There is an old adage; "the baseball season is a marathon not a sprint." Well, we are finally about one third through the season, and the patterns of players have been somewhat solidified, as well as a possible projection of what their season long production may look like. The one prerequisite for this article is that the player cannot be owned in more than 60% of Yahoo fantasy leagues, otherwise he is fair game. So here is a list of the best ten waiver wire additions at this point in the season.
The former highly touted prospect seems to have found a home in Toronto. After a couple of successful seasons as a member of the Cubs organization, the 1998 third overall pick has seen his career hit some speed bumps in Baltimore, Milwaukee and Cincinnati along the way. Between him and Jose Bautista's elevation to superstar status, it seems that the Jays organization has a penchant for getting the most out of their reclamation projects.
Patterson will provide your team with some stability to your roster. Batting .291, with 30 Runs scored and 27 RBI he is going to provide a solid flow of production to your team. Also, with the newfound mentality amongst the Jays' managers to try and play some small ball, Patterson is getting the chance to use his speed that made him a tantalizing prospect ten years ago. Also he bats in front of Jose Bautista so you know he will see his pitches and continue to score runs. If you do not have him in your lineup, it may be the time to pick him up.
After years of being one of the most overrated players in fantasy baseball, it seems that Coco Crisp may actually be providing some nice value right now. Owned in only 55% of fantasy leagues, the fifth best base stealer in all of baseball may help you win that category. As long as you can afford little to no home run production from the position, his other stats are decent enough that it may be worth adding this steals machine to your lineup. His 27 runs scored also give you some nice value.
The 2005 Cy Young winner is having something of a comeback season with the New York Yankees. It is mind-boggling that he is only owned in 42% of Yahoo Fantasy Leagues. He has a strikeout rate of 8.45K/ 9 IP, and is has a very solid ERA of 3.26. Also, his WHIP is the highest it has been at any time in his career at 1.10. The only stat that scares away fantasy owners is his wins. Still stuck on only 3 wins all season, seems like a big downer, but with numbers like those and playing for the Bronx Bombers, the wins will surely come. Make sure you own him before they come, and someone else in your league gets to him first.
If you can afford to live with his poor batting average of .214, Espinosa may be a diamond in the rough. He ranks in the top 25 in baseball in both HR and RBI with 10 and 33 respectively. He has 4 SB and 27 Runs scored, so you will not see drop in production too much in those categories. Also, if your pool does not calculate BA, and instead focuses upon OBP, there is no way he is not in your lineup with a slightly more mediocre OBP of .315. Either way, I would pick him up before his hits start coming, it may only be a matter of time for this young slugger.
It is time that Adams stops living a life of obscurity in the fantasy baseball world, and people start taking notice of his fantastic numbers. First and foremost, is his remarkable is his remarkable 10.1 K/9 IP makes him a valuable reliever in that category. Also having only given up four walks in 24 innings, and opposing hitters only batting .161 against him, his WHIP of 0.73 is truly remarkable. His ERA is a low 1.46 and he even has 2 wins and a save. The fact that he pitches so often, appearing in 25 games already, provides the opportunity to fill your innings with a low ERA, as well as WHIP and strikeouts, so if you need help in those categories it may be worthwhile to go the unconventional route and draft a middle reliever.
Only four years ago as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals was Ludwick touted as baseball's next big superstar. He batted .299 with 37 HR and 113 RBI. After a couple of slower seasons, Ludwick has eight HR and is 20th in all of baseball with 35 RBI. Despite this, he has not seen the recognition from fantasy owners that he most likely deserves. He is only owned in 38% of Yahoo leagues, and if he can keep up his current production, he can be a really valuable addition to your roster. He not only is on pace to average 25 HR and 110 RBI, he also has the career numbers to show that there may be some improvement. So add him with some caution but feel optimistic that you may have gotten some serious potential as well.
The former third overall pick by the New York Mets seems to finally be rounding into form as a member of the White Sox pitching staff. The real value in Humber is his WHIP. He is eighth in baseball with a 0.98 WHIP amongst all starting pitchers. Also, his 3.06 ERA is amongst the top 25 in baseball and provide some real value. As Humber continues to improve his game, look for him to improve those numbers in a similar fashion that we saw from Brandon Morrow of the Jays last season. (Except his improvement will be in areas of control instead of strikeouts). If you have an open spot on your roster it may be worth taking a look at Humber and perhaps stashing him on your bench in case of injury.
After having a down year last season, the 38-year old former superstar is seeing a little bit of a resurrection this season. Batting over .300 again, Helton also has 7 HR and is providing some much needed hitting behind Tulowitzki and Gonzalez. If he is able to stay healthy his RBI numbers will continue to improve with those two superstars batting in front of him, and he is seeing some pop in his bat that has not been there since 2005. So while the HR production may not continue at this pace, one thing you can be sure of is that Helton will be getting pitches to hit. When his bat is going he remains one of the best hitters in all of baseball.
Jeremy Guthrie has some of the best peripheral numbers in all of baseball. His Whip is 1.11, he has an ERA of 3.24 and has 49 strikeouts on the season. The only reason that he is owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues and not more, is because of his seven losses. With the peripheral numbers that he has, it is only a matter of time before the Orioles start to provide him with some run support. When that happens you will see a spike in the win category for him, and he will be one of the most underrated fantasy pitchers to own. I recommend grabbing him now before it is too late, and he will still help your WHIP and ERA, and you can only gain a lot in the long run.
If you are able to handle is .240 average, there is no reason that you do not already own Willingham. He has 10 HR on the season and is 17th in baseball with 37 RBI. His batting average should go up on the season as he is a .263 career hitter; not great but at least average. With over 50 games gone by in the season, we may be seeing Billy Beane pulling his magic and finding another player that was cast away by so many other teams before. Look for Willingham to end up the season with at least 30 HR and 100 RBI, get him in your lineup.