Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 12
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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 Wil Myers, Anthony Rendon, Rick Porcello and Gerrit Cole, are already owned in many 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.
J.J. Putz, RHP, Diamondbacks (48.7 Percent Owned)
Joaquin Benoit, RHP, Tigers (20.6 Percent Owned) (pictured)
Mike Carp, 1B/OF, Red Sox (36.8 Percent Owned)
Corey Kluber, RHP, Indians (5.9 Percent Owned)
Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (0.7 Percent Owned)
Nate Schierholtz, OF, Cubs (19.3 Percent Owned)
John Axford, RHP, Brewers (18.8 Percent Owned)
Alex Torres, LHP, Rays (0.6 Percent Owned)
Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers (0.1 Percent Owned)
10. Oliver Perez, LHP, Mariners (3.5 Percent Owned)
It's OK to admit it: You didn't even realize Oliver Perez—yes, that Oliver Perez—was still in the major leagues.
Well, he is, only the 31-year-old is now a reliever. And a pretty darn good one at that, as his 1.11 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 12.2 K/9 prove.
With the apparently temporary demotion of closer Tom Wilhelmsen, the lefty Perez is expected to split ninth-inning duties with rookie Carter Capps, who better fits the conventional closer type as a hard-throwing righty.
Both pitchers are fine adds for owners who are chasing every save out there, but it was Perez who preserved a one-run lead over the Oakland Athletics on Friday, the first save opportunity after Wilhelmsen was removed from the role.
9. Eric Stults, LHP, Padres (14.9 Percent Owned)
Not to be confused with the B-list actor from such films as Pulp Fiction, Little Women and Rob Roy, this Eric Stults spells his name slightly differently and has been throwing baseballs like an A-lister for the past month or so.
The 33-year-old journeyman owns a 2.26 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP over nine starts since the beginning of May. He might not throw hard and might not be able to keep this up—we did use the word "journeyman" to describe him in the previous sentence—but for now, he's a viable streaming starter.
But, hey, if you miss out on picking him up, it probably won't wind up ruining your fantasy season as much as losing out on the Marty McFly character may have ruined a certain actor's career.
8. Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Athletics (30.8 Percent Owned)
It's a shame that Brandon Moss hasn't been better this year, especially lately, since the entire A's team is on a roll that he just can't seem to catch onto.
At least the veteran lefty slugger is still hitting homers, though. He's got 12 four-baggers on the year, including five in June, which accounts for more than half of his hits in the month (Moss is 9-for-36, .250 BA).
The .291 average from 2012's breakout? Yeah, probably not happening, as Moss is batting just .235. But he could hit .250 with 12-15 more homers from here on out.
7. Andrew Cashner, RHP, Padres (9.1 Percent Owned)
After tossing a career-high eight innings and holding the Atlanta Braves to just six hits and two runs last week, Cashner's digits since joining the rotation in late April look like this: 5 W, 3.47 ERA, 1.16 WHIP with a 42:14 K:BB ratio in 62.1 innings over 10 starts.
Could the strikeout rate be a little better, especially for a guy who throws so hard? Yeah, sure.
Should that be enough to stop you from adding Cashner? Um, no.
6. Jordan Lyles, RHP, Astros (2.8 Percent Owned)
Jordan Lyles? The guy who pitches for the Houston Astros and had a 5.20 career ERA across 2011 and 2012, his first two years in the majors.
Yes, Jordan Lyles. The guy who is still just 22 years old and has a 3.48 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 7.1 K/9 this season, his third go-round in the bigs.
His May 12 outing against the Texas Rangers didn't go well at all (8 ER in 4 IP), but aside from that, Lyles has been solid or better every time out, including his most recent start—seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.
OK, so it was against the Mariners, but if things are finally clicking for the former supplemental-rounder, Lyles could be a useful streaming option. At worst.
5. Juan Pierre, OF, Marlins (26.9 Percent Owned)
Juan Pierre is doing Juan Pierre things.
That means, he's hitting for a decent average (.257, but .291 since May 1) and stealing bags, with 18—sixth-most in the majors.
And even though he's hitting atop that putrid Miami Marlins lineup, Pierre has managed 30 runs scored. Plus, Giancarlo Stanton just came back to help drive him in a bit more frequently.
Speed need? Solved.
4. Kyle Blanks, 1B/OF, Padres (45.0 Percent Owned)
After being the last cut a week ago, Kyle Blanks definitely deserves a spot this time around.
The former top prospect in the San Diego Padres' system has stepped in at first base for the injured Yonder Alonso, and Blanks is mashing with seven of his eight homers and 21 of his 26 RBI since May 15.
Oh, and he hit a homer on Saturday and Sunday. That's what we like to call a good weekend.
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (23.2 Percent Owned)
The Colorado Rockies' rook has gone through some growing pains.
As of June 4, Nolan Arenado's triple-slash line had dropped to .221/.261/.374 in his first 131 at-bats in the bigs.
In the 11 games since, Arenado is doing this: .396/.431/.625 with a homer, four doubles, two triples and seven RBI.
Arenado is likely to continue to be streaky, especially given his rookiedom and his home ballpark, but the 22-year-old's season totals in the fantasy categories are now rather respectable: .268 BA, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 20 R in 46 games.
2. Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (6.2 Percent Owned)
Speaking of impact rookies...
Mike Zunino got the call last week—just over a year after he went third overall in the 2012 MLB draft.
The 22-year-old destroyed the minors last year then struggled a bit with an aggressive promotion to Triple-A to start out 2013, hitting just .238.
But Zunino's power is very legitimate, especially for a catcher, and he smacked 11 homers and slugged .503 at Tacoma this season.
Then he went out and hit his first big league tater on Friday, a shot to straightaway center field in Oakland, which you can watch in the video above.
Like Arenado, Zunino is going to have an adjustment period, and he might not hit for a high average while figuring things out in the majors at such a young age. But he is expected to see regular action and has the tools to be a top-10 fantasy catcher soon.
Zunino is worth a look if you're backstop spot remains a game of musical chairs.
1. Mitch Moreland, 1B, Rangers (30.0 Percent Owned)
Admittedly, this isn't as sexy as last week, when we handed the pimp spot out to Wil Myers, one of baseball's top prospects who just so happened to get called up by the Tampa Bay Rays after Sunday's game.
If you didn't listen to us ahead of time, you'll want to add Myers. Like, now.
But Mitch Moreland is making his way back to the majors, too, as he heads out on a rehab assignment to recover from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since June 5—and caused plenty of owners to jettison him in favor of some other flavor of the week.
Moreland, 27, was embarking on what appeared to be a career season, though, as he was batting .288 with 12 homers, 27 runs and 29 RBI in fewer than 200 at-bats at the time of his injury.
The lefty hitter is slated to return Friday, per Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, so if Moreland was dumped, you should add him now, not later.
Just like you did with Myers, if you were smart and took our advice.