2011 Fantasy Baseball: Top Waiver Wire Pick-Ups for Week 11

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2011

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Top Waiver Wire Pick-Ups for Week 11

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Andrew Bailey #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 6, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Heading into week 11, new names and old borderline options have now turned into viable fantasy roster additions.

    Fantasy owners are entering a mid-season frenzy, where they try to round out their lineups and glue together the best team for a playoff run.

    Whether that includes adding a hot pitcher like Dillon Gee who's 6-0, or a hot hitter like Mark Trumbo, managers are waiting for the right time to hit the waiver wire and make their free agent moves count.

    By following the recent success within the fantasy realm, we're able to gauge the future potential of hitters and pitchers alike.

    With that said, here are the top 15 waiver wire options in mixed leagues for the following week.

15. Justin Turner, 2B, New York Mets

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07:  Justin Turner #2 of the New York Mets hits an eighth inning two run single against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 7, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Get
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Believe it or not, Turner has been one of the Mets' most clutch performers.

    The 26-year-old rookie has recorded 23 RBI in only 112 at-bats, not to mention striking out only 13 times to his six walks.

    Turner has also been able to consistently maintain his .300 average, making him one of the better contact hitting middle infielders on the open market.

    For the Mets and Turner, getting him game time opportunities to produce runs has been somewhat easy.

    With Reyes getting on base nearly every at-bat, the Mets lineup has become more dimensional, making Turner a prominent player for New York.

    While he may lack certain offensive abilities like raw power, he makes up for it with clutch hitting, good contact production, and he rarely strikes out. 

    Turner also has three steals through the first two months of baseball.

    Take a look at the Mets' rookie and make sure to have him in the lineup when Reyes is hot and when the Mets are starting him at the two-spot.

14. Aubrey Huff, 1B, San Francisco Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 11:  Aubrey Huff #17 of the San Francisco Giants stands in the dugout before their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park on May 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Huff had an awful start to the 2011 fantasy season.  He struggled to hit for power and drive in runs. 

    Seems to be the story of the Giants this year.

    Anyways, the 34-year-old veteran busted back onto the fantasy scene on Thursday, hitting three home runs and knocking in six RBI in one game.

    Before you get too excited about his now eight home runs and 30 RBI, keep in mind that Huff has yet to record a hit since his career day.

    Cause for concern?

    It may be, but without Buster Posey in the lineup, the Giants will continue to roll with the outfielder in the middle of their offense.

    Not to mention that Pablo Sandoval is less than a week away, so Huff will soon have some solidified offensive protection.

13. Sergio Santos, RP, Chicago White Sox

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 17: Sergio Santos #46 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field on May 17, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Rangers 4-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Santos has been the guy the White Sox need him to be:

    A shutdown, strikeout closer who has rarely given up hits.

    The 27-year-old, second year pitcher has closed out 10 games for Chicago, posting a 1.29 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP through 28 innings of work.

    With the White Sox offense seemingly coming around, along with the reemergence of Jake Peavy and the rest of the staff, Santos should be in line for a solid month of closing.

    If you're lacking some serious consistency in the bullpen, consider adding Santos immediately

12. Nick Swisher, OF, New York Yankess

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    OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 01:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after he hit a three run home run in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 1, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ez
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    I may be getting ahead of myself here, but I think Nick Swisher is on his way back.

    While he's still struggling with multi-hit games, the Yankees funny guy has launched three home runs over the past week, hitting one Sunday against the Angels.

    If you're a true fantasy owner, you're very much aware of how good Swisher can be.  Especially in the Yankees' lineup.

    The problem continues to be consistent hitting.

    While the recent power surge is enough to attract many fantasy owners looking to plug some power shortages throughout their lineup, Swisher still needs to tally some two-hit and three-hit games before he can be considered a mixed leagues starting option.

    Pay close attention.  Another week like this past scoring period and the 30-year-old could end up being one of the most sought after free agents heading into week 12.

11. Corey Patterson, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

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    SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 13:  Corey Patterson #16 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 13, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Does anyone see what Corey Patterson is doing?

    The 31-year-old has done enough over the past two weeks to be considered a low-end mixed league option, even in an offensively potent outfield market.

    Hitting for power, extra-base hits, stealing bases, and pretty much doing everything, Patterson deserves some praise.

