Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 13
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 Mitch Moreland, Nolan Arenado, Kyle Blanks, Andrew Cashner and Joaquin Benoit, 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.
Jacob Turner, RHP, Miami Marlins (6.7 percent owned)
A former top prospect, Jacob Turner, has turned in four quality starts in five turns since promotion at the end of May.
Junichi Tazawa, RHP, Boston Red Sox (15.8 percent owned)
If Koji Uehara fails, the Boston Red Sox would likely turn to Junichi Tazawa (pictured) to close.
Drew Smyly, LHP, Detroit Tigers (7.0 percent owned)
Stellar stats (1.77 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 9.0 K/9) make Drew Smyly worth owning whether he's starting or relieving—or maybe eventually closing?
Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins (0.6 percent owned)
Getting the Kansas City Royals at home in his first MLB start next Saturday is a good way for the talented rookie, Kyle Gibson, to break in.
Raul Ibanez, OF, Seattle Mariners (11.0 percent owned)
Three more homers and six more RBI over the weekend bring the unsexy vet's (Raul Ibanez) totals to 17 and 42.
Roy Oswalt, RHP, Colorado Rockies (2.5 percent owned)
Not ready to buy in yet, but admittedly 11 whiffs and zero walks in five innings in first start since last September at least makes Roy Oswalt worth watch listing.
Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers (0.5 percent owned)
Had to mention: Rookie, Martin Perez, held the St. Louis Cardinals to five hits and two runs over seven innings Saturday.
10. Dillon Gee, RHP, New York Mets (14.5 Percent Owned)
Dillon Gee has always been terrible at Citizens Bank Park, having allowed nine homers and 30 earned runs in 26 career innings, so his so-so start there Saturday (5 ER in 5 IP) shouldn't take too much away from what the 27-year-old had done just prior to that outing.
After his ERA bottomed out at 6.34 on May 25, Gee threw four consecutive gems, allowing just five runs over 29.1 innings (1.53 ERA) with a 32-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The 4.82 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, to date, this year don't look ownable, but Gee is sporting a career-best 3.5 strikeout-to-walk rate, which is the sort of stat that indicates he should be at least spot-starter worthy in mixed leagues.
9. Brian Dozier, 2B/SS, Minnesota Twins 19.7 Percent Owned
Listed at 5'11" and 190 pounds, Brian Dozier isn't a big guy.
Over the past week, though, he's played like a bopper, with all six of his hits going for extra bases, including—count 'em—four homers.
With six steals on the season, Dozier also has a little speed, meaning he could come close to being a completely under-the-radar 15-15 guy who's eligible at both hard-to-fill second base and shortstop.
In fact, through his first 145 games in the majors between last year and this year, Dozier has 13 homers and 15 steals.
Just beware: He also has a .232 average.
8. Miguel Gonzalez, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (18.0 Percent Owned)
Miguel Gonzalez gets no fantasy love.
The overlooked Oriole didn't debut in the majors until last season at age 28, which helps explain why. But in his first 187 big-league innings across 2012 and 2013, Gonzalez owns a 14-7 record, 3.47 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
He got off to a bit of a rough beginning this year (4.60 ERA through his first five outings), but Gonzalez has been practically all quality starts since, with seven in his last eight from the outset of May.
In 52.1 frames over that time, Gonzalez has a 3.27 ERA and has collected more Ks (42) than hits allowed (39).
7. Hector Santiago, LHP, Chicago White Sox (8.0 Percent Owned)
Maybe re-posting the write-up of Hector Santiago from the "Just Missed" section of the May 13 edition of this column will help get the point across:
Hector Santiago, LHP, Chicago White Sox (3.9 Percent Owned)
You may remember Hector Santiago from his failure to hang onto the closer role as a rookie last year, but what you might not have realized is the 25-year-old is actually a pretty good starter. After a successful four-start stint last September, Santiago has looked strong his past two turns since rejoining the rotation after Gavin Floyd went down for the year.
JUNE 24 UPDATE
In case you're wondering, following his career-high eight innings (1 ER) against the Royals on Friday, here are the southpaw's stats in eight starts this season: 2.68 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 9.6 K/9.
6. J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays (37.2 Percent Owned)
At this point, you know what J.P. Arencibia is—and what he is not.
The latter pertains to the 27-year-old's .223 career batting average.
