2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups, May 9: Eric Hosmer, Mark Melancon and More

Jeff MansContributor IIIMay 9, 2011

KISSIMMEE, FL - MARCH 01:  Mark Melancon #54 of the Houston Astros pitches during a Spring Training game against the Atlanta Braves at Osceola County Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Kissimmee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The times they are a changing my friends, and if you plan on winning a fantasy baseball championship or two this season, you had better be able to change with them. Good hitting is hard to find these days, especially at positions that aren't first base or outfield.

As luck would have it though this week, I've got a couple of players who deserve your attention at very premium positions. Also, since pitching is so profound this season you no longer should be holding onto bums like Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ryan Dempster or Francisco Liriano when there are very strong alternatives available on your leagues waiver wire right now.

Let's take a look at a few of the players you should be targeting for this week and beyond in today's edition of Waiver Flavor.


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1) Anibal Sanchez -- Starter -- Florida Marlins (Owned in 34 percent of leagues) -- This is the last time I will beg you to add Anibal Sanchez to your pitching staff this season. At this point if you believe that Edison Volquez or Derek Holland are better options, you are destined for a mediocre season.

Sanchez is a very consistent performer who already has taken two no-hit bids past the sixth inning this season and, oh by the way, threw a no-no back in 2006. He is not fancy and doesn't strikeout a dozen hitters each time out but still posts quality starts nearly every time he totes the rubber. Remember how you passed on Trevor Cahill in the draft this year?

This is your chance to makeup for that mistake by adding a dependable and at some points unhittable starter to your fantasy rotation.

2) Eric Hosmer -- First Base -- Kansas City Royals (Owned in 30 percent of leagues) -- The Royals surprised many on Thursday when they promoted their No. 1 prospect in Eric Hosmer. But Hosmer had proven that he had mastered minor league pitching and is in need of better competition.

This kid has a veteran approach far beyond his 21 years as he has made a living by driving pitches on the outer half of the plate into the left center field gap. Despite being a big guy, Hosmer hasn't hit for much power in the minor leagues but most expect that to change once he learns how to turn on inside fastballs.

I believe Hosmer will start out hot in his first couple weeks in the big leagues but will eventually go through a slump when pitchers are busting him in all of the time. How he reacts to this and the adjustments he makes will determine just how good he will be. He is a must add if he is still available in your league right now.

3) Rafael Furcal -- Shortstop -- Los Angeles Dodgers (Owned in 43 percent of leagues) -- Furcal has been out since breaking a bone in his hand when he was hit with a pitch on April 12. He is back doing baseball activities including playing catch and taking light batting practice. He will probably be sent out on a rehab assignment this week and should be back by the week after.

If someone in your league dropped him, now is a good time to swipe him out from under your opponent because impact middle infielders are always hard to find. Furcal has been conditioning like crazy over the past few weeks also and says that his legs feel better than they have in years.

Can you say, 30+ steals?

4) Mark Melancon -- Closer -- Houston Astros (Owned in 34 percent of leagues) -- Melancon was once thought to be the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera in New York before being traded for Lance Berkman at last years trade deadline.

He is now the Astros closer after Brandon Lyon went down with a partial tear in his rotator cuff. Melancon features a mid-90's fastball to go along with a power curveball that he changes speeds on and can use in a variety of ways. He has good command and the mental makeup to be a quality closer in the league.

Although the Astros might not give him many opportunities, he is their closer of the future and thanks the Lyon's injury, the present as well.

5) Scott Sizemore -- 2B/SS -- Detroit Tigers (Owned in 5 percent of leagues) -- I like Sizemore's game a great deal and have personally added him in nearly all of my leagues already. He has a good power and speed blend and has been on fire for AAA Toledo prior to his callup last week.

What's better is that the Tigers are hitting him second in the batting order with Miguel Cabrera protecting him. Therefore, Sizemore should see plenty of pitches he can hit and a bunch of those will likely leave the yard.

Jim Leyland also proclaimed Sizemore his everyday second baseman meaning he will get an extended look even if he starts to struggle. I envision a 15/15 season for this young slugger this year as he proves himself as a major league ballplayer.

6) Vicente Padilla -- Closer -- Los Angeles Dodgers (Owned in 28 percent of leagues) -- I have to admit that I don't like Padilla that much nor do I believe he will stay as the Dodgers closer for long. But, he has the job right now and is doing a much better job with it than Jonathen Broxton was and therefore deserves some consideration for your fantasy team.

Every league has a team or two who desperately need saves and if you are one of those teams, Padilla is a good pickup for you right now. Hong Chih Kuo is my bet to eventually be the Dodgers closer this season as soon as he proves to be 100 percent healthy.

7) Trevor Plouffe -- Shortstop -- Minnesota Twins (Owned in 8 percent of leagues) -- Plouffe will probably never hit for a good batting average in the major leagues but he has good power and plays good defense thus has already been named the Twins starting shortstop until further notice. If you liked J.J. Hardy, you should love Trevor Plouffe.

He has a much better run producing bat and is also a tick better defensively as well. Shortstops with power usually don't last long on the free agent market so be quick to pull the trigger on Plouffe if you are in need.

8) Jake Arrieta -- Starter -- Baltimore Orioles (Owned in 8 percent of leagues) -- Although I think Arrieta is much better that just a one week pickup, he does start twice this week and goes against the Mariners and Rays in those games.

Arrieta has the biggest upside of all of the Orioles young starting pitchers and I really like the adjustments he has made this season. You always want a two start pitcher going for you every week and my pick to click for this week is Jake Arrieta.


Jeff Mans is a co-host of The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, the Senior Writer at Fantasy Alarm and a contributor to Bleacher Report.