2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Waiver Wire

by Connor Thomure
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Waiver Wire

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Waiver Wire.

This week on the Waiver Wire: Top catching prospect Francisco Alvarez is on fire and needs to be rostered in more leagues. We look at one of my favorite pitchers, Adrian Houser, and why his success in 2023 is legit. After that, we head to Seattle and declare a new starting second baseman!

There are also three additional players to go along with these three to complete the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Waiver Wire. All three are exciting rookies making a name for themselves this season.

For our All-Access Members, an additional 25 batters and 25 pitchers are listed to help you stay ahead of your rivals and win the week!

2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Waiver Wire

Francisco Alvarez, C, New York Mets

Alvarez is one of the hottest catchers in the game, but his roster percentage is still just 16%. He's been a top-10 catcher over the past 30 days, and very quickly, that roster percentage will rise, and many will miss out on his immense talent. Here's your final warning: don't be that Fantasy manager that misses out. Grab him now.

Over the past 30 days, Alvarez is slashing .307/.386/.629 with five home runs, ten runs, and 11 RBI. His SLG and OPS are also the second-best among full-time catchers in this span.

Alvarez has made the Waiver Wire previously, and not much has changed since then. He has remarkable talent and the potential to be the best catcher in the league, and it's time to see his roster percentage go up.

Adrian Houser, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

One of my favorite pitchers to stream over the past four seasons is Adrian Houser. He's never been the best pitcher on the Brewers, but he is reliable and can provide that extra boost needed to propel a Fantasy Baseball team to victory.

Houser has appeared in 110 games and started 80 of them during his career. Currently, he has a career 3.90 ERA and averages 1.96 strikeouts per walk. This season, however, he is toting a 2.25 ERA and 3.5 strikeouts per walk. Houser is sporting a career-best 4.8% walk rate (87th percentile in 2023), backed by a career-best 30.8% chase rate (69th percentile in 2023). This means batters swing at 30.8% of Houser's pitches outside the strike zone.

PitchVertical Movement Gained Since 2022 (inches)Horizontal Movement Gained Since 2022 (inches)

Looking at this graph, we see Houser has altered the movement on several pitches. The most significant is his sinker, which he throws 37.7% of the time. Compared to 2022, Houser added vertical and horizontal movement to the sinker, making it harder to hit. I believe these changes will push Houser to have his best season yet.

Houser has a two-start week this week. Both matchups come on the road, the first is in Toronto, and the second is in Cincinnati. These may be tough matchups, but Fantasy managers should add Houser this week.

Jose Caballero, 2B, Seattle Mariners

There's a new starting second baseman in Seattle, and his name is Jose Caballero. Caballero will be taking over for the struggling Kolten Wong. Caballero has already scored more runs and RBI than Wong in 35 fewer plate appearances.

Jose Caballero77.279.403.426512106
Kolten Wong112.170.250.2003980

Stolen bases are the most significant difference between these two players. Caballero is a speed threat and already has six stolen bases in 26 games, while Wong has yet to record a stolen base in 34 games.

Enough of comparing Caballero with Wong. Let's compare him with the second base position as a whole. Over the last seven days, the Mariners' second baseman leads the position in stolen bases and is tied for fourth in home runs.

With second base being as weak as it is this year, Caballero has a path to finishing as a top-12 second baseman by the end of the season.

Zach Neto, SS, Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are having a sneaky good season at the plate. They rank ninth in runs and tenth in OPS. This is led by superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, but they wouldn't be here if it weren't for the likes of Zach Neto and his teammate Mickey Moniak, who made the Waiver Wire a week ago.

Neto, similarly to Moniak, has turned it up as of late. Over his last 15 games, Neto is slashing .306/.340/.592 with three homers, five doubles, nine runs, and ten RBI. This stretch of games has bumped his season-long slash line to .266/.333/.411.

At 22, Neto is putting together a top-12 season at a profound shortstop position. He ranks 10th in OPS (.745) and 11th in wRC+ (107). Both rank higher than Bobby Witt Jr., Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Jeremy Pena, Trea Turner, and Willy Adames.

It's time for Fantasy Managers to consider Neto as their shortstop in 12-team leagues.

Brandon Williamson, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Brandon Williamson is an up-and-coming starting pitcher who deserves a shot on Fantasy Baseball teams. Currently, he should be viewed as a streamer, but he has the potential to be worthy of a spot for the rest of the season.

Williamson has allowed six hits and six walks for four earned runs through ten innings through two career games. He's also recorded nine strikeouts. Before being called up, the rookie had a hard time in Triple-A. Down there, he recorded a 6.62 ERA in eight starts.

Williamson relies primarily on his cutter and four-seam fastball, but his slider and changeup have been his most dominant pitches. His batting average against for these pitches is .111 and .000, respectively. His changeup, in particular, has an astounding 87.5% whiff rate.

The rookie's next start comes Saturday, May 27, at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Over the last 15 days, the Cubs rank 20th in OPS and 21st in runs scored. During this same period, they also have the most strikeouts in MLB. With this in mind, I'm picking Williamson up everywhere I can.

Expect big things from the rookie in the coming days. After this start, his next will come at home against the Milwaukee Brewers. In the last 15 days, the Brewers have the fourth most strikeouts, ranked 21st in OPS, and 25th in runs scored.

Spencer Steer, 3B, Cincinnati Reds

One of my players on the rise this offseason was Spencer Steer. This was due to his all-around solid hit tool and his likelihood of playing an everyday role in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Then two weeks later, Taylor Cochran listed Steer as a super sleeper. Here, Cochran makes the point that third base is one of the shallowest positions making a sleeper like Steer that much more valuable.

Similarly to Neto, Steer is another rookie posting a top-12 season at his position. The 25-year-old third baseman is slashing .285/.353/.478 with 22 extra-base hits, 26 runs, and 23 RBI. He ranks ninth among qualified third basemen in wRC+ (119) and fourth in OPS (.831).

The interesting thing about Steer is that he is below average in hard-hit and barrel rates, but his slugging percentage ranks seventh among qualified third basemen. Still, this is not a reason to worry. Steer has been playing well without barreling the ball or getting hard hits. As long as he keeps doing what he's doing, he'll finish as a top-12 third baseman this season.

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