Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Last call for AJ Smith-Shawver

Even the best rosters can use the occasional upgrade. Here are five players who can enhance your fantasy life ...

Nolan Jones, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies (17% rostered)

Jones is officially binging, having delivered four multi-hit games in his past six while stealing a base in three straight. He opened his season hitting an obnoxious .356/.481/.711 at Albuquerque, with a dozen homers and five steals over 39 games. Somehow, he has kept up the pace since joining the Rockies.

We shouldn't have to give you a hard sell on a blisteringly hot slugger who does his home hitting at Coors, right? Good. Go get him.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (14%)

Just in case you thought the Reds were finished enhancing their lineup with elite prospects following the Elly De La Cruz call-up ... well, no, they most certainly are not. Encarnacion-Strand can't be far behind. He's a potential high-impact bat you can add before the eventual post-promotion frenzy. If you need a power boost, this is your guy:

Encarnacion-Strand is currently slashing .352/.408/.716 (!) at Louisville, with 15 homers, 12 doubles and 39 RBI. Last year, he hit .304/.368/.587, and he cleared the fence 32 times in 122 games across two minor-league levels.

His arrival, whenever it happens, is going to be a problem for Tyler Stephenson in terms of playing time, but that's a small concern. Encarnacion-Strand should be stashed by someone in your league ahead of his debut.

Joey Wiemer, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (18%)

At 24, Wiemer is probably getting a little old to continue calling himself "Joey." But that's one of the only negatives we can identify to this point in his breakout season. Injuries created a path to playing time for Wiemer, and he has taken full advantage of the opportunity.

After Wednesday's four-hit, two-homer performance ...

... he's up to eight bombs on the season, along with nine steals. He's riding a nine-game hitting streak, too. Wiemer is coming off a year in which he hit 21 home runs and swiped 31 bags (in 34 attempts) in the high minors, so he has an exceedingly fantasy-friendly profile. He won't hit for average, but he can deliver various other fantasy goodies.

Ryan Noda, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (8%)

If you happen to play in a fantasy league that uses on-base percentage in place of (or in addition to) batting average, then Noda should probably already be on a roster. He's reaching base at a .415 clip for the A's while batting at or near the top of the order, and his career minor-league OBP is .407. He also has four multi-hit games in his past five, so he has been scorching-hot at the plate. Noda hit 25 homers at Triple-A last season and 29 the year before at Double-A, so there's pop in his profile, too.

AJ Smith-Shawver, SP, Atlanta Braves (51%)

Smith-Shawver graduated from high school in 2021 as a two-sport Texas Tech commit, very much a developmental prospect who'd never focused year-round on baseball. He opened this season at High-A Rome, nowhere near the big leagues.

Yet here we are. This weekend, the 20-year-old right-hander will make his MLB starting debut against the Nationals in a relatively friendly matchup.

It has been an incredible rise through the system for Smith-Shawver, who has simply been terrific at every stop. He struck out 45 batters in 33 minor-league innings this season and 103 in 68 2/3 IP the year before in the Carolina League. His fastball/slider combo has been devastating. Any fantasy manager searching for wins and Ks should give him a test drive. Go check if he's still available.