Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 17
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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 Chris Archer, Brett Lawrie, Evan Gattis, Edwin Jackson, Justin Smoak and Corey Kluber—are already owned in many leagues by now, but they 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.
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Brandon Beachy, RHP, Braves (31.7 Percent Owned) (pictured)
Pedro Strop, RHP, Cubs (1.0 Percent Owned)
Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros (1.9 Percent Owned)
Brandon Barnes, OF, Astros (0.2 Percent Owned)
Kelly Johnson, 2B/OF, Rays (34.5 Percent Owned)
Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners (8.7 Percent Owned)
Erik Bedard, LHP, Astros (0.8 Percent Owned)
Scott Kazmir, LHP, Angels (3.0 Percent Owned)
10. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (0.2 Percent Owned)
If you're not familiar with Christian Yelich, consider this your introduction.
The 21-year-old outfielder is one of the game's top prospects for his plus hit tool and sweet swing from the left side. (Feel free to watch the video.) His career triple-slash line looks like this: .312/.387/.499, and he went 2-for-2, including an RBI two-bagger off a left-hander, in last week's Futures Game at Citi Field.
Given the way the Marlins have promoted young players aggressively this year, Yelich probably would be up in the majors by now were it not for some injury issues. He dealt with a heel problem in April and then a strained abdominal muscle in June.
The latest on Yelich, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, is that he could earn a call-up—perhaps as soon as the end of this month—if he shows a little more consistency over the next week or two.
He likely won't set the fantasy world aflame, but he does have the ability to hit from the get-go and maybe even swipe a handful of bases.
9. Chad Gaudin, RHP, Giants (11.6 Percent Owned)
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If anyone typifies the veteran journeyman, it's Chad Gaudin: Dude has pitched for nine teams in his 11 years in the majors.
That makes it difficult to buy into what the 30-year-old is doing this year, but at some point, well, a man deserves some respect, right?
On the season, Gaudin owns a 2.15 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP while splitting time as a starter and reliever, but since entering the Giants rotation full-time on June 2, he's compiled a 4-0 record to go with a 2.23 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and a 7.8 K/9.
His latest out, over the weekend against the rival Arizona Diamondbacks, might've been his best of the year, as Gaudin hurled seven shutout frames with only three hits against eight strikeouts.
8. Jorge De La Rosa, LHP, Rockies (36.5 Percent Owned)
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In his first full season since recovering from Tommy John surgery, Jorge De La Rosa has been pretty under-the-radar great.
The 32-year-old southpaw has nine wins, a 3.12 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. The strikeout rate, which is what JDLR was most known for back in the day—he averaged 8.9 K/9 from 2008-2010—is down a lot at just 6.1 per nine, but the other stats make him very rosterable.
De La Rosa has also been better on the whole of late, with a 2.71 ERA over his past 14 outings, dating back to May 7, and there's no Coors Field split to worry over.
7. Wei-Yin Chen, LHP, Orioles (6.9 Percent Owned)
Wei-Yin Chen has a 2.60 ERA, but he's probably readily available in your league, right?
That's because the 28-year-old lefty missed half of May and all of June with injury, relegating him to you-forgot-about-me territory.
Since coming back earlier this month, though, Chen is 2-0 and has allowed only two runs in 13.1 innings over two starts. The strikeout numbers are down this year (5.0 K/9) compared to his rookie season (7.2), but Chen is a quality start waiting to happen: seven of his 10 outings this year and 24 of 42 in his first two years in the majors.
If you're searching for some consistency, this is your guy.
6. Brad Ziegler, RHP, Diamondbacks (35.5 Percent Owned)
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Yeah, we're sorry about last week, when we suggested you add David Hernandez. But we're making up for it this time around.
You see, we noted that Hernandez was probably the best option, given his stuff, to handle some save opportunities in the desert. What's happened, though, is Ziegler has been given the past two opportunities and three of the past four. (The other went to Hernandez, so we don't feel too bad.)
