This article originally appeared on Fantasyfootballmaniaxs.com.
Week Two is now coming to a close, and several teams are surprising fantasy owners around the country. The Blue Jays, Marlins, Padres, and Mariners all sit atop their respective divisions while the former champions are forced to look up from the cellar. We, though, must focus on the players that aid in their team’s successes. Here is the Week Three Waiver Wire.
Felipe Lopez (SS, 2B) (ARZ)- Most people know Lopez from his two homers he jacked on Opening Day; one from the left side of the plate and the other from the right. Since then, he has failed to stop. He is currently hitting for a .368 average, with two home runs, four RBI, and seven runs scored. Lopez is eligible as a middle infielder (2B,SS), giving fantasy owners an extra option at two positions with little depth.
So, let’s say you decided to grab a shortstop late in the draft, and he’s just not panning out for you at the moment. This is where Lopez comes into play. While he’s on this hot streak, he should be valuable. He normally doesn’t hit for plenty of power; however, he has the potential to hit for a high average and steal bases. Look for him in free agency. If you need an extra bench player (or even a starter), grab Felipe. He should be a solid fantasy option until he cools off.
Ty Wigginton (3B) (BAL)- If any of you are wondering, yes, Ty was on the Week One Waiver Wire. So why is he on here again? Two weeks ago, I told you that he should get valuable playing time moving around the field. Not any more. Now with current starting third baseman Melvin Mora injured, Ty Wigginton will be manning the position. Wigginton is hitting for a .208 average, with two RBI and one run scored.
I know this doesn’t sound like much, but the power potential is always there. Last season, he hit 23 homers in only 386 at-bats. This year, he should be getting plenty more chances at the plate. Watch out for Ty over the next three weeks. In a lineup that features arguably the best 1-4 hitters in baseball (Roberts, Jones, Markakis, Huff), there will RBI-opportunities galore. If you need a guy to sit on your bench and be an injury reserve, Ty is your guy. Heck, stick him in as a starter if you’d like.
Alberto Callaspo (2B) (KC)- With the recent injury to starting third baseman Alex Gordon (What is up with the “hot corner” lately?), second baseman Mark Teahen is moving over to the left side of the infield while Callaspo assumes Teahen’s old role. For now, Callaspo is hitting for a .286 average, with two RBI and three runs scored. Alberto is more of the “slap-hitting” type who won’t hit for much power but has .300 average potential.
Now that he’s starting, he should have plenty more shots to prove it. If you play in a 5X5 Head-to-Head fantasy format, Callaspo could be the perfect fit. Hitting in a lineup that boasts Mike Jacobs, Mark Teahen, John Buck, Billy Butler, Coco Crisp, and Mike Aviles, there should be many opportunities to both score runs and knock them in. This contact hitter should have no problem sliding on to your fantasy roster.
Josh D. Fields (3B) (CHW)- Formerly known for his power as a rookie in 2007, Fields seems to be a different hitter only two years later. He is currently hitting for a .355 average, with five RBI and five runs scored. The thing with Fields is this: The power potential is still there, plus the ability to hit for a high average. Add them together and you get a solid fantasy pickup in Week 3.
Though his lineup doesn’t appear to be giving him much help (For all the fantasy owners who didn’t think Alexei Ramirez was going to be a bust, just look at his .156 average.), he looks as though he can hold his own in Chicago. If you wish to pick him up, do it while he’s still on a hot streak. He has now gotten a hit in seven straight contests, hitting .346 during that span. Grab him now if you need an extra bench player. He could end up being your starter before you know it.
Dexter Fowler (CF) (COL)- Talk about coming out of no where! Had anyone who wasn’t a Rockies’ fan heard of this kid before ‘09? Well, it’s about time you figured out who he was. As a rookie, Fowler is hitting for a .333 average, with two homers, four RBI, four runs scored, and a stolen base. To put it simply, he’s the complete package. He has shown both power and speed during his short tenure in the bigs, and we have seen no signs of him slowing down.
The key for his success was intended to be battling out teammate Seth Smith for at-bats; however, Smith is only hitting for a .125 average. Look for Fowler to continue with his success at the plate over the next week. If he keeps on hitting, then he may end up as the best young outfielder in the National League West (Which is hard to say with Justin Upton in Arizona.). Fowler should make a solid starter in any mixed league format.
