2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire

by Connor Thomure
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire.

This week on the Waiver Wire: Leody Taveras is proving to be a stud on the already star-studded Texas Rangers. Pete Fairbanks is back from the injured list and already earned a save. Patrick Bailey is turning heads offensively and defensively while getting comparisons to Buster Posey. Aaron Hicks is finding a birdhouse in Baltimore and is the hot hand to ride this week. After Hicks, we have three starting pitchers that will make a difference for Fantasy Baseball teams.

Before we get into the Top Waiver Adds, I want to briefly talk about Orlando Arcia of the Atlanta Braves. Arcia has been one of the hottest shortstops over the last 15 days. He's recorded seven runs, ten RBI, with a .362/.423/.447 slash line in this time frame. This brings his season-long numbers to .329/.390/.465 with 28 runs and 23 RBI. However, Arcia is rostered in just 42% of leagues.

I added Arcia in a 12-team league on Yahoo that allows just four weekly adds. I usually would use those adds on pitchers, but this league favors hitters. So, I added Arcia on Wednesday before the Braves' doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers, and he is already my fourth-highest scorer for the week. He has outscored Trea Turner, Brandon Nimmo, and Gunnar Henderson in two fewer days. I would've already lost my week if it wasn't for Arcia, and after this, he will be on my team for a very long time. I suggest you add Arcia, too, and let's get that roster percentage closer to 60%.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire

Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers

If you are an all-access member, you know I have loved Taveres for weeks. Before 2023, the 24-year-old spent parts of three seasons on the Texas Rangers big league squad. However, he's mostly been a below-average player during those stints.

PeriodPAAVGOBPSLGXBHSBRRBIwRC+
2020-22660.226.280.3444329734975
2023211.298.357.4711973228130

This season has been a completely different story. He is maximizing his power and on-base potential. The most significant difference is the strikeout rate. From 2020-2022 it was 28.9%, while his walk rate was 6.7%. In 2023 However, these are 19% and 8.1%, respectively.

On top of that, Taveras has an excellent Baseball Savant page. His expected batting average (.301) is in the 95th percentile, his HardHit% (45.8%) is in the 72nd percentile, and lastly, his average exit velocity (90.9 MPH) is in the 70th percentile.

Taveras is on a great team and will continue to get scoring opportunities. His defense will keep him in the starting lineup, and his underlying numbers show that his offensive breakout is no fluke. Grab Taveras where you can.

Pete Fairbanks, RP, Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays activated Fairbanks off the 15-day injured list on Thursday and immediately gave him a save opportunity. Fairbanks missed 18 days due to a hip injury; this was his second time on the injured list in 2023. He missed 13 games in May due to an arm injury.

Now that he's back and hopefully stays healthy, Fairbanks is a definitive add in most leagues. He should reclaim his high-leverage role with the MLB-leading Rays. He will still get hold opportunities if he's not getting save opportunities.

The University of Missouri product has recorded six saves and one hold on the season. Fairbanks has struck out 11 batters across 12.2 innings. He's allowed two earned runs, but they both came off a home run from slugger Pete Alonso.

Patrick Bailey, C, San Francisco Giants

Bailey is one of if not the most underrated catchers in baseball. The 24-year-old rookie has impressed both offensively and defensively as he's completely taken over the starting job in San Francisco.

Across 75 plate appearances, Bailey is slashing .329/.356/.571 with three homers, eight runs, 17 RBI, and a 151 wRC+. His primary weakness is the 29.3% strikeout rate, which has increased over the last ten days.

Bailey has already shown the defensive prowess to be a reliable starting and top defensive catcher in MLB. As far as Fantasy goes, he is performing like a top-12 offensive catcher by outperforming players such as William Contreras, Alejandro Kirk, Keibert Ruiz, and more in just a fraction of the plate appearances.

According to FantasyPros, Bailey's roster percentage is just 4%. This is crazy, as Bailey has been a top-12 catcher over the past 30 days. Add him and don't look back.

Aaron Hicks, OF, Baltimore Orioles

Hicks has played exceptionally well since debuting for the Baltimore Orioles on May 31. He's slashing .333/.447/.590 in 47 plate appearances. Hicks has recorded five extra-base hits, ten runs, and six RBI. The most impressive stat, however, is that he's walked eight times and struck out eight times.

He's played every game at centerfield and bats primarily fifth or sixth in the lineup. He'll likely lose the everyday job when Cedric Mullins returns from the injured list. However, we do not yet know when that will be. It's possible two weeks away, giving Hicks more time to show his value.

I'm adding Hicks and his hot bat until either of these two options happens.

  1. He slows down.
  2. Mullins returns.
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Ranger Suarez, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Suarez has put together four straight quality starts against the New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He will look for his fifth on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.

The lefty has played solid offenses during this stretch, but that hasn't stopped him. In this span, he's pitched a total of 26.2 innings and faced 104 batters but only allowed a .216 batting average against. He also recorded 22 strikeouts and seven walks while allowing four earned runs.

Suarez's best pitch has been his curveball, with a -6 run value and a .069 batting average against. Unfortunately, his most used pitch, the sinker, hasn't been nearly as good. The sinker has a 0 run value with a .333 batting average against if Suarez will provide plenty of value in Fantasy Baseball if he can get his sinker back to the same quality from '21 (-21 RV, .210 BAA) and '22 (-9 RV, .220 BAA).

AJ Smith-Shawver, SP, Atlanta Braves

At just 20 years old, Smith-Shawver has played at four levels of affiliated ball in 2023. Most recently, he's been shining in the big leagues for the Atlanta Braves. He's pitched in three games for a total of 13.1 innings and a 1-0 record. Smith-Shawver has allowed three earned runs from two solo homers and an RBI single. Thus far, the rookie has struck out 11 batters while walking four.

It's a tale of two worlds when looking at Smith-Shawver's ERA (2.03) and FIP (4.48). This could indicate that Smith-Shawver has not performed as well as the stats suggest. My strategy with young pitchers or streamers is simple; keep them in the lineup until it blows up in your face.

Smith-Shawver probably won't be this good all season, but you may as well ride it out until that happens. Or possibly sell high on the rookie.

His next appearance comes on Wednesday versus the divisional rival Philadelphia Phillies. This is undoubtedly a tough battle. Over the past 15 days, the Phillies rank second in OPS (.852), second in stolen bases (15), and second in runs (78).

Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers

Last but not least, on the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Waiver Wire is Tarik Skubal. If Skubal is available in your league and you have an open IL spot, now is the time to add him. Skubal is coming off a shortened 2022 season, where he finished with a 3.52 ERA and 8.95 K/9 across 117.2 innings. The 26-year-old lefty is in the midst of a rehab assignment while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Recently the Tigers moved Skubal up from High-A to Triple-A. In total, he has made three starts for a total of eight innings. Skubal has allowed zero earned runs while striking out 12 batters.

Pick him up and stash him now.

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