Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 19
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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 Scott Kazmir, Wade Miley, Felix Doubront, Jarred Cosart, Edwin Jackson and Randall Delgado—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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Matt Dominguez, 3B, Astros (8.9 Percent Owned)
He's been the same low-average, solid-power guy for most of 2013, but Dominguez (pictured) has been hot in both departments over his past 15 games, with a .308 average, three homers and eight RBI.
Ryan Raburn, 2B/OF, Indians (15.5 Percent Owned)
Once a fantasy sleeper for his mid-teens power and sneaky 2B-eligibility, Raburn is doing it again after a horrendous 2012.
Erik Bedard, LHP, Astros (2.8 Percent Owned)
Of the 34-year-old's past 15 starts, only one has been really bad, and his ERA (3.52), WHIP (1.34) and K/9 (8.0) over that time have all been useful.
Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros (1.6 Percent Owned)
Yet another Astro, this former top prospect has hit for solid power since getting recalled in late June: Wallace has eight homers and 22 RBI in 32 games.
Andre Rienzo, RHP, White Sox (1.4 Percent Owned)
The first Brazilian-born pitcher to make it to the bigs, Rienzo takes Jake Peavy's spot in Chicago's rotation after a solid season at Triple-A (4.06 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 9.0 K/9). The 25-year-old has allowed only nine hits and two earned runs over 13 frames in his first two outings.
10. Wilson Ramos, C, Nationals (8.5 Percent Owned)
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A hamstring injury has robbed Wilson Ramos of much of the 2013 season, as he's spent two separate stints on the disabled list due to hamstring-related problems.
Since returning—for a second time—on July 4, though, the 25-year-old backstop's bat has been healthy as can be: He's hitting .310 with five homers and 18 RBI in 20 games.
Ignore the fact that Ramos has had issues staying on the field his entire career for a sec and pick up the hot hand if you need help at catcher.
9. Alex Wood, LHP, Braves (6.0 Percent Owned)
Just 22, Alex Wood made it to the majors less than a year after being selected in the second round of the 2012 MLB draft.
The lefty with the herky-jerky Chris Sale-like delivery (see video) began his MLB career in a relief role and dominated (2.37 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.9 K/9), but he was shifted to the rotation when Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson went down with injuries.
It took Wood a couple outings to get the hang of the starting thing at the big league level, but in his past two starts he's allowed only four runs on eight hits over 13 innings to go with a 10:3 K:BB ratio. Overall as a starter, his ERA is 3.98 ERA, his WHIP is 1.28 and his K/9 is 8.9 in four starts.
Bumps in the road will occur—they do for every young arm—but if you're an owner who likes to gamble on upside rather than go with the retread SP, Wood is a nice pickup.
8. Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (5.0 Percent Owned)
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A former tippy-top prospect, it's taken Devin Mesoraco quite a while to get going in the majors, but he seems to have done just that. Finally.
The 25-year-old's season line (.252/.312/.409) isn't fantastic, but it's a marked improvement from his first two years.
Part of the reason Mesoraco's been better is that he's actually, you know, playing. In 2011 and 2012, the young pup was plugged into a backup role behind the defensive-leaning Ryan Hanigan, which is why he had only 215 at-bats over that time.
This year? Mesoraco already has topped that number, and in his 225 ABs, he's smacked 11 doubles and eight homers—including four in 20 starts since July 1—along with 32 RBI.
With Hanigan on the DL due to a wrist injury since July 11, Mesoraco has been showing what he can do with a clear shot at the starting job in a potent Reds offense.
7. Jacob Turner, RHP, Marlins (15.5 Percent Owned)
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We've been here with Jacob Turner before, but maybe you folks need some more pickup persuading.
The 22-year-old has been on a quality start tear since coming up at the end of May. Of his 12 starts this year, nine have been quality by definition and he's surrendered more than three earned runs only once.
Sure, the wins will be few and the strikeouts are barely average (6.4 K/9), but the 2.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP stand out.
Turner is the add for consistent quality.
6. Danny Farquhar, RHP, Mariners (1.4 Percent Owned)
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Yes, he has a last name sounds like something out of Shrek, but Danny Farquhar has earned the Mariners last two saves—one Saturday, one Sunday—now that Tom Wilhelmsen has lost the gig for a second time.
