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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Gary Sanchez, Nick Pivetta Headline Week 7 Pickups

Sanchez is one of four Minnesota Twins on this week’s list of players who can add value.

It’s time to hit the waiver wire! Lots of Twins make the list this week, and keep an eye on the Cincinnati Reds, who seem to be picking up some steam.

Hitters

M.J. Melendez (C), KC

If you’re looking for a replacement for Salvador Perez, look no further than his backup, rookie M.J. Melendez. Melendez, the minor-league home run leader for 2021, has now homered in the back-to-back games he has started since Perez hit the IL. He’s K.C.’s No. 2 prospect, and you can’t find a guy on the waiver wire with more upside at the catcher position.

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Gary Sanchez (C), MIN

Gary Sanchez is still Gary Sanchez. He’s hitting the ball extremely hard–his exit velocity is the top 7% of the league. He’s also getting the barrel on the ball, with a top-3% barrel rate. You won’t get average from Sanchez, but you already knew that. He’s got a better batting average than Sal Perez who has just hit the IL, and it’s the catcher position after all. Sanchez runs hot and cold, but he and the Twins look to be hot, so get on board while you can. Sanchez is hitting .348 with three homers and eight RBI across the last seven days.

Christian Walker (1B), ARI

Across the past two weeks of play, Walker has hit .311 with three home runs and seven RBI. He’s crushing the ball with 47.1% hard-hit rate, a 95th percentile barrel rate and a 97th percentile expected slug on the season.

Brendan Rodgers (2B), COL

I wrote about Rodgers earlier this week, and he deserves a mention again.

During the month of April, Rodgers hit .078. No, that is not a typo. He hit under .100 with three runs scored and a single RBI.

Well, across the last two weeks Brendan Rodgers is hitting .370 with two home runs and 12 RBI.

For the month of May, Rodgers is hitting .362. His home ballpark is Colorado–the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the league–and he’s now available in 40% of fantasy baseball leagues, due to managers losing patience in April.

Mike Yastrzemski (OF), SF

Yaz is starting to get hot. Carl’s grandson hit .389 with a homer and seven RBI this week, and on the season he has three home runs and is batting .290. He’s available in 70% of leagues, despite having an exit velocity in the top 6% of the league and a batting average well above the league average of .234.

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Tyler Naquin (OF), MIN

Tyler Naquin is starting to put it together. Last season, Naquin hit 19 home runs and batted .270, and he was a popular waiver wire pickup. It looks like it could be a good idea to grab Naquin again. He’s hit .389 with two homers and two stolen bases in the last week.

Luis Arraez (OF), MIN

Luis Arraez doesn’t strike out, and he takes his walks. He’s not a power play, but if you can get a guy that bats .330, finds a way to get on base and plays for a winning team, you’ll see the results in your runs and batting average categories. Plus, Arraez can throw in a few extra bases as well.

Kyle Calhoun (OF), TEX

Calhoun is getting hot, and it’s time to ride the hot hand. He’s batting .478 with four home runs in just the last week. Calhoun had a 33-home run season for the Angels in 2019. He’s got the power to do it again–or at least give you a few strong weeks until he slumps again.

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Pitchers

Nick Pivetta (SP), BOS

Pivetta threw a complete game on Wednesday, sending down 27 Astros in a row after surrendering a home run to leadoff hitter Jose Altuve. Across his past three starts, Pivetta seems to have figured things out. He has struck out 20 with a 0.82 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP across his last 22 inning pitched. According to Pivetta, he’s had some help with his mechanics and timing–and so far, it seems to be working. He’s a former Cy Young candidate, so there are worse shots you could take on the waiver wire.

Bailey Ober (SP), MIN

Ober returns from his groin injury this week, and his rehab start at Triple-A indicates he’s ready to pick back up where he left off. Ober struck out seven across five innings with an 18% swinging strike rate in his rehab assignment. Before the injury, Ober had a 14% swinging strike rate in his four games pitched, which is good for the 90th percentile in the league. He’s got terrific control–walking batters only 6% of the time--so don’t worry that he doesn't throw the ball very hard.

Martin Perez (SP), TEX

Perez made this list two weeks ago because he had great matchups in a two-start week, and guess what? He did right by us. He’s still less than 50% rostered and he’s still having the best year of his career, with a 2.01 ERA on the season and a 34% whiff rate on his slider. 

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