Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Touki Toussaint has fine debut, but Taylor Ward the rookie to add
The Angels are promoting a prospect who could pay real dividends in Fantasy. Meanwhile, a couple of potential save targets emerge. Scott White looks at the waiver wire.
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A big third base prospect is on his way to the big leagues.
But this other one could be surprisingly impactful in Fantasy, and for a reason you wouldn't expect. See, he's not actually eligible at third base yet in CBS Sports leagues.
He's eligible at catcher.
That's the position Taylor Ward was drafted to play and played every year in the minors before this one, when the Angels switched him to the infield to keep him fresher over the course of the season and make better use of his athleticism.
The results speak for themselves.
Ward didn't just accomplish those numbers in the hitter-friendly PCL either. His percentages were nearly identical at Double-A Mobile, where he played 42 games. The Angels recently DFA'd Luis Valbuena and promoted defensive guru Keith Johnson, Ward's manager at Triple-A, to the big-league staff, so it seems like they've paved the way for Ward to learn on the job, playing close to every day. And regardless what he does with those at-bats, just getting them is enough for him to stand out at catcher.
Ward's debut is coming, but Touki Toussaint's already came Monday and went swimmingly. Most impressive was how he made it through six innings on just 83 pitches, a testament to the strides he has made throwing strikes this year. He's known more for his pure stuff, so the Braves have every reason to give him another look even if it doesn't come the next time through the rotation. He may just be a stash for deeper leagues, but you'll want to keep an eye on his progress.
If you're looking for more immediate help on the pitching side, Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to return from a devastating groin injury — one that sidelined him for more than three months — Wednesday. He was brilliant on his rehab assignment, just as he was in six starts before the injury, and seeing as the Dodgers have bumped Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda to the bullpen to make room for Ryu, it's clear they have confidence in him.
Johan Camargo had four-hit day Monday, albeit between two games. He has proven to be a handy player in Fantasy, qualifying at both third base and shortstop and presenting a high-floor option every week with a low strikeout rate, a bunch of doubles and just enough homers not to embarrass himself. If you're tired of chasing the upside of Rafael Devers or have grown weary with the ups and downs of Miguel Sano, you might give this guy a try.
It's been two long weeks since the Rangers dealt Keone Kela to the Pirates, and in that time, they've had all of two save opportunities. But Jose Leclerc has handled them both, most recently against the Diamondbacks on Monday when he struck out two in a perfect frame. Manager Jeff Banister hasn't officially declared him the closer, but the proof is in the usage. Leclerc seems well equipped for the role and deserving of more than 47 percent ownership.
If you're in the sort of league where all the potential save sources are already gobbled up and need somebody more speculative, Jordan Hicks is at the top of that list. The new hardest thrower in baseball, surpassing Aroldis Chapman, is still a little underwhelming in the strikeout department (though he has gotten better over the course of the season), but he's the clear backup to Bud Norris, who blew a save in particularly brutal fashion Monday. Norris was coming off eight consecutive scoreless appearances, so no change would appear imminent, but we've seen how quickly these things can unravel.
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Scott White is an award-winning Fantasy baseball analyst
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