Every year, a waiver-wire pickup will help obtain a championship. Last season, players like Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Trout and R.A. Dickey all provided great value after the draft. Who will be the heroes this season?
The following list is compiled of possible candidates to become post-draft MVPs.
Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins: 44 percent owned in Yahoo!; 17 percent in ESPN
Fernandez was stellar is his MLB debut on Sunday against the New York Mets. The 20-year-old pitched five strong innings, yielding just one earned run on three hits while striking out eight. He was nearly unhittable last year, making two stops at Single-A. He went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 10.61 K/9 and 0.93 WHIP. The Marlins put a 150 to 165 innings cap on him this year, but he's still worth picking up. He will be a very nice source for strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.
Jed Lowrie, SS, Oakland A's: 66 percent owned in Yahoo!; 90 percent in ESPN
Lowrie has gotten off to a hot start in 2013. This should look familiar, though. Last year, Lowrie was putting up monster numbers before injuries derailed his season. So far, he is hitting .500 with three homers, six RBI and seven runs scored.
The talent has never been a question with Lowrie. He just always seems to have a problem staying on the field. Take a chance on him, though. Shortstop isn't littered with elite options, and he provides a lot of potential.
Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals: 51 percent owned in Yahoo!; 67 percent in ESPN
Carpenter is versatile, and he's about to get even more diverse. He started at second base in Sunday's game versus the San Francisco Giants, and he should start playing there exclusively. He was manning the hot corner while David Freese was out, but with Freese expected to return on Monday, Carpenter will earn the nod at second. He is hitting .320 to start the year, and a spot in the Cardinals' potent lineup is valuable.
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, Seattle Mariners: 63 percent owned in Yahoo!; 63 percent in ESPN
Iwakuma has looked very sharp in his first two outings. He has logged 14 innings, allowing four earned runs while striking out 10 and walking none. He boasts a very impressive 0.43 WHIP so far. Iwakuma flew under the radar last season, when he went 9-5 with a 3.16 ERA. It looks as if he's going to continue that success in 2013. Seattle is a pitcher-friendly stadium, plus the offense is better. He'll also get to pitch in Oakland, and he'll face the Astros this season. He could be in for a very good season.
Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Colorado Rockies: 16 percent owned in Yahoo!; 9 percent in ESPN
Chacin showed promise after posting back-to-back serviceable seasons in 2010 and 2011. Over those two seasons, he went 20-25 with a 3.48 ERA and a 7.82 K/9 rate. Then, last season, he disappointed many owners. He was demoted to as low as High-A and only pitched in 69 MLB innings. But it looks like he's back on track to start his 2013 campaign. Through two starts, he is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Pitchers who call Coors Field home are always risky, but Chacin is a low-risk option.
Kelvin Herrera, RP, Kansas City Royals: 30 percent owned in Yahoo!; 3 percent in ESPN
Herrera is the guy who cleaned up Greg Holland's mess in Sunday's win against the Philadelphia Phillies. Holland has been pretty terrible to start the season. He has been tagged for four earned runs in just two innings, and his 4.00 WHIP isn't anything to brag about either. Meanwhile, Herrera has been lights out. He has racked up seven strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Holland's job is probably safe for the time being, but if you need reliever help, then you'd better pick up Herrera now.
Jim Henderson, RP, Milwaukee Brewers: 28 percent owned in Yahoo!; 3 percent in ESPN
Henderson is another setup man who could inherit the closer duties very soon. In case you haven't noticed, John Axford has been an absolute disaster to start the 2013 season. He has allowed six earned runs in his first 2.2 innings. It's been so bad for Axford that when he allowed two runs in Sunday's contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks, his ERA was actually lowered. Henderson has pitched three scoreless innings this season and would be the guy to replace Axford.
Josh Rutledge, SS, Colorado Rockies: 73 percent owned in Yahoo!; 79 percent in ESPN
Rutledge is off to a rather slow start, but that shouldn't affect your thinking about him. If he doesn't have second base eligibility in your league yet, then he'll get there soon. Having flexibility for both middle infield positions is very valuable.
There is a lot to love about Rutledge. For one, he calls Coors Field home, so that should bode well for him. Secondly, he's hitting in the No. 2 hole, ahead of Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer. Expect a 15/15 season from the young Rutledge.
Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B, Cleveland Indians: 50 percent owned in Yahoo!; 51 percent in ESPN
It took Reynolds 40 games to hit four home runs last year. It's only taken him five games to reach that mark in 2013. So far, he is hitting .300 with four homers, seven RBI and six runs scored. Obviously you can't expect the average to stay anywhere near .300, but it's a good sign to see the power return. Reynolds hit just 23 homers a season ago, which was way down from years past. The Indians have a solid lineup, and Reynolds could thrive hitting in the seventh spot.
Wilson Ramos, C, Washington Nationals: 4 percent owned in Yahoo!; 2 percent in ESPN
Right now, there's a timeshare behind the dish in Washington. Ramos has just nine at-bats this season, but he has four hits, and two of those hits have gone over the wall. Kurt Suzuki also has nine at-bats as well, and he delivered a three-hit performance in Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
It's hard to project any fantasy importance with a timeshare, but Ramos is definitely the one of the two to own. I have a feeling that he'll be the everyday catcher pretty soon.
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