2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: American League

Brian KilpatrickContributor IIJuly 23, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10:  Jemile Weeks #19 of the Oakland Athletics hits the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 10, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 7-5.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jemile Weeks, 2B Oakland Athletics ( 20 percent owned in Yahoo, 33.8 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .315 AVG / 18 R / 0 HR / 13 RBI / 10 SB

Weeks has been a terror at the top of the order for the A's recently. In the past seven games he has hit .444/4/0/5/3 and he seems to be firmly planted in the leadoff spot.

He makes good contact (88.2 percent), and he doesn't swing at a overwhelming amount of pitches outside of the strike zone (29.7 percent). He should be a sneaky source of runs, batting average and stolen bases going forward.

Projection (rest of season): .277 AVG / 30 R / 1 HR / 17 RBI / 8 SB

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B Toronto Blue Jays ( 17 percent owned in Yahoo, 58.4 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .264 AVG / 37 R / 7 HR / 24 RBI / 4 SB

Encarnacion has looked great since getting regular playing time. Since June 25th (22 games) Encarnacion has hit .295/19/5/12/3, and he is eligible at multiple positions (also at DH for ESPN leaguers).

He has shown power in the past with two seasons of 20-plus home runs and he has been hitting fifth in the Blue Jays lineup. Batting behind Jose Bautista and Adam Lind will do wonders for his RBI numbers going forward.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 17:  Outfielder Josh Reddick #16 of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 17, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Projection (rest of season): .249 AVG / 25 R / 9 HR / 32 RBI / 3 SB

Josh Reddick, OF Boston Red Sox ( 10 percent owned in Yahoo, 13.4 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .372 AVG / 20 R / 4 HR / 18 RBI / 1 SB

Reddick has been hot for the Red Sox, but it looks like he is due for regression. His BABIP currently sits at .400, and he owns a triple slash line of .243/.300/.449 in 713 career AAA at bats.

After a closer look, it seems like his success can be attributed to a change in approach. He has shown a great eye with a 23.6 percentage of swings outside the zone and 76.4 percentage of swings inside the zone (MLB average 30 percent outside, 64.8 inside).

Reddick has also been making good contact with a contact percentage of 83 percent and a 7.5 swinging strike percentage. He makes for a good speculative add right now, but if the Red Sox trade for a right-handed outfielder, Reddick will be the odd man out.

Projection (rest of season): .275 AVG / 25 R / 6 HR / 26 RBI / 2 SB

Desmond Jennings, OF Tampa Bay Rays ( 13 percent owned in Yahoo, 4.8 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: N/A

Desmond Jennings finally got the call and he will get the chance to hit leadoff for the Rays. This year he only added to his hype by hitting 12 home runs in AAA. He will be a good contributor in runs and stolen bases for the rest of the year.

If you are in a playoff race and are still holding onto someone like Aubrey Huff, you may want to consider a swap.

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 07: Desmond Jennings #27 the Tampa Bay Rays waits on deck during Game 2 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on October 7, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Projection (rest of season): .255 AVG / 34 R / 4 HR / 19 RBI / 13 SB

Gavin Floyd, SP Chicago White Sox ( 48 percent owned in Yahoo, 30.7 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: 8 W / 9 L / 90 K / 4.11 ERA / 1.20 WHIP

Gavin Floyd has always been known for starting slow and this year is no different. Now it looks like Floyd has put things together. In two starts since the All-Star break he has only given up one ER in 15.1 IP with a 10:1 K:BB.

Overall, he has shown great control with a 2.20 BB/9 and has a 3.78 FIP/xFIP. He has added a cutter this year that has been very successful for him (15.4 runs above average) and he has been throwing it 27.8 percent of the time.

If he is still available in your league, he may be the pitcher you need for your fantasy playoff run.

Projection (rest of season): 5 W / 4 L / 63 K / 3.80 ERA / 1.20 WHIP

For other entries in our waiver-wire gems series, click here!

Brian "Killboy" Kilpatrick is a Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com, where this, and other work, can be found. Additionally, he is co-host of The 4th and Home Show on Blog Talk Radio.