Fantasy Baseball: 10 Players off Waivers To Help You Down the Stretch
Fantasy baseball managers are all looking for that one missing piece to put their team over the edge and into the playoffs. However, it is much easier to try to find a diamond in the rough than it is to actually find that diamond.
Nevertheless, here are 10 players (one from each fielding position, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher) who have the best chance of both being available in your league and helping you dominate the end of the season.
Catcher Yorvit Torrealba, Texas Rangers
He is owned in only 9.3 percent of the leagues on ESPN. However, he has a respectable .280 batting average with four home runs and 29 RBI. Average is obviously the benefit here, especially in a rotisserie league.
The reason that I'm suggesting him is that in the month of August, he is batting .375. By taking an average of the past three seasons, he is hitting .285 in September. By looking at both of these numbers, it seems as if Torrealba is only due to have that average raise even higher.
First Baseman Casey Kotchman, Tampa Bay Rays
He is owned in 35.6 percent of leagues on ESPN. Right now, he is boasting a .331 average with eight home runs and 40 RBI. Again, I know that he does not produce the power that many corner infielders do, but how can you turn down a guy who is third in the American League in batting average?
Obviously, his success so far this year is why I am suggesting him as well as the fact that he is batting .356 in August. He is not slowing down, and he very well might be available in your league.
Second Baseman Ryan Raburn, Detroit Tigers
He is owned in 14.7 percent of ESPN leagues. However, this is not a pick for batting average. He is only batting .232, but he has 11 home runs and 39 RBI. His power production is in the upper half among second basemen and very well might be available.
Another reason to like Raburn is the fact that he is also eligible in left field. However, if you need a second baseman and need some power production, he very well might be able to give you a push in the right direction.
Third Baseman Alberto Callaspo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
He is owned in 21.7 percent of ESPN leagues. He is hitting .285 with five home runs and 39 RBI. He also has six stolen bases on the season.
The reason that I put him on this list is because throughout the past three seasons, September has been his second most successful month in terms of extra-base hits.
Even though his average has taken a little bit of hit in this month historically, it seems as if he would be a good choice for a good average and perhaps some power potential.
Shortstop Willie Bloomquist, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bloomquist is a super utility man who is only owned in 8.3 percent of leagues on ESPN. Normally, I do not give these guys very much value in fantasy baseball, but I think this season he might be a nice pickup. He is batting .270 with four home runs, 27 RBI, and 13 stolen bases.
Again, it is awesome that he has shortstop, left field, and right field eligibility. The stolen bases are nice, and he already has more RBI in August than he has in any other month. Also, since Stephen Drew is on the DL, he will get consistent playing time.
Left Fielder Seth Smith, Colorado Rockies
He is owned in 39.8 percent of leagues on ESPN. Honestly, I'm a little bit surprised that he is owned in that few. He is batting .285 with 13 home runs, 50 RBI, and five stolen bases. He is looking like an even better pick as he gets hotter.
In August, he has five of his 13 home runs. Those numbers could indicate a surge. If he can keep up this power for a while, he is definitely worth picking up if he is available in your league.
Center Fielder Peter Bourjos, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
He is owned in 10.7 percent of ESPN leagues. However, he is batting .278 with six home runs, 27 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. His average is pretty solid and is nicely combined with his stolen base potential.
He is on a six-game hitting streak right now and is batting .478 during that stretch. Obviously I don't recommend a player just because he has been hot for a week. However, if this is the beginning of an even higher average, then that is always welcome at least on my team.
At the absolute worst, he will at least steal bases for your team, which is important, too.
Right Fielder Nate Schierholtz, San Francisco Giants
Amazingly, he is only owned in 7.6 percent of ESPN leagues. He is batting .279 with nine home runs, 41 RBI, and seven stolen bases. These nine home runs have effectively doubled his career total from the previous four seasons, so he is showing some power to supplement his relatively well-rounded package.
I am recommending him because he is hitting .302 in August and is starting to show some power. Over the last seven days, his on-base plus slugging percentage is over one, so that is a good thing for anyone that picks him up. Most leagues have him available, and I would recommend picking him up.
Starting Pitcher Joe Saunders, Arizona Diamondbacks
He is only owned in 5.7 percent of ESPN leagues. Arizona has been very hot, so even though Saunders only has an 8-10 record, he is definitely worth a pickup.
He has a 3.91 ERA with 86 strikeouts. Obviously, he should be chosen mainly for his nice ERA, but I think that the wins will start coming in soon, and that will only enhance his value.
His last two starts have been difficult, so that is probably why his value has been driven down. Again, I think that the wins will come back as Arizona has been doing very well and is sitting in first.
You'll want to have him tallying those wins for your team rather than your opponent.
Relief Pitcher Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies
I just want to add a quick disclaimer: Since most leagues do not go into relief pitching much, it was kind of hard to determine what type of availability these relief pitchers have.
Most people only use a few relief pitchers in leagues that don't differentiate. However, since Kendrick is also eligible as a starting pitcher, I figured that he very well might be accurately portrayed.
He is only owned in 5.7 percent of ESPN leagues. However, he is 7-5 with a 3.24 ERA. Again, I realize that he has started on and off throughout the season, but he has eligibility out of the bullpen, so he can help in this role by providing a nice ERA and some wins by playing for the first-place Phillies.