Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Go get Ben Rice

Those broken rosters won’t fix themselves, people. We’re gonna need to do a little work. June is no time for complacency, so here’s a collection of seven useful waiver options, available in a majority of Yahoo! leagues and approved for use …

Ronald Acuña Jr.’s season-ending injury was obviously a catastrophic occurrence for the Braves, but Kelenic has met the moment with an extended period of productive play. Kelenic now finds himself in a near-everyday role and he’s batting .299 with an OPS of .856 dating back to the game in which Acuña went down. He’s also hit safely in seven straight games, occupying the leadoff spot for Atlanta while delivering useful power/speed totals.

It may feel as if Kelenic has been around forever, because we’ve already gone through the full prospect-to-bust-to-post-hype cycle with him. But somehow he’s still only 24 years old. Let’s not write him off just yet.

Rice has delivered hits in each of his first two games since earning a promotion from Triple-A. He certainly doesn’t appear to be overmatched:

He’s playing first base following the injury to Anthony Rizzo (60-day IL), but he actually carries catcher eligibility (legitimately earned — he has 28 starts behind the plate this season). Rice has hit .275/.393/.532 in the high minors this year with 15 bombs and nine steals in 10 attempts, so his fantasy upside should be obvious. If you’re looking for a boost at catcher, this is your guy.

Fantasy managers haven’t jumped on Horwitz just yet, despite the fact that he’s gone 12-for-34 with six walks since he got the call from Triple-A. Horwitz has been leading off for the Jays, because he’s a verifiable on-base machine. He was hitting an obscene .335/.456/.514 at Buffalo prior to the promotion. Horwitz has low-double-digit potential in homers and steals, too. He should remain a serious asset in runs and AVG without being a liability in any standard category.

Vientos opened the week with a pair of 3-hit games, with a bomb included:

He’s now hitting .305/.362/.533 on the season with six homers in 116 plate appearances. Vientos has multiple seasons with 20-plus home runs on his minor league resume, along with a .500 slugging percentage. Even if the batting average doesn’t hold, we know the power is legit. Vientos can definitely deliver another 15-20 (or more) homers this season, assuming good health.

Some Cardinals hitter generally finds his way into the waiver wire feature, and today’s article is no exception. Donovan is a fantasy multi-tool, with eligibility across the board. His variety of positional flexibility makes him an ideal option for leagues with short benches. This is a career .273 hitter with low-level power and a lifetime OBP of .365, so he’s good at his craft. We’re not trying to pitch him as a season-saver, but rather as an unusually versatile bench piece.

Olson is coming off an outing in which he tossed six scoreless frames against Atlanta, striking out eight, lowering his ERA to 3.39 on the season. He only has one win on the season despite otherwise excellent numbers (3.05 FIP, 8.1 K/9), but that’s just a fluke of run support. He gets an exceedingly friendly matchup against the White Sox on Sunday afternoon, so he has a decent shot at win No. 2. Fire him up if you’re streaming desperately at the end of your head-to-head week.

The next Jays save chance should go to Green, if his manager can be believed. That should really be all you need to know if you’re involved in a competitive league in which closers are tough to find. Green has had an outstanding season to this point, delivering a 0.89 WHIP over 16 appearances. He’s also struck out 11.4 batters per nine innings over the course of his career, so he provides the expected closer’s K-rate, too.