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!
- SS, Texas Rangers (9% owned)
The Rangers promoted one of their franchise's top prospects, Jurickson Profar, on September 1st when the major league rosters expanded. Profar, 19-years-old, fit in quickly with the rest of the big league club when he hit a home run in his first major league at-bat. Signing as an international free agent from Curacao at the age of 17, Profar has played professional baseball the past three seasons at the Low-A, Single-A, and the Double-A level, carrying a .276/.367/.450 triple-slash line, hitting 30 home runs, and stealing 47 bases in 1,366 minor league plate appearances. That averages to 12 home runs and 18 stolen bases over a typical major league season. Jurickson has a lot of maturing to do, physically and on the field, before he is an impact fantasy player, however, he has a bright future and we should see glimpses of it in the final weeks of the 2012 season.
- OF, Seattle Mariners (1% owned)
At first glance, Trayvon Robinson does not look to be a great addition, to even a deep AL-Only fantasy team, but with the recent injury to Michael Saunders
, he has made the most of his increased playing time. In the last two weeks, the former Los Angeles Dodgers prospect has hit .282 over 39 at-bats, clubbing two home runs, and stealing three bases. The 25-year-old has shown promise at the plate at the minor league level, hitting .289 with 26 home runs and nine stolen bases last season while at Triple-A, and should continue to see playing time for the Mariners the rest of the way as long as he can maintain his recent performance at the plate.
- 2B/3B, Colorado Rockies (4% owned)
Since his activation from the disabled list a month ago, Chris Nelson's production has put him among the best in the National League at the plate among second basemen. It's a small sample size, but over his extended hot streak, he is carrying a .304 batting average with two home runs and 16 RBI. A turn around in his performance may stem from manager Jim Tracy
regularly slotting him in the seventh hole of the batting order, instead of at the top of the order where he routinely hit before his trip to the DL. With dual position eligibility, he is able to play as a corner or middle infielder in deeper NL-Only leagues, making him very handy to have in a format that allows you to change your lineup on a daily basis.
- 2B, Miami Marlins (3% owned)
Donovan Solano, a 24-year-old rookie, made his major league debut all the way back at the end of May of this season. However, between injuries and trades, Solano was able to work his way into the everyday lineup in the middle of July. With regular playing time in August, Solano hit .302 with a .358 on-base percentage, and a stolen base over 107 plate appearances. Expect Fish manager Ozzie Guillen
to continue to play the Colombian native for the rest of the season, because the Marlins did not add young talent when the rosters were able to expand on September 1st.
Shelby Miller - SP, St. Louis Cardinals (2% owned)
Highly touted St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Shelby Miller was promoted from Triple-A to the major league bullpen on Tuesday afternoon. Miller saw his first major league action against the Mets on Wednesday, throwing two innings, walking none, and striking out four. The team appears to be monitoring the 21-year-old's innings, meaning he probably will finish the season continuing to pitch out of the pen, but there is an outside chance that he would see a start or two in the last week of 2012. His minor league numbers over the past four seasons indicate more good performances are on the horizon. This year at Triple-A, he struck out 160 batters while walking 50 in 136-plus innings pitched. He is very close to his career high of 139 2/3 innings pitched, which he accomplished in 2011, so expect 10 to 15 more innings out of the potential ace the rest of the way.