That makes him the closer get of the week for fantasy purposes.
Despite not being well-known, the 25-year-old rook has always shown a propensity for striking out batters in the minors, and he's sporting a 13.5 K/9 in 2013. You just might have to look the other way when it comes to that 5.09 ERA—and keep your eyes on fellow Seattle relievers Yoervis Medina and Oliver Perez.
5. Rajai Davis, OF, Blue Jays (44.4 Percent Owned)
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Rajai Davis is more or less a magician on the bases, not only in how often he steals bases but even just that he's able to.
Not that he isn't super-speedy—he is—but Davis hasn't had a regular starting role with the Jays all season long. To wit, he's managed all of 197 at-bats to this point, and yet he's pilfered 34 bases—including seven in his past four games and 15 since July 1!
Davis has run his way to 34 stolen bases on the year, which ranks third in the sport. In the steals-per-times-on-base statistic, though, he's easily leading everybody. In Davis' case, it may be more appropriate to call him the frontrunner.
4. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers (24.7 Percent Owned)
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It's been almost two months since we last hit on Rick Porcello in this spot. Seems like he's due for another.
On the year, the 24-year-old has managed to get his ERA down to a passable 4.28—a season-low after Sunday's solid outing—and his WHIP sits at a fine 1.25. He's even striking out hitters at a solid enough rate (6.6 K/9), so he's no longer a loss in that column.
Since his second of two disaster starts back on June 30, Porcello has made six turns and compiled four wins, a 2.27 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
And we'll go back to the what-if well: Minus those two heinous starts against the Angels (15 ER in 5 IP), Porcello would own an ERA of 3.21.
You can't make those just—poof—go away, but it does put things in context a bit more.
3. Ivan Nova, RHP, Yankees (38.8 Percent Owned)
Um, where is this coming from?
Ivan Nova, 26, has been absolutely brilliant since rejoining the Yankees' five-man in June, and for the year, he's got a 3.08 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and—here's the kicker—a 9.1 K/9.
This from a guy who whiffed just 5.4 per nine over his first 200 big league innings across 2010 and 2011.
OK, so Nova did strike out 8.1 per last year, but he also gave up 28 homers in 170.1 frames and finished with an ERA north of 5.00.
Sometimes, it's better not to ask too many questions and just enjoy.
2. Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners (20.8 Percent Owned)
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to picking up Michael Saunders, owners should be advised to ignore the batting average category.
So we won't tell you what that number is right now, but we will say the 26-year-old has pulled off a double-double for the season with 10 homers and 11 steals, despite missing almost three weeks due to injury in April.
And since July 1, the lefty-swinging Saunders has six homers and 22 RBI over 26 games. His average in that time? Try .287.
As for the season, well, let's just say it's creeping up, but you shouldn't be adding him for that anyway.
1. Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B, Red Sox (2.1 Percent Owned)
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Sometimes in fantasy, it's about being ahead of the game. That's why a guy some of you may never even have heard of is No. 1 this week.
And if you haven't heard of Xander Bogaerts, well, it's time to get familiar.
At just 20 years old, he's in the top-prospect-in-baseball discussion, as he's hitting .298/.394/.491 across Double and Triple-A this season.
Bogaerts, who stands 6'3", checks in at 185 and carries a big stick from the right side, also has 14 homers and 22 doubles.
The reason he's got the top spot? Boston don't really have a third baseman at present after trading Jose Iglesias to the Tigers in the deal that netted Jake Peavy.
Sure, Brock Holt and Brandon Snyder are wearing Red Sox jerseys and their gloves while standing at the hot corner, but they're placeholders.
And while it's possible that 2012 fantasy darling Will Middlebrooks could get another shot, he's wearing a .318 OBP since getting demoted to Triple-A this year.
Bogaerts has come up through the system as a shortstop, but he's seen action at third at Pawtucket, which indicates that he could very well be the club's answer at the position over the final, say, six weeks or so.
He might not even be in the majors at the moment, but if you want Bogaerts, you should add him. Like, now.