Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 14
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 Bud Norris, Kyle Gibson and Jacob Turner, 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.
Justin Ruggiano, OF, Marlins (5.4 Percent Owned)
The 31-year-old Ruggiano (pictured) is far from perfect (.233 BA, not even 30 RBI or R), but he does know how to hit 'em out (11 HR) and swipe 'em (8 SB) on occasion.
Marlon Byrd, OF, Mets (16.5 Percent Owned)
After looking like his career was done after a lost 2012, Byrd has bounced back to post respectable stats in average (.257), homers (12) and RBI (40).
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (19.6 Percent Owned)
The rookie was rushed to the bigs but has more than held his own with an even .300 average, and if he can tap into the power that he was known for coming up, Ozuna's stock will jump.
DJ Lemahieu, 2B, Rockies (10.2 Percent Owned)
The second-year player has proved he's a decent average-speed play with a .284 in the former and an 11 in the latter over just 41 games.
Juan Francisco, 1B/3B, Brewers (4.5 Percent Owned)
If you need homers in a deeper league, Francisco could double the nine he has so far now that he's likely to be Milwaukee's everyday first baseman with Corey Hart out for the year.
10. Trevor Plouffe, 3B, Twins (13.1 Percent Owned)
Is Trevor Plouffe a stud? For about a month last year, the 27-year-old acted like one.
Y'all recall last June when Plouffe—a former first-rounder, by the way—hit .327 with 11 homers and 21 RBI, right?
Well, outside of that month (and maybe a little bit of July), Plouffe's 2012 production went, well, poof.
So, no, he's not a stud, but it's worth pointing out that he hit his sixth and seventh homers over June's final weekend of 2013.
He's also hitting .273 with a .793 OPS and has 30 RBI despite missing 22 games from mid-May into mid-June with separate concussion and calf issues.
In the 14 games since? Plouffe is hitting .321 with three homers and 13 RBI.
9. Vinnie Pestano, RHP, Indians (22.5 Percent Owned)
It's a shame Vinnie Pestano hasn't been himself this season.
Were the 28-year-old righty, who has a 3.81 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, pitching as well as he did in 2011 and 2012—when he combined for a 2.45 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 10.9 K/9—he might have the Indians closer job all to himself.
But now that Chris Perez is back, it's likely that Pestano, who handled the role well for a month (6 SV, 2.57 ERA), will return to setup duties.
Thing is, Perez hasn't been all that good this year (3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) and he could be a trade candidate, especially if the Indians go through another second-half swoon.
Frankly, given that Perez could command upward of $10 million in his final go-round in arbitration and that he's had some, uh, troubles while in Cleveland, it wouldn't be a shocker if he's traded even if the Indians stay in contention.
8. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (1.8 Percent Owned)
So Kevin Gausman's first shot at the major leagues didn't go all that great.
The 22-year-old rook was battered around to the tune of 34 hits, including seven homers, and 21 earned runs in his first 24.2 frames.
There were signs, though, of the guy who was deserving of the No. 4 overall pick 13 months ago, as Gausman also whiffed 20 against just six walks.
Gausman, who was brought back up last week to pitch out of the pen, looked mighty fine in his 4.1 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win against the Yankees on Friday.
He may yet wind up starting for the Orioles again soon, especially considering the back of their rotation, currently inhabited by Zach Britton and T.J. McFarland, remains a problem area.
7. Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (5.8 Percent Owned)
Oswaldo Arcia has been one of the better American League rookies around this year, and yet the 22-year-old hasn't gotten much, if any pub or love in fantasy circles.
He's been more of a deep-league play to this point, mainly because he's been split time between Triple-A and Minnesota.
But the lefty-swinging Arcia has been getting regular run since coming back up June 11, and he has enough of a hit tool and pop to be a useful option in most formats.
At the very least, Arcia's worth watch-listing, since he hasn't been overwhelmed in his first 48 tilts, as his .284 average, six homers, 10 doubles and 24 RBI shows.
6. Nate Schierholtz, OF, Cubs (46.4 Percent Owned)
Just call Nate Schierholtz "Mr. Steady."
That's what the 29-year-old veteran has been for the Cubs this year, hitting .286. A lefty hitter, Schierholtz already has set a new career high with his 11 homers, and he's not to far off in doubles (19), RBI (34) and runs (33), either.
Schierholtz is not going to win your league for you, but with owners everywhere constantly on the search for offense, he's a perfect fourth or fifth outfielder-slash-injury replacement starter-slash-batting average helper.
5. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Rockies (21.6 Percent Owned)
Jhoulys Chacin looked to be on his way to a promising career a couple years ago until injuries derailed him.
Finally healthy, the right-hander is a quality add for rotation depth, even though he suffers from the dreaded "Rockies pitcher" label.
Chacin, who's still only 25, by the way, has allowed only four runs over his past four starts (28.2 IP), and he's 4-0 over that time, too.
On the season, he sports a 3.59 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
There are some caution signs here though, as Chacin is whiffing only 5.1 per nine and has allowed only two homers all season, which is something even a groundball pitcher like him (48.0 GB percent) can't sustain.
4. Rajai Davis, OF, Blue Jays (14.4 Percent Owned)
You really have to admire Rajai Davis.
Dude has topped 500 at-bats just once in his eight-year career, and yet he somehow always winds up with 40 or so stolen bases.
Even after a slow start and an oblique injury that cost him almost a month, it looks like he may do the same thing again this year. Davis has just 126 at-bats but a whopping 19 thefts, including 11 in June alone.
Oh, and he's hitting .317 for the year, too.
3. Brad Miller, SS, Mariners (1.7 Percent Owned)
In case you haven't noticed, the Seattle Mariners have been introducing rookie hitters left and right over the past month or so, and Brad Miller is just the latest.
While he's not quite the prospect that fellow infielder Nick Franklin or catcher Mike Zunino is, Miller proved he can hit, as he sped through the minors since going in the second round of the 2011 draft.
The 23-year-old lefty hitter had an impressive .334/.409/.516 triple-slash line in just over 200 minor league games, and he showed a solid combination of pop (27 HR) and speed (30 SB).
He's taking over starting shortstop duties from Brendan Ryan, so Miller is one of the more intriguing adds of the week.
2. Tony Cingrani, LHP, Reds (16.3 Percent Owned)
We've been over him before, but Johnny Cueto's troublesome lat keeps making Tony Cingrani relevant.
The 23-year-old rookie was dynamite in his first stint filling in for Cueto for six starts back in April and May (3.27 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 11.2 K/9). Then he made another successful fill-in start in early June (7 IP, 2 ER, 5:1 K:BB).
After a brief move to the bullpen once Cueto came back, Cingrani will once again take Cueto's spot for the third time this year.
Don't expect Cingrani to dominate like he did out of the gate, but he should be owned in all leagues for his upside, strikeout ability and wins potential on a strong Reds club.
1. A.J. Griffin, RHP, Athletics (35.5 Percent Owned)
What does A.J. Griffin have to do for fantasy owners to A) pick him up, and B) keep him on their teams?
OK, so the 25-year-old has a 3.56 ERA and a 7.0 K/9, which are both good, not great. But when anyone—A-N-Y-O-N-E—is wearing a 1.09 WHIP in more than 100 innings, that man should be rostered everywhere and started most every time.
Especially considering Griffin now has a 1.11 WHIP for his 186-inning career between last year and this.
And by the way, Griffin notched his first complete-game shutout last week—against the Reds.
If that doesn't scream "add me now," then you're not trying.