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!
- OF, Boston Red Sox (2% owned)
It has been a little over two weeks since Scott Podsednik was recalled to the major leagues, and just like the past two times he was given a shot at the major league level, he has done surprisingly well currently carrying a .370 batting average with five stolen bases and a home run in 149 at-bats. Carl Crawford
and Jacoby Ellsbury's
slow recoveries are going to afford Scotty-Pods plenty more at-bats the rest of the way, so don't wait any longer to pick him up.
- OF, Oakland Athletics (4% owned)
Seth Smith has always been on the fantasy fringe because of his role mostly as a platoon player and streaky play with Colorado, but at the moment he is seeing regular at-bats because of a hot streak. In the last two weeks, he has seven RBI, a home run, a stolen base, and is sporting a .419 average in 31 at-bats. If you are looking for a fourth or fifth outfielder that won't drag your team down, Smith is someone to pick up right now until someone better can displace him.
- SP, Los Angeles Angels (6% owned)
24-year-old right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards has been given a chance to hold down a rotation spot for the Halos while Jered Weaver
is on the disabled list. The California native has been outstanding in his first two major league starts this season, carrying a 1.38 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, but these numbers may not last taking into consideration his 4.31 ERA and 1.60 WHIP that he produced at Triple-A Salt Lake City this season previous to his call-up. He is worth a pick-up until hitters have a chance to become familiar with him, and taking into consideration his next start is against the Diamondbacks, he will still have that unfamiliarity in his favor.
Kris Medlen - SP/RP Atlanta Braves (1% owned)
The recent demotion of Kris Medlen to the minor leagues was not because of poor performance pitching out of the Braves bullpen, but because Atlanta wants to stretch him out to join the rotation at the big-league level. Medlen has been effective as a starter for the Braves in 2010, previous to his Tommy John surgery, carrying a 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, with 62 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched. His first outing at Triple-A was rough, but recently he struck out four in five shutout innings for Triple-A Gwinnett. He should have a strong hold on a rotation spot once he is recalled to Atlanta barring any injuries.
- OF, Houston Astros (1% owned)
Two years ago, Justin Maxwell was in line to become the starting right fielder for the Washington Nationals. Even though he was a free swinger, the team liked his possible power/speed potential. Since then, the now 28-year-old Maxwell has undergone Tommy John surgery, been released by the Nationals, traded to the Yankees, released by the Yankees, and picked up by the Astros where he is now seeing regular playing time since the injury to Carlos Lee. He won't do your team's batting average any favors, but he can hit the long ball (six home runs in 96 at-bats this season) and does a decent job of taking walks if you play in a league that recognizes on-base percentage as a statistic.
- 2B/3B, San Diego Padres (1% owned)
Logan Forsythe, who was a supplemental first round pick for the Padres in the 2008 amateur draft, never projected to be a big league star, but with the release of Orlando Hudson, he is getting an opportunity to become the team's starting second baseman. Over the past two seasons at Triple-A, Forsythe posted a .309/.438/.508 triple-slash line, good for a .946 OPS, with nine home runs in 236 at-bats. He does not have enough pop in his bat to be a good power source, but if the batting average translates to the major league level, he is worthy of a middle infield spot on any NL-only roster.