2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver-Wire Gems: American League
Derrek Lee, 1B Baltimore Orioles (26 percent owned in Yahoo, 28.8 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .247 AVG/26 R/5 HR/19 RBI/2 SB
Lee has certainly not lived up to expectations so far in 2011, but his bat seems to be coming alive. In the past seven games, Lee has hit .438 with five XBH and six runs.
He has been shuffled between the fourth and sixth spot in the lineup, so if he can stay healthy, he should help your team in AVG and RBI.
Projection (rest of season): .283 AVG/39 R/11 HR/44 RBI/2 SB
Alexi Casilla, 2B/SS Minnesota Twins (28 percent owned in Yahoo, 55.6 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .260 AVG/32 R/2 HR/15 RBI/11 SB
Casilla has been on fire for the past month. Since May 24th he has hit .327 AVG/9 R/2 HR/11 RBI/8 SB. Casilla is currently batting second for the Twins and he should stay there. I don't expect him to hit .327 for the rest of the year, but he should be a solid contributor in AVG, R, SB.
Projection (rest of season): .280 AVG/36 R/4 HR/23 RBI/11 SB
Jemile Weeks, 2B Oakland Athletics (20 percent owned in Yahoo, 35 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .305 AVG/11 R/0 HR/6 RBI/6 SB
Weeks started out with a .400 BABIP and one walk in 44 AB. Since then he has shown more patience at the plate with four walks in 19 at bats and he is batting leadoff for the Athletics.
The stolen bases is a huge plus, but it will only be a matter of time before pitchers start adjusting to him. Pick him up while he is hot but don't expect a long-term fix.
Projection (rest of season): .260 AVG/26 R/2 HR/19 RBI/10 SB
Alcides Escobar, SS Kansas City Royals (29 percent owned in Yahoo, 73.5 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .246 AVG/34 R/1 HR/21 RBI/12 SB
In the minors, Escobar was an annual three category producer in AVG, R and SB. When called up by the Brewers, he was planted in the eight hole where he was unable to showcase his true potential.
Now that he is batting ninth for an AL team, he will have more opportunity to steal bases and score runs. Since June 7th he has hit, .411 AVG/13 R/8 RBI/6 SB. I would rather roster Escobar than Chone Figgins, Gordon Beckham, Darwin Barney and Omar Infante.
Projection (rest of season): .265 AVG/40 R/2 HR/27 RBI/15 SB
Carlos Carrasco, SP Cleveland Indians (39 percent owned in Yahoo, 47.1 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: 7 W/4 L/53 K/3.62 ERA/1.21 WHIP
Carlos Carrasco, a regular on "Spot Starting," has been untouchable on the mound in his last four starts. During that time he has thrown 29.2 IP/2 ER/21 K/5 BB. His current K/9 sits at 5.48, but last year it was at 7.66 even though his current SwStr% of 8.4 is nearly identical to his 8.7 mark in 2010.
Expect a slight uptick in strikeouts.
Projection (rest of season): 6 W/4 L/78 K/3.5 ERA/1.20 WHIP
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