Down To The Wire: Go Get Blake

Joe KleiberCorrespondent IMay 21, 2009

It's almost the end of May and there are plenty of free agents available to grab in your fantasy leagues. These players have been hot and cold, but right now are hot and deserve to be added immediately.

Here is a list of some hot free agent pick ups:


Ivan Rodriguez (C HOU)- Sure he isn't his all-star self, but he's still producing at a weak position and in a solid lineup in Houston. He got off to a slow start, but is currently hitting .308 in May and his average is up to .267. He has five homers and 19 RBI so he is worth a pick up while he's hot.

Rod Barajas (C TOR)-Here's a name from the past and he is currently hitting .311 with three homers and 23 RBI in a dangerous Blue Jays lineup. Just because he's old doesn't mean he should be ignored. Why not take a shot on him while he's hot?

Kurt Suzuki (C OAK)-The A's lineup is awful, but not because of Suzuki. He's currently hitting .309 and while he's cooled off a bit after his hot start, he's still worth adding in all leagues if you have a weak catcher.

First Basemen:

Nick Johnson (1B WAS)- Johnson is having a solid season and the Nationals' lineup is dangerous, believe it or not. Johnson is currently hitting .333 with four homers and has driven in 25 runs. He's a good replacement if you are a Carlos Delgado owner or looking for a hot-hitting first baseman.

Todd Helton (1B COL)- Remember this former all-star? Helton is scorching hot and is hitting an amazing .354 in May. While is power is not all the way back, he's driving in runs (22 RBI) and getting on base (.385 OBP). Get him while he's still hitting in Coors Field and while he's healthy.

Kendry Morales (1B/OF LAA)-I wrote awhile ago that Morales was an expendable player, but now he's proving me wrong. He's been red-hot in May by hitting .292 5 hr and 12 RBI. He is currently filling a much needed void with Vlad Guerrero still out and can be very useful in all leagues.

Second Basemen:

Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/SS CLE)-Somehow Cabrera is still available in 30% of all leagues. He is hitting .312 1 hr 20 RBI 30 runs and 6 sbs. Caberera can be a solid replacement for an injured star like Rickie Weeks and needs to be owned in all leagues.

Alberto Collaspo (2B/SS KC)-Some of you probably haven't heard of him, but he's producing for the Royals. He doens't offer much for power, but he's batting .338 with two homers, 16 RBI and 20 runs scored.

Kelly Johnson (2B ATL)-Remember when people rated him as a top-10 second baseman? Well he started off very slow and is now available in more than 50% of leagues. He's started to turn it around by batting .292 in May and now that Atlanta lose Omar Infante, he's not going to be platooning anymore. Grab him before he takes off.

Third Basemen:

Casey Blake (1B/3B LAD)-Blake has been the Dodgers hottest hitter since Manny went down and somehow he's still available in 53% of all leagues. He's hitting a scorching .345 in May and has four homers and 11 RBI. Grab him now as he can be a solid fill in for an injured star like Aramis Ramirez or a slumping one like Garrett Atkins.

Mark Reynolds (3B AZ)-Reynolds started off slow, but has still hit more much power with 11 homers and 20 RBI. His average will drag you down, because he strikes out quite a bit, but he's worth grabbing for his power potential and RBI.

Russell Branyan (1B/3B SEA)-Despite being one of the hottest hitters in the league this year, he is still available in 40% of all leagues. We all know Branyan will cool off but why not ride the hot streak? He is hitting .305 with 10 homers and 20 RBI.


Christian Guzman (SS WAS)-Guzman is off to a hot start, by hitting .377 1 hr and 10 RBI. Guzman will cool off, but he's on a tear right now and needs to be owned if you are a Jose Reyes owner or have a slumping star like Rafael Furcal.

Yunel Escobar (SS ATL)-Escobar has been red-hot since his return from his injuries. He is hitting .343 in May and is even displaying some power with four total homers and now has 21 RBI. Get him now before he cools off.

Ben Zobrist (2B/SS/OF)- Zobrist is a super-utility player that has power. He already has seven homers and has driven in 20. He can be very useful while he's hot.