Nick Swisher (RF) (NYY)- I thought Dexter Fowler came out of the blue, but compared to Nick Swisher, he is nothing special. Swisher appears to be en route to a comeback season, hitting for a .406 average, with four homeruns, eleven RBI, and eleven runs scored (He even pitched for the Yanks recently, going a scoreless inning and recording a strikeout. Talk about a nice start to the new year.). This was while moving around the diamond in a part-time role. Now with starting right fielder Xavier Nady hurt, Swisher should get every opportunity to start.
If he continues on this torrid pace, then he could help any fantasy owner pick up a boatload of points over the next few weeks. Swisher should get plenty of RBI chances in that Yankees lineup, add in the power potential, and you’ve got a nice starting outfielder on your squad. If he’s still available (and I mean if), grab him. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it; as Nike says, “Just do it.” Need I say more?
Nelson R. Cruz (RF) (TEX)- Living in Louisiana, I am able to watch the occasional Rangers’ game when I’m bored. While watching, I saw as Nelson Cruz came up to bat with the bases loaded against the Orioles. After one pitch, he was circling the bases. That grand slam was his fifth homer of the year. Add in a .278 average, 12 RBI, eight runs scored, and a stolen base, and you have this breakout candidate’s stat line. As one can see, his power potential is endless. Every opportunity he has, he takes full advantage of it.
Let us also not forget that he’s hitting in a lineup with Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Chris Davis, Josh Hamilton, and Hank Blalock, only increasing both his RBI chances and fantasy value. If Cruz is still sitting there in free agency, take him. This outfielder could provide some much needed power to any fantasy squad. Unless your outfield is too solid to fit him in, I would recommend Cruz as a starter with high upside. He could finish with 30+ homers at season’s end. Ya, I wouldn’t mind having that in my fantasy lineup.
Anibal Sanchez (SP) (FLA)- If there is any team in baseball that is playing better than the Marlins, please fill me in. Their success is due to several factors. One of the most important is the young, talented starting pitching. This is where Sanchez comes into play. In his first start of the ‘09 campaign, Sanchez went six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits. He also recorded seven strikeouts, yet he issued six walks. This will be the key for Anibal in 2009. If he is able to keep the walks down, then he should put himself in the position to win on a weekly basis.
He has the offense to back him up, led by shortstop Hanley Ramirez and third baseman Emilio Bonifacio. Though the defense behind him is shaky, it has thus proven effective so far. In other words, if Sanchez pitches well, then the Fish will most likely go down in the win column. Monitor his next start against the Pirates. If he receives a victory, I suggest picking him up. If he continues to find success on the mound, make him a starter in your rotation.
Ricky Romero (SP) (TOR)- I wanted to wait and see how he would fare in his second start before putting him on my waiver wire; he failed to disappoint. In 14 innings pitched, the rookie is 1-0, with a 2.57 ERA, seven strikeouts, and two walks. Like Sanchez’s Marlins, Romero’s Jays are also off to a hot start. This, also like the Fish, is due to an unexpected (but solid) offense and excellent starting pitching.
Romero is proving that he can hold his ground in the bigs, and the men in the lineup are giving an extra helping hand. Here are the batting averages of some of the starters in the Jays order: Scott Rolen- .359; Marco Scutaro- .310; Aaron Hill- .380; Vernon Wells- .340; Travis Snider- .348; Adam Lind- .370; Kevin Millar- .294. I would say that Romero is getting plenty of support. To conclude, if this rookie pitches well, the team wins. Plain and simple. If he’s available, grab him and stick him on your bench. Give him one more start before you make the decision on whether or not to put him in your rotation.
Fernando Rodney (RP) (DET)- Before the season began, many fans believed that new acquisition Brandon Lyon would be the one coming on in the ninth for the save. This is not the case. Fernando Rodney is the current closer in Detroit, and thus far, he’s done a fairly decent job. He is 2-for-2 in save opportunities, proving effective in four innings with the Tigers.
Looking to the future, Rodney should see these opportunities frequently. With an offense that has proven its run-scoring ability throughout the year and a starting rotation that has great upside, save chances should come often. If Rodney converts them, we’re looking at one of the better closers in the American League. If you need saves, Rodney is your guy. If not, stick him on your bench as an injury-reserve. He may prove valuable as the weeks fly by.