2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups 5/15: Fernando Salas, Chris Iannetta & More

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups 5/15: Fernando Salas, Chris Iannetta & More
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For weeks, I have been telling you to pick up players like Matt Joyce, Anibal Sanchez, Eric Hosmer, Brett Wallace, Cameron Maybin, Sergio Santos and Jake Arrieta. Let's hope that you've been listening because if you have, then you probably have greatly improved your standing in your league.

If you haven't been following, then fear not! Another addition of Waiver Flavor is here to point you in the right direction. This week I added another player to the list and made it a cool nine instead of the usual eight weekly wonders.

You will find everything on this week’s list including power, speed, starters, a new closer and even a red hot catcher. Everything you need to win next weeks matchup is right here waiting for you in this week’s installment of Waiver Flavor.

The Closer

Fernando Salas -- Closer -- St. Louis Cardinals (Owned in 8 percent of leagues)

 Salas is probably the hottest name in free agency this week as he has been announced to be the Cardinals new closer. But as we have seen over the past few weeks, being the Cardinals "new closer" has become a pretty bad omen.

Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez, Ryan Franklin have all become the new closer for the Cardinals at some point this year and none have worked out all that well. Still, it is next to impossible to find a worthwhile closer out on waivers at this point in the season, so he is well worth a shot.

Just please don't count on him holding this job for the rest of the season by cutting somebody who will produce for you in the weeks and months ahead.

The Power

Mark Trumbo -- First Base -- Los Angeles Angels (Owned in 16 percent of leagues)

The fact that Kendrys Morales is owned in twice as many leagues as Trumbo speaks to how little some fantasy players pay attention. Morales is guaranteed out for the season after having to undergo more surgery for his messed up ankle/foot, yet Trumbo is gaining more and more steam as a steady run producer for the Angels every single day.

Trumbo has the job for the rest of the season and should be owned in all but the slimmest of fantasy leagues at this point. Remember, this guy tied Mike Moustakas for the minor league lead in home runs last year and already has six longballs so far this season. Stop holding onto guys like Derrick Lee, Daric Barton, Adam LaRoche and Justin Morneau when a much better option is available in 84 percent of leagues.

The Speed

Roger Bernadina -- Outfield -- Washington Nationals (Owned in 2 percent of leagues) 

Bernadina is hitting leadoff for the Nationals these days and manager Jim Riggleman has said that he would like it to stay that way for the rest of the season. Bernadina has a very nice blend of speed and power, and although it seems as if he has been around forever, he is only 26 years old and just hitting the prime of his career.

I strongly believe this is his breakout season and that now is the chance to hop aboard a player that can propel your fantasy team to the next level. He may not be a superstar player, but Bernadina is a difference maker and those are very hard to acquire for free during the season.

The Starter

Homer Bailey -- Starter -- Cincinnati Reds (Owned in 25 percent of leagues)

The most common mistake of fantasy baseball owners is that we disregard players too easily. Homer Bailey was an all world prospect three years ago and had fantasy player's salivating for his services.

But a few turbulent seasons later, we act as if he has lost his devastating repertoire of pitches. What has happened is that Bailey is no longer just a hard throwing kid from Texas and has evolved into a poised and polished starting pitcher.

While the rest of your league is chasing the potential glory of Homer Bailey circa 2007 with players like Francisco Liriano, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Javier Vasquez, you can scoop up the sound arm of a guy who is actually producing quality numbers this season.

Hot Bats

Chris Iannettta -- Catcher -- Colorado Rockies (Owned in 15 percent of leagues)

Catchers are by far the hardest position to get fantasy production from on a week to week basis. So, when you can get one that is as hot as Iannetta has been lately, you take that chance.

Many leagues are starting two catchers these days and unless you have a Buster Posey/Victor Martinez combo, you probably don't have two who are better than Chris Iannetta. Although the batting average is still poor, his power and run production abilities more than make up for what the average lacks.

Daniel Murphy -- 1B/2B/OF -- New York Mets (Owned in 6 percent of leagues)

I picked up Murphy a couple of weeks ago for my NFBC team, and he has been nothing but a godsend for me ever since. This kid can flat out hit, and now that he is going to have regular playing time the numbers should only get better.

Murphy is also eligible at 1B/2B/MI/CI/OF which makes him ultra flexible to fit into your lineup and make up for injuries and days off in daily fantasy leagues. In a full season worth of at-bats you could expect Murphy to rake in 15 HRs and 12 steals while hitting a clean .280 or so. Those numbers are not spectacular, but they are very useful when facing injuries, slumps or a minor league demotion of one of your players.

One Week Specials

Rick Porcello -- Starter -- Detroit Tigers (Owned in 7 percent of leagues)

This is a good find my friends. Porcello is another young starting pitcher who was rushed to the big leagues and is starting to figure things out. I am stunned at how little he is owned across fantasy leagues, but I will bet my left foot that he will be picked up in over half of leagues by the All-Star break.

So this is your chance to climb aboard early and fix the mistake of taking Chris Carpenter or Madison Bumgarner with that early pick and start getting some production from that spot in your rotation. If you're not sold on Porcello for the whole season, you have to like his matchups against the Blue Jays and Pirates coming up this week.

Jason Vargas -- Starter -- Seattle Mariners (Owned in 4 percent of leagues)

I am taking a shot on Vargas this week as a two start pitcher with very good matchups. Although Seattle is no lock to beat any team on any given night, there is a good chance that Vargas will post two quality starts this week against the two worst offenses in the major leagues in the Twins and Padres.

Take into account that he'll be tossing the rock in two pitcher-friendly parks, and you have yourself the ultimate one week wonder here in Jason Vargas.

The Future

Anthony Rizzo -- First Base -- San Diego Padres (Owned in 0 percent of leagues)

Rizzo is probably the least talked about blue chip prospect in all of baseball. He was the center of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston this winter and the Padres fully expect him to fill Gonzalez's shoes at first base for a long, long time.

In addition to being one of the best prospects in baseball, Rizzo has been the hottest hitter in the minor leagues since opening day. He already has 10 HR, 45 RBI and 29 runs scored for AAA Tucson and would be greatly welcome in the San Diego lineup right now.

He will be promoted on or around June 1st, so start keeping a close tab on this situation as you will want a piece of this action when the time comes.

 

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.

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