The cream of this week’s free-agent crop is a guy who I've been recommending for the past four weeks right here on Waiver Flavor and who had six home runs this week.
Let this be a reminder that the players you read about on these pages are guys who have value right now but who will also blossom right before your very eyes in the days and weeks ahead.
I've also broken down this week's waiver picks into short-, medium- and long-term contributors in order to make clear what exactly to expect from these players and most importantly, when.
Let's take a look at who made this weeks list of top fantasy baseball waiver pickups.
1. Ty Wigginton, 1B/2B/3B/OF, Colorado Rockies (Owned in 31 percent of leagues)
If you had been reading these pages or listening to The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Radio, than you would have already known how high I think of Ty Wigginton and what he offers fantasy owners.
Furthermore, you would have been able to capitalize on his six home runs and 10 RBI this week and would have nearly single-handedly creamed your competition this week. Wigginton is red hot right now and should be gobbled him in most leagues by this time next week.
If I had to choose today, he would be my choice for the starting third baseman of the National League in this year’s All-Star Game in Arizona.
2. Brandon Beachy, Starter, Atlanta Braves (Owned in 30 percent of leagues)
Fresh off the disabled list, Beachy racked up a career high of 11 strikeouts against the Blue Jays. Although these type of performances aren't what Beachy is all about, he is still a very good young pitcher with a live arm and a nice array of power curveball and sinking changeup.
Atlanta is a breeding ground for quality pitching and it appears they have another good one here in Brandon Beachy.
3. Roger Bernadina, Outfield, Washington Nationals (Owned in five percent of leagues)
I absolutely love Bernadina's game and believe he has a chance to be one of the better leadoff hitters in the National League. The Nats are playing strong team ball these days, and it all starts at the top with Jayson Werth and Bernadina.
He has a nice blend of speed and on-base ability to go with flashes of above average power making him a very interesting fantasy player. If you are in need of runs scored or steals, Bernadina is a no-brainer upgrade to your Juan Pierre, Jose Tabata or Andres Torres.
4) David Freese, Third Base, St. Louis Cardinals (Owned in 26 percent of leagues)
With the loss of Albert Pujols for four to six weeks, the Cardinals are in desperate need of another run producer in the middle of that lineup. Freese had been rolling until breaking his left hand, when he was hit by a pitch on May 1st.
Although a batting line of .356/.394/.471 shouldn't be expected, Freese has always hit for a good batting average and has also demonstrated plus power as well.
It's an easy fix for anybody who lost Pujols to move things around and put Freese into the corner infield slot as soon as he comes back later this week.
5) Jim Thome, DH/Utility, Minnesota Twins (Owned in nine percent of leagues)
Many fantasy players take DHs for granted, but as long as you have a utility position in your lineup, it is quite worth the investment to plug in David Ortiz, Vlad Guerrero or Jim Thome.
Thome has been dealing with nagging injuries most of the season but is finally healthy and should be able to provide the Twins the power they have been desperately lacking this season.
When Thome gets hot, he can carry both the Twins and your fantasy team on his back and eventually to the league championship.
6) Antonio Bastardo, Reliever, Philadelphia Phillies (Owned in four percent of leagues)
Bastardo has been one of the best setup men in baseball all season long but now has found himself closing out ballgames for the Phillies until Ryan Madson's right arm feels better.
There is a chance that Madson winds up on the 15-day disabled list and with Jose Contreras already back on the DL and Brad Lidge out until after the All-Star break, this could be Bastardo's chance to shine.
7) Alex Presley, Outfield, Pittsburgh Pirates (Owned in zero percent of leagues)
Hot off the presses, Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata had to be taken off the field by a cart due to a nasty quadricep injury suffered while legging out an infield hit. He looks certain for the disabled list, and Presley was immediately taken out of the game for his Triple-A Indianapolis team.
Presley was hitting a robust .336/.389/.500, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 52 runs, 18 steals in Triple-A and appears destined for Pittsburgh this week. If he receives steady playing time, this kid has a chance to post good numbers for the Pirates in the short term.
He is swinging a hot bat right now and could seemingly come right in and make an impact.
8) Barry Zito, Starter, San Francisco Giants (Owned in four percent of leagues)
Barry Zito hasn't been on a waiver claim list for a decade, but there are some things to like about the old man who is coming back from a mid-foot sprain in April. Zito came to spring training in top form and had started off the season well before being injured.
He has been terrific in his four rehab appearances and should do just fine in a two-start week this week. Your buddies will laugh at this pickup but after they see what his final numbers are for the week they will come around and be impressed.
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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