Shin-Soo Choo (OF CLE)-Choo has been one of the few consistent Indians players. He's been on a tear in May, batting .313 2 hrs and 14 RBI. Choo also has six stolen bases on the year and needs to be owned if you're hurting in the outfield.

Michael Bourne (OF HOU)-Looking for speed? Bourne is your man. He has already swiped 13 bases and should continue to steal as long as he's getting on base. He's improved so much this year and he's hitting .297 with 25 runs scored and is getting on base with a .370 OBP.

Coco Crisp (OF KC)-Here is another speedster and he's also getting on base quite a bit. He has a .360 OBP and already has 11 sbs. His average will only improve (currently .245) and he has some power (3 hrs).

Juan Pierre (OF LAD)-Going along with the speed theme, Pierre is another guy as a must own if you're in need for speed. He is the replacement while Manny is out and is red-hot right now by batting .405 with seven stolen bases and 19 runs scored. He's also getting on base (.479 OBP). He'll eventually cool off but ride the streak.

Starting Pitchers:

Edwin Jackson (SP DET)-Somehow Jackson is still available in 44% of all leagues. He is makign the Rays regret trading him right now. His current stats (before his Thursday start) are: 3-2 2.42 ERA 41 ks 11 bbs and a 1.04 WHIP. He is a must-own pitcher and if he's off the wire, try and trade for him, because he's a stud.

Zach Duke (SP PIT)-Duke is off to a great start after years of being called a bust. He may not keep it up, but you have to ride the streak. His current numbers are: 5-3 2.84 ERA 32 ks 13 bbs and a 1.09 WHIP. Grab him if he's available.

Randy Wolf (SP LAD)-Wolf is off to another great start and he's finally pitching on a contender in LA. Wolf should continue to have success in a weak division and having a great offense behind him. His current stats are: 2-1 2.72 ERA 46 ks 19 bbs and a 1.07 WHIP. Wolf is for real so get him.

Kevin Millwood (SP TEX)-Millwood is off to his best start in a long time. Not only that but the Rangers are in first place and can flat out rake and score plenty of runs. The Rangers finally have a solid bullpen and defense so it's not like Millwood is all of a sudden going to go into a nose dive. Millwood's current stats (before Thursday's start) are: 4-3 2.93 ERA 32 ks 13 bbs and a 1.13 WHIP. He may not keep it up, but take a chance on him.

Dave Bush (SP MIL)-Bush has teased up before, but it looks like he is back to being a reliable pitcher. The Brewers are scoring runs and finally have an improved defense and bullpen. Bush is worth scooping up right now, because his current stats are: 3-0 3.74 ERA 38 ks 11 bbs and a 1.08 WHIP.

Others worth mentioning: Ubaldo Jimenez (SP COL), Manny Parra (SP MIL), Scott Richmond (SP TOR)


Juan Cruz (RP KC)-Cruz is a great pick up right now with Soria still out and he's the man to get the saves. Cruz is still walking too many batters (10 walks) but he's still pitching well. His current numbers are solid: 3-0 1.45 ERA 13 ks 10 bbs 1 save and a 0.91 WHIP. Cruz is very valuable right now.

David Aardsma (RP SEA)-With Brandon Morrow out as the closer, Aardsma is doing a great job replacing him. His season stats say it all: 101 1.37 ERA 20 ks 13 bbs 5 saves and a 1.17 WHIP. Grab him even if you don't have Morrow.

Rafael Soriano (RP ATL)-Soriano is having a great season and is closing for Mike Gonzalez when he's not available. He already has three saves and has a stat line of: 1.50 ERA 24 ks 7 bbs and a 0.94 ERA. If anything happens to Gonzalez, he's the first one to get the closing job.

Andrew Bailey (RP OAK)-Bailey is grabbing the closing job in Oakland while Brad Ziegler is struggling and it looks like he just might take off with it. Bailey is a top prospect and his current stats look great: 3-0 1.42 ERA 31 ks 11 bbs 1 save and a 0.83 WHIP. Grab him if he's available.

If any of these guys are available I would take a shot on them. They can be very valuable right now and can fill the void for slumping or injured stars.


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