Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: 10 Intriguing Options You Must Avoid
We have rounded the May corner and are finally heading into the summer, as well as the third month of the season.
A lot of players enjoyed hot months of May, but that does not mean that they are suddenly fantasy studs. May is generally a hot/cold month for a lot of players, and it is easy to fall into waiver-wire traps.
Here is a list of 10 players who might seem interesting after May, but should be avoided heading forward.
2012 Stats: .308/.426/.493, 19 R, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 0 SB
The 31-year-old is having the year of his life. A career .262 hitter is now hitting .308, and his home run total for his career was two before the season's start.
With Kemp out, Ellis is getting some extra RBI opportunities in the Dodgers lineup. It is just a matter of time until the backstop slows down.
2012 Stats: .240/.300/.408, 20 R, 10 HR, 29 RBI, 1 SB
The big-bodied first baseman tore through May, posting a .754 OPS with six home runs and 18 RBI. Hot months of May are nothing new to Smoak, as he does his best hitting early in the season.
It is tough to overlook that Smoak is still hitting .188 at Safeco with a .552 OPS. Smoak is a player with a ton of untapped potential, but until he can hit at home he is not worth it.
2012 Stats: .227/.311/.333, 22 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 10 SB
After a great rookie campaign in 2011, fantasy owners were hoping Jemile Weeks would bring depth to second base. So far, he has been a bit of a disappointment. However, he has been pretty hot lately, raising his batting average from .199 to .227 over his last 10 games.
Despite his hot streak, Weeks still has a lot of things against him. Oakland is not scoring many runs. He is also getting caught stealing 33 percent of the time.
If you are looking to utilize speed for runs and swipes, there are better options out there.
2012 Stats: .314/.340/.559, 14 R, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB
As a Red Sox fan, this is a tough one to swallow, but there is a lot going against the young Will Middlebrooks.
Despite his hot start, the 23-year-old is still only a rookie—every high will probably come with a bigger dip. He is walking 3.8 percent of the time while striking out 27.4 percent of the time. That's almost as frightening as his .388 BABIP.
Recently, Middlebrooks has sat out the last two games for Boston. Until Kevin Youkilis is moved, Middlebrooks is still lacking a solidified role with the Sox. Until those decisions are made, Middlebrooks is too risky.
2012 Stats: .260/.288/.439, 28 R, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 6 SB
Desmond, a player generally known for his speed, is suddenly slugging away in 2012.
Before 2012, Desmond was hitting one home run every 15 games. This season, he is hitting a bomb every six games. That's a huge jump, and one that is not likely to continue.
2012 Stats: .289/.340/.442, 23 R, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 6 SB
Since his breakout campaign in 2007, Alex Rios has turned into one of baseball's least consistent players. The 31-year-old hit just .227 last year with 13 home runs and 11 steals.
Rios once again looks like a 20/20 threat, but can he be trusted? His line-drive rate is still hanging under 20 percent, and he cannot talk a walk to save his life. Rios is most likely just a product of the hot Chicago White Sox.
2012 Stats: .239/.335/.373, 26 R, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 1 SB
Alex Gordon is a tantalizing target, one that I have even dabbled in a couple times this season. Whenever it looks like he is turning a corner, he hits another wall.
Gordon's .303 average and 23 home runs were supported by a .358 BABIP and .200 ISO in 2011. In 2012, Gordon's ISO is down nearly 70 points, while his BABIP is at a much more normal .293.
With changes like that, it is hard to see a turnaround.
2012 Stats: 5-2, 2.98 ERA, 66.1 IP, 39 SO, 1.251 WHIP
What can be said about Barry Zito that fantasy owners do not already know? His .237 BABIP and 4.33 FIP scream regression. Opponents are hitting line drives off the southpaw 14.8 percent of the time, versus a career mark of 19.7 percent.
Zito's shiny 5-2 record looks nice, but don't lose sight of who you are dealing with.
2012 Stats: 6-2, 3.68 ERA, 66 IP, 42 SO, 1.303 WHIP
Jerome Williams has never gotten much of a shot at the majors, so maybe, just maybe, this is his time to break out—then one sees the 2.10 K/BB ratio and 3.93 FIP, and it makes you wonder.
Williams is inducing a lot of ground balls, which is really supporting his numbers. However, right now his only worthwhile stat is wins. If his numbers keep lacking, a one-category starter is not worth a pickup.
2012 Stats: 2-1, 3.60 ERA, 1 SV, 36 SO, 1.200 WHIP
With the recent demotion of Brandon League from the Mariners' closer role, one might find Tom Wilhelmsen an intriguing option.
The young righty is striking out 10.30 batters per nine innings, but he is still sporting a 3.60 ERA. League has been looking better as of late, and it could be just a matter of time until Wilhelmsen loses his role.
Until he has more job security, Wilhelmsen is far from a worthwhile fantasy option.