Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 13
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 Wily Peralta, Danny Duffy, Bartolo Colon, Kole Calhoun and Derek Norris—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 13.
James Jones, OF, Seattle Mariners (12.9 Percent Owned)
Roenis Elias, SP, Seattle Mariners (15.9 Percent Owned)
Juan Francisco, 1B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays (23.1 Percent Owned)
David Phelps, SP/RP, New York Yankees (0.5 Percent Owned)
Jarred Cosart, SP, Houston Astros (2.9 Percent Owned)
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (7.8 Percent Owned)
Jake deGrom, SP, New York Mets (1.3 Percent Owned)
Jesse Hahn, SP, San Diego Padres (0.7 Percent Owned)
Matt Shoemaker, SP/RP, Los Angeles Angels (5.5 Percent Owned)
Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami Marlins (1.6 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:
- Jenrry Mejia, SP/RP, New York Mets (35.7 Percent Owned)
- Neil Ramirez, RP, Chicago Cubs (22.0 Percent Owned)
- Joe Smith, RP, Los Angeles Angels (15.0 Percent Owned)
- Joba Chamberlain, RP, Detroit Tigers (1.2 Percent Owned)
- Jake McGee, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (11.7 Percent Owned)
- Juan Carlos Oviedo, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (1.2 Percent Owned)
- Joel Peralta, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (0.7 Percent Owned)
- Ronald Belisario, RP, Chicago White Sox (43.4 Percent Owned)
- Darren O'Day, RP, Baltimore Orioles (2.9 Percent Owned)
- Jeurys Familia, RP, New York Mets (0.5 Percent Owned)
- Jean Machi, RP, San Francisco Giants (10.9 Percent Owned)
- Brad Ziegler, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (1.8 Percent Owned)
- Brad Boxberger, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (0.1 Percent Owned)
- Bryan Shaw, RP, Cleveland Indians (1.7 Percent Owned)
- Rex Brothers, RP, Colorado Rockies (27.1 Percent Owned)
- Daniel Webb, RP, Chicago White Sox (0.1 Percent Owned)
- Vic Black, RP, New York Mets (0.0 Percent Owned)
- Pedro Strop, RP, Chicago Cubs (1.4 Percent Owned)
- John Axford, RP, Cleveland Indians (40.9 Percent Owned)
- Josh Fields, RP, Houston Astros (0.6 Percent Owned)
- Tommy Hunter, RP, Baltimore Orioles (39.2 Percent Owned)
- Joel Hanrahan, RP, Detroit Tigers (0.4 Percent Owned)
No. 10: Carlos Martinez, SP/RP, St. Louis Cardinals (4.4 Percent Owned)
All of a sudden the pitching-rich St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in need of arms after shoulder injuries to Jaime Garcia and (gasp) Michael Wacha, as Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
For one of those voids, they'll turn to Carlos Martinez, who made a spot start for Adam Wainwright early last week and then threw well on Sunday in allowing three runs on just three hits in a season-high five innings for his first-ever win as a starter. The young right-hander displayed his usual upper-90s heat and nasty breaking balls to register five strikeouts, too.
A former elite starting pitching prospect, the 22-year-old Martinez shifted to the bullpen primarily because of St. Louis' pitching depth, but he's finally getting an extended shot to show what he can do every fifth day. Even if he sticks in the rotation, however, there's a strong possibility that Martinez's innings will be held in check, so this is an enjoy-it-while-you-can pickup.
No. 9: Kyle Gibson, SP, Minnesota Twins (6.4 Percent Owned)
Kyle Gibson's fantasy upside is more than a little limited because his strikeout rate of 5.0 per nine is one of the five lowest in baseball among qualified starting pitchers. That said, what the 26-year-old righty has done lately has to be acknowledged. As does his 3.25 ERA and 1.17 WHIP for the season.
Over his past five turns, Gibson has allowed but four runs total in 33.0 innings, four of those outings were scoreless, and he's currently working on a 22-inning streak without giving up a run. He's done most of this, by the way, against some tough competition, having faced the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox.
Gibson is going to have a clunker here and there, but he keeps the ball on the ground with the best of 'em (55.8 percent ground balls), which helps his cause. The former first-rounder (2009) gets two starts this week, so we'll see if he can keep it up against the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers.
No. 8: Drew Smyly, SP/RP, Detroit Tigers (48.8 Percent Owned)
Speaking of pitchers slated for two starts this week, Drew Smyly will face the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros with both outings coming on the road.
Smyly has been solid if unspectacular in his transition back to starting after a season-plus in the Detroit Tigers bullpen as the long man. While his stats in that role were fantastic, his numbers going every fifth day are less so but still worth owning and using (3.48 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 7.6 K/9).
The 25-year-old's biggest problem continues to be his occasional gopheritis, as he's surrendered 10 home runs in just 67.1 innings this year. That may make him a risky play on the Tigers' Texas swing, but you could do worse if you need an option. Plus, Smyly may have begun to find a bit of a rhythm with just four earned and 20 baserunners allowed in his last 19.0 innings across three starts.
No. 7: Jake Arrieta, SP, Chicago Cubs (38.2 Percent Owned)
Since breaking into the bigs as a prospect with the Baltimore Orioles in 2010, Jake Arrieta has been nothing but an enigma—but one who often has teased and tantalized with his stuff and potential.
