2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire

by Dennis Sosic
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire.

The weekly 2022 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire will be filled with hitters and pitchers for Fantasy managers to add who are rostered in less than 40 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.

Additionally, I will be Going Deep, where I highlight players to add that are rostered in less than 10 percent of Fantasy leagues.

So what have we learned in the first few games of the season? Which players should you target? The answers to those questions and a whole lot more will be answered in the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire!

2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire

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Hitters

C.J. Abrams, SS, San Diego Padres

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The San Diego Padres need another infielder to step up with Fernando Tatis Jr. out at least the first two months of the season following wrist surgery. Enter C.J. Abrams.

Abrams is the Padres' top prospect, and MLB Pipeline's No. 9 overall has only played in 76 professional games. However, he has the Padres and the baseball world excited about his future after a splendid spring.

Abrams slashed .324/.359/.514 with two dingers and three stolen bases across 17 games. In addition, he exhibited great speed and an impressive power stroke that earned him a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The left-handed-hitting Abrams is expected to play regularly at shortstop against right-handers. So this is a no-brainer add.

Alejandro Kirk, C, Toronto Blue Jays

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Alejandro Kirk is only 23-years-old, but it seems that I have been targeting Kirk in all of my leagues for several seasons. Kirk has exhibited his plus-hit tool and has displayed that he has the potential to be one league's better hitting catchers.

The Blue Jays have a logjam at catcher where Kirk competes with Danny Jansen for playing time. Last season, Kirk hit .242/.328/.436 and a .746 OPS with eight homers and an 11.6 percent strikeout rate in just 60 games. A hip injury sidelined Kirk the previous season, but he returned healthy to start this season. In eight games this spring, Kirk slashed .304/.407/.478 with a .886 OPS.

His primary position is catcher, but he is projected to get the majority of at-bats this season at the designated hitter position. Kirk will be hitting in a loaded daily lineup that will increase his opportunities for fantasy production. If you are weak at catcher (and who isn't?), make sure Kirk is not on your waiver wire. If Kirk is still available, change that immediately.

Jeremy Pena, SS, Houston Astros

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Jeremy Pena has enormous shoes to fill with the Houston Astros in the departed Carlos Correa. This spring, Pena earned the starting shortstop job, hitting .350 with two home runs and nine RBI across eight games.

Pena has only played in 182 minor league games, with only 30 games over Class A ball. He possesses power and speed potential, but his best tool is his defense which will keep him in the everyday lineup.

Pena deserves to be owned in all formats and is a valuable middle-infield fantasy option.

Bryson Stott, SS/3B, Philadelphia Phillies

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Bryson Stott came up through the Philadelphia Phillies system as a shortstop. However, Alec Bohm struggles at the plate and defensively at the hot corner, which has caused manager Joe Girardi to give the spring star some time at third base.

Stott shined this spring, slashing .419/.514/.581 with a 1.094 OPS. He produced 13 hits, one home run, and three RBI across 31 at-bats. The explosive spring earned him a spot on the 2022 Opening Day roster.

Stott is considered the shortstop of the future, but Didi Gregorius also performed well this spring. With Bohm's struggles continuing, Stott has moved over to third base. Stott should see the lineup regularly against right-handers and he started his MLB career with a bang.

Stott went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored, and RBI in his first start in the big leagues. The versatile infielder does not possess much pop in his bat but is a .295 lifetime minor league hitter. As a result, fantasy managers can view Stott as an infield option in deeper leagues.

Pitchers

Matt Brash, SP, Seattle Mariners

Matt Brash secured the No. 5 spot in the Seattle Mariners rotation on the heels of an outstanding spring training. He allowed only one earned run and struck out 12 with only two walks across 9.1 innings.

Last season, Brash built his reputation as a hidden gem across two minor league levels. He put up a 2.31 ERA while limiting opponents to a .180/.285/.257 slash line and striking out 142 hitters for a superb 35.1 percent rate.

Brash will make his MLB debut on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, and it would be a shame if he was still on your waiver wire and not in your lineup if he performs well.

Tylor Megill, SP, New York Mets

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Tylor Megill was given the Opening Day nod with injuries to half of the New York Mets rotation. Megill came into this season with only 89.2 MLB innings under his belt but delivered an impressive outing that exceeded expectations.

Megill struck out six batters across five scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits with no walks on 68 pitches-47 for strikes.

Last season, Megill went 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA, although he did strike out batters at a nice clip, 9.9 K/9. Megill displayed that he deserves a spot in the Mets rotation and your fantasy lineups.

Deep Dive

Seth Beer, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

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Seth Beer is a baseball folk hero with his heroics on National Beer Day. Beer sent the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 win with a walk-off home run. Beer has posted impressive numbers across his minor league career, producing a .292/.392/.509 slash line with 54 homers. He has completed most of his damage against right-handed pitching with 73.2 percent of his at-bats against right-handers.

His minor league stats display power potential and the ability to hit for average. However, he is unplayable in the field, so the emergence of the DH provides his only opportunity for at-bats in the Diamondbacks lineup.

Beer is worth a look as a CI option in deeper formats but don't let that walk-off homer hype escalate your bid.

Francisco Mejia, C, Tampa Bay

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Francisco Mejia was a heralded catcher prospect in the Cleveland Guardians farm system. Unfortunately, Mejia has yet to translate his .295 lifetime minor league batting average into sustainable success in the big leagues. However, the Tampa Bay Rays are not currently complaining.

Mejia won Friday's game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning. He followed that up with a home run and drove in three more runs on Saturday. The 26-year-old catcher is in his second season with the Rays and is expected to operate in a timeshare with Mike Zunino behind the dish this season.

The Rays are outstanding in utilizing their entire roster, and they will continue to give Mejia at-bats while he produces at the plate, especially against right-handers. As a result, Mejia is worth a speculative add, especially in two-catcher formats.

Brad Keller, SP, Kansas City Royals

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Brad Keller had a rough 2021 season, posting the worst ERA (5.39), WHIP (1.661), and BB/9 (4.3) of his career. However, there were a few promising signs with Keller before he was shut down for the season. Across his final nine starts, he posted a 3.42 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 52.2 innings.

His late-season success did not translate into this year with a spring training that saw the right-hander post a brutal 7.36 ERA in 7.1 innings.

In his first start this season, Keller went six innings and did not allow an earned run while striking out five against the Cleveland Guardians. He topped out at 97.6 with his fastball on his way to retiring the final seven batters he faced.

Fantasy managers desperate for starting pitching might want to speculate about adding Keller as a deep streaming option. Keller has exhibited flashes of a reliable pitcher, including his 5-3 record with a 2.47 ERA in the shortened 2020 season. I would invest on a bid for a dollar or two, hoping you hit on a good option. But, then, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't cost you much capital.

Kyle Wright, SP, Atlanta Braves

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Kyle Wright produced the best start of his career by throwing six shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. He allowed only two hits, striking out six, and walked just one batter.

This spring, Wright won a spot in the Braves rotation by pitching seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. Wright finished strong last season and was one of the keys to the team winning the World Series. In the first innings of Game 4, Wright came out of the bullpen and tossed 4.2 innings of one-run ball against the Houston Astros.

The right-hander spent most of the 2021 season at Triple-A Gwinnett. Across his final 13 regular-season starts, he posted a 2.18 ERA and limited opponents to a .197 batting average.

His MLB track record looks shaky, with a 6.56 ERA across his first four seasons. However, his restored confidence from his minor league success and robust World Series appearance has done wonders for Wright. As a result, he looks to be back on track as a reliable starter for the Braves. This week, Wright will be one of the most added pitchers, and I would pay up for the Braves starter.


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