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 PlayersMichael Saunders
- OF, Seattle Mariners (6% owned)
Michael Saunders is currently seeing a bulk of the playing time in center field, even making starts against some left-handed pitching. The 25 year-old Canadian is in the midst of a five game hitting streak, and even though his average currently sits near .250 over the last 15 days, he is hitting .300 with three home runs and a stolen base. He should continue to see regular at-bats, sitting only when the team faces a real dominant south-paw.Josh Reddick
- OF, Oakland Athletics (9% owned)
If you are looking for a fill in while Nick Swisher
or Josh Hamilton
are injured, Josh Reddick may be the one to pick up right away. Now receiving consistent playing time in Oakland, the former Red Sox outfielder is red hot, hitting two home runs, with a .385 average, and a stolen base over the last seven days. There may be an adjustment period coming as pitchers start to approach Reddick differently, but ride him while he is hot, especially if you have a hole to fill.
- 3B, Seattle Mariners (4% owned)
Third base prospect Alex Liddi has had a great start to the year at the major league level, and now that he is finding himself in the lineup more frequently, he is definitely worth a pick-up in AL-Only leagues. Manager Eric Wedge
has recently been batting Liddi second in the order, trying to add a little "pop" to the top of the lineup. Last year with Triple-A Tacoma, Liddi held a .259 average, but slugged 30 home runs and collected 104 RBI. Considering his Triple-A average from 2011, owners can expect his current .286 mark to fall a little bit, but his power is legit and will still be a factor even in Seattle.
NL-Only PlayersNick Hundley
- C, San Diego Padres (7% owned)
Nick Hundley got off to a horrific start this season, causing a lot of fantasy owners that did draft him to jump ship early fearing that he would lose the job to prospect Yasmani Grandal
. The San Diego backstop started the year off 0-for-21, not collecting his first hit until the April 15th. Since then, he has made up for the lack of production by going 15-52, good for a .288 average, with several multi-hit games and two home runs. If an owner was frustrated early and dropped Hundley, pick him up now before anyone else in the league sees that he is returning to his old self at the plate.Lyle Overbay
- 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks (1% owned)
With starting first baseman Paul Goldschmidt
struggling at the plate early in the season, veteran Lyle Overbay may be a good source of at-bats if you are in search of a first baseman or corner infielder in your NL-Only league. He has started three games in the last week, and his performance at the plate - .313 batting average with a .905 OPS - is playing him into even more at-bats. Being left-handed, he does have a platoon advantage over Goldschmidt if manager Kirk Gibson
decides to go that route, and the Diamondbacks need production from the first base spot in the lineup given the injury to Chris Young
and the struggles of Ryan Roberts. Overbay's ceiling is not too high, but he is definitely worthy of a roster spot when getting consistent at-bats.
- SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (11% owned)
Two weeks ago, two other Diamondbacks' pitching prospects were mentioned as possible additions in non-mixed leagues, but it now seems Wade Miley is the name that should have been included instead. The 25-year-old south-paw made seven starts for the Diamondbacks last season, posting a 4.50 ERA with a 1.65 WHIP. Walking batters was a huge problem for him in 2011, issuing 18 base-on-balls while striking out only 25 batters in his 40 big-league innings. This season, he has a much better command of the strike zone, striking out 15 batters while only walking seven in 21 innings pitched. Both his 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP will surely climb, but as long as he does not lose his command of the strike zone, he will be more than serviceable as a full time starter in any NL-Only rotation.