Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 11
A new week, another batch of waiver-wire additions, just the way you like 'em: hot and fresh out of the oven.
From now until the end of the fantasy season, you'll find a rundown of the top waiver-wire pickups right here every Monday as you get set to face another week of lineup decisions and roster additions.
Some players mentioned last week—including Oswaldo Arcia, Josh Willingham, Jonathan Singleton, Jon Niese, Marcus Stroman, Cody Allen and Roenis Elias—are already owned in many leagues by now, but they remain quality pickups if they're 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 11.
Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (9.4 Percent Owned)
Kyle Blanks, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (0.0 Percent Owned)
Eugenio Suarez, SS, Detroit Tigers (0.2 Percent Owned)
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals (35.6 Percent Owned)
Josh Tomlin, SP/RP, Cleveland Indians (9.7 Percent Owned)
Brock Holt, 3B, Boston Red Sox (9.6 Percent Owned)
Because there's so much ninth-inning volatility, the overlooked/new/replacement/interim/potential closers who are available in the majority of leagues are ranked on this slide as follows:
- Joba Chamberlain, RP, Detroit Tigers (4.6 percent owned)
- Jake McGee, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (2.0 percent owned)
- Ronald Belisario, RP, Chicago White Sox (28.8 percent owned)
- Neil Ramirez, RP, Chicago Cubs (1.0 percent owned)
- Tommy Hunter, RP, Baltimore Orioles (46.8 percent owned)
- Adam Ottavino, RP, Colorado Rockies (0.4 percent owned)
- Daniel Webb, RP, Chicago White Sox (0.2 percent owned)
- Joe Smith, RP, Los Angeles Angels (19.4 percent owned)
- Darren O'Day, RP, Baltimore Orioles (3.7 percent owned)
- Bryan Shaw, RP, Cleveland Indians (3.5 percent owned)
- Jeurys Familia, RP, New York Mets (0.8 percent owned)
- Vic Black, RP, New York Mets (0.0 percent owned)
- Rex Brothers, RP, Colorado Rockies (24.1 percent owned)
- Josh Fields, RP, Houston Astros (0.9 percent owned)
- Joel Hanrahan, RP, Detroit Tigers (0.3 percent owned)
No. 10: Chase Anderson, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (4.8 Percent Owned)
At this point, it's hard to ignore what Chase Anderson has done in the first five starts of his big league career. The 26-year-old rookie has won all five outings and compiled a 3.14 ERA and 1.15 WHIP to go with a non-terrible 6.9 K/9.
His effort Sunday against the Atlanta Braves (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8:1 K:BB) was his best yet, and he goes against the Los Angeles Dodgers in L.A. later this week. Add him and use him while he's rolling.
No. 9: Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Detroit Tigers (14.6 Percent Owned)
Nick Castellanos' rookie campaign hasn't been all that exciting, either in real life or for fantasy purposes, but that might be changing.
The 22-year-old often faced adjustment/transition periods as he climbed up the ladder as a top prospect, but he eventually got the hang of each level. That seems to be the case in the majors too, as Castellanos has gone 15-for-32 (.469) with three doubles and a homer since his batting average dropped to a season-low .229 on May 28.
His numbers don't wow (.270 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI), but Castellanos is going to keep getting at-bats, so pay attention and don't dismiss him just yet.
No. 8: Ryan Vogelsong, SP, San Francisco Giants (47.4 Percent Owned)
While Ryan Vogelsong has a pair of tough matchups in the Washington Nationals (Monday) and Colorado Rockies (Saturday) as a two-start pitcher this week, both outings come in the comfort of pitcher-friendly AT&T Park.
In case you haven't noticed, that's where Vogelsong, 36, does his best work, with a 2.15 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in six starts this season. Then again, he pitched at Cincinnati last time and struck out nine Reds, setting a career high (video).
Either way, it's time to recognize that while Vogelsong ain't the flashiest name in your free-agent pool, he's sporting a 3.39 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 7.8 K/9, which means he's back to being a fairly reliable fantasy starter.
No. 7: Henderson Alvarez, SP, Miami Marlins (26.9 Percent Owned)
If only Henderson Alvarez could stay healthy, he'd be a much more intriguing pick up. Things have been clicking for the right-hander this season, as his 2.56 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and MLB-best three complete-game shutouts show. Oh, and he's still only 24 years old.
Alas, Alvarez has had his problems staying on the mound. An elbow injury caused a scare recently, but he appears to be past that for now. But then his solid Sunday outing against the Chicago Cubs (5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 5:0 K:BB) was cut short due to a strained left hip, per Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post.
Alvarez doesn't get many strikeouts (5.6 K/9), and the injury issues is another frustrating factor, but while he's throwing this well, he needs to be owned.
No. 6: Tanner Roark, SP, Washington Nationals (22.6 Percent Owned)
Well, Tanner Roark sure owns the San Diego Padres. The 27-year-old righty has put together a very nice overall first full season in the majors—2.91 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 7.1 K/9—and he's got the hapless Pads to thank.
