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Fantasy Baseball Week 15: Waiver Wire Pickups – Robbie Ray, Jeffrey Springs, Jose Siri, Michael Kopech, Joensky Noel

John Carando lays out his top fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups ahead of Week 15 of the MLB season!

Robbie Ray, San Francisco Giants
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 16: Robbie Ray (23) of the San Francisco plays catch during the workout at Scottsdale Stadium on February 16, 2024 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)
SP Robbie Ray, San Francisco Giants (57%)

Ray is due back in mid-July and has struck out 21 hitters and walked just one while allowing 4 runs over his 13 innings pitched in minor league rehab outings. Obviously, it isn’t against the stiffest competition, but that’s exactly what we want to see from a pitcher making his way back from Tommy John surgery. His ownership will continue to climb as we near his return date, so it might be a good idea to be proactive and scoop him now if possible.

SP Jeffrey Springs, Tampa Bay Rays (56%)

Like Ray, Springs is due back in mid-July and has pitched well so far in his rehab outings. If you have the roster space, now is the time to pick him up and stash him where available. There aren’t many great starting pitching options floating around on the waiver wire these days, and we know how good guys like Ray and Springs can be when fully healthy.

OF Jose Siri, Tampa Bay Rays (51%)

Siri has an absurd 35.7% strikeout rate, the same K rate he had last season. Truly the stuff of nightmares. However, his on-base percentage has steadily climbed over the past month as he has been walking and hitting more.

This has led to an increased power output from Siri, as keeping pitchers a bit more honest has allowed him to find more balls to hit. His six home runs in June are more than what he hit in April and May combined, and while his speed seems to be drying up, his power upside is still intriguing. 

RP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox (44%)

That’s seven saves on the season for Kopech and two in a row. At the very least, he is sharing the closer duties with John Brebbia, but Kopech may have a leg up currently. He averages nearly 99 mph on his fastball (compared to Brebbia’s 94 mph average) and is also six years younger than Brebbia, so I guess the White Sox would love to see Kopech settle in, take the role and run with it.

His issue has always been walks, and while this is still an issue, his strikeout rate is consistently north of 30 percent, and Kopech has been getting fairly unlucky based on his peripheral stats. He is a good bet for saves for the rest of the year and beyond.

3B Joensky Noel, Cleveland Guardians (38%)

The 22-year-old Noel is your prototypical power hitter who hits bombs but strikes out a ton. That said, this year at AAA, he managed to slug a very impressive .295/.359/.578 with 18 homers over his 258 at-bats. While we can hope his improved batting average carries over a bit, we should expect a low average from Noel, especially as he acclimates to the tougher competition in the majors.

However, his power is very real, and he has an average exit velocity of 100 mph on the five baseballs he has hit since being called up (one was 115.4 mph). He is worth gambling on if you need help in the power department and/or at third base.

Honorable Mentions

SP Spencer Arrighetti, Houston Astros (35%)

We should consider his next start to see if he’s figured something out.

1B/OF Michael Toglia, Colorado Rockies (26%)

Starting every day, swinging a hot bat with legitimate power but a 34% K rate.

C Kyle Higashioka, San Diego Padres (11%)

Half of his production this year has inexplicably come in the past week.

C Ben Rortvedt, Tampa Bay Rays (11%)

The main catcher for the Rays and has been wielding a hot bat over the past couple of weeks.