2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Waiver Wire

by Connor Thomure
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Waiver Wire

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Waiver Wire.

This week on the Waiver Wire: two-time All-Star Trevor Story is starting a rehab assignment and needs to be added in preparation for his season debut. Christian Encarnacion-Strand is the next Reds prospect who is set to dominate the league. Grayson Rodriguez is back with the big-league squad and ready to help Fantasy teams down the stretch.

After these three, we have a recent call-up for the Oakland Athletics, who can use his hit tool and speed to gain Fantasy value. Lastly, a veteran outfielder having a sneaky good under-the-radar season is recommended to be added immediately.

For our All-Access Members, we have an additional 19 batters and 21 pitchers listed below to help you win the week.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Waiver Wire

Trevor Story, 2B/SS, Boston Red Sox

Story is preparing to make his much-awaited season debut with the Boston Red Sox. He began a rehab assignment Friday, July 21, with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters that Story will play shortstop on Friday, designated hitter on Saturday, then shortstop on Sunday. Expect this rehab assignment to take a while and last up to the 20-day maximum. The Red Sox will not rush their star shortstop back.

Nonetheless, no matter how long this rehab assignment is expected to last, Story will draw lots of attention in Fantasy Baseball. He was a prime stash candidate at the beginning of the season, and his value is only going up from here.

Story is a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger with 174 career home runs, 113 stolen bases, 516 runs, and 516 RBI. In 2022 he played in 94 games and recorded 16 home runs, 13 stolen bases, 53 runs, and 66 RBI.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B/3B, Cincinnati Reds

Encarnacion-Strand has received immense hype this season as fans and Fantasy Managers awaited his promotion to the majors. That promotion finally came after slashing .331/.405/.637 with 20 home runs, 65 runs, and 62 RBI through 67 Triple-A games.

Four games into his MLB career, Encarnacion-Strand is continuing to succeed. In 13 plate appearances, he has three singles, one home run, three runs, and four RBI with just one strikeout. He's made two appearances as the designated hitter, one as the first baseman, and one as a pinch hitter who then took over third base.

The Reds and manager David Bell are willing to plug the top prospect in multiple positions to keep him in the lineup. Fantasy managers need to add Encarnacion-Strand in even the smallest leagues. Soon enough, he will be rostered in 90+% of leagues, just like teammate Elly De La Cruz.

Grayson Rodriguez, SP, Baltimore Orioles

After making his first ten starts of 2023 in the majors, the Orioles sent Rodriguez to Triple-A, where he made his next seven starts. Now the top 50 prospect is back in the bigs and ready to help Fantasy Managers down the stretch.

LevelIPW-LERAFIPSOBBHR
MLB50.12-27.335.63602313
Triple-A41.14-01.963.5856194

Rodriguez hasn't been great in MLB play but has otherwise been stellar in Triple-A this season. This gives me hope that Rodriguez can finish his rookie season strong.

The biggest issue for Rodriguez is that his most used pitch, the fastball, has been terrible for him. He uses it 45.2% of the time at an average speed of 96.8 MPH. However, he has a -8 run value, the worst among his five pitches. His cutter and curveball are both -4, his slider is +1, and his changeup is +3.

For Rodriguez to be successful at the big-league level, he needs to get his fastball under control. Nonetheless, I'm willing to add him off waivers and give him another shot in Fantasy Baseball.

Zack Gelof, 2B, Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics recently called up two of their top-three prospects, but Zack Gelof has earned his way into Fantasy Baseball lineups. The other is Tyler Soderstrom, and he hasn't been as impressive.

According to FanGraphs, Gelof has an average to above-average hit tool, power tool, and speed. But it's been his hitting and speed that have turned heads thus far. Through 25 plate appearances, he has one single, three doubles, one triple, three runs, two RBI, two stolen bases, one walk, and eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, the strikeouts are too high, but Gelof did strike out 27.9% of the time this season in Triple-A.

Overall, however, he was imposing in Triple-A as he slashed .304/.401/.529 with 60 runs, 44 RBI, and 20 stolen bases across 69 games. It shouldn't be hard for Gelof to steal as many bases in the majors as his sprint speed ranks in the 97th percentile.

Some second basemen I'm moving on from in exchange for Gelof include Jon Berti, Luis Garcia, Taylor Walls, Mauricio Dubon, and Brandon Lowe.

Chas McCormick, OF, Houston Astros

Chas McCormick is having a sneaky good season for the Houston Astros. Through 57 games, he's slashing .288/.373/.530 with 12 home runs, ten doubles, 30 runs, 35 RBI, and ten stolen bases. On top of this, he also has an above-average xwOBA (.388), xSLG (.439), and barrel rate (10.9%).

Despite these solid statistics, Fantasy managers roster McCormick in 34% of leagues. This should be much closer to 60%, and some players I'm willing to drop for McCormick include MJ Melendez, Brendan Donovan, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, and Kris Bryant.

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