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Under the Radar - AL/NL Only Leagues
Nate Springfield | Wednesday April 25th, 2012
Tony Campana will be a great source of steals in NL-only leagues. (US Presswire)
Tony Campana will be a great source of steals in NL-only leagues. (US Presswire)
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 2012.

This week's AL/NL-only waiver wire pickups features players who can provide some early season help to owners in need of stopgaps and youngsters with upside.  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!

AL-Only Players
Jamey Carroll - 2B/SS, Minnesota Twins (3% owned)
There isn't much upside, or anything flashy about what Jamey Carroll does at the plate, but in deeper AL-only leagues, sometimes all you need is a good number of at-bats - and the veteran middle infielder can provide that.  Because of his defensive flexibility up the middle, Carroll has played in the first 18 games collecting 69 at-bats along the way.  His .232 batting average in those first 69 at-bats is below his lifetime .277 mark, and well below his 2011 average of .290.  Look for a bounce back in batting average, which should help your team going forward because of the high number of at-bats he will receive.

Jack Hannahan - 3B, Cleveland Indians (9% owned)
Jack Hannahan was somewhat of an underdog to win the third base job for Cleveland entering the season, but early on he has proven the team made the right choice when they sent Lonnie Chisenhall back to the minor leagues to start 2012.  As of Tuesday, he was in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, which included four doubles and eight RBI's while going 10 for 24, good for a .417 average.  It is doubtful that the 32-year-old will be a long term fantasy option, but most of the Indian lineup is performing well right now and it can't hurt to take advantage of the hot streak that Hannahan is currently enjoying.

Glen Perkins - RP, Minnesota Twins (2% owned)
When looking at Glen Perkins' 8.53 ERA and 1.74 WHIP, most owners are wondering why he would be included in the Under the Radar, but if you are an owner that needs to - or likes to - prospect for saves, Perkins appears to have the best chance out of any American League bullpen arm to assume ninth inning duties in the near future.  Current Twins closer Matt Capps has struggled greatly early in the season, despite saving four games successfully, striking out only two in his first seven innings with a 5.14 ERA.  Perkins does have the ability to strike out hitters (seven in six and one-third innings pitched so far) which gives him some value even when he is not closing.

NL-Only Players
Tony Campana - OF, Chicago Cubs (2% owned)
When Marlon Byrd was traded to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, the starting centerfield job in Chicago became available. Tony Campana, who appears to be the left-handed part of a center field platoon, is taking full advantage of his playing time, stealing four bases in his first 10 plate appearances of the season.  The small speedster has been given the green light by manager Dale Sveum to steal any time he reaches base.  If you need to fill an outfield spot, or are looking for a source for stolen bases, Campana is a great option for the time being.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis - OF, New York Mets (6% owned)
Rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis was given a chance to play everyday because of the injury to Andres Torres, and has performed well over his first 52 at-bats, hitting .327 with two home runs.  It was believed that he would be sent back to Triple-A when Torres returned to the lineup, but now that veteran outfielder Jason Bay has been placed on the disabled list, Nieuwenhuis's return to the minor leagues will be delayed.  His minor league numbers do not suggest he will be able to continue to perform at his current pace, but he shouldn't hurt your team as long as he keeps getting major league at-bats

Bronson Arroyo - SP, Cincinnati Reds (9% owned)
Veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo has put himself back on the fantasy map with three solid starts to begin the 2012 season.  His dismal 2011 scared most owners away on draft day, even in the deepest of NL-only leagues, but so far the 35-year-old has shown that he is worthy of a rotation spot for most owners.  The biggest difference between this season and last has been his command of the strike zone.  In his first 21-plus innings pitched, he has struck out 13 batters while walking only one.  Previous to 2011, it is easy to forget that Arroyo won at least 15 games while pitching at least 200 innings for three straight seasons.  He is a low-end option, but could bounce-back nicely to contribute to the back end of a fantasy rotation.
Nate SpringfieldNate Springfield joined the Baseball Press crew for the 2010 season and hosts the site's podcast. His love for the game has grown thanks to fantasy baseball, with a specialty in NL-only auction leagues. You can contact him at nate@baseballpress.com or follow him on Twitter @NateSpringfield.