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 who might
help you boost your fantasy team in 2012.
With all of the
unpredictable injuries and job changes of the baseball season, many fantasy owners are looking to the waiver wire for help. Regardless of where help is needed, this edition of UTR can provide you with some players who are still available in most mixed leagues.*Owned percentages via Yahoo!A.J. Ellis
- C, Los Angeles Dodgers (44% owned)
For most fantasy owners, finding a reliable catcher that produces offensive numbers is hard to do. With the recent news that Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy
would miss time due to a hand injury, fantasy managers went sent scrambling searching for a replacement in a shallow pool of available players. Among the remaining catchers that can provide your team with some help is A.J. Ellis of the Dodgers. Ellis, 31, is on pace to put up career high numbers in just about every major category. While he doesn't hit for power (7 career home runs) - his ability to post a high on-base percentage and a decent batting average makes him worth rostering. With the Dodgers dealing with injuries in their lineup, Ellis could find a favorable spot in the lineup
moving forward.Andrelton Simmons - SS, Atlanta Braves (0% owned)
The Braves purchased the contract of Andrelton Simmons from Double-A earlier this week with the intent on making him the everyday shortstop. Prior to the promotion, Tyler Pastornicky
was the everyday SS and was hitting .248/.281/.324 with 12 errors in the field. There was a position battle during spring training between Pastornicky and Simmons, but Simmons was sent to the minors prior to the season starting. While Simmons, 22, is known for his defensive skills over his hitting ability, he could provide a decent batting average and some stolen bases. In 43 games this season at Double-A Mississippi, Simmons is hitting .292/.372/.421 with 10 stolen bases. He'll need time to adjust to the pitching after jumping from Double-A to the majors, but he should be a decent option, especially for those owners looking for a short-term replacement with Troy Tulowitzki
landing on the disabled list.Carlos Quentin
- OF, San Diego Padres (48% owned)
After missing nearly two months of the regular season, veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin has returned to Padres lineup after recovering from knee surgery. Quentin, 29, wasted no time once returning to the field, as he went 7-for-12 (.583/.643/1.583) with three home runs in his first three games back. Over the past three seasons, he's averaged 24 homers a season and could certainly do the same in 2012. Although he plays his home games in Petco Park, the ballpark actually favors right-handed power hitters over lefties (source: StatCorner
). For owners looking for cheap power and some outfield depth, take a look at Carlos.Colby Rasmus
- OF, Toronto Blue Jays (33% owned)
The Blue Jays lineup looked good on paper heading into the season, but many of those familiar faces are no longer options (Adam Lind
and Eric Thames). However, one player that remains is 25-year-old center fielder Colby Rasmus. If you currently own Rasmus, he's more than likely stashed on your bench after hitting .232/.281/.427 during the month of April, but things could be looking up for the once St. Louis Cardinals prospect. Over the past 11 games, Rasmus is hitting .333/.391/.714 with 3 home runs, and seems to finally be out of the number eight hole in the lineup. Although he's currently hitting .234/.301/.429 on the season, he's also been unlucky at times with a .269 batting average on balls in play (BAbip). I'm not giving up on Rasmus yet, with the hopes that he can still put up double digit home run and stolen base totals. Roy Oswalt
- SP, Texas Rangers (30% owned)
After remaining a free agent all winter and spring, veteran starting pitcher Roy Oswalt finally found a team that met his demands and signed with the Rangers. Oswalt, 34, says he will only need three-to-four-weeks to get big-league action ready and should be in the Rangers starting rotation some time in mid June. In 11 major league seasons, Oswalt has posted 2.1 walks per nine innings (BB/9) and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9). Pitching behind the Texas lineup will certainly yield plenty of run support for Oswalt, making him a worthy gamble in mixed leagues.
- RP, Chicago Cubs (41% owned)
The closer carousel disaster continues with the focus shifting back to the Chicago Cubs this week. After missing time due to a hamstring injury, reliever Carlos Marmol finds himself back in the mix in the Cubs bullpen. Short-term closer Rafael Dolis
was optioned to the minors when Marmol was activated from the disabled list, but manager Dale Sveum stated that Marmol would be used in an eighth-inning role for the time being. Currently, the Cubs will use a closer-by-committee group that consists of James Russell, Shawn Camp, and Casey Coleman. The Cubs haven't needed a closer for the ninth inning much this season, so it's anybody's guess who actually walks out of the bullpen going forward, but it's worth keep tabs on all of the mentioned players.