So forgive us for not fawning over and falling for his hot start to 2014, which began in early May after he recovered from injury. Hey, the 28-year-old has looked pretty great in most of his nine outings and was especially fantastic while whiffing a career-high 11 batters his last time out against the Miami Marlins. Over his past three, Arrieta sports a 27-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has given up all of one run in 20.0 frames.
Some skepticism is warranted here, however, because chances are the switch hasn't just clicked for Arrieta, meaning he simply could go back to being maddeningly inconsistent. But by all means, pick him up now—he gets the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, a pair of teams who recently have been getting healthy this week—and see if he's putting it all together. Finally.
No. 6: C.J. Cron, 1B, Los Angeles Angels (1.2 Percent Owned)
C.J. Cron is a recommended pickup this week for two very clear reasons.
The first is that the 24-year-old power-hitter has gone on a mini homer binge of late with one in each of his last three games, including a towering shot off Yu Darvish on Sunday that you can enjoy watching above.
The other reason? Cron now is in position to be the Los Angeles Angels' near-everyday designated hitter with the release of veteran lefty hitter Raul Ibanez.
Cron, who entered the year as arguably the club's top prospect, has smashed eight doubles and six home runs and driven in 18 to go with his .286 average in his first 116 plate appearances. He only has three walks, so his average could drag, especially if he plays against right-handers more often now, but the power is legitimate, and so is the Angels lineup.
No. 5: Colby Rasmus, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (33.4 Percent Owned)
Fresh off the disabled list after missing 33 games with a hamstring injury, Colby Rasmus needs to be snatched up if he was dumped during his lengthy recovery.
The 27-year-old has played only 42 games (164 plate appearances) so far, but he's totaled 11 doubles and 10 home runs in that reduced amount of action. Since coming back last week, Rasmus has gone 8-for-20 (.400) with a homer.
He has a knack for going on crazy hot and cold streaks, but even with the time off, he's well on pace to top 20 home runs for the third straight season. And the rest of his numbers, especially runs and RBI, will only be enhanced by hitting in the dangerous Toronto Blue Jays lineup.
No. 4: Scooter Gennett, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (22.8 Percent Owned)
In his first full season, Scooter Gennett has had quite a June, which incidentally was the month he debuted in the majors last year.
The 24-year-old second baseman is 26-for-63 (.413) with 16 runs, 11 doubles, two home runs and six RBI in 17 games so far. Oh, and he's had a hit in all but one of his starts.
While Gennett is never going to bring a lot to the home run or stolen base departments, he should approach double digits in each, and he has the bat-to-ball skills to hit for a solid average. To wit, he's hitting .310 in 2014 and his career average is .317 in the first 138 games of his career.
The lefty-swinging Gennett gets the better half of a platoon with Rickie Weeks, and he's been hitting leadoff of late, which should boost his runs (see video).
No. 3: J.D. Martinez, OF, Detroit Tigers (33.0 Percent Owned)
Early in the year, J.D. Martinez had been absolutely obliterating the minors early on—10 homers in just 71 plate appearances!—to the point where the Detroit Tigers simply couldn't not give him a shot. And Martinez has run with it.
The 26-year-old is supposed to split duties with Rajai Davis, but Davis always has been more of a backup, fill-in, pinch-runner, defensive replacement type. And with Torii Hunter missing the past week of action, Martinez has really enjoyed playing every day with 12 hits in 27 at-bats (.444), including four homers and 11 RBI in seven games.
Clearly, Martinez has taken to hitting in the five-hole behind Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, and he should have ample opportunity to drive in runs if he can continue to do enough to warrant near-regular playing time.
No. 2: Jake Odorizzi, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (6.1 Percent Owned)
Folks, it's time to get on board the Jake Odorizzi train.
The 24-year-old right-hander wasn't supposed to be a big-time strikeout pitcher, but he's been exactly that. In fact, the right-hander's strikeouts-per-nine rate of 10.6 is—get this—the third-highest. Like, in all of baseball.
Odorizzi has his occasional struggles when it comes to pitching deep into games (just 5.2 innings per start), which hurts his chances at wins—as does being a member of the MLB-worst 31-46 Tampa Bay Rays.
Still, Odorizzi really has come on after getting off to a concerning start to the season. Despite one or two rough outings since early May, he's still sporting a 2.88 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and has struck out 65 in 50.0 frames over his last nine starts. His most recent turn over the weekend was his best yet, as he allowed a lone hit—an infield single—while whiffing 10 Houston Astros over 7.1 scoreless innings.
No. 1: Alex Wood, SP/RP, Atlanta Braves (25.6 Percent Owned)
You might remember that Alex Wood began 2014 in the Atlanta Braves rotation and pitched very well with a 3.00 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 45.0 innings in his first seven starts. Alas, Wood was then moved to the bullpen upon the return of Gavin Floyd in early May.
While the irony is painful for the Braves and Floyd, who was pitching well, in some ways it's poetic that the veteran's latest injury—a fracture in his right elbow suffered last week, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com—has brought Wood back into the five-man sooner than expected.
Because of his time spent in relief, the 23-year-old Wood had been sent to Triple-A to stretch out his arm in expectation of regaining a rotation spot in the near future. That's now expected to be Wednesday against the Houston Astros, according to David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Given all the injuries to Braves starters since the beginning of spring training—remember, Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen underwent their second Tommy John surgeries—Wood has a clear path to a rotation spot. In just his second season, the southpaw possesses good stuff and has shown he can succeed in the majors, so go grab him and turn him loose.
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