Week 20 Deep League Waiver Wire – 8/12

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players who fantasy managers in deeper leagues should consider picking up. 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. This week it’s Joey Gallo, Mike Moustakas, Matt Wallner, and Mitch Garver who are worth your time as potential additions in deep leagues.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via Yahoo fantasy leagues as of Friday afternoon.


Joey Gallo – 8%


Strikeouts have always been a constant for Joey Gallo, who owns a 37.8% career strikeout rate in an even 3,100 Major League plate appearances. Generally with a strikeout rate somewhere in the high 30s, Gallo’s metric in the category has spiked to 42.9% this year.

And while that’s certainly a disappointing metric for fantasy managers, especially considering the limitations on the shift and that Gallo’s previous career high in a full season was 39.8%.

Still, despite all that, the slugger remains a quality source of power production for fantasy managers, logging 18 home runs and a 20.5% (!) barrel rate that would be his best in a full season since the 2019 campaign.

Overall, the veteran is batting .175 with a .298 on-base percentage and the aforementioned 18 home runs in 289 plate appearances.

With a 14.2% walk rate, he likely has more fantasy utility in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring. Still, he’s an elite power option available in 92% of Yahoo leagues for fantasy managers in search of power production at either first base or in the outfield. Eligible at both positions in Yahoo leagues, entering play Friday, the former Ranger ranked in the top 15 in both ISO (14th, .264) and barrel rate (third, 19.7%). Only 10 other players hold that distinction, and odds are they’re not available in most leagues.

Players In The Top 15 In ISO and Barrel Rate, Minimum 250 PA

*All roster data via Yahoo.


Matt Wallner – 10%


Sticking with Minnesota and the Twins outfield, Wallner has been highly productive when on the field for the American League Central club. The outfielder, who made his Major League debut with a 65 plate appearance cameo in 2022, has logged 107 plate appearances so far this season.

Overall, he’s batting .244 with a .364 on-base percentage, a .381 wOBA, seven home runs, and a stolen base in 107 plate appearances.

Though don’t let the batting average fool you, Wallner should be much more productive, in general, and moving forward if he continues to make contact like this.

The .381 wOBA is all well and good, but Wallner is also sporting a 16.9% barrel rate and a 45.8% hard-hit rate. Furthermore, his xwOBA is actually much higher than his regular wOBA, checking in at .405.

We’re still dealing with a relatively small sample size here, but not so small that it shouldn’t be written off. Even if the barrel rate and xwOBA taper off, we’re still dealing with a decidedly above-average contributor at the plate, one who will also likely be rostered in significantly more leagues in the coming weeks at this rate.

What’s more, since returning to the majors in mid-July, Wallner has carved out a fairly regular role with Minnesota. And while the Twins are by no means an offensive juggernaut, entering play Friday, 16 teams had outscored the club, regular plate appearances will only help Wallner and his fantasy ceiling.


Mike Moustakas – 14%


In similar small sample size news, Mike Moustakas is enjoying an uptick in quality of contact metrics since his move to Anaheim following a June trade from the Rockies.

As such, and considering the infielder’s production in Colorado, it’s not hard to see why Moustakas is having his best season at the plate since (arguably) his career year in 2019 with Milwaukee. That year, the veteran hit .254 with a .329 on-base percentage, 35 home runs, and three stolen bases in 584 plate appearances.

Mike Moustakas‘ Splits

So far in 2023, he’s up to a .278 average, with a .337 on-base percentage and 11 home runs in 273 plate appearances. He’s not quite the power threat Gallo is with a .192 ISO. However, with eligibility at both infield positions in Yahoo leagues, he makes for a quality short-term streaming option or a more temporary injury fill-in for fantasy managers.

Furthermore, he’s seemingly locked in a role in the middle of the order in an improved Angels lineup that will eventually get Mike Trout back. Outside of four instances when he hit sixth, Moustakas has either hit cleanup or fifth in all of his Angels starts this season.

Mike Moustakas Starts By Lineup Spot With Angels


Mitch Garver – 16%


Currently tasked with stepping into a larger role with Jonah Heim on the injured list, Mitch Garver has been nothing but productive for the Texas Rangers this season.

The catcher is hitting .272 with a .352 on-base percentage and seven home runs in 165 plate appearances for the American League West club. And while his 29.1% strikeout rate is on track for a career-high in a full season, as is his .353 BABIP, he’s routinely made loud contact.

The 32-year-old is also sporting a .349 xwOBA and a 14.1% barrel rate so far, not to mention a .455 xwOBAcon. If he were qualified from a plate appearances standpoint, those numbers would rank fourth and first among all qualified catchers.

After struggling at the plate in 2022, his 2023 production represents a quality rebound season for Garver, whose underlying metrics are very much in line with what he did in his last two full seasons prior to the 2023 campaign.

Mitch Garver Full-Season Splits Since 2019

What’s more, while Garver’s strikeout rate has jumped significantly, his overall swing and miss numbers haven’t quite done the same. The veteran’s chase rate has actually dropped considerably to 17.6%, which would be his lowest since 2020. And while his whiff rate has risen a bit, it’s still nowhere near what it was in years past.

Mitch Garver Career Plate Discipline Metrics

Which is all to say that perhaps Garver’s strikeouts aren’t as overly concerning as they appear. Still not ideal mind you, but the catcher’s plate discipline-related metrics tell a slightly different story.

For as long as Heim is on the injured list, Garver has top-10 fantasy potential at his position. If you’re in need of catching reinforcements, whether as an injury replacement for Heim or just in general need better production at the catcher position, run, don’t walk, to add Garver via waivers or free agency.


Graphic adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)

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 “Week 20 Deep League Waiver Wire – 8/12”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    Do you prefer Garver over G.Sanchez, Y.Diaz, or Jeffers? I have Heim in an IL slot in a single C 12 teamer league.
    Will Garver be a short-side platoon bat when Heim returns?

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