    He's currently hitting .292 with five home runs and seven stolen bases, adding three triples through 202 at-bats.

    While other people are waiting for outfield options like Shin-Soo Choo and Brett Gardner to consistently produce, it wouldn't do you much harm to think about adding Patterson.

10. Mark Trumbo, 1B, Los Angeles Angels

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 22:  Mark Trumbo #44 of the Los Angeles Angels at bat against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on April 22, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Trumbo is at it again.

    After homering against Bartolo Colon and the Yankees on Sunday, the 25-year-old rookie is up to 11 bombs on the year.

    Trumbo was brought up after the Angels placed first baseman Kendry Morales on the DL, ending his season.

    While many people didn't give Trumbo much thought after coming in for an elite fantasy option, owners need to reconsider their thoughts about the power hitting infielder.

    His 36 home runs and 122 RBI during his final minor league season in 2010 are evidence that this newly found power stroke is for real.

    Trumbo is hovering around .270, but offers speed along with his home run potential, swiping five bags through nearly 200 at-bats.

    Now is the time to take a chance on Trumbo if you're waiting for your other options to pan out.

    I'm talking to you Justin Morneau.

9. Jonathan Niese, SP, New York Mets

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 05: Starting pitcher Jonathan Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 5, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs 18-5. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Niese has been an under-the-radar pitcher for the most of 2011.

    Currently 4-5, the Mets starter has posted a 3.75 ERA with seven quality starts through 74.1 innings.

    His walks total is normal for a non-ace, 26, but his 78 hits allowed could use some tweaking.

    However, the 24-year-old has been for the most part a consistent fantasy option.  He's posted four straights solid starts, surrendering a total of four runs through 26 frames of work.

    If there is ever a time to consider Niese as a viable fantasy option, it's right now.

    His next time on the mound will come against Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers, which could serve as a fantasy measurement of how good the Mets' youngster will be for the rest of the season.

8. Josh Willingham, OF, Oakland Athletics

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22:  Josh Willingham #16 of the Oakland A's rounds the bases on a home run against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at AT&T Park on May 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  The Giants won 5-4 in 11 innings.  (Photo b
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    While Willingham has hit a mere .249 in the middle of a sub-par Athletics offense, the 32-year-old vet has knocked in 39 RBI.

    I know that in my league, as it is in most leagues heading into week 11, Willingham's RBI total is the most efficient numbers that you'll find on the open market.

    So why does he continue to go unowned and untrusted in mixed leagues?

    To be honest, I don't know.

    Willingham doesn't have much of a supporting cast, with the decline of Kurt Suzuki and company, but Oakland's outfielder has been for the most part consistent.

    He's posted 10 home runs, 10 doubles, and the before mentioned 39 RBI.

    When you take a close look at what he's done through the first two months of action, how can you not be pleased?

    Make sure Willingham's day-to-day injury is nothing too serious before considering to add the run producer to your mixed league rosters.

7. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, San Diego Padres

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    Google Images
    Google Images

    While he's not quite in the big leagues just yet, Rizzo has the potential to perform like a rookie Ryan Braun once he's called up.

    The problem with the 21-year-old minor league prospect and his future in the big leagues is the fact that San Diego wants to prolong his promotion in order to save money on arbitration.

    If you ask me, that's one of the stupidest moves a lack luster offensive team can make.

    But, there's been much speculation to when the Padres will call up Rizzo and a lot of reports are saying sooner rather than later.

    Consider adding him towards the end of the week, or now if you have room, because Rizzo could be a must-start option once he arrives in the bigs.

    I'll leave you with his 2011 minor league stats.

    .369, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 19 Doubles, .723 SLG through 195 AB (Triple-A)

6. Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington Nationals

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 03:  Danny Espinosa #18 of the Washington Nationals bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on June 3, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Nationals 4-0.  (Photo by
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Espinosa has been extremely productive.

    The Nationals' starting second baseman has knocked in 33 runs on 10 home runs, adding four triples and four stolen bases.

    The 24-year-old has produced among the best at his position, helping save any offensive attack that Washington puts on the field.

    There's one problem.  Espinosa is hitting an undesirable .219, which is the only reason why he isn't be regarding as the biggest offensive breakout in 2011.

