Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Edward Cabrera dazzles in electrifying season debut

The latest Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column breaks down a stellar season debut from Edward Cabrera, the return of speedster Esteury Ruiz and an unheralded prospect pushing for a promotion in Houston.

Edward Cabrera, SP, Marlins (35% rostered)

Cabrera made a serious statement on Monday night in his return to Miami's starting rotation, recording 10 strikeouts and allowing just one run over six innings in a no-decision against the Giants. He generated 17 swinging strikes and finished with an elite 42% called-strikes-plus-whiffs rate in a highly impressive season debut. It was just his third career double-digit strikeout performance.

Edward Cabrera headshot
Edward Cabrera
SP - MIA - #27
2024 - false season

The 26-year-old former top prospect, who looked outstanding during spring training before landing on the injured list in mid-March with a right shoulder impingement, has dealt with serious control issues in the past, which made it even more impressive that he handed out only one free pass in his highly anticipated return. The strikeout upside has always been there for Cabrera, which has made him the ultimate what-if-he-had-command starter the last few years. If he's remotely close to solving his omnipresent control and command issues, he could rapidly evolve into one of the more impactful starters in the current fantasy landscape.

He should be rostered in all fantasy formats until further notice and will aim to keep the momentum going this weekend in a home start against the Cubs in Miami's pitcher-friendly loanDepot park.

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Esteury Ruiz, OF, Athletics (55% rostered)

Esteury Ruiz headshot
Esteury Ruiz
LF - OAK - #1
2024 - false season

Ruiz was officially summoned back to the majors on Monday evening after batting .326 (14-for-43) with three homers and seven steals in 11 games for Triple-A Las Vegas. The 25-year-old speedster's stunning early April demotion sent shockwaves through the fantasy landscape and caused him to wind up on the waiver wire in the majority of leagues, especially shallow formats. There are enough legitimate questions surrounding his offensive skill set to warrant skepticism moving forward, but his game-changing speed remains pretty undeniable. If he's given anything close to regular playing time for the rebuilding Athletics moving forward, he'll make an impact for fantasy managers with his wheels. We're unwilling to commit to anything beyond a one-category standout at this juncture, but he showed a willingness to take some free passes during his brief demotion, which is a variable worth monitoring moving forward.

Joey Loperfido, 1B/OF, Astros (5% rostered)

Loperfido has arguably been the hottest hitter in the minor leagues at the outset of the regular season, posting a stratospheric 1.323 OPS with a minor league-leading 10 round-trippers, 24 RBI and two steals in 14 games. More importantly from a fantasy standpoint, he's drawn a handful of starts at first base over the last few weeks, which happens to coincide with an ice-cold stretch from veteran first baseman José Abreu at the big-league level. His ability to hold his own at the cold corner could rapidly expedite his timeline to the majors, especially if Abreu's struggles persist.

The 24-year-old slugging prospect is hardly a sure thing and also possesses some serious contact issues, as evidenced by a 34% strikeout rate this season at the Triple-A level. That glaring deficiency needs to be addressed before he's given an extended opportunity at the highest level. However, even a slight improvement in the plate-skills department would give him a chance to make a four-category impact for fantasy managers, especially as part of Houston's talented lineup mix. He's worthy of a speculative roster spot for fantasy managers in extremely deep leagues as a low-risk lottery ticket on the chance that he gets a look for the Astros in the next few weeks.