Each week Baseball Press will be providing some Under the Radar fantasy players for NL-Only Leagues, AL-Only Leagues and Mixed Leagues. These articles will be dedicated to finding those diamonds in the rough on the waiver wire that will either be a short term or long term replacement to an injury or struggling player on your fantasy team. All players listed are owned in less than 30% of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.
From last week, Jhonny Peralta
has stayed hot so far this week (.357 with a home run and 3 RBI) as well as Luke Scott
(.571, 2 home runs and 3 RBI), Cody Ross
(.313 and 3 RBI). This week look for some guys coming off the DL as well as some others being added to active rosters for other reasons that can start helping you right now.
Miguel is still on the disabled list, and a knee injury to a catcher is usually a crap shoot when it comes to recovery, but he is starting a rehab assignment at the beginning of next week. If everything goes well he could be activated by the end of the following week. He was easily a top 10 catcher going into the season and with Chris Snyder cooling off he should ease his way back into the job. If you have a DL spot open to stash him go pick him up and see what happens while you can.
Todd Helton - 1B, Colorado Rockies (Yahoo! 38% / CBS 58%)
Helton was off to a rough start of the year, hitting just .250 on May 15th. Since then he has started to remember what it is like to be a Major League hitter and has his average all the way up to .289 in just a 5 game span. He is also starting to drive the ball, hitting 2 doubles and a home run so far in fantasy week 7. There doesn't appear to be an injury concern, perhaps just a combination of the cold weather and taking longer to figure things out with another year in the tank for Todd. Last year he hit 13 home runs with a .310 average, a replication of that is worth the pick-up.
Felipe Lopez - 2B/SS, St. Louis Cardinals (Yahoo! 18%, CBS 14%)
Felipe was activated from the disabled list at the beginning of the year. He was signed shortly before the start of the season by the Cardinals for what appeared to be rookie David Freese insurance. Well Freese has done nothing but hit the ball hard so far this year, unlike starting shortstop Brendan Ryan . For the foreseeable future Lopez is said to be getting starts for the Redbirds at short. You can expect at least a .280 average, a handful of home runs and a possible high ceiling in the stolen base category.
Alcides Escobar - SS, Milwaukee Brewers (Yahoo! 13%/ CBS 64%)
Did someone say possible high ceiling in the stolen base department? Well no matter how high Felipe Lopez's ceiling is, Escobar's are three times as high. A prolific base stealer in the minor leagues, Alcides really hasn't had a chance to show what he is capable of at the Major League level. Escobar has been buried in the 8 spot of the Brewers' line-up for most of the season, but recently Ken Macha has moved him up to the 2 hole, where he has much, much, much more value. Add into the equation that he is hitting over .300 in the last week with a home run and stolen base. It seems like he is settling in nicely to his new home in the line-up.
Willy Aybar - 2B/3B/SS, Tampa Bay Rays (Yahoo! 36%, CBS 50%)
With the Rays designating Pat Burrell for assignment it opened up at-bats for two players, Hank Blalock and Willy Ayabar. Willy will see most DH at-bats when Tampa faces a lefty on the bump. He is not going to do much to help your average but his counting numbers have potential and quite possibly may steal at-bats away from Hank if he stumbles out of the gate. He has averaged close to a home run every 30 at-bats over the past few years in a limited role, so maybe some possible full-time at-bats would do wonders for his numbers.
Coco Crisp - OF, Oakland Athletics (Yahoo! 1%, CBS 15%)
Coco came off the disabled list as kind of a surprise on Friday for the weekend inter-league series against the Giants. His season ended in June last year with shoulder surgeries, which isn't helpful for when he steps into the box, but his value comes with what he can do on the bases. He was ready to go this year, having a fairly strong spring training, until he fractured his pinky on a head first slide on a steal attempt of second late into Spring Training. If you are in need of some steals he is a great place to find them without having to give anything up to get them.
Corey Hart - OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Yahoo! 35%/ CBS 49%)
Hart scared owners off the closer and closer leagues got to draft day, where his value plummeted. Any mixed league owner either benched or cut him once Jim Edmonds was getting the starts during the first 10 games of the season or so. Add into the mix that Hart was struggling mightily at the plate, he hit waiver wires everywhere. In the past 2 weeks Hart is turning things around hitting .297 with 4 home runs and a stolen base in the past 14 days. Hart was tagged as a 20/20 guy going into the season, and even though it is doubtful he reaches that, it looks like he has claimed a regular spot back in the Brewers line-up.
Jonny Gomes - OF, Cincinnati Reds (Yahoo! 12% / CBS 21%)
Jonny is a NL-Only Under the Radar graduate. He also is a platoon graduate, at the moment, in Cincinnati. A combination of what he is doing at the plate (.303/5/25) and the struggles of Chris Dickerson and Drew Stubbs have given him a chance to prove that he can hit right handed pitching. The average is not going to stay that high, especially if he is in the line-up full time, but the power numbers are almost unpredictable because he has only had more than 350 at-bats once in his career.
Brett Cecil - SP, Toronto Blue Jays (Yahoo! 9%, CBS 33%)
Cecil was a winner last time I suggested him in Under the Radar in week 5, giving up 4 runs between the two games in 13.1 innings with a win and 13 strike outs. Following that stellar week he had a horrendous start, giving up 8 earned in 2 innings against the Texas Rangers. He righted the ship in his last start, giving up 2 earned in 6.1 innings with 4 strike outs against Seattle. For the upcoming week he grabs two more favorable match-ups against an under performing Anaheim offense in Cali and then back home to face the Orioles. His strike out numbers are down a little bit since his 10 K performance against the Indians, but these two teams may help that ration climb back towards 1 per inning.
Carlos Villanueva - RP, Milwaukee Brewers (Yahoo! 20% / CBS 32%)
It is hard telling what is going to happen to Trevor Hoffman and the back end of the Brewers rotation for the rest of the season, but in the short term it looks like Villanueva will see any save opportunities the Brewers have. He has performed well so far this year sporting a 2.91 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 27 strike outs in 21.2 innings. It is hard to say if Hoffman will miss more than a handful of save opportunities, but Carlos can still help you in the ratio categories and possibly strike outs depending on how much time he spends on the hill.