Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Yadiel Hernandez leads pickups to fill roster needs

·4 min read

Let's fix those damaged and/or disappointing fantasy rosters, people. All pickups featured here have passed our rigorous multi-point inspection and are approved for immediate use across a variety of formats.

Yadiel Hernandez, OF, Washington Nationals (15% rostered)

Last 5 games: 12-for-22, 4 R, 7 RBIs, SB

Hernandez is absolutely scorching hot right now and the binge began prior to the Nats' series in Colorado. He's strung together five straight multi-hit games, raising his season slash to a ridiculous .373/.394/.522. Not surprisingly, he's among your early leaders in xwOBA, barrel-rate and various other goodies. Hernandez cleared the fence 33 times at Triple-A Fresno in 2019, so we have every reason to expect power stats. He's a heart-of-the-order hitter who gets to drive in Juan Soto, a man who lives on base. The setup is excellent.

Edward Olivares, OF, Kansas City Royals (3%)

2021, Triple-A: .246 ISO, .414 wOBA, 15.8 K%

Can we interest you in a leadoff hitter with pop and speed who's hitting .364? If not, then perhaps you have no need for a pickups feature after all.

Olivares slashed .313/.397/.559 with 15 homers at Omaha last year at age 25. He's now riding a seven-game hitting streak for the Royals and batting atop the lineup. He stole 35 bags at Double-A back in 2019, so we can trust his wheels. He's hit for average in the minors in recent years and he's not a swing-and-miss specialist — in fact, he's only struck out four times in 36 plate appearances this season. Olivares has the potential to be a three- or four-category asset.

Juan Yepez, 1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals (8%)

2022, Triple-A: 93 PA, 9 HR, 26 RBIs, .651 SLG

Yepez made his big league debut on Wednesday, blooping a pair of doubles into right in a 2-for-3 performance. He then went 2-for-4 on Thursday, batting fifth for the Cards. At this point, he's looking like a good bet to stick in the lineup. Yepez launched 27 home runs over 111 games in the high-minors last year, spending most of his season at Triple-A Memphis. He hit .286/.383/.586 across two levels with 56 XBHs, 51 walks and 82 Ks. His power is certainly real ...

... and he arrived with multi-position eligibility. Yepez is an interesting flier if you're looking for a power boost.

Andres Gimenez, 2B/SS, Cleveland Guardians (31%)

Last 12 games: 16-for-44, 6 R, 5 XBH, HR, 11 RBIs, SB

The sleeper hype on Gimenez arrived a year early, so apologies for that. Let's just please note that he's earned it lately. He's put together a six-game hitting streak, during which he's driven in eight runs and scored five, raising his season average to .344. The 23-year-old is at the top of the charts in terms of sprint speed, so it's reasonable to expect double-digit steals. Over 138 major league games, he's gone 20-for-21 on stolen base attempts. He also swiped 38 bags in the minors back in 2018. If you need middle-infield assistance, this is your guy.

Cleveland Guardians' Andrés Giménez has fantasy value in his speed
Consider adding Andrés Giménez. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Elieser Hernandez, SP, Miami Marlins (7%)

2020-2021, MLB: 17 G, 77.1 IP, 87 Ks, 3.84 ERA, 10.1 K/9

OK, so the results haven't necessarily been great for Hernandez thus far, but the guy can't catch a break (or strand a baserunner). His expected ERA (3.81) is nearly three runs lower than actual (6.66). His velocity and stuff are no different from prior seasons and he's actually allowing one of the lowest line-drive rates in baseball (14.7%). Hernandez has a two-start week ahead, for those who chase such things, beginning with a matchup against the Diamondbacks on Monday. He's a reasonable short-term pickup for those who stream.

Ryan Helsley, RP, St. Louis Cardinals (45%)

2022, MLB: 8.1 IP, 16 Ks, 99.1 mph 4-seam, 27.0 SwStr%, -0.75 FIP

I'm really not sure what any hitter is supposed to do with this:

Helsley has reached 103.1 mph on the gun this year, which is just stupid. Giovanny Gallegos is still saving games for the Cardinals, so it's not as if bullpen upheaval is imminent. But we can't leave a guy un-rostered when he's dealing like Helsley. He's been obnoxiously dominant. We can always find a spot for a guy who's striking out two batters per inning.