The key to winning your fantasy baseball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent and call-ups could replace those late-round selections, even mid-rounders, that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players. All players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD!
Jonathan Schoop, 2B/1B, Detroit Tigers
After being an All-Star in 2017 with the Baltimore Orioles, Jonathon Schoop would continue to play for three more rosters after not being able to keep his production consistent. Schoop now finds himself with the Detroit Tigers where he hopes to turn his career around while still under 30 years old. He has recently been on an incredible hitting streak that has included two multi-homer games. In his last 10 games, Schoop has been hitting .444 with six homers and 11 RBIs. He’s also had an OBP of .524 and an OPS of 1.524 which are both through the roof. Schoop should be added immediately in all league formats while he continues to shred.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, Boston Red Sox
After a horrible 2020 season with the Tampa Bay Rays, Hunter Renfroe was sent to the rebuilding Boston Red Sox to help their shortage of outfielders after trading Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals. Renfroe’s number has dramatically improved since the trade and has of late he’s been a hitting machine. In his last 10 games, Renfroe has hit .455 with two homers, three RBIs, and ten runs scored. His role has changed from a power hitter with high strikeout percentages to a contact hitter who has helped the Red Sox bring in runs. Renfroe should also be picked up in all league formats while the bat stays hot.
Odubel Herrera, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
After a suspension lasting two years due to a domestic violence incident, Odubel Herrera has made a comeback to the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies due to lackluster play from the centerfielder position. His recent batting and fielding production have made him look like the everyday centerfielder that the Phillies have desperately been looking for. In his last ten games, Herrera has hit .283 with two home runs, five RBIs, and nine runs scored. Herrera should be added in deeper formatted leagues and watched on radars in the more traditional formatted leagues.
Amed Rosario, SS/OF, Cleveland Indians
After being one of the players involved in the Fransisco Lindor trade, Amed Rosario now finds himself with the Indians who are trying to reload their roster with new stars. While Rosario is obviously no star, he has recently done a solid job filling the Lindor role to the best of his abilities. In his last ten games, Rosario has hit .308 with a homer, six RBIs, and seven runs scored. He also has two stolen bases in those same games. Rosario is not quite at the level where he should be picked up in all league formats. But for now, he is worth keeping on the radar if he can prove himself has a more consistent hitter for the Indians.
Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers
Tarik Skubal is one of the many pitching prospects that the Tigers have been trying to develop over the recent seasons. His major development has been what many have hoped for after an average 2020 season. However, in 2021, he has recently put together some solid starts that are quickly rising his stock. In his last four starts, Skubal has pitched a 2.14 ERA with 37 strikeouts over 21 innings pitched. And despite currently leading the league in losses, he is actually 3-1 in those same starts. With the combination of his upside and excellent strikeout command, Skubal is worth picking up in all league formats.
Ross Stripling, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
After earning an all-star appearance in 2018 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ross Stripling has struggled to maintain that same production which eventually led to him being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last season. 2021 has been a much more productive season for Stripling especially as of late. In his last three starts, Stripling has maintained a 1.06 ERA with 14 strikeouts over 17 innings. He also earned a 2-1 record in those same starts. Stripling is also worth adding in all league formats as he starts to regain his consistency for a rising Blue Jays franchise.
Logan Gilbert, SP, Seattle Mariners
Logan Gilbert was a highly praised prospect in the Mariners farm system for seasons prior but finally got the call to the big leagues in May. In his first two starts, he struggled but quickly regained control in his third and fourth start. In those latest two starts, Gilbert managed a 3.60 ERA with nine strikeouts over 10 innings pitched. That is certainly a small sample size but it is still encouraging to see those numbers from a prospect entering the majors less than a month ago. Gilbert is worth keeping a watch on radars as he will likely be added quickly due to his status as a big-time prospect.
Brad Keller, SP, Kansas City Royals
Brad Keller had an excellent shortened season in 2020 after an average 2018 and 2019 season. His progression made him a quality sleeper selection before the 2021 season. That didn’t live up to expectations right off the bat as he earned an 8.06 ERA in his first six starts. that has completely turned around over his next six starts after that. Since then, he’s managed a 3.82 ERA with 35 strikeouts over 33 innings of work. Keller is a solid sleeper pick-up if none of the other options are available. His next few starts will be important if he becomes a cash grab or simply an average pitcher at best.