Fantasy Baseball Hitter Waiver Wire: Don't give up on Spencer Torkelson so soon

Joc Pederson #3 of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Joc Pederson is making his fantasy baseball value felt even though he doesn't play every day. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Dalton Del Don reveals the top widely available hitters worth adding on the fantasy baseball waiver wire in Week 12.

Rice has done nothing but rake throughout the minors since getting drafted in 2021, and he’s likely to get a shot in New York soon. After racking up 20 homers/steals in fewer than 50 games in Double-A this season, Rice has hit .333/.440/.619 with a 172 wRC+ since getting promoted to Triple-A. Rice has 35 homers, 20 steals and a .993 OPS with strong contact metrics (14% BB, 19.7% K) over his last 600 plate appearances.

Rice was drafted as a catcher but has been logging more time at first base, and his recent promotion was considered a sign he may eventually replace a struggling Anthony Rizzo (84 wRC+). Rizzo exited Sunday night’s game with a hand/wrist injury after a collision at first base, so Rice’s opportunity may come sooner than expected. Rice would join a loaded Yankees lineup leading MLB in runs scored and would get to hit in a home park that’s boosted homers for lefties by 21% over the last three seasons.

Rice is available everywhere right now, but he’ll be a popular fantasy add once called up.

Torkelson has been dropped in many leagues since getting demoted to the minors, and there’s no doubt he’s struggled mightily in 2024. Torkelson has curbed the strikeouts some and recorded a 109 wRC+ in Triple-A, so Detroit is sure to give the top pick of the 2020 draft another opportunity soon.

Torkelson clubbed 19 homers with 49 RBI over 273 ABs after the All-Star break last season, and his power is real. He’s still just 24 years old, and first base has oddly become a trickier position to fill in fantasy.

Torkelson was one of the best hitters in college baseball history and had an aggressive ADP for a reason, so he’s worth stashing in deeper fantasy leagues.

Vaughn was dropped in many leagues after a slow first two months of the season, but his bat has picked up of late. He’s hit .340 with a 1.035 OPS and five home runs over his last 11 games, recording 12 RBI over that span as well. Vaughn is hitting cleanup in Chicago’s lineup, which will improve once Eloy Jiménez returns. Vaughn averaged 78 RBI in 538 ABs over the previous two seasons, and he plays every day. He’s posting a career-high in average exit velocity, which is in the top 20% of the league.

Vaughn is unlikely to remain available on waiver wires much longer given his hot streak.

Pederson is a strict platoon player, but he’s batting third against righties and has been highly productive. His batted ball profile looks like that of a star, with exit velocities and wOBA in the top 10% of the league. Pederson’s 156 wRC+ would rank ninth among qualified hitters, tied with Freddie Freeman. He’s also running more than ever while on pace to add 10 steals.

Pederson is well worth adding in fantasy, especially in leagues with daily lineup changes.

Goodman is for deep leaguers given his uncertainty of playing time, but it’s worth noting Colorado has seven home games this week. Goodman hit 34 homers over just 106 games across the minors last year, and he posted a 143 wRC+ in Triple-A this season. His plate discipline is a problem, but Goodman’s Max exit velocity and Barrel% are both elite. Moreover, with Elias Díaz on the IL, Goodman could gain catcher eligibility soon.

Coors Field has increased run scoring an MLB-high 25% over the last three seasons and remains a huge cheat code for fantasy hitters, so Goodman belongs on your radar.