Fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups: Adam Duvall powers up

·3-min read

One of the dominant storylines of the MLB season to this point — along with nightly no-hitters and Tony La Russa's curmudgeonliness — has been the prevalence of injuries among star players. Or at least, among star players on my rosters. It's been messy out there.

Assuming you have a few roster needs at the moment, we're here for you with a collection of widely available solutions. (If you'd prefer to stash a prospect or two, consider these options.)

Let's begin with a potential power boost ...

Adam Duvall, OF, Atlanta Braves (34% rostered)

If you can use an exit-velocity all-star with a hard-hit rate of 50 percent, Duvall is your guy. He's up to eight home runs on the season, has three multi-hit games in his last six and he's batting clean-up for Miami. These are all good things. His home runs are not generally cheap:

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Duvall isn't likely to hit much better than .240-ish, which is why you can find him in the free-agent pool in so many leagues. But we know he can produce 30-plus bombs because he's done it in previous seasons. Give him a look if you need help in the power categories.

Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (28%)

Wong is slashing a perfectly respectable .274/.348/.402 while playing every day and batting lead-off for the Brewers. We don't really need to speculate about his power/speed potential, because we've seen it — and it's plenty useful. He's hit double-digit homers in three different seasons and he swiped 24 bags in 2019. Now that Christian Yelich is back from the injured list, we can expect a bit more run-scoring from the Brewers. Wong should be a solid contributor in at least two categories (runs and steals) while not hurting you anywhere else.

Kiké Hernandez, 2B/SS/OF, Boston Red Sox (24%)

Speaking of IL returnees, Hernandez is back and again hitting atop the lineup for Boston, MLB's second highest-scoring team. He has 20-homer ability and eligibility at both middle-infield spots, too. Hernandez might be a batting average liability, but he's a decent bet to score 90 runs if he remains healthy for the remainder of the season. He's an extremely useful first-bat-off-the-fantasy-bench sort of player.

Josh Staumont, RP, Kansas City Royals (40%)

Do you like closers?

How about closers with outstanding ratios?

How about closers with outstanding ratios, triple-digit heat, and sickening breaking stuff?

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If you want all of those things, Staumont is here for you. It's wild that he's still available in 60 percent of the Yahoo universe. In fact, it's frankly embarrassing. Let's fix that. He's an elite relief arm, not some sketchy, temporary closing option.

Kris Bubic, LHP, Kansas City Royals (8%)

Occasionally, a team website basically writes pickup the blurb for you:

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What's left to say? Bubic is a deceptive lefty with low-90s velocity and a wicked change. Almost no one has made loud contact off of him (3 barrels, 29.8 hard-hit%). He whiffed 185 batters in 149.1 minor league innings back in 2019, so he can help in all the key categories. Bubic should get Detroit in his next start, which gives him plenty of stream appeal.

Miles Mikolas, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (11%)

Mikolas hasn't pitched in the big leagues in forever (OK, not since 2019), but he looked ready in his last rehab outing at Memphis, firing 6.0 scoreless innings against Nashville. The plan is for him to get a start against the Cubs this weekend. Mikolas isn't necessarily a high-K starter, but he's an N.L. arm tied to a winning environment and his ratios should be friendly. If you add him now, you can still stash him in an IL slot and take the wait-and-watch approach.