2023 Fantasy Baseball All-Star Break Waiver Wire

by Connor Thomure
2023 Fantasy Baseball All-Star Break Waiver Wire

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball All-Star Break Waiver Wire. And we've got some good news, this week's Waiver Wire post is going to be completely free. If you like what you see, sign up to be a member today and use promo code ALLSTAR to save 15%.

This week on the Waiver Wire: Six more players make the list! We start with veteran outfielder Tommy Pham who is posting his best numbers since 2017. From there, we travel to Baltimore and check out top prospect Colton Cowser, who forced his way into the Orioles lineup after an absurd season at Triple-A. Then we go south to Houston and discuss how rookie backstop Yainer Diaz has gone from backup catcher to everyday player.

After these three, we have two pitchers, Seth Lugo and Graham Ashcraft. At this point in his career, we've seen enough from Lugo to know his roster percentage should be at least 50%. On the other hand, Ashcraft has played like he should be rostered in 0%, but is he turning it around?

Last but not least is Maikel Garcia returning to the Waiver Wire after making the list in Week 13. He's been a top-12 third baseman since June 1 and is too good to pass up.

2023 Fantasy Baseball All-Star Break Waiver Wire

Tommy Pham, OF, New York Mets

Pham is amidst a resurgent season in his first year with the New York Mets. His batting average (.283) and slugging percentage (.500) are his highest since 2017, when he averaged .306 and slugged .520 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Pham is also on pace for his highest stolen base total since 2019, when he recorded 25 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Among all outfielders since May 28, Pham ranks eighth in RBI (24), 19th in runs (19), 14th in home runs (6), and is tied for 12th in stolen bases (7). Pham is performing like a top-15 outfielder in baseball.

According to FantasyPros, Pham has just a 31% roster percentage. This, however, is way too low for a top-15 outfielder, and Fantasy managers should expect his roster percentage to almost double by the time the 2023 MLB All-Star Game and break is over.

On top of all this, Pham has an impressive Baseball Savant page. Among qualified batters, he ranks in the top 4% in average exit velocity, xBA, and xwOBA. The veteran also ranks in the top 11% in barrel rate, chase rate, and xSLG.

Colton Cowser, OF, Baltimore Orioles

Teammate Jordan Westburg made the Waiver Wire a week ago after the Orioles promoted him to the show, and now Colton Cowser is the next top prospect to add after making his MLB debut this week.

After slashing .330/.459/.537 with ten home runs, 54 runs, and 40 RBI through 56 Triple-A games, Cowser practically forced his way into the Orioles lineup.

In two MLB appearances thus far, Cowser has made ten plate appearances, with one hit (a single), three walks, one hit by pitch, two runs, and one RBI. The most impressive thing to me is the zero strikeouts to three walks.

Fantasy managers roster Cowser in 20% of leagues, as he's already been one of the most added players this week. Cowser's roster percentage is sure to grow, and Fantasy Managers should look to add the rookie after an impressive start to his big-league career.

Yainer Diaz, C, Houston Astros

Diaz made his MLB debut in September 2022 but only managed one base hit in eight at-bats. The young catcher then made the 2023 roster out of spring training as merely a backup to Martin Maldonado.

After having a decent first two months of the season, Diaz started gaining traction and worked his way into a platoon with Maldonado.

PeriodAVGOBPSLGHRRBIR
April/May.226.250.371259
June/July.299.309.59881612

Then abruptly, Diaz broke out in a big way. The rookie backstop started getting regular playing time at catcher, first base, and as a designated hitter. He played 21 games in June and recorded a hit in 16 of those games. Six of those, however, were multi-hit games.

Since June 1, among all catchers, Diaz is tied for first in home runs, 12th in runs, tied for fifth in RBI. Among catchers with at least 90 plate appearances in this span, Diaz ranks first in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, and second in wRC+ (145).

Seth Lugo, SP/RP, San Diego Padres

After signing with the San Diego Padres this offseason, Lugo was impressive over his first eight games before landing on the injured list. Lugo has now returned to the rotation and made four solid appearances.

In this stretch, he's pitched 22 innings, allowed 20 hits, two walks, five earned runs, and 21 strikeouts. This amounts to a 2.05 ERA and 8.59 K/9.

Lugo has recorded a 3.39 ERA and 8.34 K/9 through 63.2 innings. His walk rate (4.9%) ranks in the top 7% of MLB.

