MLB Opening Day 2011: Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Fliers

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIApril 1, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 31: Ramon Hernandez #55 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates at home plate with teammates after hitting the game-winning home run in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in the opening day game at Great American Ballpark on March 31, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 7-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Opening Day has come and gone, but not without incident.

Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez led off the Brewers’ season with back-to-back jacks, while John Axford blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning. Curtis Granderson hit a home run on Opening Day for the third consecutive season, while Jason Heyward hit a home run in his first at-bat on Opening Day for the second straight year.

While all of these players (save Gomez) are probably already rostered in your league, a few others contributed noteworthy production as well. Some of them could even rise from the depths of your waiver wire to offer surprising fantasy relevance this season.

Take a look at these Opening Day waiver wire fliers:

Peter Bourjos (CF—LAA)

Bourjos, the Angels’ starting center fielder and No. 9 hitter, went 2-for-4 with a run scored on Opening Day.

The 24-year-old offers breakout potential, as 10 HRs, 30 steals and a .270 average are reasonable given his skill set. (Currently owned in 23 percent of Yahoo! leagues.)

Ramon Hernandez (C—Cin)

Hernandez was nowhere to be found on my 2011 catcher rankings. However, he caught everyone’s attention following his 4-for-5 Opening Day performance, which included a walk-off three-run home run off Brewers’ closer John Axford.

The 34-year-old’s future prospects aren’t as promising, however. He’ll split time with Ryan Hanigan this season, limiting him to single-digit power and a likely .260 average. (Currently owned in five percent of Yahoo! leagues.)

Cameron Maybin (CF—SD)

I’ve been tooting Maybin’s horn for years now, and he’s finally making me look smart. (For one day, at least.)

The Padres’ center fielder went 2-for-5 with a game-tying home run off the Cardinals’ closer, Ryan Franklin, in the bottom of the ninth. He also had the go-ahead RBI single in the 11th.

Perhaps all the soon-to-be 24-year-old needed was a change of scenery. The poor man’s Drew Stubbs could go for 10 HRs, 20 steals and a .250-.260 batting average this season. (Currently owned in nine percent of Yahoo! leagues.)

Mike Aviles (SS—KC)

The Royals’ leadoff man went 1-for-5 with a solo home run on Opening Day.

The 30-year-old will soon offer second, third and shortstop eligibility and possesses 15/15/.300 upside. (Currently owned in 66 percent of Yahoo! leagues.)

Carlos Gomez (CF—Mil)

Continuing the center fielder theme, Carlos Gomez went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and a stolen base on Opening Day.

The 25-year-old has yet to fulfill his hyped prospect status, but he now has extra motivation to perform with the recently-acquired Nyjer Morgan breathing down his neck.

If you can stomach the average, consider this: His 2010 totals projected over 500 at-bats—65 runs, nine HRs, 31 steals. (Currently owned in three percent of Yahoo! leagues.)


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