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Continuing with our twice-weekly series on waiver wire pickups down the stretch, here are some hitters who can help you move up the standings in the coming days. Some of these players are strictly rentals, while others have the potential to stay on your team the rest of the way. Let’s dive in:
Daulton Varsho (C/OF, 26 percent rostered)
Varsho has entered a time-share behind the plate with Carson Kelly and is also getting some starts in the outfield. The 25-year-old likely isn’t ready to hit for average in the Majors, but that shouldn't exclude him from consideration at a position that includes many low-average players. With an intriguing power-speed blend (11 HR, 7 SB in 261 career AB), Varsho is a great option in two-catcher leagues and for those in tight steals races.
Frank Schwindel (1B, 40 percent)
Schwindel continues to swing a hot bat and now owns a .942 OPS as a member of the Cubs. I have written about the first baseman three weeks in a row, and although I don’t believe he is a future star, his recent success and the lack of Cubs roster depth should combine to make Schwindel a full-time player in the coming weeks. I’m ready to add him in some 10-team leagues.
Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B, 31 percent)
After opening the season with three months of nondescript play, Candelario posted a .941 OPS in July and owns an .850 mark to this point in August. He regularly bats in the heart of the lineup and has been a batting average asset (.281) since the start of last season. The 27-year-old lacks the power-speed skills to have a high ceiling, but he can contribute runs and RBIs.
Miguel Sano (1B/3B, 43 percent)
I rarely tout Sano, but I have to admit he is the perfect fit for some fantasy managers at the moment. The slugger has an undeniable power stroke, and he has also hit .250 since the beginning of June. Now that he can be considered less of a batting-average drain, Sano is a fine target for those who need homers in a hurry.
Aledmys Diaz (1B/2B/3B/OF, 23 percent)
Diaz has taken full advantage of an uptick of playing time this month, batting .307. I don’t view the 31-year-old as a high-end option, but his four-position eligibility and placement in a strong offense make Diaz a fine option to stream into the daily league lineups.
Cesar Hernandez (2B, 34 percent)
Hernandez hasn’t hit well for the White Sox, but the sample size is still small, and overall this season the second baseman has produced 20 homers and 72 runs scored. The 31-year-old is mainly in this article because the White Sox have seven games in hitter-friendly parks this week, while many other MLB clubs play just five contests. Streaming Hernandez for one week could result in extra counting stats.
Jazz Chisholm (2B/SS, 55 percent)
I rarely discuss players who are rostered in more than 50 percent of leagues, but I’m going to make an exception with Chisholm. The infielder has an exciting power-speed mix (14 HR, 13 SB) and is hitting .275 this month while cutting his strikeout rate. At worst, Chisholm will be a contributor; at best, he will be a difference-maker.
Nicky Lopez (2B/SS, 18 percent)
For most of this season, Lopez was an empty batting average. But things changed this month, as he decided to run the bases more aggressively and has already accumulated 10 swipes. The .282 hitter won’t provide power numbers, but he could be useful for those who need steals and don’t want to hurt their batting average in the process.
Miguel Rojas (SS, 17 percent)
All waiver-wire moves don’t have to be bold. Such is the case with Rojas, who is a steady contributor with a full-time leadoff role. There is little upside in the 31-year-old, but he has hit .290 or better in three of the past four months, provides the occasional stolen base, and tallies his share of runs scored. Overall, he can fill a hole on a team that is missing their shortstop.
Amed Rosario (SS/OF, 46 percent)
Rosario is hitting for average (.289), swiping bases (12), and occasionally ripping round-trippers (8). And almost all of his good work is coming from the coveted No. 2 spot in a lineup that lacks depth but has some quality batters (Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes) hitting 3rd and 4th. Overall, Rosario is the safest option in this article.
Corey Dickerson (OF, 3 percent)
Dickerson owns a lifetime .816 OPS, which is well above the minimum expectation for Major League regulars. And after initially joining the Blue Jays as a bench bat, he now has a starting role in the absence of George Springer. Toronto’s lineup has scuffled of late but could pick things up in a hurry, helping Dickerson collect counting stats. Dickerson should already be rostered in all 12-team leagues.
Derek Hill (OF, 0 percent)
Hill has been holding his own in his first extended Major League action, hitting .259 while showing significant speed (six steals in 85 at-bats). He has received leadoff opportunities since returning from the IL, which has me optimistic that he could be a source of runs and swipes in the coming weeks.