Over his eight-year career, Lugo has a 3.47 ERA, 9.14 K/9, and 2.42 BB/9 through 558.1 innings. The veteran right-hander isn't going to blow away the competition, but he is a pitcher who should be rostered in most leagues. Fantasy Managers currently roster him in 26% of leagues, but I suspect this will increase over the break.

Graham Ashcraft, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Ashcraft is a major disappointment this season. He started the season on a tear, and everybody rushed to pick him up. After his first six games, he was 2-0 with five quality starts and a 2.00 ERA.

PeriodRecordInnings PitchedEarned RunsStrikeoutsWalks
First 6 games2-03682716
Next 8 games1-633472514
Last 2 games 1-012.2295

Then out of nowhere, his next eight games were absolutely abysmal. Ashcraft went 1-6 in this span with zero quality starts and a 12.82 ERA. The young right-hander allowed 11 home runs in these eight games as well. He basically lost the trust of every manager that rostered him, which brought his roster percentage way down.

After this stretch, it seems that Ashcraft may have found a way to settle down. He pitched at least six innings in his two recent outings and allowed just one earned run in each game.

This is enough to warrant an add if you ask me. With how tight pitching is in 2023, it's hard to find reliable pitchers in the Waiver Wire, so we must take risks with pitchers like Ashcraft. Pick him up and see what happens. If he pitches poorly moving forward, it won't hurt too bad, but if he does well, he could be a valuable trade piece or back of the Fantasy rotation piece.

Maikel Garcia, 3B/SS, Kansas City Royals

Garcia returns to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 15 Waiver Wire after making it just two weeks ago. Normally we don't like to do this, but we feel that Garcia is still under-rostered as he's rostered in just 29% of leagues.

Over the last 15 days, he's slashing .321/.390/.396 with eight runs, five RBI, two extra-base hits, and seven stolen bases with six walks.

The crazy thing is that these last 15 days are almost on par with his season-long slash line of .291/.348/.397. Since June 1, among all third basemen, he ranks sixth in runs, 17th in RBI, second in stolen bases, and 10th in wRC+.

Garcia might not be on the same level as Elly De La Cruz or Spencer Steer, but he has lots of value in the 2023 Fantasy Baseball season. If you do not have room to start him in your lineup, a good solution could be trading away your current third baseman or shortstop and adding the Royals' third baseman to fill the gap. This could strengthen your team in other areas while keeping a valuable player.

Best of the Rest

The Best of the Rest section on the 2023 Fantasy Baseball All-Star Break Waiver Wire has 16 batters and 22 pitchers. The batters are split into categories they specifically help in. If you have any questions, please ask them on our Discord Server.

Beside each batter will be a number indicating how many they have in that specific category.

Each starting pitcher will have a win-loss record and ERA.

Next to the relief pitchers will be their combined saves plus holds and ERA.

All players are rostered in less than 40% of leagues, according to FantasyPros.

Batters

Home Runs

Stolen Bases

Batting Average

  • Corey Julks, 3B/OF, Houston Astros (.289)
  • Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox (.309)
  • Zach Remillard, 2B/3B/SS, Chicago White Sox (.348)
  • Bryan De La Cruz, OF, Miami Marlins (.277)

Runs

RBI

  • Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Seattle Mariners (52)
  • Garrett Cooper, 1B, Miami Marlins (42)
  • Jack Suwinski, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (46)
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta Braves (40)

Bonus Batter

Dane Myers, OF, Miami Marlins

Dane Myers is a former pitcher who converted to a hitter but has the swing of a natural hitter. He's excelled at every level of the minor leagues and now looks primed to excel in the major leagues. In Triple-A this season, he slashed .440/.494/.707 across 83 plate appearances. In Double-A, he slashed .291/.395/.462 across 215 plate appearances. He's also started his MLB career off hot with a three-game hitting streak.

The Marlins are hot, and Myers is hot. I think Fantasy Managers should ride the wave and add the rookie outfielder.

Pitchers

Starting Pitchers

Relief Pitchers

Bonus Pitcher

Cristopher Sanchez, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Cristopher Sanchez is a guy who I have in multiple leagues, with the intention of dropping him whenever his first subpar game comes up. However, he has done everything he can to ensure that doesn't happen.

Heading into the all-star break, Sanchez has started five games with a record of 0-2. Across 25.1 innings, he's allowed 22 hits and four walks for just eight earned runs. Sanchez has also struck out 22 batters. This gives him a 2.84 ERA, 7.82 K/9, and 1.42 BB/9.

I'm keeping Sanchez through the break and probably much longer after that due to his impressive campaign thus far.


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