stock with huge upside. Don’t let him languish on the waiver wire until the buzz goes up a notch again.

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Tyler Locklear, 1B, Mariners
Available in 96 percent of Yahoo! competitions

While Rockies infielder Adael Amador was the highest-profile prospect called up to the Majors last weekend, Locklear likely has the opportunity to make the biggest impact for fantasy managers over the remainder of the current season. The 23-year-old received the call up from the Majors, with Ty France (heel) landing on the injured list and will play first base regularly in the coming weeks. He put up some really strong numbers in the upper minors this season with a robust .293/.404/.520 triple-slash line with nine home runs and four steals in 51 games between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma. There’s some thunder in his bat and he doesn’t strike out too much for a power hitter, which is particularly attractive to fantasy managers, especially if he wants to establish himself as a left-handed platoon. The metaphorical bar is exceptionally high in the cold corner for prospects to make an impact for fantasy purposes, but Locklear has a chance if his quality plate skills translate right away to the highest level. There are no sure things in fantasy baseball, but Locklear is one of the safer bets at the major league level given his minor league track record. Fantasy managers in deeper mixed leagues will have to roll the dice and hope Seattle’s front office keeps him around for their second-half playoffs.

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