2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire: Boys of Summer

by Dennis Sosic
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire

Welcome back Fantasy freaks and geeks to the weekly Fantasy Six Pack 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire.

We are heading into my favorite time of the year-Summer! How can someone not like Summertime? Baseball. Longer days. Barbeques. Swimming. Beaches. Enjoying the outdoors. Amusement Parks.

Baseball players are known as the Boys of Summer. Men are playing a boy's game in baseball and getting paid handsomely. They get to enjoy the weather and play the game they love.

Male fans act like young boys while cheering for their favorite teams and players. Fantasy owners are rooting for the players on their rosters to play and accumulate Fantasy points for their team.  The child in all of us comes out during the summer and in sports.

However, let's not forget that there is still a competition. Pitcher vs. Batter. Team vs. Team. Your fantasy team vs. your opponent. Boys will be boys. A win is a win. Discover what players can provide wins for you as I provide six players that you can enjoy and a whole lot more in the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire

Looking for a Fantasy advantage? Get the ultimate in-season edge with customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.


Lourdes Gurriel, 2B/SS/OF, Toronto Blue Jays

In what seems like an endless supply of prospects, the Toronto Blue Jays have another hitter to add to the likes of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Cavan Biggio, and eventually Bo Bichette. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stood out as the best hitter this past Spring Training. He slashed .366/.429/.756 with four homers and 11 RBI in 41 at-bats.

Gurriel started the season with the big club. However, he was demoted in mid-April after hitting just .175/.250/.275 with a 12/3 K/BB ratio in his first 44 plate appearances and struggling with his infield defense. In his 30 games at Triple-A Buffalo, the 25-year-old hit .273 with four homers and 26 RBI. Toronto has been a colossal disappointment this season and is a whopping 18.5 games back behind the first place New York Yankees in the AL East.

The Blue Jays reached out to their elite minor league system and brought up uber-prospect Cavan Biggio while also bringing back Lourdes Gurriel. Gurriel returned as a different player, making a move to the outfield and hitting like he did last season when he hit .281 with 11 homers in 65 games for the Blue Jays.

In his last 22 games, Gurriel is leading the team in average (.325), homers (7) and RBI (16). He was one of the few hitters producing in an ineffective lineup. However, he can help your Fantasy lineup. With his position versatility (2B/SS/OF), Gurriel should be owned in deeper formats and those that utilize MI spots.

Oscar Mercado, OF, Cleveland Indians

Oscar Mercado was acquired by the Cleveland Indians in a Trade Deadline deal with the St. Louis Cardinals last season for two minor league prospects. Mercado possesses a great combination of speed, hitting and stellar defensive capabilities. Between two different minor league teams, the 24-year-old outfielder batted a combined .278 with eight homers, 47 RBI and 37 steals.

There were serious internal discussions within the Indians brass that Mercardo should start the season on the big league roster. Mercado hit .400/.415/.700 with three homers during Spring Training. However, they decided that everyday at-bats were more beneficial for the team and Mercado. The Tribe started Mercado the 2019 season at Triple-A Columbus. The Indians recalled Mercado when outfielder Tyler Naquin headed to the injured list with a calf injury.

The Indians were desperately searching for any consistent offensive production not named Carlos Santana or Francisco Lindor. In 102 at-bats, Mercado is hitting .304 with four homers and 13 RBI along with four steals. The young outfielder is hitting second in the Cleveland lineup behind Lindor and front of Santana. He has thrived in that role and looks to have blossomed into the current and future centerfielder for the Cleveland Indians. Mercado is under-owned in Fantasy leagues, especially in leagues that require five outfielders. It is hard to imagine owners having five outfielders better than Oscar Mercado.


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Merrill Kelly, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks continue to suffer injuries to their starting rotation. The news that right-hander Jon Duplantier was required to be placed on the injured list due to an ailing shoulder was yet another setback to the club’s ever-thinning rotation depth.

Thankfully, the Diamondbacks have 30-year-old right-hander willing and able to step up. He was forced into the rotation this season after spending the last four years playing baseball in Korea. In his first eight starts, he went 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA.  He has exhibited flashes but has been somewhat inconsistent.

However, Kelly has been on fire lately! Over his past four starts, he is averaging more than seven innings, sporting a 1.86 ERA and has held opposing hitters to just a .188 average. So what happened? Kelly has utilized his cutter more often, typically 20%, but now about 30%. Additionally, he made a small mechanical adjustment in his delivery. These two factors and ensuing success have led Merill Kelly to be a very reasonable streaming option in all Fantasy formats.

*Editor's note: This was written on 6/18 before his start against Colorado on 6/19. He is still a fine pickup, maybe just avoid Colorado.

Ian Kennedy, RP, Kansas City Royals

There was hesitancy in including Ian Kennedy to this week's waiver wire. Kennedy is a former average starter who has proven that the Royals bullpen experiment worked. In his first season in the bullpen, he owns a 3.72 ERA with eight saves in 10 chances. Furthermore, he holds an encouraging combination of 11.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.

Here is the bad news. Kennedy still pitches out of the pen for the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are having a dismal season, currently sitting at 24-48. His save opportunities are severely limited. The Royals will undoubtedly have a fire sale at the Trade Deadline with Kennedy being a good back of the bullpen addition for a contending club.

His revival into being Fantasy relevant will be short-lived and coming to an end. Kennedy will not close for another ballclub. His Fantasy value is only viable right here and right now while he is still a member of the Royals. He will provide Fantasy owners with a sneaky option for saves and help with strikeouts, but it comes with sporadic production. Roto owners should see if Kennedy is available. Because what owner is not desperate for saves? However, owners in points leagues can avoid Ian Kennedy.

Deep Dive

Carson Kelly, C, Arizona Diamondbacks

The catcher position is a wasteland this season (every season?). The majority of Fantasy owners have horror stories concerning their catcher position. If you are in the two-catcher leagues, owners are praying to get anything out of the catcher slot.

I know a catcher that is owned in less than five percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues that could help everyone. Carson Kelly has been getting the majority of the playing time at catcher the last few weeks. However, with the recent news that his platoon partner Alex Avila (calf) was placed on the injured list, Kelly will continue to see the bulk of the starts.

Kelly, who was brought to Arizona in last winter's trade that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals, has already exceeded his career-high in games played with 49 appearances this season. In his last 21 games, Kelly is hitting .298/.369/.544 with four homers and 12 RBI.

The progress of the young catcher should create excitement for Fantasy owners. He is greatly under-owned in a Fantasy world where owners are hopelessly waiting for Fantasy production from their catchers. Add him!

Jesus Luzardo, SP, Oakland A's

Jesus Luzardo was the top left-handed pitching prospect coming into this season. Luzardo was sensational this spring and displayed why he was baseball’s #12 prospect. He struck out 15 batters and posted a 0.93 ERA over 9.2 innings in the Cactus League. The southpaw looked the part of the Oakland A's ace.

He was slated to be in Oakland's rotation to start the 2019 season, but he was shut down with a shoulder problem on March 21. Luzardo has been throwing lately. He finally got back on the mound last week after his injury absence. In his two appearances at Class-A Stockton, the young left-hander has recorded 11 strikeouts in seven innings. Luzardo will take another massive step towards joining the A's when he will move up to Triple-A Las Vegas for his next start on June 22.

The anticipation is that Jesus Luzardo will be making his first MLB appearance late this summer. He is an ideal stash candidate for Fantasy owners who like to hit the jackpot with preemptive moves.

Want to see where these players rank at their position for the rest of the season? Take a look at the latest updated version of the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Rest of Season Rankings.

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