The calendar has now turned to June and we roughly have two months of the Fantasy Baseball season in our rear view mirror. You would think that we should have a fairly good idea of what we have on our roster, and what we may need to point our team in the direction of that elusive championship. Whether it is an injury, or we have fallen out of love with one of our players, the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire is always your friend.
I have spent this season giving you players that I think can help you that are owned in less than half of leagues. I also have been doing my best not to put the same player in multiple articles. That is the reason that you won’t find names like Michael Fulmer, Devon Travis, and Jonathan Schoop. They are all still very good pickups, but I have used them before. I am going to attempt to get through the season without using the same name twice.
This week for hitters we have a super prospect that was humbled by the Major Leagues and is back for another try, a big hitting first sacker who has been battling injuries for a few years and has been healthy and hitting the ball a long way again, and finally a middle infielder who lost his starting spot that was given another opportunity and is fighting for a role on his team.
The pitchers this week include one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball who was given one start but will now be around for at least a few weeks, a hard throwing Yankee who has been inconsistent throughout his career but looks to be putting it together, and a second year starter who has teased us with potential, but an injury cost him the first two months of the year.
The right move or two on the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire can be the difference between winning or losing your league come September. Staying vigilant and knowing who to add are the keys. As always you can follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Week 9 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
Long considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball, even at a young age, Fantasy players have been clamoring for Buxton to show his skills for probably three years. You can understand their disappointment at how completely awful he was to start the season. Before he was sent to the Minors after the game on April 24, Buxton was hitting an embarrassing .156 with just two RBIs and two steals. Not exactly what we were expecting when we drafted him this March.
There are two pieces of good news to follow up on his awful beginning. The first is that he went down to the Minors and Buxton hit. Since the end of April he was hitting .336 with six home runs and four steals, so he didn’t let his failures in the Majors get the best of him.
Buxton has been recalled to the Twins and is available in about two-thirds of leagues, but that number is going to rise quickly. He needs to cut down greatly on the strikeouts if he is going to succeed, but I believe that the talent is there and if you have anyone expendable on your roster, I would give Buxton the opportunity to succeed for your team.
Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
— #VoteSTL (@Cardinals) June 1, 2016
When the Cardinals were in the World Series in 2013, Adams looked like he would be a power cornerstone for that team for many years. He hit 17 home runs in just 296 at-bats, and he was hitting in the .280s. Big City was impressing folks with his ability to hit the ball in the stands, but his inability to stay healthy in each and every season has made Adams a guy that Fantasy owners just can’t feel that they can trust.
The Cardinals signed Brandon Moss this offseason and ended up putting Adams in a platoon at first base. Since the middle of May, Adams has caught fire. He has five multi-hit games over the last three weeks, and has doubled his home run total. Adams has driven in 17 runs in the last 18 days, and his batting average is as high as it has ever been. He has been dealing with some back problems, but he is hitting his way out of this platoon and is certainly a guy who can help you at first base.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, Texas Rangers
Profar is another name we all heard about in the Minors and were drooling at the thought of him coming to the Majors. Unfortunately for Profar, he suffered numerous catastrophic injuries, and it has been three years since he had been in a Major League game. Profar always was viewed as a can’t miss prospect, unfortunately those projections can’t take injury into consideration.
He is getting a short term look at second base thanks to Rougned Odor’s impression of Mike Tyson against the Blue Jays, and Profar certainly is making the most of it. He has had at least one hit in every game he has played so far, and capped off the game on May 31 with his first home run since 2013.
The problem here is that Odor’s suspension is over in a few days, so Profar’s playing time at second base will be over. However, he is hitting so well that the team is considering ways to keep him in the Majors, and hopefully finding ways to keep his bat in the lineup. It might be a bit of a stretch, but if they do, and Profar keeps hitting, he could offer a Fantasy team a lot of help as we come into June.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, New York Yankees
Ever since he came into the league, there has never been a doubt about how talented Nate Eovaldi is. He has a nasty fastball, and his secondary pitches are also very good. However, outside of a half season stretch in 2013, Eovaldi has been wildly inconsistent throughout his career. He has often walked too many, and also has had trouble with allowing home runs. Also for a guy who throws a fastball in the high 90s, his strikeout rate has been too low.
After beginning the season his same inconsistent self, Eovaldi seems to have found something that clicks in the last month. Since May 7, he has made five starts and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of them. He has 26 strikeouts in 31 innings over that stretch and has collected a win in all five of those starts. His ownership percentage is going up in a hurry, but he is still available in more than half of leagues across the major sites.
This could be the time that the talent finally catches up with the results for Eovaldi and he could go on a nice prolific run.
Julio Urias, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The entire Fantasy world went all giddy when we heard last week that uber prospect Julio Urias was finally going to make his much anticipated season debut at the tender age of 19. Owners flocked to the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire in droves! Well, Urias was far less than impressive as he only lasted 2.2 innings while allowing three earned runs and walking three. He walked four guys and was sent back down to the Minors immediately following that start.
However, the baseball gods seem to have shined on him as he will be recalled again with the injury to Alex Wood. There currently is no timetable for Wood to return, but the Dodgers are giving Urias his spot at least for the time being. Plenty of pitchers have been openly amped up for their first start and have pitched poorly their first time out.
Urias had 44 whiffs in 41 innings with an ERA barely over 1.00 in the Minors this season. If you play in one of the 70-percent of leagues where he is not owned, go and grab him right away and hope he pitches well enough to hold on to this spot in the rotation.
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox
Rodriguez was fairly impressive in the second half of 2015 and had pitched himself into a rotation spot when 2016 began. Unfortunately, a knee injury robbed him of the ability to start the year with the Red Sox. He completed five rehab starts and was ready to return to the Red Sox rotation after Clay Buchholz was so bad that he had to be removed from the regular five.
Rodriguez was solid in his first start of 2016 as he got the win by allowing two earned runs over six innings and struck out three. I wouldn’t expect a strikeout an inning, but Rodriguez is close to that number. He isn’t an elite starter, but he definitely can help your Fantasy team if you’ve had any injury or a starter or two that haven’t lived up to expectations.