Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Lewis Brinson flashes his power, Mac Williamson called up
Lewis Brinson and Jeimer Candelario had huge games Thursday. Heath Cummings looks at their upside and the rest of waiver wire.
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One of the problems with chasing the hottest thing on the waiver wire is you can't be as patient with the upside you drafted late. In the case of Lewis Brinson, he wasn't giving you much reason to be patient. Brinson struck out 20 times in his first 15 games, walked just three times and didn't have an extra base hit. But after being given a series off in New York to clear his head, Brinson reminded us of that upside we drafted in March.
Brinson went deep twice in his return to Milwaukee on Thursday night. The 23 year-old still has an embarrassing slash line for the season (and his major league career for that matter) but it's way too early to give up on him. He still has just 123 plate appearances in the majors. In 470 career Triple-A plate appearances he posted a .349/.409/.574 slash line, and stole 18 bases.
Those steals are what could really give Brinson immediate value, but he's only attempted one so far this year so I'm not sure it's something we should count on. Nights like Thursday serve as a reminder that his bat has enough upside to hold on to.
Speaking of upside, the Giants are calling up Mac Williamson, one of Scott White's deep sleepers. Like Brinson, Williamson has been pretty terrible in the major leagues. But he has a new swing that has paid big dividends in Triple-A. He already has six home runs and has walked more than he struck out.
The one word of caution I'd give on Williamson is that he still has an enormous ground ball rate, and it's really hard to be a good source of power if you hit the ball on the ground as often as he does. I'd add him in any deep league where you need five outfielders.
Jeimer Candelario may not have the huge upside or pedigree of Brinson, but he has a lot more actual production in the major leagues. He hit his third home run on Thursday and it was ninth extra-base hit of the young season. He has shown good contact skills and great plate discipline in the minors. Those skills have translated to a .799 OPS in 231 career major league plate appearances.
The issue with Candelario is he's much better in points leagues, and those rosters are so much thinner. So I don't know that he'll ever reach 80 percent ownership, but he's definitely under-owned. In Roto I'd expect him to be a good source of average and a decent source of run production.
I completely understood why Eduardo Rodriguez went undrafted in so many leagues. His track record is spotty at best, and he has struggled to stay healthy. So drafting him when he was already injured wasn't appealing. But now that he is healthy and dealing, everyone should ride him until he's hurt again. Even if his career-high 15 percent K rate doesn't last, he should be a good source of strikeouts and pile up wins on one of the best teams in baseball.
Gyorko returned to the lineup on Thursday and picked up right where he left off, with two hits and a walk. While he has seemingly lost third base to Matt Carpenter, Gyorko can play any of the infield positions, and Kolten Wong is hitting .146 with zero extra base hits. I would not be surprised at all if Gyorko is the primary second baseman sooner rather than later, and he'll be must-own in Roto leagues if he is.
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