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Under the Radar - Mixed Leagues
Dan Port | Friday September 9th, 2011
Goldschmidt's power has emerged for the D-Backs. (Icon SMI)
Goldschmidt's power has emerged for the D-Backs. (Icon SMI)
Each week, Baseball Press will be providing some "under the radar" fantasy players for NL-only leagues, AL-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.

With all of the unpredictable injuries, slumps, and job changes, many fantasy owners are looking to the waiver wire for help in keeping their season hopes alive.  This week's mixed league list features three young National League contributors, a veteran third baseman helping his team stay in contention, and an erratic reliever who may have turned a corner.

*Owned percentages via Yahoo!

Paul Goldschmidt - 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks (7% owned)
Rookie call-up and power threat Paul Goldschmidt earned a place in our NL Under the Radar back in early August, but his contributions to the playoff-contending Diamondbacks have placed him squarely in the sights of mixed league owners too.  Despite impressive minor league power numbers, Goldschmidt was not looked to as much of a big league prospect prior to this season (and he was only named Arizona's 11th best prospect entering this year, according to Baseball America), but with 30 home runs and a .435 on-base percentage in just 103 games for Double-A Mobile this year, the 23 year-old first baseman cemented himself as someone who might be able to help the upstart D-Backs on their quest to the post-season.  Seven home runs and an .830 OPS in 33 big league games have proven his worth, so fantasy owners looking to add some late-season power numbers should certainly consider Goldschmidt.

Cliff Pennington - SS, Oakland Athletics (24% owned)
Athletics infielder Cliff Pennington was mentioned back in our June 15th AL Under the Radar article, but his late string of hot hitting makes him well worth some analysis in this mixed league piece.  While Oakland is far out of contention and the club has few offensive positives, Pennington appears to be finally hitting his stride at the plate and, since the all-star break, the shortstop is hitting .324 with a .393 on-base average and 32 RBI.  With slumps and injuries causing problems for fantasy owners at their shortstop spots, Pennington could be a valuable addition for owners in need of middle infield help.

Dee Gordon - SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (10% owned)
Top Dodgers prospect Dee Gordon didn't really impress in his month-long big league debut back in June, but since being recalled again at the end of July, Gordon has proved to the be much more of the athletic scourge he was advertised to be during his time as a minor leaguer.  Since his return to the Dodgers, Gordon has hit .345 with 7 stolen bases and is now up to 17 steals in just 37 major league games this season.  While he still hasn't drawn a walk and his power numbers are basically non-existent, Gordon could add a speed boost to the right fantasy squad this month.

Jack Hannahan - 3B, Cleveland Indians (4% owned)
Due to a hot start to the season, 31 year-old infielder Jack Hannahan made our AL Under the Radar article back in early May, but after months of mediocrity the veteran has earned himself a place among mixed league fantasy owners.  In 19 games since August 13th, Hannahan has hit .381 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI and is on the brink of of carving out a solid but unspectacular season as one of Cleveland's lesser-known regulars.  Hot hitters are essential additions for any fantasy owner this late in the year, and Hannahan can definitely help those who are looking for an undervalued offensive spark.  He has missed several days due to a strained calf, but upon his return to the lineup, Hannahan might be a useful fantasy option.

Alex Presley - OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (6% owned)
Pirates outfielder Alex Presley has twice been featured in our Under the Radar pieces, but his recent play still makes him worthy of a mention this week.  Despite being just the 20th best Pittsburgh prospect prior to 2010 (according to Baseball America), Presley's unique slap-hitting style has played well with the big club and his 12 for 29 hitting mark (with five multi-hit games) in just seven contests this month has significantly boosted his fantasy value.  Presley doesn't supply any notable power numbers, but his contact-based game and ability to steal the occasional base gives him solid fantasy value from now until the end of the season.

Randy Wells - SP, Chicago Cubs (20% owned)
It seems doubtful that 29 year-old Cubs catcher-turned-pitcher Randy Wells will ever live up to the 12-10 win-loss mark and 3.05 ERA he posted back in 2009, but the finesse hurler may still have some fantasy value this year and shouldn't be overlooked.  Despite a 4.86 season ERA this year, Wells still has a 7-4 record in 19 starts and his 2.14 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his last five outings are worth attention.  He still isn't much of a force in the strikeout category, but upcoming Cubs series versus the Mets, Reds, and Astros make him worth a look for fantasy owners chasing wins late in the year.

Zach Britton - SP, Baltimore Orioles (17% owned)
After a fast start to the 2011 season, Orioles rookie Zach Britton had some rough outings that ballooned his June 17th ERA of 3.10 to 4.66 on August 4th, when he hit the disabled list.  However, in his last four outings since returning to the Orioles, he has posted a 2.74 ERA and a 3-0 record.  His worst outing in that span was his latest:  a five-inning, four-run turn against the New York Yankees, which still isn't disastrous, considering the competition.  Britton might reside on the fantasy fringe for most, but his youth and potential make him an interesting option in some mixed leagues.
Dan PortDan Port has been a writer and article editor for Baseball Press since the fall of 2009. He's a Wisconsin native and Los Angeles resident, as well as an aspiring novelist, moderately successful gambler, and avid craft beer aficionado. You can reach him at dan@baseballpress.com or check him out on Twitter @danport and at DanielPort.com.