Waiver Wire Guidelines: Trying To Find Under-The-Radar Value (Snell, Wade & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We are always looking to dig deep and find a gem that no one else is looking towards.  Sometimes an opportunity comes from a player gaining a new role and sometimes it’s a struggling player who has always shown potential.  Let’s take a look at two players likely sitting on the waiver wire who could appear to have value and determine if they are actually worth owning (all stats are through Monday):


Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays – Starting Pitcher
Snell is set to return to Tampa Bay’s rotation today, after going 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA over 7 starts (44.0 IP) at Triple-A.  Before you get too excited, though, keep in mind that he posted a 1.32 WHIP.  His control was better than it was in the Majors (3.07 BB/9) and you can argue that there was some bad luck (.359 BABIP).  The latter isn’t necessarily a good argument, though, as he was hit hard (23.6% line drive rate) and struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark (1.02 HR/9). 

We all know the swing and miss upside (17.5% SwStr% at Triple-A), but there are some obvious risks (line drive rate, home runs and control).  Keep that in mind before rushing out and grabbing him in shallower formats, especially since he’ll be pitching in the AL East.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Monitor Only
  • 12 Team Leagues – Worth Consideration
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Must Add
  • AL-Only Leagues – Must Add
  • Keeper Leagues – Must Add


Ben Gamel – Seattle Mariners – Outfielder
The former Yankee prospect is hitting .346 with 4 HR and 2 SB over 234 PA, but is that enough to excite anyone?  The average has come courtesy of an unsustainable .456 BABIP and while his plate discipline isn’t terrible his 24.8% strikeout rate will make it difficult to maintain such an elevated average.  With little power and just a touch of SB potential, this isn’t a player that you are going to want to invest heavily in.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 12 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on
  • AL-Only Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on
  • Keeper Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on


Tyler Wade – New York Yankees – Infielder
Speaking of Yankee prospects, with Starlin Castro hitting the DL Wade is going to take his roster spot and should see regular time at second base.  While he doesn’t have much power (16 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs at Triple-A), he was hitting .313 with plenty of speed (24-for-28 in SB attempts).  You can argue a little bit of luck in his average (.371 BABIP), but his plate discipline (10.5% walk rate, after an 11.3% at Double-A in ’16) is solid and he has proven he can make consistent contact (8.8% SwStr% at Triple-A).  If he was guaranteed to return to Triple-A he wouldn’t be a highly sought after addition, but it’s possible that he gets an opportunity to fill the void at 3B as well (instead of a trade or giving Miguel Andujar a shot).  With SB at a premium, and the potential for positional flexibility, that’s a skillset worth gambling on.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Monitor closely (if need SB)
  • 12 Team Leagues – Worthy addition
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Must add
  • AL-Only Leagues – Must add
  • Keeper Leagues – Must add


Michael Taylor – Washington Nationals – Outfielder
He’s long been viewed as an intriguing mix of power and speed, and with 11 HR and 7 SB over 220 PA it’s easy to let him get us excited once again.  However his plate discipline has been abysmal, with a 33.2% strikeout rate and 4.5% walk rate (courtesy of a 16.2% SwStr%), and it’s easy to envision his 22.4% HR/FB rate regressing.  That means he’s a risky contributor across the board, and once Jayson Werth is healthy if Taylor is struggling he could easily find his way to the bench.

Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team Leagues – Don’t Add
  • 12 Team Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on
  • 14+ Team Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on
  • NL-Only Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on
  • Keeper Leagues – Utilize while hot, then move on


Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com

Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:

CatcherJune 1
First BaseJune 3
Second BaseJune 5
Third Base--
Starting Pitcher--
Relief Pitcher--


  1. Corey says:

    Barretto or Tyler wade?

  2. Ron says:

    Any chance of you helping with a write up of David Dahl?
    I can not get a true reading on what is up with him this season. Any hope of seeing him patrolling the OF in Colorado this season at all?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      IT’s hard to write him up, because the whole thing is a mystery. They are going to be cautious, and I’d guess a best case is having him in August (though who knows). At this point I wouldn’t be banking on him.

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