Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 5
The waiver wire has plenty of gems available for the taking, so let's try to get a leg up on our fellow league members and make some moves where needed.
The four players below are all owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues and could give your squad a shot in the arm as we head into May.
Bud Norris - St. Louis Cardinals (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 47.8%
Holland has appeared in 10 games so far, and they've been pretty ugly. The reliever has faced 39 batters, and nearly half of them have reached base via a hit or a walk (18). Norris, however, has been brilliant. Over 13 1/3 innings, he owns a sparkling 2.08 ERA with a 38.5% strikeout rate and miniscule 3.9% walk rate.
If Holland continues to falter, look for Norris to be the next man up for save chances for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Brandon Belt - San Francisco Giants (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 47.6%
Is the Brandon Belt breakout finally occurring? Belt tied a career-high with 18 home runs last year, but the first baseman has now bopped six jacks already in his first 99 plate appearances.
Belt's approach appears to have discernibly changed, and while it's early on in the season, he is hitting the ball into the ground only 24.6% of the time. That is considerably lower than his career average ground-ball rate of 33.0%. In addition to that, he's hitting the ball harder more often with a career-best 44.1% hard-hit rate to go with his career-high 47.4% fly-ball rate. Yes, please. Maybe the best part is that Belt hasn't sacrificed any of his superb plate discipline as he's boasting a 14.1% walk rate.
If you need some help at the first base or corner slots, check out Belt.
Leonys Martin - Detroit Tigers (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 26.9%
After a paltry .109 isolated power (ISO) mark in 2017, Martin has ripped four homers this year, which already exceeding his 2017 mark, and he's sporting a robust .208 ISO in 2018. It's a big reason why Martin owns a .352 weighted on-base average (wOBA).
He is also walking at a decent 7.6% clip -- which is slightly below the league-average but above Martin's career mark (6.4%). Add in a 35.5% hard-hit rate and his spot atop the order, and Martin looks awfully appealing
C.J. Cron - Tampa Bay Rays (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 25.5%
Cron has been a pretty consistent source of power as he's slugged exactly 16 long balls in his MLB action in each of the last three seasons. So far in 2018, he's turned it a notch, racking up six bombs over his first 108 plate appearances. On that current pace, he would certainly blow away that magic number of 16.
Cron's 40.5% hard-hit rate and 43.2% fly-ball rate portray some power that's here to stay, and while a 2.8% walk rate means he'll be prone to some rough stretches, Cron is a great way to fill up the power categories if you need help there.