In this week’s waiver wire article, we will point out some rookies who could establish themselves and make an impact in the second half.
Jesus Aguliar – 1B MIL
Jesus Aguilar avoided top-prospect status for the entirety of his minor league career due to his limited defensive ability and, despite having plus raw power, limited game power due to a lack of solid bat-to-ball skills. But the first problem solved itself when the Brewers selected him off waivers this spring to plug their hole at first base, and the second problem has solved itself by him being good. On the season, he is slashing .294/.358/.553 with nine home runs for a wRC+ of 131. This is the first time in his very limited major league career that the hit ability that he often times showed in the minors has translated to the majors. And it is worth noting that he has actually improved as the season has gone on, with a wRC+ of 139 since June 1, 151 since June 13, and 237 since June 6th ( four game sample size, for what it’s worth).
Clint Frazier – OF NYY
Clint Frazier, unlike Aguilar, has long been considered a top prospect. Drafted with the fifth overall pick of the 2013 draft, he was most recently ranked the #17 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, and he has lived up to the hype so far. In just seven games, he has slashed .292/.308/.875, that monstrous slugging percentage due to his three home runs in 26 at-bats. You can expect the home run power to sizzle down a bit, but other than that, these numbers are in line with his career. He struggled a bit in 2016, but has been very good in 300-plus plate appearances in Triple-A this season. The kid can play, and the only thing to worry about at this point is playing time.
Tzu-Wei Lin – INF BOS
Tzu-Wei Lin has been one of the most intriguing prospects in baseball for a while now. Tzu-Wei was very highly regarded when he was signed out of Taiwan for $2M in 2012. But he has been a disappointment ever since, having trouble as low as A-ball, and having slash lines of .202/.268/.266 and .223/.287/.293 for Double-A in 2015 and 2016, respectively. But something clicked this year, and in 184 plate appearances in Double-A, he slashed .302/.379/.491. When promoted straight to the Majors, he has been able to keep the production. Don’t expect any power from this guy, but if he continues to play like he has, you can expect lots of doubles and walks, and a decent number of stolen bases to boot.
Luke Voit – 1B STL
After being drafted in the 22nd round of the 2013 draft, Voit has done nothing but hit since. He has gotten better at every level. Literally. In 2013, he had a wRC+ of 115 in Low-A. In 2014, he had a wRC+ of 124 in High-A. In 2015, he repeated High-A to the tune of a 134 wRC+. In 2016, he had a 145 mark in Double-A. And in 2017, before being called up to the Majors, he had a 149. And just to show himself up, in the small sample size of 14 games, he has slashed .316/.366/.684 for a 169 wRC+. Another thing worth pointing out is that he hits for both good power and good average. Not only does he have 20-25 home run power, but his strikeout rate has been well under 20 percent for the year. This means that since he doesn’t strikeout a lot, he should be able to maintain decent numbers even if his BABIP drops for a spell. It also means he won’t go through monster slumps like some power hitters do.
Download the Inside Injuries app for more injury advice and fantasy analysis on every player in MLB!