Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Waiver Wire.
This week on the Waiver Wire, we have a returning player pushing to be National League Rookie of the Year. Two top-10 prospects that just earned a promotion and made their MLB debuts. A third baseman who seemingly gets a base hit in every single at-bat. A second baseman who turned his season around with a stellar second half and, lastly, a veteran outfielder returning to action for the first time since June 2022.
At this point, just about every Fantasy Baseball league should be in the playoffs, and now is the time to get the player you've been eyeing down and scoop him up from the Waiver Wire. The six players listed and discussed below will surely be league winners and need to be added, even if it means letting go of a player you like, especially those who have failed to reach their expectations. If a player is struggling, now is the time to drop them. Do not carry them into the playoffs; they will only bring the team down and put you in the loser's bracket.
For our all-access members, an additional 25 batters and 30 pitchers are listed that can help you win the week and get one step closer to the pride of being a Fantasy Baseball champion.
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Waiver Wire
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Nolan Jones, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies
A Nolan Jones triple has the Rockies up big over the DBacks early
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 6, 2023
Not to sound like a broken record, but what is Nolan Jones still doing on the Waiver Wire? Why is his roster percentage just 31%?
Through 322 plate appearances, he's belted 14 home runs and stolen 12 bases while slashing .282/.363/.514. His 120 wRC+ ranks 27th among all outfielders with at least 300 plate appearances. His slugging percentage ranks tenth, and his on-base percentage ranks 15th among this same group. Jones does strike out a lot (32.3%), but the rest of his game makes up for it.
The 25-year-old is on a seven-game hit streak. He's had six extra-base hits, six runs, seven RBI, and four stolen bases during this span. He is the perfect player to add for a playoff run.
Royce Lewis, 3B, Minnesota Twins
— Bally Sports North (@BallySportsNOR) September 9, 2023
Royce Lewis is my favorite on the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Waiver Wire. He's been listed in the Best of the Rest section multiple times over the last few weeks, but his stellar performance is too much to leave off any longer.
The Twins' third baseman has the best wRC+ (148) among all third basemen with at least 180 plate appearances. He also leads in slugging percentage (.534) and batting average (.316) and is second in on-base percentage (.370).
Lewis has recorded a hit in 12 of his last 15 games. He belted eight extra-base hits, scored 15 runs and 22 RBI, and stole two bases in this span.
I understand the concerns surrounding his health. According to Spotrac, Lewis missed 106 days this year due to knee and oblique injuries. But now is not the time to play it safe in Fantasy Baseball. It's playoff time, and Fantasy managers must take some risks to win the championship. Add the third baseman before your opponent can.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays
Brandon Lowe is quietly having an outstanding season, mainly in the last two months. He slashed .205/.299/.398 from April to June with a 95 wRC+. Then, he missed 30 days with a back injury before returning on July 4. Since then, he is slashing .265/.365/.500 with a 142 wRC+.
Lowe has recorded a hit in 14 of his last 20 games and is currently on a five-game hitting streak. In these 20 games, he is slashing .274/.386/.479 with seven extra-base hits, 12 runs, 17 RBI, two stolen bases, and a 145 wRC+.
Among second basemen with at least 350 plate appearances, Lowe ranks tenth in wRC+ (118), tenth in slugging (.447), and 13th in on-base percentage (.331). He is also tied with the eighth most RBI (62) and has hit the eighth most home runs (19).
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 8, 2023
Jordan Lawlar made his MLB debut on Thursday and got one hit in four at-bats with one strikeout. On Friday, he went hitless and struck out twice. It's not a great start from MLB.com's tenth-ranked prospect, but with grades of 55, 55, and 60 for his hit, power, and run tools, respectively, Fantasy managers should still be excited for Lawlar.
In 105 combined games at Double-A and Triple-A, he slashed .278/.378/.496 with a 126 wRC+. He hit 20 home runs, four triples, 23 doubles, and stole 36 bases. Lawlar scored 95 runs and 67 RBI.
My favorite thing about Lawlar this year is his strikeout (20.6%) and walk rates (11.4%). It's hard for younger players to come up and replicate their strikeout and walk rates, but if Lawlar can do that, it will significantly increase his value.
Michael Brantley, OF, Houston Astros
I've always been a fan of Michael Brantley due to his stellar strikeout and walk rates, on-base percentage, and ability to score runs as a top-of-the-lineup hitter. Now he's back after missing almost all of the season's first five months.
The five-time All-Star is already making his presence felt in the powerful Houston lineup. Through his first six games, he's gone 6-for-19 with a double and two home runs. He's also scored four runs and six RBI. As I mentioned above, his strikeout rate has been excellent, as he's struck out just once in 20 plate appearances. Unfortunately, he's yet to record a walk.
The Astros have yet to utilize the veteran at the top of the order, as he has batted sixth or seventh thus far. This, however, doesn't change anything for me. The Astros have scored the fifth most runs in MLB, and Brantley can score plenty of runs from the bottom of the order.
Evan Carter, OF, Texas Rangers
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 9, 2023
The Texas Rangers called up their top prospect, Evan Carter. Carter is the eighth-ranked prospect in all of baseball. The 21-year-old is an excellent all-around prospect with at least a grade of 50 for each of his five tools. However, his hit and run tools are his best; both come with a grade of 60.
Carter showed both of these traits nicely in Double-A and Triple-A this season by slashing .288/.413/.450 and stealing 26 bases in 108 games. The outfielder also showed off his speed by legging out 17 doubles and six triples.
As always, I put a lot of stock in how much a player walks and strikes out. Carter walked an astonishing 15.8% of the time and struck out at an impressive 21.6% rate. As I mentioned with Lawlar, it's hard for prospects to replicate these numbers against MLB pitching. However, if anyone can do it, it's players like Carter and Lawlar who have the potential to grow into some of the best players in the sport.
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