The air is starting to get a bit crisper (well, in the north at least). The real-life and fantasy trade deadlines have come and gone. September is almost upon us. The marathon of the 2023 MLB season has become a sprint to the finish, and right now is winning time for those of you lucky enough to still be in contention in your fantasy baseball leagues. With precious few weeks to shore up holes and make up ground in the standings, smart adds become even more important: Hit on an under-the-radar free agent, and fantasy hardware awaits; miss, and you’ll spend the winter wondering what if.
Luckily, our weekly waiver wire recommendations are here to help, with position-by-position looks are players you should consider snagging off the waiver wire. Next up: the outfield.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 25 outfield targets
Jasson Dominguez, OF, New York Yankees
Roster percentage: 22.4%
Well how’s that for a debut. Hype has followed Dominguez ever since he was drawing Mickey Mantle comparisons as a teenager, but after seven hits and three homers in his first five games — including taking Justin Verlander yard on his very first swing in the Majors — the Martian sure looks like he belongs on Earth. Caveats apply, of course: Dominguez is still just 20, he’s sure to encounter a pretty steep learning curve as the Majors adjust to him — there remain questions about whether he’ll strike out too much to be a plus hitter at the MLB level, despite his strength and athleticism — and hanging these sorts of expectations on anyone not named Shohei Ohtani is setting yourself up for disappointment. Still, he’ll get every-day playing time from now until the end of the season, and he’s put up very good numbers at every level of the Minors despite being young for every league he’s been in. (He slashed .265/.377/.425 with 15 homers and 40 steals in 118 games across Double-A and Triple-A this year.) Power/speed combos like this don’t become available too often.
Evan Carter, OF, Texas Rangers
Roster percentage: 2.4%
Of course, Dominguez isn’t the only top outfield prospect getting his first taste of the Majors in September. Carter — MLB Pipeline’s No. 8 overall prospect — took the injured Adolis Garcia’s place on the roster late last week, and he could be a big boost to fantasy lineups down the stretch. Expecting Carter to step in and immediately replace Garcia’s middle-of-the-lineup production (.817 OPS, 34 homers) is silly, but it’s certainly not bad as far as injury replacements go. The 21-year-old blitzed High-A and Double-A to the tune of a .295/.397/.489 slash line last season while being named the Rangers’ Minor League Player of the Year. He was great again this summer in a repeat performance at Frisco, eventually earning a promotion to Triple-A last month — where he’s hit .353 over his first eight games. Carter doesn’t have overwhelming power, but he has an advanced approach, a smooth lefty swing and plus speed once he gets on base.
Ernie Clement, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Roster percentage: 0.4%
As injuries beset key players in Toronto, some unheralded youngsters are playing big roles in the team’s Wild Card push. We’ve already waxed poetic about Davis Schneider, but Clement has also been huge for the Jays of late, starting all over the field — but especially at short in the wake of Bo Bichette’s injury — and hitting .387/.387/.548 over his last nine games.
Clement has a unique approach at the plate: He swings at almost literally everything thrown his way, but he makes contact with most of it, and he’s done nothing but spray line drives all over the place since being promoted from Triple-A. That may not be the most sustainable formula long-term, but it’s certainly working right now, and he’ll be a boon to every team in need of a batting average boost down the stretch.
Jason Heyward, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Roster percentage: 0.8%
Heyward has sort of flown under the radar amidst all the other offensive talent the Dodgers boast, but the veteran has enjoyed an improbable bounce-back season, popping three homers over his last 10 games to raise his slash line to a healthy .269/.350/.487. L.A. is shielding him from just about every lefty, but he’s doing enough damage against righties to make it worthwhile for fantasy purposes — especially with the Dodgers lineup being such a fruitful place for counting stats. His walk rate and launch angle are at career highs, and we know how much damage Heyward can do if he finally starts lifting the ball in the air.