The former is a nod to the righty slugger's 33-homer, 79-RBI pace for 2013.
He probably won't reach either of those marks, but Arencibia has the power to come close, and he's been just as hot as the Toronto Blue Jays team: Over their 11-game win streak, Arencibia has three bombs and six RBI.
If you're without a top-five catcher and need a little extra pop, grab him.
5. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (20.1 Percent Owned)
Wandy Rodriguez was probably dropped in your league back in early June when he was banished to the disabled list with left forearm tightness, right?
That's cool—then you can be the owner to pick him up before he comes back.
The 33-year-old had a productive rehab outing at Triple-A on Sunday, according to Rob Biertempfel of TribLive, throwing 73 pitches over four frames and giving up just one run while posting a five-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Things seem to be shaping up for Rodriguez to return to the Pirates rotation later this week, and considering how well he was throwing prior to injury—six wins, 3.59 ERA, 1.12 WHIP—he's worth adding now.
One last word of advice: Let him pitch once before you deploy in your active lineup, just to make sure he's fully healthy.
4. Bud Norris, RHP, Houston Astros (8.2 Percent Owned)
It's always tricky to play the take-away-one-start game with pitchers, but let's try it here.
Minus Bud Norris' lone poor outing of the past two months—somewhat forgivably, he gave up seven earned in just five innings at the Tigers on May 13—the 28-year-old would have a 2.55 ERA since May 1.
The 1.27 WHIP is still a touch high, especially compared to that ERA, and Norris' 6.3 K/9 on the season is a career low by quite a bit, but call it a hunch that he gets traded sooner rather than later and turns out to be the type of pitcher who thrives in a better situation.
3. Peter Bourjos, OF, Los Angeles Angels (33.7 Percent Owned)
This one comes with an injury caveat.
Peter Bourjos had to exit Sunday's contest early, injuring his left thumb while sliding into second base, and while Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports Bourjos is listed as day-to-day, he will stay in L.A. for at least another day to have his hand examined by a specialist while the club heads to Detroit.
Until further word comes down, we'll focus more on what Bourjos has done since returning from a six-week-long stint on the DL for a left hamstring strain: .364/.417/.455 triple-slash stats with a homer, three steals and eight runs scored in 13 games.
Bourjos was lost in 2012—due to equal parts injury and poor performance—but this is a 26-year-old who two years ago showed what he's capable of by compiling 22 steals and 12 homers to go with a .271 average.
When (and if) healthy, Bourjos can be a fourth outfielder in fantasy, especially if the Angels lineup can get going.
2. Josh Reddick, OF, Oakland Athletics (40.0 Percent Owned)
We hit on Josh Reddick in early June, back when he was fresh off the DL, and while his season stats still don't look any good, he's proved us to be somewhat competent for recommending him as a waiver wire about three weeks ago.
Since his return, the 26-year-old is hitting .291 with a couple of homers, eight RBI and 10 runs over 21 games. It's not earth-shattering, obviously, but probably better than you realized, right?
Plus, there's this: The lefty-swinging Reddick has always had issues with making contact, but in his 87 plate appearances since May 31, he's whiffed just nine times—a 10.3 percent K rate.
He likely won't maintain that level going forward, but if Reddick can keep putting bat on ball, especially in a potent Athletics lineup, things will happen. And they'll be good things.
1. Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Houston Astros (19.4 Percent Owned)
Why would you want a guy who is a legitimate threat to break the all-time single-season strikeout mark?
Chris Carter has registered a K in the scorebook on 105 occasions in 2013—most in the majors—which puts him on pace for 221 if he keeps playing everyday for the rest of the year.
The most whiffs ever? Mark Reynolds' 223 in 2009. And Adam Dunn, who had 222 last year, is the only other player in history to strike out 220 or more times in a season.
And and and and and and and yet...Carter has an outside shot to match both Reynolds and Dunn, who each hit 40-plus homers in their 220-K campaigns.
Through 73 games, the 26-year-old righty slugger has 15 homers, putting him on pace for 32 four-baggers. So 40 might be a stretch, but we're also talking about a hitter who has now mashed 31 homers in 140 games between this year and last.
By the way, Carter is also on pace for 76 runs and 84 RBI.
While his .233 average isn't going to help you, if Carter can stick in that range—which he has most of the season—he's a more than worthy power play.