And unlike the entire rest of the D'backs muddled bullpen, the 33-year-old Ziegler has yet to blow a single save chance this season. Manager Kirk Gibson all but said Ziegler is the closer—for now—as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
Upon a second look, that puts him first in our D'backs-reliever-to-add book. This week.
5. Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (22.3 Percent Owned)
Admit it: You wrote off Wily Peralta after the rookie posted a nasty 6.35 ERA and a gnarly (in a bad way) 1.73 WHIP over his first 11 starts through May.
Can't blame you, because those numbers? Hideous.
Thing is, over his past 10 outings since June 1, the 24-year-old has found the form that made him one of the Brewers' top prospects heading into 2013 and is sporting a 2.51 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
And Peralta has been downright dominant since the calendar flipped to July, as he's allowed only one run over his last four starts covering 29.1 frames.
Time to un-write him off maybe?
4. Miguel Montero, C, Diamondbacks (24.4 Percent Owned)
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Any way you slice it, 2013 has been a pretty crappy year for Miguel Montero.
After two consecutive seasons with averages in the .280s, homers in the mid-to-high teens and 80-plus RBI, the 30-year-old backstop is hitting just .229 and on pace for only 13 dingers and 55 driven in.
This is where we tell you it gets at least a little better—because it already has. Since a four-hit game on June 12 (his first game with more than two hits this year), Montero is slashing .273/.367/.445 with five homers and 14 RBI over 30 starts.
That .274 BABIP is also well below his .312 career number, meaning there just may be some more light at tunnel’s end.
With catcher being such a shallow spot and an easy one at which to drop the cold and add the hot, Montero actually qualifies as the latter.
3. Brad Miller, SS, Mariners (7.4 Percent Owned)
We alerted you to Brad Miller when he got called up for his debut in late June, so this is just a little bit of reinforcement.
If you think catcher is a shallow, hard-to-fill spot, you must prefer to avoid ever looking at the free agents on the shortstops page in your league.
Miller, 23, has been more than capable in his first 19 games in the majors, hitting .270 with five doubles, two triples, a pair of steals and 14 RBI.
The rookie also hit his first two homers last week—in the same game on Friday.
C’mon, that’s not better than the guy you have inhabiting the “SS” position in your lineup?
2. Rex Brothers, LHP, Rockies (41.1 Percent Owned)
With a 1.30 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning on the season, Rex Brothers has been dominant in the eighth this year (see video for evidence), and now he gets another chance to work the ninth, which makes him a top target in fantasy this week.
The Rockies had to put regular closer Rafael Betancourt on the disabled list with appendicitis over the weekend, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, and it's Betancourt's second stint on the shelf this season.
The first time around, the 25-year-old Brothers handled closing duties for about a month, and although he only saw five opportunities, he successfully converted four of them.
Brothers' save chance Sunday night against the Chicago Cubs wasn't totally clean—he allowed a run on a hit and a walk—but he got the job done for save No. 5 on the season.
If you need to fill out that "SV" category, you know what to do.
1. Dan Straily, RHP, Athletics (9.8 Percent Owned)
We've been here before with Dan Straily, but we're bringing him back to your attention now that he's back in the majors.
Straily was at Triple-A for a short stint when he wasn't needed with the A's around the All-Star break. But don't mistake the send-down for how the club feels about the 24-year-old rook.
By now, you should already know about the minor league-leading 190 whiffs he notched last year thanks to a deep repertoire and plus control and command.
In his 15 starts in the majors this year, Straily is 6-3 with a 4.14 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a 7.2 K/9 rate—and that's including more than a few bumps in the road over his first handful of starts.
Over his past 10 outings dating to May 21, though, Straily has won half of his starts and owns a 2.80 ERA to go with a 0.98 WHIP.
Straily should be owned in every league, so if he's still out there in yours, please rectify.