Congratulations: With just one week left in the 2023 MLB regular season, if you’re reading this post, chances are you’re either in your fantasy finals or close enough in your roto league that a key pickup or two can make all the difference. It’s officially time to quit being precious: Unless you’re in a keeper/dynasty league, loyalty and long-term outlooks mean nothing; the only thing that matters is finding who’s hot and riding them to fantasy glory. Which means smart adds have become even more important: Hit on an under-the-radar free agent, and a trophy 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. First up: catcher.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 27 catcher targets
Bo Naylor, C, Cleveland Guardians
Roster percentage: 3.3%
After months of fits and starts and a frustratingly long stint at Triple-A, the much-anticipated Naylor breakout appears to finally be upon us. The former top prospect has been given the keys to Cleveland’s starting catcher job, and he’s driving the car with aplomb, with hits in 12 of 15 games so far in September en route to a tidy .326/.474/.558 slash line. That 13% walk rate is very encouraging: Naylor struck out a ton and was swinging at everything in his first taste of the Majors last year, but his chase and whiff rates are very solid this time around, allowing him to flash his considerable tools at the plate. This is the player Cleveland thought they were getting when they took him in the first round, and he’ll contribute in average and homers while playing more often than you’re average catcher.
Gabriel Moreno, C, Arizona Diamondbacks
Roster percentage: 7.0%
Speaking of former top prospects who’ve quietly performed after the hype has largely moved on: Moreno’s been one of the biggest reasons behind Arizona’s September surge, hitting .364/.442/.500 so far this month while walking nearly as often as he’s struck out. Not so long ago, Moreno was well-regarded enough to serve as the centerpiece of the Daulton Varsho trade, and we’re finally starting to see that elite hit tool translate in the Majors. He likely will never grow into a plus power contributor, but catchers who play nearly everyday and hit .300 (and can chip in the occasional steal, as Moreno has done twice this month) don’t grow on trees.
Jake Rogers, C, Detroit Tigers
Roster percentage: 2.9%
Rogers’ strikeout rate — and the Tigers’ general malaise — has kept him a secret from most of the fantasy community this year, but he quietly has a ton of upside in his bat. To wit:
Those numbers match up with the eye test, as Rogers consistently takes good at-bats and has a swing geared to do damage when he does square the ball up. The swing-and-miss will likely never go away, keeping his average down, but if you need some cheap pop look no further — Rogers gets the lion’s share of starts behind the plate and has hit .288/.315/.519 with four homers so far in September.