Continuing with our twice-weekly series on waiver wire pickups down the stretch, here are some hitters who can help you move up the standings in the coming days. Some of these players are strictly rentals, while others have the potential to stay on your team the rest of the way. Let’s dive in:
Keibert Ruiz (C, 13 percent rostered)
Ruiz is set to join the Nationals today, at which time he will immediately enter to the conversation to be ranked among the top-10 catchers. The elite prospect has crushed Triple-A pitching this season to the tune of a .993 OPS and has the plate skills to make a major impact in Washington right away. Any manager who doesn’t have a difference-making catcher should have Ruiz should on their radar.
Brandon Belt (1B, 26 percent)
Belt has been excellent this season (.895 OPS) and especially effective of late. Since returning from an IL stint that wiped out all of July, the first baseman has tallied eight homers and a .952 OPS across 60 at-bats in August. A recent injury to Evan Longoria has cleared up a logjam in a crowded Giants infield, paving the way for Belt to start nearly every game in the coming weeks.
Connor Joe (1B/OF, 25 percent)
Regularly working as a leadoff hitter of late, Joe has been awesome this season (1.072 OPS) when the Rockies play at their hitter-friendly home park. The outfielder could make a major impact in fantasy leagues beginning on Thursday, when Colorado returns home for a seven-game stretch.
Patrick Wisdom (1B/3B/OF, 44 percent)
I believe it’s time to give more respect to Wisdom’s power skills. Sure, the corner infielder strikes out too often and isn’t going to help your team’s batting average. But with 25 homers across 254 at-bats, Wisdom is clearly someone who can be counted on to rip several round-trippers in September. He should be added by nearly every manager who needs a power boost.
Josh Harrison (2B/3B/OF, 25 percent)
A’s fans are already loving Harrison and his ability to spark the club offensively while playing multiple positions. The 34-year-old is one of the few waiver wire options who can be counting on to improve your team’s batting average, and he also chips in the occasional homer or swipe. And with triple-position eligibility, Harrison is easy to fit into a daily lineup.
Brendan Rodgers (2B/SS, 20 percent)
As I mentioned with Joe, the Rockies soon come home for seven games, which makes their regular position players must-add options in most fantasy leagues. Such is the case with Rodgers, who is slowly-but-surely turning his longstanding prospect status into actual Major League production. The infielder has hit .292 with 10 homers since June 1 and can be added by those who need some batting average help.
Nick Solak (2B/3B/OF, 25 percent)
One of this season’s biggest draft busts, Solak was finally given a break from a miserable 2021 campaign when the Rangers put him in the Minors for roughly one month on July 23. The 26-year-old has been on fire since returning to the team a few days ago, hitting .379 with a .971 OPS. Solak hasn’t lost the intriguing five-category potential that made him a mid-round pick in March, and he could still help fantasy teams down the stretch.
Ramon Urias (2B/3B/SS, 4 percent)
Urias should be added in 15-team leagues and a few 12-team formats. The little-known infielder has hit .304 with an .847 OPS since May 1, and he has been a lineup regular since the club lost Freddy Galvis more than one month ago. Urias doesn’t have a high ceiling and isn’t going to win your league for you, but he can keep your team moving in the right direction by helping your batting average and providing steady counting stats.
Anthony Santander (OF, 44 percent)
I put Santander in this space nearly a month ago and may have perfectly timed his reemergence to fantasy relevance. The 26-year-old was one of my favorite mid-round picks during March, but an ankle injury led to an early-season IL stint and continued to impact his performance for several weeks after his return. Santander seems to have finally found his top form (eight HR, .318 BA in August) and could be a huge help to those who need homers and RBIs in September.
Jorge Soler (OF, 57 percent)
I rarely cover players who are more than 50 percent rostered, but Soler should be rostered in nearly every league by Thursday. The slugger, who produced 48 homers in 2019, has found new life in Atlanta (7 HR, .940 OPS). And with the Braves heading to Coors Field for a four-game series that begins on Thursday, Soler has the potential to provide multiple long balls this week. This is the type of roster move that could swing head-to-head matchups.
Jake McCarthy (OF, 0 percent)
Even avid baseball fans likely haven’t heard of McCarthy, who was promoted by the D-backs last Friday. The 24-year-old has an exciting power-speed mix, having tallied 15 homers and 29 steals across 368 plate appearances in the Minors this year. And with Arizona in the midst of a major rebuild, the organization is likely ready to give McCarthy a real chance to show whether or not he is part of their future. I have already added the outfielder in some 15-team leagues and only need to see a couple good games in order to pounce in 12-team formats.