Fantasy Baseball: Top 5 Free Agent Pickups You Need to Make Now

Kevin JackmanContributor IIIMay 11, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Top 5 Free Agent Pickups You Need to Make Now

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    Jose Bautista was last year's rags-to-riches story in fantasy baseballAbelimages/Getty Images

    The fantasy baseball season can turn in your favor with a single pickup. Whether it was Josh Hamilton in 2008 or Jose Bautista (above) in 2010, some years are won and lost on the waiver wire.

    So to help aid you over the next few months, here are some players that are unowned in most leagues and could be extremely valuable assets when it comes time to claim your league's title.

    All stats regarding rankings and own percentages are from Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball Leagues.

    For more on fantasy tips, go to Jackman Sports Fantasy Baseball.

    Follow me on Twitter @kjackmansports.

5. Brennan Boesch, Detroit Tigers OF

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Brennan Boesch fell off the map after the All-Star break in his 2010 rookie campaign. After hitting to the tune of .342/.397/.593 with 12 dingers in the first half, Boesch vanished by hitting .163 the rest of the way.

    Being a forgotten man in many fantasy drafts, Boesch is still readily available in a lot of formats, only being owned in 48 percent of leagues. He came into the year in a possible platoon situation with Ryan Raburn, but his bat is making it increasingly harder for Jim Leyland to sit him while the Tigers remain in the hunt among the top of the AL Central.

    Get your hands on him now, and if you can find someone in your league who is oblivious of his 2010 second-half stats, trade him at your deadline.

4. Garrett Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates 1B-Outfielder

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    I honestly don't understand how this guy is not owned and how the Pirates don't always feature him in the heart of their order. Garrett Jones has consistently shown a ton of pop in his bat and a solid contact rate.

    To give you an idea of what consistent power production off the waiver wire looks like, take a look at what Jones has done the last two years. He had 42 homers (21 in each) and 130 RBI in a season and a half.

    He already has six homers and even two stolen bases while being only 21 percent owned. If you need some pop in your outfield, go after Jones, and you can even plug him in at first on those weird off-day debacles.

3. Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners 1B

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Not going to lie—he was absolutely terrible in Texas. But for once, it looks like Seattle has turned someone's production in the positive direction. When was the last time that was the case? (Richie Sexson/Chone Figgins/Milton Bradley (R.I.P.))

    Smoak is looking like the formidable slugger that he was hyped up to be in the Rangers' farm system. Plus, with Ichiro and Figgins hitting in front of him in the order, he should get plenty of RBI chances.

    Smoak is owned in half of Yahoo! leagues, and he is hitting .290 with five home runs and 21 RBI. He is a good source of production and a solid pickup if you have a slumping first baseman like Adam Dunn.

2. Chris Iannetta, Colorado Rockies C

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Chris Iannetta has been touted for years and hasn't impressed in the fantasy world or the real world. You would think that being in Colorado would be useful, but he has yet to take advantage of it.

    Until now.

    Iannetta is having a solid season and is most likely sitting in your free agent pool. He is available in nearly 80 percent of leagues despite being the eighth-best catcher, statistically, in the game right now.

    If you are the proud owner of a slumping Russell Martin or an ailing Joe Mauer and Geovany Soto, I would take a look at Iannetta if you want any chance of production from the abyss that is the catcher's spot. 

1. Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves P

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    This is Atlanta we are talking about, people! This is where young pitchers come to develop into stars! Look at Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, even Tim Hudson and his second act if you doubt me.

    Brandon Beachy is the next in line. His stuff is electric, and his arsenal is full. He is putting up top-end fantasy numbers right now. With a 2.98 ERA and a K/9 above 9.0, this guy is what every owner dreams of when he or she imagines a perfect free agent pickup.

    Get this kid now because he is seriously going fast. He is already 53 percent owned, so do NOT miss out!