MLB Week 5 Hitting Waiver Wire: A Couple Pirates Players That Should Be Rostered

NameTeamPositionESPN Own%
Ty FranceSeattle Mariners2B55.9
Bryan ReynoldsPittsburgh PiratesOF41
Jazz Chisholm Jr.Miami Marlins2B50.7
Colin MoranPittsburgh Pirates1B23.4
Alex KiriloffMinnesota TwinsOF8.5

1. Ty France | 2B | Seattle Mariners

While it seems outrageous to include Ty France in a week 5 waiver wire post, his roster percentage on ESPN is still just 55.9%. If he’s available in your league, you should roster him immediately. Thus far in the early goings, France is living up to the hype surrounding his name. Consistently playing every day and batting second for the Mariners, France currently has a .311/.411/.525 slash line with four doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, and an 18-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Even more encouraging are some of his peripherals, as his Barrel % and xwOBA are both in the 85th-percentile or higher. He took a pitch off his forearm and sat out on Tuesday. However, the x-rays came back negative and he’s expected to be back in the lineup soon.

2. Bryan Reynolds | OF | Pittsburgh Pirates

I wish I had left Reynolds on my list for last week, as I could have taken credit for another awesome week from the Pirates outfielder. Nonetheless, while his ownership on ESPN is still less than 50%, he continues to produce from the middle of Pittsburgh’s lineup. In 68 plate appearances this year, which is second-most on the team, Reynolds has a .317/.397/.483 slash line with two home runs, seven RBIs, 11 runs, and a decent 16-to-7 strikeout to walk ratio. Even more encouraging is that manager Derek Shelton continues to bat Reynolds third in the lineup where he should continue to score runs and get RBI chances.

3. Jazz Chisholm Jr. | 2B | Miami Marlins

Another big name with a relatively low ownership percentage is Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami’s number-four overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. At just 23 years old, Chisholm is off to a spectacular start in 2021. After a strong spring, Chisholm Jr. has an OPS of 1.126 over 51 plate appearances so far, with three home runs, six RBIs, and three stolen bases. His Savant page has even more red than Ty France’s, as he’s in the 80th-percentile or higher in Average Exit Velocity, Hard Hit %, xwOBA, Chase Rate, and Sprint Speed. In fact, he’s currently leading the league in Barrel % as well. While the Marlins seemed to have tried him at shortstop in 2020, he now appears to be cemented in as their everyday second baseman, making the occasional start at shortstop. He could gain eligibility at shortstop at some points in 2021. Either way, even at just second base, Chisholm is worth rostering.

4. Colin Moran | 1B | Pittsburgh Pirates

Another week ignored and another week of strong production from the Pirates’ first baseman. I didn’t expect to find myself recommending two different Pirates’ players on the waiver wire, but here we are. You can do much worse than rostering one or two players that are currently producing well in the middle of a team’s lineup. Moran, who has improved his OPS in each of his first three seasons with Pittsburgh, currently has an OPS of .964 through 65 plate appearances in 2021. He’s belted four home runs, four doubles, 13 RBIs, and has 20 strikeouts and eight walks. Moran, much like my other waiver wire recommendations, is well above league average in categories such as Barrel %, xwOBA, and Average Exit Velocity.

5. Alex Kiriloff | OF | Minnesota Twins

Last week’s tentative add was Seattle outfield star prospect Jarred Kelenic. This week, it’s Minnesota’s Alex Kiriloff. There’s no guarantee he gets called up. However, if he does, it likely won’t be long before he’s rostered in well over 50% of leagues. At just 23 years of age, Minnesota’s second-ranked prospect is a former Minor League Hitter of the Year Award recipient, and was a strong candidate to make the opening day roster for the Twins, were it not for a poor spring and the presence of veteran Jake Cave. Cave, however, who plays a similar role to what Kiriloff would play, has been horrible to start the year. There’s also a chance they try him at first if Miguel Sano continues to struggle as well. Now with both Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick hitting the COVID-19 list, and the April 24th service time date looming, Kiriloff could suddenly be given an opportunity on the big league roster and he might never look back.

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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