Fantasy Baseball 2013 Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 23
A new week, another batch of waiver-wire additions, just the way you like 'em: hot and fresh out of the oven.
Some players mentioned last week—including Ricky Nolasco, Adam Eaton, Ryan Ludwick, Marco Estrada, Eric Young, Jr., Charlie Morton and Joe Kelly—are already owned in many leagues by now, but they remain quality pickups if they are still available.
In the interest of keeping the names new, though, let's avoid any repeats. Here are the top-10 waiver-wire pickups for Week 23 of the 2013 MLB season.
All ownership percentages come from ESPN Fantasy Baseball. Players owned in more than 51 percent of leagues were not considered.
Brad Miller, 2B/SS, Mariners (18.1 Percent Owned)
The 23-year-old Miller has been steady since his callup, with a .745 OPS, 19 extra-base hits and four swipes over 230 at-bats.
Dillon Gee, RHP, Mets (13.5 Percent Owned)
After bottoming out with a 6.34 ERA on May 25, Gee really has turned his season around, compiling a 2.47 ERA since.
Dayan Viciedo, OF, White Sox (26.9 Percent Owned)
It's been a disappointing 2013 for a guy who smacked 25 homers, but Viciedo is 17-for-48 (.354) with a pair of jacks and 14 RBI in his past 13 games.
Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, Mariners (16.2 Percent Owned)
Don't look now, but the No. 2 pick in 2009 may be figuring things out a bit (emphasis on "may"), as he batted .390/.420/.597 with 10 extra-base hits in August.
Jordan Schafer OF, Braves (1.0 Percent Owned)
With B.J. Upton still stuck in a season-long funk, Schafer has been getting extra PT in the A-T-L, which has translated to some solid SB numbers (eight in August).
Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners (16.2 Percent Owned)
Dayan This 21-year-old is arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball, and he looked mighty fine in his big league debut on Friday with five innings of two-hit, one-run ball against the Astros
Billy Hamilton, SS/OF, Reds (7.5 Percent Owned)
Hamilton and his ludicrous speed got the call once rosters expanded, and while his role is somewhat unknown and certain to be limited, he's also capable of stealing 10 bases by lacing up his cleats.
Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Tigers (0.1 Percent Owned)
The Tigers are giving their top prospect a shot in September to see if he can either help in October or will be ready for the 2014 Opening Day roster. If he plays, he should hit enough to matter in deeper formats.
10. Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals (6.6 Percent Owned)
It took until the end of August, but the Kansas City Royals finally decided that they might be better off giving starts to Danny Duffy instead of Wade Davis.
While Davis—who was acquired along with James Shields from the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason deal involving top prospect Wil Myers—had posted some ghastly numbers in his 24 starts (5.67 ERA and 1.76 WHIP), Duffy was finishing up his recovery from last year's Tommy John surgery.
Duffy already had made two spot starts in August, but the 24-year-old officially entered the rotation for the rest of the year last Wednesday. And that was when he had his best outing yet, hurling 6.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
9. Jarrod Dyson, OF, Royals (15.1 Percent Owned)
Jarrod Dyson is a one-trick pony, but he's been pulling off that trick—stealing bases—quite often of late.
After a two-swipe performance Sunday, the 29-year-old has matched his age in steals on the year. Even better, he's tallied 13 of those steals—against just one caught stealing—since August 1.
If you're searching for readily available speed, this is your man.
8. Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (34.8 Percent Owned)
August was a good month for Martin Perez.
The 22-year-old made five starts and won all of them, while compiling a 3.06 ERA and 26:11 K:BB over 35.1 frames.
Perez's season line is looking strong, too, as he has a 3.58 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Sure, he won't strike out many batters (5.9 K/9), but he finally has been living up to the potential he showed when he was included on top prospect lists for the past several years.
7. Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, Indians (18.8 Percent Owned)
You know what you're getting into if you pick up Ubaldo Jimenez; which is to say, you don't really know what you're getting into from start to start.
The 29-year-old has a respectable 3.95 ERA and a mismatched 1.42 WHIP, but he's also whiffing 9.1 batters per nine. In case you're wondering, that's actually the highest rate of his career.
Could he be knocked around in his next start? Sure. But four of Jimenez's past six starts have been quality, and he's allowed only 18 hits and eight earned runs with a 33:11 K:BB over his past 25 innings.
6. Sonny Gray, RHP, Athletics (29.5 Percent Owned)
OK, so Sonny Gray's outing on August 25, in which he surrendered eight hits and six earned runs in just 3.1 innings, was, um, bad.
That's the only start this season, though, that hasn't gone swimmingly for the rookie. In spite of that mess, the 23-year-old owns a 2.90 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 9.0 K/9 on the year.
Also, Gray's most recent turn over the weekend was a return to form, as he held the Tampa Bay Rays without a run while striking out seven through 6.1 frames.
5. Avisail Garcia, OF, White Sox (7.3 Percent Owned)
Would you be interested in a guy who's hitting .354/.391/.488 over his past 22 games? Then you should probably pick up Avisail Garcia.
The 22-year-old has been on fire since being traded to the Chicago White Sox from the Detroit Tigers at the end of July, and he's been especially hot over the past two weeks. Since August 18 (13 games), Garcia is 20-for-48 (.417) with two homers and seven RBI.
Garcia has enjoyed the extra playing time he's been getting since Alex Rios was traded in early August.
4. Yovani Gallardo, RHP, Brewers (47.2 Percent Owned)
At this stage in the fantasy baseball season, it's not so much about year-long stats as it is about a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately approach.
Yovani Gallardo's 2013 numbers are still really icky—4.39 ERA, 1.42 WHIP—but he's been much, much better following his return from an injured hamstring in mid-August.
In three starts since this time, the 27-year-old former No. 2 starter in fantasy has given up just two earned runs and 15 hits in 19.1 innings, and his latest outing on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates was his best start yet: seven scoreless with seven baserunners and five whiffs.
3. Mitch Moreland, 1B, Rangers (14.7 Percent Owned)
He's not going to have quite the breakout season it looked like he might, but Mitch Moreland can still be a useful option when he's playing well.
The 27-year-old has four homers and six RBI in his last 10 games, and he's now established new career-bests in those two categories with 21 of the former and 56 of the latter.
That .244 average isn't ideal, but what do you expect when you're scrounging the waiver wire in September?
2. Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers (30.0 Percent Owned)
Few players have been hotter than Scooter Gennett over the past month—all 5'10", 180 pounds of him.
In his first season in the majors, the 23-year-old mighty mite is batting .341 with 18 runs and 12 extra-base hits (five homers) in 126 at-bats.
The rookie went crazy-town in August, too, getting 33 hits in 78 at-bats (.423) along with 14 of his runs and four of his homers.
Owners struggling to fill a void at second base or a middle infield spot shouldn't hesitate to snatch up Scooter. He is a little guy with big production.
1. Ivan Nova, RHP, Yankees (50.2 Percent Owned)
In the minds of many owners, Ivan Nova is still barely a streamable option at starting pitcher. If you're in that camp, it's time to rethink your stance on the guy who has been the New York Yankees ace over the second half so far.
That's right; with CC Sabathia and even Hiroki Kuroda struggling lately, Nova has been picking up the slack.
On Saturday, in his 15th start of the year, the 26-year-old twirled his first career complete game shutout against the Baltimore Orioles—one of baseball's top offenses, no less. That gem brought Nova's 2013 season numbers as a starter to 7-4 with a 2.95 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 7.8 K/9.
Forget streaming, Nova has graduated to a start-every-time SP.