Fantasy Baseball: Game-Changing Waiver Pickups in Week 8

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Fantasy Baseball: Game-Changing Waiver Pickups in Week 8
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The flame-throwing Cashner looks to live up to the hype in 2013

Fantasy baseball has a new cast of game-changing players as Week 8 is upon us.

A dedicated fantasy owner knows game-changing players come out of the woodwork every week through various mediums. Players get a chance to showcase their talent via a call-up from the minor leagues, some get a chance to step into the spotlight due to a starters recent injury and some players with all the tools simply figure out their game as their career and season go on.

The following players are making a pronounced impact in the league already and have the promise to continue hitting their strides as the season continues.

Here are four game-changing players in Week 8.

 

1. Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers 2B (39 percent owned)

Jurickson Profar is the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball as mlb.com's prospect watch 2013 feature shows us. He is praised as a player who is a demon at the plate and on the bases by scouts and is the premier prospect in baseball this year. Well it has happened. The doors for Profar are now open after Ian Kinsler finds himself on the 15-day disabled list due to an intercostal strain. 

Profar will be getting regular starts at second base while Kinsler is on the disabled list. A savvy fantasy owner doesn't miss the opportunity to pick up the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. Regardless of whether or not he gets sent down upon Kinsler's return, the savviest owners will pick him up because they know he possesses the tools to be a mainstay and a star in the MLB for years to come.

Fangraphs.com shows that Profar is hitting .278/.370/.438 with four HR and 19 RBI through 37 games in Triple-A. These numbers are by no means gaudy, but the 20-year-old is about to start making his mark on baseball.

Pick him up in your fantasy leagues if you still can, and use him now as well as stash him for later. He is the No. 1 prospect in baseball and will see plenty of time down the stretch in 2013.

Which player has more fantasy value?

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2. Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres SP/RP (37 percent owned)

2013 Stats: 3-2, 3.02 ERA, 33 K, 1.18 WHIP

Andrew Cashner of the San Diego Padres has quietly had a good season after a disappointing 2012. In 2012 he had an ERA of 4.27 in 33 games played, which mostly consisted of relief appearances, meaning that in 2012 the Padres weren't confident in his ability to start games.

However, there is a beautiful silver lining to his relief appearances: It allows Cashner to be considered a starting pitcher (SP) and relief pitcher (RP) in yahoo fantasy leagues. His multiple position eligibility adds tremendous depth to a fantasy owners team, while allowing more than the standard number of starting pitchers allowed to get a start in one day. But, this is only part of his value.

Cashner's current statistical value is good and will continue to grow as his power arm adjusts to the season. Although the numbers don't properly show it right now he is the type of power pitcher who makes batters miss and draws strikeouts with ease. As fangraphs.com shows us, his K/9 is only 6.65. This number can be expected to grow based on his 2012 K/9 of 10.10. 

He is a young power pitcher with all of the potential to be a stud for the entire 2013 season. Fantasy owners seeking a power pitcher who will rake in strikeouts should pursue him. 

 

3. Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks OF (50 percent owned)

2013 Stats: .327/ .394/ .506, 28 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 4 SB

Gerardo Parra has been on a tear this season and is on pace to put up career numbers in every category.

Baseball-reference.com demonstrates that Parra—previously thought of as primarily a speed demon—has been doing a lot of damage with his bat. His four home runs this season are half of his career high, yet were achieved in less than a third of the games. He also has a .900 OPS meaning he is being more patient at the plate, drawing more walks and hitting the ball with power when his pitch does come. It also helps that Parra is hitting in front of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt who has been driving in him in all season. 

All of the aforementioned are signs that Parra has the ability to sustain his talent outburst in 2013. Parra is a must-have player on teams that find themselves depleted in the outfield, due to his ability to give help in all categories.

 

4. Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays SP (9 percent owned)

Highly touted prospect Jake Odorizzi is being called up for a Tuesday start in light of Tampa's ace David Price being moved to the DL.

Even though Tampa hopes that Price only misses a couple starts, those starts are Odorizzi's chance to prove himself to the MLB. However, ESPN.com shows that Tampa is ranked 24th when it comes to their team ERA, which is to be expected after they traded away Wade Davis and James Shields. Who did they trade Davis and Shields for? Royals prospects Jake Odorizzi and Wil Myers. While Myers still has some time in the minors left until his MLB debut, this call-up for Odorizzi appears to control his own destiny. 

Fangraphs.com shows Odorizzi was great in 2012 Triple-A play, going 11-3 with a solid 2.93 ERA. He strikes out a solid number of batters too, with 189 strikeouts over 213.3 innings through the course of 2012.

Ordorizzi also impressed in his MLB debut with Kansas City. He began his career shutting down the Indians by tossing five scoreless innings.

The time is now for Odorizzi. He has gained his experience in the minors and now has the chance to earn his way onto Tampa Bay's starting rotation. He has what it takes to be a major part of their rotation throughout the summer so keep an eye on this potent young player.

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