Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Betting on Brooks

We’re going young in today’s pickups column, at least until the very end.

Brooks Lee – Rostered in 25% of Yahoo leagues

Despite missing the first two months with a herniated disk in his back, the switch-hitting Lee was already making a case for a callup to Minnesota when Royce Lewis’s latest injury, a strained groin, necessitated his promotion this week. He had hit .329/.394/.635 with seven homers in 20 games since joining St. Paul’s lineup, and he’s 3-for-6 with two RBI in two big-league games.

Lee, the eighth overall pick in the 2022 draft, is a line-drive hitter with growing home run power. His exit velocities are unremarkable, but he’s adept at pulling flyballs down the line, particularly while he’s batting right-handed. He struck out just 15 percent of the time in the minors, helping him maintain a strong .292 average. He’s not much of a basestealer, but he does run well enough that it’s easy to imagine him becoming a quality No. 2 hitter in a major league lineup.

Listen to the Rotoworld Baseball Show for the latest player news, waiver claims, roster advice and more from our experts all season long. Click here or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

While Lee is no lock to remain with the Twins after Lewis returns, he should have the opportunity if he’s productive; the team possesses plenty of flexibility between second, third and DH. It’s definitely worth rostering him now and seeing what happens in the long run, especially with the way the Twins are hitting as a team. Minnesota leads the majors with a .300 average and 157 runs scored over the last 30 days, so Lee could be a four-category player even while hitting in the bottom half of the lineup for now.

Cade Povich – Rostered in 10% of Yahoo leagues

With Cole Irvin getting sent to the Orioles bullpen to make room for the returning Dean Kremer, it appears that Povich will have a rotation spot for the foreseeable future. Maybe he’ll be bumped by a trade deadline pickup, but perhaps not, so long as he can outpitch Albert Suárez. Regardless, for the next few weeks, he should be worth playing in mixed leagues.

Since getting roughed up by Toronto in his big-league debut a month ago, Povich has posted a 2.50 ERA in four starts, three of which came against some of the best teams in the league (he faced the Braves, Yankees, Guardians and Rangers). He’s not missing bats like he did in the minors — his current 15% strikeout rate is less than half of his 32% mark from Triple-A this season — but there should be some additional ability there if he keeps ramping up his slider usage. He’s also in a nice situation as a left-handed pitcher in Camden Yards, though the ballpark has been more forgiving to right-handed power hitters this year than it was initially after the fence in left field was moved back.

Aided by one of baseball’s best teams backing him, Povich just needs to be solid to offer utility in mixed leagues, and it looks like he should be that. It’s possible he’ll wind up back in Triple-A in a month, but until then, he’s a nice option.

Parker Meadows – Rostered in 3% of Yahoo leagues

It took two months, but Meadows is finally getting another chance in Detroit after hitting an impressive .298/.394/.511 with eight homers and 19 steals in 47 games for Triple-A Toledo. That’s quite a step up from last season’s .256/.337/.474 line, so hopefully it’s a sign that he’s more ready to take on major league pitching this time around following a brutal April that saw him go 7-for-73 before being sent down.

Because of his plus speed, his decent pop and the Tigers’ commitment to him in the leadoff spot, Meadows was a popular fantasy pick going into the year. He didn’t project particularly well from an OPS perspective and still doesn’t, but it figured that if he were just in the vicinity of being an average hitter, his glove would keep him in the lineup, and as long as he remained in the lineup, his stolen base ability would ensure that he offered some fantasy value. Alas, all he did at the beginning of the season was strike out and pop up. He seems to have the strikeouts under control now; his Triple-A K rate was down 20 percent from last year. It will never work in his favor that he’s a flyball hitter with middling exit velocity numbers in a ballpark that really takes a toll on left-handed power.

Expectations for Meadows should be rather mild this time around, particularly in terms of batting average. He still might reemerge as a leadoff option — he draws enough walks to be a viable option there if he could hit .240 or so — but the Tigers will likely ease him in at the bottom of the order for now. At this point, he’s probably just an option for steal-needy teams in shallow mixed leagues. If he gets another crack at the leadoff spot, he could be more widely helpful.

Quick Hits

Xavier Edwards probably isn’t an option in 10- or 12-teamers just yet, but he should hit for average and steal some bases after getting the call in place of Tim Anderson in Miami. The problem is that he’s unlikely to homer more than once or twice over the rest of the season, and he’s destined to be a liability in both runs and RBI while hitting in such a weak lineup.

Anthony Rendon is nearly ready to return from his hamstring tear and is rostered in just two percent of Yahoo leagues. He’ll be given a prime spot in the Angels lineup and as much playing time as he can handle, so there’s a decent chance he’ll have something to offer in mixed leagues. While he didn’t do much in 19 games before getting hurt in April, his contact and exit velocity numbers were all pretty encouraging.

Leave a Reply