Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: 7 pickups ready to improve your squad

If you don’t detonate your fantasy baseball roster when the calendar flips to May, why did you even sign up for this game? C’mon, people.

Let’s review a few priority pickups for fantasy managers in need of help…

It’s been quite a journey for Grissom to reach Boston’s lineup, involving soft tissue injuries and illness and a nine-game minor league rehab stint (during which he hit .333/.444/.400). At last, it appears Grissom will finally make his Red Sox debut on Friday. The 23-year-old middle infielder was acquired in the Chris Sale deal back in December, you might recall. Grissom should immediately serve as the everyday second baseman for Boston and his fantasy upside is significant. He’s hit .320/.408/.420 in the minors over 1,507 career plate appearances, with solid power and speed totals. Grissom clearly has the sort of profile that deserves fantasy attention. He deserves a roster spot in any deeper league.

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Manzardo has been feasting at Triple-A Columbus this season, hitting .323/.400/.667 with eight homers and nine doubles. He’s homered three times over his last four games, building the strongest possible case for a call-up.

He has a sweet swing with contact skills and on-base ability. Manzardo sure looks as if he’s capable of contributing at the major league level; the Guardians’ lineup isn’t so loaded that they can’t possibly squeeze him into the mix.

We seem to be stuck in a staredown over Doyle, as he remains widely available despite our repeated attempts to promote him. Let the record show that he’s still hitting for average, batting second for Colorado in recent days, plus he’s delivered three homers and four steals thus far. Doyle has been a 20/20 guy in the minors already, so we know his power and speed are legit. The Rockies are headed into a six-game homestand next week, which means yet another opportunity to take advantage of the friendliest hitting environment in the game.

Let’s not make it awkward, folks. Please give Doyle a look before we’re forced to re-hype him again next week.

Castro is really surging over the past week, carrying an eight-game hitting streak into an upcoming home series against Boston. During this recent binge, he has five multi-hit games, seven runs scored, eight RBI, one homer and two steals. Whatever you need, he’s delivered. Castro also offers eligibility at four roster spots, so you can slot him pretty much anywhere. He swiped 33 bags for the Twins last year, so the speed is certainly real.

It may feel as if Adell has been scamming tempting us for decades, but somehow this man is still only 25-years-old. He’s off to a relatively productive start this year, slashing .290/.338/.565 over his first 24 games, and he’s brought his K-rate down significantly (although he struck out four times on Wednesday, so the old Adell may still be lurking). Adell’s power has always been his most notable attribute, so the four home runs are no surprise. He also has five steals to his credit this season (in 10 attempts), so he’s filling the box score. We’ve seen crazier post-hype breakouts than this (but not many), so feel free to take a flier on a guy with 25/15 potential.

Every turn for Ashcraft this season has resulted in either a win or a quality start, so he’s looking a lot like the useful pitcher we saw in the second-half of 2023. Last year, after a rocky beginning, he was excellent over his final 10 starts: 2.81 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 50 K in 64.0 IP. With six starts in the books this season, he has one of the highest ground-ball rates in the game (52.8%), his fantasy ratios are solid (3.63, 1.27) and he’s struck out 30 batters over 34.2 innings.

Ashcraft has triple-digit heat when he needs it…

…along with an often unhittable slider. He can be trusted against the Diamondbacks next week.

Back in the spring, there was low-level buzz about Wong’s rebuilt swing, and the early results have been impressive. He’s hitting at a level that’s probably not sustainable for anyone, thanks to a lofty BABIP, but he’s making much better contact this season, plus he’s cleared the fence five times. Wong stole eight bags last year, so he’s the rare catcher who can contribute in steals. If you’re looking for a boost at a notoriously volatile position, consider giving this man a test drive.

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