The Greek is Streakin! — MLB Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups 2013
Monday marks the start of the seventh week of the fantasy season. While that isn’t exactly an eternity, it is long enough for owners to forget about some players who started the season on the DL.
With some of these guys set to return over the next couple of weeks, now is the time to contemplate whether you can use them and the appropriate time to snatch them up. Obviously your roster makeup and how deep your league is are factors but lets drop some names now so you can at least marinate on them.
Matt Garza can return as early as next week and is definitely worth grabbing now because he should slot in as a quality mixed league option. Other arms available in the coming weeks include Brandon Beachy, Felipe Paulino, Daniel Hudson and Cory Luebke.
Bat-wise guys like Mark Teixeira, Corey Hart, and Logan Morrison have found their way onto plenty of waiver wires. It doesn’t hurt to check for them now. The only problem is that most of your competition will be thinking about them then as well.
** Percentage available taken from ESPN on Sunday May 12th
Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC (46.4%)
Over his last seven games, Moustakas has hit .292 with three homers and four RBIs. Prior to this week he was hitting well below the Mendoza line with just one homer and six RBIs. He went from a guy owned in 100 percent of mixed leagues to a guy owned in just 40 percent in six weeks. This, my friends, will be your last chance at a buy low on this kid.
Ryan Doumit, C, MIN (83.7%)
Three homers in his last six games have fantasy baseball owners taking notice of Doumit. An awful start to the year saw his ownership dip down to nearly zero. How quickly we forget this guy is a career .270 hitter coming off a career season in terms of homers, RBIs and games played. His ability to play the outfield allows the Twins to trot him out there more than just about any catcher eligible player. That is value in itself but the fact he hits better than most catchers is a bonus.
James Loney, 1B, TB (73.8%)
There is nothing sexy about a first baseman who only hits for batting average. Let me be the first to tell you there is nothing sexy about fantasy baseball. Trust me my wife isn’t turned on by random baseball stats. Loney is a career .285 hitter over 3,600 plate appearances. If your team has a couple of power bats struggling to hit for average, like Mike Morse or J.P. Arencibia, using this guy to offset that deficiency isn’t a bad idea.
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, SD (44.6%)
In terms of power, it took Gyorko a little while to get going but with three homers in his last ten games fantasy baseball owner are taking notice again. The huge rookie campaigns of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper last season have spoiled fantasy owners. Most other rookies are going to take their lumps. This kid hit .311 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs last season in the minors. The talent is here. Let it blossom on your roster.
Didi Gregorius, SS, ARI (75.5%)
Sure he’s a rookie, and yes he’s playing over his head right now, but you can’t deny the fact that there are only a handful of shortstops out there that have been better at the dish. Since coming off the DL, manager Kirk Gibson has moved Gregorius into the two hole, a slot he very well may hang onto if he keeps his OBP up in the .320 range. Ride him while he’s hot.
Norichika Aoki, OF, MIL (9.0%)
Every now and then a player hits the waiver wire that really has no business being available. Aoki is a perfect example. Over his last 15 games he has posted a .362-9-2-3-1 line, but owners are adding guys like Marcell Ozuna and Alfonso Soriano instead. He is running a bit less than last season, but is on pace to do better everywhere else. He legitimately can post a 20-20 season. And somehow finds himself sitting on waivers after hitting 10 and stealing 30 last year.
Garrett Jones, OF, PIT (20.7%)
He is going to take a seat against tough lefties, but this guy flat-out mashes right-handers. All five of his homers and 20 RBIs have come in his 98 at-bats against righties. Jones is coming off a career year that saw him hit .274 with 27 homers and 86 RBIs. He stands a very good chance at repeating those numbers this year, making him a quality fourth outfield option in mixed leagues.
Travis Wood, SP, CHC (50.7%)
This 26-year-old leftie has grown on me much like my beard; in a stubbornly annoying fashion. I tend to stay away from guys that don’t get strikeouts, but I find myself drawn back to him because every time I see him pitch, I see a bunch of guys making crappy contact. Only 16.5 percent of the balls put in play against him are line drives. To put that into perspective, that number is lower than guys like Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg. I am buying this breakout and you should too.
Jose Fernandez, SP, MIA (55.6%)
This one also baffles me. Here we have a 20-year-old phenom, yes phenom, who’s currently ranks 14th in the league in K/9 at 9.49. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the stat it means he strikes out more than a batter an inning. For the sake of brevity his more advanced stats portray a guy with the ability to improve with a little more luck. Who cares if he won’t win a bunch of games. He has the ability to help you everywhere else. Expect a few bad starts, but the good ones will definitely outweigh them.
Andrew Bailey, RP, BOS (44.4%)
Last week I had Joel Hanrahan on this list. Just goes to show you how quickly things change. Hanrahan will undergo season-ending surgery on his elbow next week, ending his season. Bailey, still on the DL himself, may be able to return from the DL without a rehab assignment if his bullpen session goes well early next week. He will reclaim this job from Junichi Tazawa upon his return. Even if he does take another week to come back he is worth grabbing now. He should be good for 25-plus saves from here on out.