While he's thrown nine quality starts in 12 outings, Roark has made his stats look that much better by beating up San Diego twice, including eight scoreless innings Friday that also featured a career-best 11 whiffs (see video). In his two turns against the Padres, Roark has thrown 17 scoreless frames and allowed just seven baserunners with a 19-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Roark won't get the Padres every time out, unfortunately, but he's still a strong streaming option and might be worth picking up and starting against even the Giants in San Francisco this week.
No. 5: Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (0.1 Percent Owned)
Sure, the Los Angeles Dodgers already have more outfielders than places to put them, but clearly, other than Yasiel Puig, the other three options—Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier—are either slumping or injured or some combination of both.
Should the Dodgers want to shake things up, which is a distinct possibility given their uninspiring 33-31 record to this point, then Joc Pederson will make for a fun change.
The 22-year-old is one of L.A.'s top prospects, and the lefty swinger is hitting .332/.440/.623 with 16 homers and 13 steals at Triple-A. Yes, that production has come in a hitter-friendly league (PCL) and park (Albuquerque), but Pederson has exciting upside, especially for fantasy, given his 20-20 potential. Plus, he's the most legitimate center fielder in the organization.
While there's a chance the Dodgers don't bring him up, Pederson also could be getting a look very soon. If you have a roster spot to play with, he's a speculative add that just might pay off.
No. 4: Corey Dickerson, OF, Colorado Rockies (24.6 Percent Owned)
Man, the Colorado Rockies sure have plenty of outfielders, huh? While Michael Cuddyer spent several weeks on the disabled list early in the season, the unknown Charlie Blackmon broke out and became a fantasy darling in April.
Now that Carlos Gonzalez is out, the same thing could be happening with Corey Dickerson, who has started eight of the Rockies' last 10 games. And before that, the 25-year-old had been seeing semi-regular action anyway. Since the start of May, Dickerson is hitting .320 with 12 runs, five homers and 15 RBI in 26 games (18 starts).
The lefty swinger might get some rest against tough southpaws—he sat Sunday against Clayton Kershaw—but owners would be wise not to ignore any Colorado hitter these days.
No. 3: Dexter Fowler, OF, Houston Astros (31.1 Percent Owned)
Folks, the Houston Astros lineup is actually pretty good these days. After putting up a 14-spot Sunday, the Astros rank sixth in the sport in runs scored this month, and that comes on the heels of placing eighth in the month of May.
At the tippy top of the order of late, you'll find Dexter Fowler. While the 28-year-old never became the star many hoped he would be while with the Rockies, Fowler's biggest strength has always been an ability to get on base (.367 OBP career, .393 OBP in 2014). Since shifting to the leadoff position June 3, the switch-hitter has gone 11-for-21 (.524) with six runs and a homer in six games.
That's a teensy-weensy sample size, but if he keeps coming up to bat first—and the Astros keep hitting like they have with Jose Altuve, George Springer and Jonathan Singleton are teaming up—Fowler will be worth owning.
No. 2: Kevin Gausman (0.8 Percent Owned)
Finally, fantasy owners got a glimpse of what the good Kevin Gausman looks like. After struggling in his introduction to the majors last season (5.66 ERA) and getting hit around in his first spot starts of 2014, the No. 4 pick in 2012 was dominant Saturday, throwing seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball with six strikeouts against just one walk.
Oh, and the 23-year-old did that against the Oakland Athletics, who are only the highest-scoring team in baseball this year. Flashing his potential as a front-of-the-rotation starter, Gausman used his high-90s heat—he was still throwing 99 in the late innings (which you can see for yourself in the video above)—and put-away changeup to keep the A's off balance.
That outing earned Gausman another start, which comes Thursday against—gee whiz—the second-best offense in the majors, the Toronto Blue Jays, who happen to lead MLB in homers. That's a tricky turn to trust such an unproven youngster, but go get him now, because if Gausman passes that test, well, owners might be in for a real treat going forward.
No. 1: Kendrys Morales, 1B, Minnesota Twins (23.3 Percent Owned)
Kendrys Morales already got the waiver-wire-pickup treatment in this space a couple of weeks ago, but since he's still available in far too many leagues—especially now that his extended stay in free agency actually is over and he's found a new home with the Minnesota Twins—it's worth a reminder to go get him.
While the switch-hitting slugger's new home park, Target Field, isn't the easiest to hit 'em out at, Morales likely is better than most other options on the waiver wire in your league. He's not the fantasy stud he was four or five years ago with the Los Angeles Angles, but he is capable of smacking 15-plus homers and driving in enough runs to be a starting-worthy option at corner infield and/or utility, as well as a backup at first base.
Morales will need some time to work out with the club before getting into games, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him start playing again by the end of this week.
To talk baseball or fantasy baseball, check in with me on Twitter: @JayCat11