Each week, Baseball Press provides some "under the radar"
fantasy players for AL-only leagues, NL-only leagues, and mixed leagues. We'll review the diamonds in the rough on the waiver wire that might
help you boost your fantasy team in 2011.
This week's AL/NL-only waiver wire pickups features players who are putting together solid numbers headed down the stretch. At this point in the season, it's about owners winning points no matter what, even if it means signing a usually irrelevant player to your team during a recent hot-streak. Whether your fantasy team needs home runs, steals, or strikeouts, or even if you're just chasing wins, this mix of players has you covered.
* Owned percentages via Yahoo!
Viewed as Kansas City's catcher of the future, Salvador Perez was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take the roster spot of Brayan Pena
. The 21-year old rookie backstop owned a triple-slash line of .290/.331/.437 with 10 home runs with Omaha this season, but expect him to initially struggle when facing major league pitching for the first couple weeks. Perez will likely see a bulk of the playing time for the rest of the season, making him a candidate for pickup in any two-catcher AL-only league.
Rafael Soriano signed a very lucrative contract this offseason to be the eighth inning man in the Bronx. Unfortunately, for both parties involved, Soriano landed on the disabled-list in mid-May with elbow inflammation. Since returning from the DL on July 29th, he has allowed only one run in eight outings, striking out six batters in 7 1/3 innings pitched. If for some reason Mariano Rivera
needs a day off from his ninth inning duties, expect Soriano to pick up the vulture save.
David Huff - SP, Cleveland Indians (6% owned)
Southpaw David Huff has been excellent in three starts this year with Cleveland, and seems to have cracked the Indians rotation for the time being. In 17 2/3 innings pitched, the former UCLA hurler has struck out 15 batters while allowing only one earned run with a 1.02 WHIP. Even though he has struggled in previous seasons as a major league pitcher, Huff has been solid in the minors before his callup this season, indicating the he may be ready to be a consistent and effective pitcher at the major league level.
- 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (3% owned)
Juan Rivera started to see consistent playing time in the Dodgers lineup upon being picked-up from the Toronto Blue Jays. The veteran outfielder likely has first base eligibility in your league, and his value gets a little boost because of the holes he can fill in your lineup. Also helping the Rivera's case for ownership is his production in the last two weeks, as he hit .382 with one home run and nine RBI. He won't put together numbers like he did in 2009 (.287 average and 25 home runs), but he is more than serviceable in an NL-only league when receiving consistent at-bats.
After the injury to Xavier Nady
(fractured hand), the Diamondbacks immediately signed former Pirate Lyle Overbay
to be the back-up plan for rookie Paul Goldschmidt. Overbay, who will only get a few starts a week, is a better fit as a corner infielder, than a first baseman, in your fantasy lineup. The hitter friendly park in Arizona will give the veteran a good chance to improve on his low home run total of eight, and if given consistent at-bats, he is more than capable of going on a hot streak. With the Diamondbacks in the middle of a pennant race, manager Kirk Gibson
will not be afraid to start Overbay over Goldschmidt if the rookie goes into an extended funk at the plate.
Jimmy Paredes, a converted second baseman, now mans the hot corner in Houston. Since the demotion of opening day third baseman Chris Johnson
in early August, Paredes as seen 51 at-bats in 14 games, hitting .294 with one home run and one stolen base. The 22-year old rookie's potential value comes on the base paths, having stole 29 bags in Double-A this season before his call-up. Getting the consistent at-bats, at a very shallow position in the National League, makes Paredes worth owning if you have a hole to fill on your fantasy roster at the hot corner.
In the wake of Ubaldo Jimenez
being traded to the Cleveland Indians at the deadline, Esmil Rogers was slotted back into the Rockies rotation in his absence. Rogers, who is known to have control issues at times, has potential to collect a large number of strikeouts. Since returning to the rotation, he has struck out 17 batters in 16 2/3 innings pitched. The downside to the amount of strikeouts he has collected is the 11 walks he has issued in the same time frame. Although the WHIP category in most fantasy leagues will not fluctuate too much because of one pitcher this late in the season, owning Rogers in a head-to-head league could be hazardous because of his walk rate. The Rockies seem content to keep marching the Dominican native to the mound every five days, so if your team can absorb a high WHIP, Rogers is worth a look.