Where are you in the standings right now in your Fantasy league? Are you meddling towards the bottom and starting to get that Fantasy Football itch? Fight that itch, and improve your team with the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire! Are you in first place? Don’t rest on that lead or you will lose it. Find the weak link on your team and make it better on the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire! Even if you are somewhere in the middle, I offer you the same message, keep working that Fantasy Baseball waiver wire until the season is over.
Throughout the season I have already given you names like Jonathan Schoop, Jurickson Profar, Devon Travis, and Trevor Bauer who continue to be at or below the 50-percent ownership rate but are still producing. Be sure to check out your Fantasy Baseball waiver wire to see if those players are available as well as the players featured in this article.
This week on the hitting side we have a young power hitting outfielder who is getting a chance due to a significant injury to a big time Fantasy producer. There is also a former Fantasy stud shortstop who has finished serving a suspension and could end up being a producer again if he ends up in the right situation. The final hitter is a light hitting young second baseman who can help you in batting average and should steal a bunch of bases.
The pitchers are highlighted by a young strikeout pitcher who isn’t a dominant prospect, but still will be a strong Fantasy producer. A second option is a former Cy Young Award winner who had a complete fall from grace, but is getting a new opportunity in a new home. Finally, we offer a pitcher who was a popular choice this Spring, was so bad in April that his ownership percentage dropped over 50 points, but is looking to get back on track.
No matter what your position in the standings, it is still not even the midpoint of the season and far too soon to give up yet. The names that I listed above are all good options, as well as the following choices on the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire. As always, please follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire
Jose Reyes, SS, Colorado Rockies
Reyes has missed the entire beginning of the season after a suspension stemming from a domestic violence issue. His suspension has been served, but thanks to the stellar play of Trevor Story, there is no room for Reyes in Colorado anymore. Truth be told, even if Story didn’t have an amazing start, I still don’t think the Rockies wanted to deal with Reyes and his contract anymore. The Rockies have until June 25 to trade Reyes and at that point if he isn’t dealt, he will be given his release.
A very interesting possibility that is being discussed is a possible return to the Mets for Reyes. Apparently, he desperately wants to go back, and New York certainly needs a kick start to their suddenly woeful offense. The question arises whether a 33 year old guy who relies on his legs can still get it done. A happy Reyes at the top of an order with the capability of scoring runs could be a Fantasy revelation. He has been unowned in the vast majority of leagues but given the terrible condition of the shortstop position and a lack of stolen bases in Fantasy Baseball, I believe Reyes is worth a gamble unless you are supremely confident in everyone on your roster.
Steven Moya, OF, Detroit Tigers
Throughout the season in this article I have repeated a phrase that comes into play again this week. That phrase is “with injury comes opportunity.” Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez is going to miss the next six to eight weeks and the Tigers have recalled Moya to take his spot in the field and hopefully his bat to provide more production. He is still just 24 years old and at 6’7” and 260 pounds, he is an imposing force in the batters box. You can imagine with a frame like that, the kid can generate a lot of power.
Moya connected on 35 home runs in Double-A while driving in 105 runs, and he followed that up with 20 more homers at Triple-A in 2016. As with many young players, Moya still does have a problem with plate discipline as he whiffed 323 times in those two years in the Minors. In his first four games with the Tigers he has doubled and homered, but he has also struck out four times. At this point of the season you aren’t going to find someone with Moya’s power potential and he is worth a look in your league right away.
Whit Merrifield, 2B, Kansas City Royals
He was not on anyone’s radar before the season started, but Merrifield has come to the Majors and collected a bunch of base hits. He has had a solid, although not spectacular Minor League career. His batting average was traditionally in the .270 range, and his best season in steals was 32. Merrifield doesn’t offer you much in the way of power, but he will poke one out of the park here and there. Despite his success since coming to the Majors, Merrifield still hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the Fantasy world.
I am not sure what this guy has to do to get some love. In his last 11 games he has six multi-hit games, he has also collected three doubles, a triple, and two home runs. The only disappointing part is that he has stolen just one base over that span. Merrifield isn’t a guy to grab if you are looking for power, but if you are in the market for a solid batting average, runs scored, and stolen bases, you need to give this guy a look right away!
Cody Reed, Cincinnati Reds
Just watched Cody Reed’s highlights today. Wow. That’s a weapons-grade slider, boys and girls. #Reds
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) June 19, 2016
The Reds aren’t a very good team, and their pitching rotation is a big part of why the team struggles. They tried to help that out when they called Cody Reed up from the Minors on June 18. Reed was one of the bigger parts of the trade that sent Johnny Cueto out of Cincinnati and the Reds are looking to reap the benefits of that trade right away. He was fantastic in High-A and Double-A ball in 2015, and earned his place in Triple-A to start 2016.
He didn’t allow more than two earned runs in any of his first seven starts this season, before starting to struggle shortly before being called to the big leagues. He was slightly above average in his first outing with the Reds as he allowed four earned runs over seven innings. He walked three batters, but it was the nine strikeouts which will grab the attention of Fantasy players. He may not rack up the wins on a bad Cincinnati team, but a young left-hander with big strikeout potential deserves to be owned in more Fantasy leagues right away.
Shelby Miller, Arizona Diamondbacks
Miller was a popular player last season despite his awful win-loss record because the rest of his statistics were very good. When he was traded to the Diamondbacks this off-season, he became even more popular as everyone figured he was on a better team. Miller left everyone who drafted him high and dry as he was absolutely awful at the start of the season. I’m not sure a word has been invented yet to describe just how bad Miller was. A finger injury, perhaps caused by the fact that he kept dragging his hand on the ground in his follow through, finally sent him to the disabled list.
Miller had nearly a month on the shelf with the injury, and came back very strong on June 20. Now, it was against the light hitting Philadelphia Phillies, but you have to be encouraged by the outing. Miller allowed just one run over 6.2 innings, walked just one while striking out five. His next start will be in Colorado against the Rockies which tends to be a tough venue to pitch in, but I believe Miller is on the right track. His ownership percentage is starting to rise, but it is still below 30-percent. If you are in one of those leagues, take a strong look at your roster to see if Miller fits.
Tim Lincecum, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
What started out as a career with the sky as its limit, Lincecum crumbled down to Earth slowly and painfully. From 2008-2010 he had 49 wins and struck out an average of 252 batters per season. He looked like a perennial Cy Young contender. Injuries and a loss of command eroded Lincecum’s production and his Fantasy value. From 2012-2015, he never had an ERA under 4.13 and his walks were up while his strikeout rate continued to go down. As a result, the Giants cut ties with him after 2015.
Hip surgery in the off-season left Lincecum without a team, but the Angels had so many injuries to their rotation that they were willing to give him a chance. Lincecum didn’t have anywhere near the velocity he did in the past in his Minor League rehab, but nevertheless he was still successful. He was successful in his Major League debut as he allowed just one run over six innings and struck out two. Again, his velocity wasn’t great, but Lincecum was really only in trouble in one inning. He clearly isn’t going to go back to the guy we knew eight years ago, but he is definitely worth a look in AL-only leagues and if he is good again he will come into play in mixed leagues.