    Espinosa possesses enough talent to boost his average up to .230 by the end of June, so don't be put off by his low contact numbers.

    As it stands right now, a power-hitting second baseman who can steal and produce runs should not be on a list for waiver wire options.

    Just saying.

5. Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 29: Erick Aybar #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates scoring against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of their game on May 29, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Angels defeated the Twins 6-5. (
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Besides Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera, Erick Aybar has been the best all-around hitting shortstop through the first two months.

    The 27-year-old is hitting an impressive .302, with 21 RBI and 14 stolen bases.

    Aybar has consistently produced multi-hit games, culminating into his 10 doubles and two triples.

    The sooner fantasy owners decide to activate Aybar, the better.

    He's more or less cemented as the Angels No. 2 hitter and has only produced under that title.

    Look for Aybar to put together another solid month, helping fantasy owners fill an offensively challenged roster spot with style and grace.

4. Brett Lawrie, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays

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    DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Infielder Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays sets for play against the Detroit Tigers February 26, 2011 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Lawrie has been called the best hitting prospect in baseball.

    Well, that makes a lot of sense when you look at his 2011 minor league numbers.

    The Blue Jays soon-to-be third baseman, originally a second base prospect, has knocked in 49 RBI with 15 home runs while batting .354.

    If you think that's impressive, take a look at his 11 stolen bases.

    Lawire has all the potential and past production to be considered a future American League Chase Utley.

    The only problem is that the 21-year-old prospect was recently placed on the 7-day minor league disabled list, creating issues with his speculated call-up this past week.

    For fantasy owners, adding Lawrie and taking a wait-and-see approach is only going to help their chances for a successful playoff run.

    When he enters the majors, Lawrie will have enough offensive protection to immediately be considered a must-own and potentially a must-start.

3. Dillon Gee, SP, New York Mets

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    NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Dillon Gee #35 of the New York Mets reacts after Alex Gonzalez #2 of the Atlanta Braves (not pictured) grounded out to the shortstop to end the top of the fifth inning at Citi Field on June 4, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of t
    Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

    Gee is 6-0.

    Yes, Dillon Gee is 6-0 for the New York Mets.

    The 25-year-old rookie has immediately excelled at the major league level, filling in nicely for a sometimes stagnant Mets rotation.

    With 3.33 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP, Gee has dispelled any potential thoughts that he's strictly winning close games.

    The fact remains that the Mets' rookie has provided much consistency as a starter in the NL East.

    He's recorded back-to-back seven innings games, winning both, and has won all four of his last starts while surrendering a total of seven runs in 27.2 innings of work.

    If Gee is unowned, pick him up now.  No questions asked.

    With the return of David Wright looming, along with only increased production from Jason Bay, Gee could be setup for the rest of the year.

2. Mike Morse, 1B, Washington Nationals

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17:  Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals at the plate against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park on April 17, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Morse continues to rake.

    After hitting an extra-inning grand slam Sunday against the Diamondbacks, the 29-year-old has shown that his recent hot streak is no joke.

    Currently sitting on eight home runs and 30 RBI, Mike Morse has done everything that a fantasy owner can ask for.

    He's been an absolute machine through his 153 at-bats thus far in 2011, offering consistent power and excellent run producing output.

    If he's unowned in your mixed league, or NL-only league, there's no reason why he shouldn't be added right now.

    Even after Adam Laroche comes off the DL, Morse will continue to start games for Washington and will receive lineup help from Ryan Zimmerman, who's due back soon.

1. Andrew Bailey, RP, Oakland Athletics

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    ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 11:  Pitcher Andrew Bailey #40 of the Oakland Athletics on May 11, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    There's not much to say about Andrew Bailey.

    He's healthy.  And when healthy, the 27-year-old produces like an elite closer in the MLB.

    While he struggled in his first appearance back in a closing role against the Red Sox, he'll continue to be the bullpen focus for one of the best starting rotations in the league.

    Bailey has posted a 1.73 ERA over two season's as Oakland's ninth inning shutdown guy, while limiting his walk totals and going 7-6 to boot.

    If he's unowned, which he probably isn't at this point, add him now.

    It's hard to find consistent relief pitching that can offer you 20-30 points on a weekly basis, let alone a player who's closing for one of the best five-man rotations baseball has to offer.