MLB Week 24 Hitting Waiver Wire: Can Ian Happ and Jo Adell Help Win You Your League?

NamePositionTeamESPN Own %
Ian HappOFChicago Cubs58.5
Frank Schwindel1BChicago Cubs54.1
Jeimer Candelario3B, 1BDetroit Tigers41.1
Jonathan Villar3B, 2B, SSNew York Mets49.7
Jo AdellOFLos Angeles Angels13

1. Ian Happ | OF | Chicago Cubs

It pains me to say this but Ian Happ has been hitting the ball pretty well. It’s frustrating, considering how often he goes on a hot streak, gets included in “must-add” posts, and then goes ice cold after a week or so. That being said, we’re running out of time in the 2021 season and Happ is currently in the middle of a nice little hot streak. At this point, we take production wherever we can get it. In the month of August, Happ hit .255 with an .856 OPS, despite a 38-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Strikeouts have always been an issue for Happ, but he also normally draws a solid amount of walks as well. In the month of September though, Happ has been even better. In 35 plate appearances, Happ is hitting .429 with a 1.257 OPS. Over that stretch, he has six runs, four home runs, eight RBIs, and an 8-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The recent power surge has made some fantasy owners incredibly happy. In fact, going back to August 25th, in his last 57 plate appearances, Happ has belted seven home runs. He might cool off before the season ends, but he’s hitting the ball way to well right now to not pick him up.

2. Frank Schwindel | 1B | Chicago Cubs

A few weeks ago Schwindel made the list and here we are, yet again, recommending you add him for the final stretch of the season. Whatever he’s done for himself in Chicago, it seems to be working. In 141 plate appearances for the Cubs, Schwindel has his .354 with a 1.066 OPS. That’s well over a month of maintaining an OPS of 1.000+ playing nearly every day. That’s remarkably impressive. He hasn’t really slowed down either, as his numbers look even better over his last 40 plate appearances or so. Going back to when he joined the Cubs on July 30th, Schwindel is top-15 in the majors in home runs, top-10 in RBIs, and fourth in OPS. I’m not saying you should bench Vlad in his favor, but take a long, hard look at who you’re starting at first base right now and ask yourself if Frank Schwindel is out-producing them. Chances are, he is.

3. Jeimer Candelario | 1B, 3B | Detroit Tigers

At age 27, Candelario is quietly putting together another solid year for the Tigers. Overall, he’s slashing .276/.353/.440 with 68 runs, 39 doubles, 12 home runs, 56 RBIs, and a 121-to-57 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Quite honestly, the only reason he’s not a 90%-owned player is the lack of home runs. Other than this, Candelario has been pretty dang solid. Even some of his peripheral metrics look good, too. He’s closer to league average in terms of how hard he is hitting the ball, but his expected statistics are all well above average. He’s near league average in terms of his K%, and is above average in his ability to take walks. Overall, it’s clear that Candelario is a quality major league hitter. If you can live without the home runs, roster Candelario and get consistent production down the stretch.

4. Jonathan Villar | 2B, 3B, SS | New York Mets

Just like Candelario, while Villar might not be flashy, he’s providing consistent production at the plate right now. Also like Candelario, he’s doing so with eligibility at multiple positions. Since August 1st, Villar is slashing .311/.378/.533 with 18 runs, seven home runs, 17 RBIs, and a 31-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Again, take a look at who you’re starting at 2B, 3B, and SS, and ask yourself if you’re getting that much production. That’s more home runs and RBIs than Ty France, Luis Urias, Dansby Swanson, Jake Cronenworth, and Jean Segura. With eligibility at multiple positions, Villar is the perfect addition to the end of your roster for the last few weeks of the season, particularly in points leagues when you simply need everyday players in your lineup.

5. Jo Adell | OF | Los Angeles Angels

Adell has come a long way since his disappointing MLB debut in the 2020 season. Since making his 2021 debut on August 3rd, Adell is slashing .250/.302/.408 with 15 runs, four home runs, 26 RBIs, and a 30-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. As it always has been for Adell, the strikeouts are still concerning. As crazy as it sounds, 30 strikeouts in 130 plate appearances is actually a bit encouraging for Adell. The RBIs however have been his money ticket to fantasy relevance so far. His 26 RBIs since August 3rd are among the top of the league. Perhaps most encouraging for Adell is his recent improvement. Going back to August 24th, Adell is slashing .320/.370/.560 with eight runs, three home runs, 14 RBIs, one stolen base, and a 9-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over that stretch. Considering his prospect pedigree, any sign of coming to life warrants adding him to your roster. Of all free agent likely available to you on the waiver wire, Adell perhaps provides the biggest upside.

Zach Boeder is a high school math teacher that has a passion for sports and data journalism. Zach received a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arizona. He currently teaches in Saint Paul and Lives in Minneapolis with his partner Sarah, their dog Dozier, and cat Remy. Zach plans to argue for a very long time that "2020 would have been the Twins' year if baseball hadn't been shut down."

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