Deep League Waiver Wire Players to Add – Week 8

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players whom fantasy managers should consider picking up in deeper fantasy baseball leagues. Many of these players will have the most value in larger leagues where waiver wire options aren’t as plentiful. Still, they could also occasionally be useful additions in other, more standard-sized leagues depending on your options at their position.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via FantasyPros as of Friday afternoon.

All 2024 stats are as of the beginning of play on Friday.


Kevin Pillar – 3%


Kevin Pillar has been, plain and simple, on a tear since joining the Los Angeles Angels.

The veteran has appeared in 10 games for the Halos, hitting .455 with a .471 on-base percentage, three home runs, and a pair of stolen bases in 34 plate appearances.

Including his stint with the White Sox earlier this season, Pillar is hitting .328 with a .385 on-base percentage, a .293 ISO, four home runs, and four stolen bases.

Nothing about this, at least on paper, seems entirely sustainable. Pillar has never logged an ISO above .190 in his career. His current xwOBA (.345) is much higher than the highest metric he’s logged in the category since 2015 (.321 in 2018). There’s also the fact that Pillar has never topped a double-digit barrel rate in a season, and is currently sitting at 11.1%.

The barrel rate might, of that group, be the most sustainable. Or rather, the most likely to continue without too much regression. Pillar logged barrel rates of 8.0% and 7.3% in the last two seasons in which he’s logged a minimum of 200 plate appearances.

Still, despite all that, and especially in deep leagues, it’s sometimes simply worth streaming a hitter on a tear like Pillar for a week or more until the BABIP starts to wear down, even if the production looks unsustainable, a boost in production for even a week can be crucial where the standings are concerned in both Roto and head-to-head leagues.

Pillar’s BABIP with the Angels is currently .522 (!) in a 34- plate appearance sample size. It’s a tiny sample size to be sure, and nowhere near sustainable, but sometimes it pays dividends to play the hot hand, even if it’s only for a short period of time.


Alec Marsh – 15%


Alec Marsh’s rostered rate is probably this low due to a stint on the injured list between his April 24 and May 10 starts.

Otherwise, based on how he’s thrown for the Royals so far, there’s no way the number should be this low.

Marsh has made seven starts for the American League Central club, logging three pitcher wins and posting a 2.43 ERA and a 3.38 FIP in 37 innings. He hasn’t overwhelmed with strikeouts totals at times, but since returning from the injured list, Marsh has struck out seven batters in each of his last two outings, allowing a combined two earned runs in the process.

Alec Marsh Since Returning From The Injured List

Is it worth noting that the Mariners have the first and 10th (respectively) highest strikeout rates in the league? Absolutely, but Marsh took care of business both times.

And despite allowing a home run in both outings, Marsh has generally been good about limiting the long ball so far, surrendering just 0.73 per nine frames for the season. Speaking of limiting mistakes, his 6.7% walk rate sits in the 71st percentile league-wide.

Overall, he’s a pitcher whose rostered rate should realistically be upwards of three times what it is now. Or, more specifically, at least 45% or higher. So, in other words, this qualifies as a run, don’t walk type of deal to add Marsh off waivers.


Jake Bauers – 4%


The book on Jake Bauers last year was that he collected a ton of barrels, struck out a bunch, didn’t hit for a high average in part because of it, and logged quality power production for fantasy managers.

The 28-year-old hit .202 with a .279 on-base percentage, 12 home runs, 28 barrels, and an 18.7% barrel rate in 272 plate appearances. There was also a .268 BABIP, though it didn’t stand out as much as it may have as part of another hitter’s stat lines due to Bauers posting reasonably similar BABIP numbers in his first four Major League seasons.

Jake Bauers‘ BABIP Numbers By Season

As you’ll notice this season, small sample size and all, the BABIP is on the more agreeable side of things, and that tide has helped rise all boats where Bauers’ production is concerned, especially considering he’s making similar, if not better contact at the plate, with familiar plate discipline metrics.

So far in his first season, Bauers is hitting .235 with a .323 on-base percentage, four home runs, and four stolen bases in 96 plate appearances. It’s not exactly the largest spike in batting average given the suddenly high water mark of a BABIP, but the overall increase in production (as well as the four stolen bases) moves Bauers into the territory of being a viable power option in leagues with 12 or more teams. He’s likely a bench option in 12-team leagues but is a must-start in 14-team (and larger) leagues.


Korey Lee – 1%


Not a lot has gone right for the Chicago White Sox so far. They’ve scored 128 runs so far, the lowest total in the league. The next closest team is the Blue Jays at 152.

Chicago also ranks last in wRC+ and wOBA and second-to-last in home runs and walk rate (tied). Only four pitching staffs have a lower collective fWAR so far.

And with trades of Dylan Cease, Gregory Santos, and Aaron Bummer all happening either in the offseason or before Opening Day, not to mention a number of free-agent departures during the winter, there just aren’t many long-term solutions on the current roster.

Which is a long-winded way of saying Korey Lee should see plenty of playing time as the summer months progress.

The 25-year-old has certainly earned it so far.

In his first 85 plate appearances with the club, Lee is batting .309 with a .341 on-base percentage, posting a .346 xwOBA and just an 18.8% strikeout rate. He’s also, crucially for fantasy purposes, added four home runs and a pair of stolen bases so far.

A well-regarded prospect prior to making his Major League debut, Lee’s early bat-speed data has been encouraging so far. Per Statcast data, he’s sporting a 72.1 MPH average bat speed and a 7.2 foot swing length.

He’s hit above sixth just twice this season, but as long as this type of production continues, Lee should have no trouble moving further up the White Sox lineup. And despite Chicago’s run-scoring struggles this season, that kind of move up the lineup (and the extra plate appearances that come with it) should only help Lee’s fantasy ceiling rise.



Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

One response to “Deep League Waiver Wire Players to Add – Week 8”

  1. Greg says:

    Luis Matos

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