2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: American League
J.J. Hardy, SS Baltimore Orioles (23 percent owned in Yahoo, 37.1 percent ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .288 AVG / 19 R / 6 HR / 19 RBI / 0 SB
Hardy has been a monster the past 14 days hitting .375 AVG, 11 R, four HR, seven RBI. It seems like everyone has forgotten his '07 and '08 seasons with the Brewers when he hit .280 AVG, 167 R, 50 HR, 164 RBI. I am writing off last year as a fluke because Target Field is a tough place to call home. Now he is in a park that is very friendly to right-handed hitters.
My Projection: .279 AVG / 80 R / 20 HR / 65 RBI / 2 SB
Michael Brantley, OF Cleveland Indians (49 percent owned in Yahoo, 83 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .293 AVG / 35 R / 5 HR / 26 RBI / 8 SB
You Yahoo people need to get with the program. I don't know what else this guy has to do to be more universally owned. He is sitting atop a good AL lineup that will continue to score runs, he is taking walks at a decent clip and the batting average should stick. I would like to see him be more active on the base paths because he has shown the ability in the minors and don't expect 15 home runs.
My Projection: .290 AVG / 100 R / 10 HR / 62 RBI / 29 SB
Current Stat Line: .293 AVG / 35 R / 5 HR / 28 RBI / 9 SB
If Brantley isn't available in your league, hopefully Patterson is because you are getting similar production. He has not consistently hit for high average in his career (.255 career AVG) but it should remain respectable if he continues to hit in front of Bautista and Lind. His .153 ISO is in-line with his career mark of .151 ISO so 15 HR is not out of the question. He has been caught stealing 6 times but the Jays are very aggressive on the bases so he still has the green light.
My Projection: .270 AVG / 85 R / 15 HR / 65 RBI / 30 SB
Mark Trumbo, 1B Los Angeles Angels (34 percent owned in Yahoo, 79.2 percent ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .252 AVG / 23 R / 11 HR / 29 RBI / 6 SB
Mark Trumbo's Yahoo ownership level baffles me. In the minors last year, he hit .299 AVG with 36 HR and he is showing the same type of power in the majors. This guy is a near lock for 25 HR and the stolen bases are an added bonus. He has been hitting out of the seven spot more often than I would like but he may get an opportunity to move up.
My Projection: 250 AVG / 65 R / 26 HR / 79 RBI / 12 SB
Miguel Olivo, C Seattle Mariners (31 percent owned in Yahoo, 29.2 percent ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .241 AVG / 28 R / 8 HR / 30 RBI / 2 SB
In a year that the catcher position is so thin, Olivo deserves a good look. Seattle may not have the best lineup in the world (or 28th best) but Olivo is batting cleanup or fifth everyday for the Mariners. In the past seven games he has four HR and 11 RBI. He may finish the year as a top ten catcher so give him a shot.
My Projection: .250 AVG / 72 R / 22 HR / 85 RBI / 4 SB
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