Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 8
A new week, another batch of waiver-wire adds, just the way you like 'em—hot and fresh out of the oven.
Some players mentioned last time, including Matt Garza, Francisco Liriano, Mitch Moreland and Travis Wood, are already owned in most leagues by now but remain quality pickups if still available. In the interest of keeping the names new, though, let's avoid any repeats.
All ownership percentages come from ESPN fantasy baseball. Players owned in more than 51 percent of leagues were not considered.
Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers (1.1 Percent Owned)
With five steals in his last five games, we could be seeing the 25-year-old starting to get the hang of this Major League Baseball thing.
Brandon McCarthy, RHP, Diamondbacks (34.5 Percent Owned)
The ugly stats McCarthy (pictured) has posted to date (4.74 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) should be overshadowed by his past five outings (26:4 K:BB), especially the last two in which the veteran has thrown 17 scoreless.
Joel Peralta, RHP, Rays (4.7 Percent Owned)With Fernando Rodney continuing to struggle, Peralta (1.74 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) is likely next in line to close in Tampa, making him worth keeping an eye on.
Ryan Webb, RHP, Marlins (0.3 Percent Owned)
Same goes for Webb (1.48 ERA, 0.86 WHIP), who's behind only the shaky Steve Cishek for ninth-inning duties in F-L-A.
Yasmani Grandal, C, Padres (0.2 Percent Owned)
Nearing the end of a 50-game suspension for testing positive for high levels of testosterone, the 24-year-old Grandal, a switch-hitter batted .297 with eight homers and 36 RBI in 60 games as a rookie a year ago, is eligible to return May 28.
Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Rays (0.1 Percent Owned)
The 23-year-old rookie, who owns a 3.83 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 in eight starts at Triple-A this season, will fill in for the injured David Price, starting with his Rays debut Monday at the Blue Jays. Give a look to see if this solid prospect is worth adding.
10. Raul Ibanez, OF, Mariners (7.9 Percent Owned)
Raul Ibanez does this every year.
Owners have been overlooking the veteran his entire career, and while he's no longer the 90-to-100-RBI guy he was in his heyday, Ibanez is still more than capable of slugging 20-plus homers—even at 40 years old.
The lefty-hitting Ibanez has been getting fairly regular action against righties, whom he's always hit well, and he had quite a week, with a whopping five home runs and 11 RBI to bring his season totals to eight and 20 in those categories.
9. Eric Chavez, 3B, Diamondbacks (17.5 Percent Owned)
Eric Chavez continues to turn back the clock.
Now 35, the veteran third baseman has proved he can still be productive. To wit, he hit .281 with 16 homers in fewer than 300 at-bats while being deployed primarily versus right-handers for the Yankees in 2012.
This year, Chavez has grabbed the majority of playing time at the hot corner in the desert—Martin Prado has shifted to second base with Aaron Hill still out—and the lefty-hitter is batting .330 with five homers and 18 RBI.
Once Hill returns, Chavez's role will decrease, but until then, you could do worse at a position that has been hit hard by injured and slumping players.
8. A.J. Pierzynski, C, Rangers (31.3 Percent Owned)
Out with an oblique strain since May 6, A.J. Pierzynski is just about ready to make his return.
The Rangers catcher is finishing up a short rehab assignment and should be back in the bigs on Tuesday, where he'll rejoin the team with the best record in baseball.
Pierzynski was off to a decent start through the first month, with a .263 average, four homers and 11 RBI. While he's unlikely to repeat his career-high 27-homer campaign from a year ago, the hitter-friendly ballpark and solid surrounding lineup could once again make him a top-10 fantasy catcher.
7. Dayan Viciedo, OF, White Sox (45.5 Percent Owned)
Since returning from a strained oblique 10 days ago, Dayan Viciedo has fared well, going 12-for-32 (.375) with a pair of homers and sevens in both runs and RBI.
The 24-year-old Cuban slugger also has seven walks in that time, which is significant because those account for all of his free passes this season. Also, he walked only 28 times in 505 at-bats last year when he hit 25 homers despite that poor plate discipline.
In other words, if Viciedo is making real gains at the plate, he could be in for a 30-homer campaign with an average north of the respectable .255 he hit in 2012, his first full season.
6. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Padres (25.5 Percent Owned)
Owners need to reconsider Yonder Alonso, who is a repeat in this space from a few weeks ago.
The 26-year-old first baseman, who hit 39 doubles and just nine homers in his first full shot at the majors in 2012, is showing he's capable of turning some of those two-baggers into four-baggers.
After homering in both games over the weekend, Alonso already has six on the season to go with 26 RBI, 18 runs and a .289 average.
If you're still sitting on Eric Hosmer or Ryan Howard and Alonso is waiting to be plucked in your league, make the switch.
5. Andrew Cashner, RHP, Padres (16.2 Percent Owned)
Like his fellow Padre on the previous page, Andrew Cashner is another guy we suggested you add previously.
Since seizing a spot in the San Diego five-man, the hard-throwing 26-year-old right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in six starts, including Sunday's win over the Nationals.
While the 6.1 K/9 rate isn't write-home-worthy, that should gradually—or even suddenly—tick up, given Cashner's stuff. And his 2.8 BB/9 as a starter this year is a major improvement for a guy who owns a 4.0 BB/9 for his career.
There's plenty of injury history here, so it's best to get in sooner than later and enjoy while you can.
4. Adam Eaton, OF, Diamondbacks (8.9 Percent Owned)
A preseason Rookie of the Year fave, Adam Eaton suffered a strained elbow at the end of spring training and has been making his way back ever since.
It's been a slow go at times for the 24-year-old lefty-hitting center fielder, but Eaton is embarking on what appears to be the final part of his rehab assignment now that he's at Triple-A.
Eaton could return by the end of May, and he has the speed and approach to hit in the leadoff spot, making him a nice add for owners in search of runs and steals, to go with a solid batting average.
If Eaton can make it back and play his way back into the starting job he was expected to have before the injury, he could be a solid third or fourth outfielder in mixed leagues.
3. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates (50.6 Percent Owned)
Look, it's often disappointing, occasionally frustrating and sometimes maddening to own Pedro Alvarez.
It's also, at times, gratifying.
Still just 26, the lefty basher owns a pretty putrid .233 career average, but he also paid off if you stuck with him through the tough times—or at least picked him up after his previous owner dropped him—last year, when he finished with 30 homers and 85 RBI.
With 21 RBI and eight long balls already this year, including two in his past two games, Alvarez is going to provide premium pop in an era when 30-homer seasons are pretty hard to come by.
Sometimes, you have to take the bad and the ugly to get to the good.
2. Adam Dunn, 1B, White Sox (31.0 Percent Owned)
If you wanted to flip Adam Dunn with the dude on the previous page, we wouldn't argue, but the point is that both should be owned in more leagues than they are, simply for their prodigious power.
Dunn got off to a shield-your-eyes-hideous start, hitting—get this—.098 with a measly five percent walk rate through April 20.
In the 23 games since? The slugger has hit .222 (okay, still not good but much, much better) and tallied eight homers and 17 RBI.
The reason? Dunn has regained his trademark patience with a 14 percent walk rate.
He's going to wreck your batting average, but hey, power is power, and Dunn should once again approach 40 homers and 80 or so RBI. In leagues that use OBP, of course, he's much more valuable.
1. Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers (9.8 Percent Owned)
Rejoice, fantasy owner, for the day has come.
Jurickson Profar, consensus top prospect in the sport, has been called up by the Rangers.
With Ian Kinsler being placed on the DL due to a strained rib muscle, Profar will be getting a good shot to handle second base in regular duty for the next two weeks.
If you're unfamiliar with Profar, here's the crash course: He's a 20-year-old, switch-hitting middle infielder with a good combination of pop and speed. Oh and he homered in his first-ever big league at-bat last September.
Profar wasn't tearing it up in his initial go at Triple-A to this point, but a .278/.370/.438 triple-slash, to go with four homers, six steals, 19 RBI and 27 runs scored in 37 games is a pretty good approximation of what he should be able to do once he's fully established in the majors.
Of course, that's not likely to happen this year, seeing as the Rangers have a solidified infield and Kinsler is expected back after the mandatory 15-day DL stint. Still, Profar is the type of add-now-and-see-how-it-all-plays-out talent that fantasy owners in every format should pick up.