The second half of the season is in full swing, which means it’s long past time to hold on to any illusions that you’re going to win your league with all of your brilliant draft picks intact. It’s time to throw out what you thought you knew around draft time and make adjustments. Time to decide whether you’re in it to win it this year, and what you might need to make that happen. Time to check narrative and sentiment at the door.
This is especially true at the outfield spots, where injuries have felled top picks like Aaron Judge, Jazz Chisholm, Yordan Alvarez and more. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a strong finish.
Fantasy baseball outfield waiver wire: Week 18
Chas McCormick, OF, Houston Astros
Roster percentage: 25.1%
The longer McCormick’s hot streak continues, the less it seems like a fluke. The Astros outfielder is hitting .336/.430/.595 with eight homers, seven steals and 21 RBI across 34 games (32 starts) since June 2, numbers that, prorated across a full season, would represent early-round value. The trade deadline could shake up Houston’s outfield, but as long as Michael Brantley’s status remains up in the air, there’s no reason McCormick shouldn’t earn everyday time over the likes of Corey Julks and Jake Meyers. The homer numbers probably overstate his actual pop — McCormick’s exit velocity numbers are fairly pedestrian — but he hits the ball in the air consistently and can really run, making him a potential five-category contributor the rest of the way.
Trent Grisham, OF, San Diego Padres
Roster percentage: 4.9%
From June 20 to July 23, Grisham has slashed .273/.381/.511 with four homers, five steals and 15 RBI. Even more importantly, the outfielder has started 38 straight games, no longer automatically sitting against left-handed pitching thanks to much-improved platoon splits — he’s actually hitting lefties (.876 OPS) better than righties (.664) this year. We’ve seen Grisham be an impact fantasy player as recently as a couple years ago, when he hit 15 homers and stole 13 bags with a 106 OPS+. If his plate skills are for real, he’s a very valuable source of power and speed locked into playing time in a good lineup.
Dane Myers, OF, Miami Marlins
Roster percentage: 1.7%
Chisholm’s injury has opened up near-everyday playing time for Myers, who was a two-way player in college and focused exclusively on pitching to start his Minor League career before switching to the outfield just a couple of years ago. After lighting up the Minors, the 27-year-old finally got the call to the Show earlier this month, and he’s taken full advantage — hitting .333/.347/.438 with a 54.1% hard-hit rate and 29.7% line-drive rate, both well above league average. Myers can really run, too, swiping 16 bases in 69 games in the Minors this year, and he could be a solid source of average and speed for fantasy squads as long as the Marlins keep running him out there.
Cade Marlowe, OF, Seattle Mariners
Roster percentage: 0.1%
Another injury-related promotion, Marlowe made his MLB debut this week after Jarred Kelenic fractured his foot kicking a water cooler. A 20th-round pick as a senior sign back in 2019, all the West Georgia product has done is rake at every stop on his path to the Majors. He was a man possessed down the stretch in 2022, hitting .390/.472/.764 with 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases over his final 32 games between Double-A and Triple-A, and he followed that up with a .793 OPS with 11 homers and 25 steals so far this year. Marlowe has never been widely regarded as a top prospect, but he figures to get lots of playing time, and If he can keep making solid contact, the power/speed upside is immense.