Two and a half weeks of baseball have been played, and by this point you should have a pretty good idea of where your team lies in your league. Are you struggling with power, speed, ERA, or something else?
Now things are still going to change, and those players you planned on relying on for certain categorical help will still come through… I hope. I’m looking at you Prince Fielder and pretty much the entire Rangers offense. That said, it is time to start moving on from those guys you took a chance on late in your drafts, who are not performing and going with the next best thing.
At this point we have enough data to get an idea of who is for real and who is not. A hot start over two and a half weeks is more than a hot start and I’m more than willing to give them a chance over some of the struggling players that are owned.
Waiver Wire Targets
All players I am suggesting are owned in 30% or less of ESPN leagues. Of course if there are better players available in your league that are owned in more than 30% of leagues, by all means get them first.
Jake Marisnick, OF, Houston Astros (Owned in 12.3% of ESPN Leagues)
Marisnick has been great this early part of the season hitting .361 with six RBI and runs. He has also given you four stolen bases already this season. You won’t get much power from him, but he is providing more than enough value in the other categories to be worth owing. This is all happening from the nine hole too. If he keeps this up the Astros will be forced to move him up the lineup, which will only increase his value. Get him now so you are not having to fight with other owners for him in the bidding process.
Ike Davis, 1B, Oakland Athletics (2.2%)
Yes he sits against southpaws, but he is having a fantastic start to the 2014 season, hitting .317 with a home run, seven runs and RBI. I would not pick him up in standard sized leagues, unless I was dealing with a lot of injuries, but in deeper leagues and especially AL-only leagues, where there are daily moves he is worth owning.
Dalton Pompey, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (23.8%)
Pompey was a rookie getting some love late in drafts this year, but had a really slow start to the season and was dropped in a lot of leagues. He has rebounded and had a good last week, batting .364 with a home run, six runs and two RBI. The speed has not shown itself yet, with only one stolen base yet, but I expect that to come soon enough.
The only hesitation I have is the impending return of Michael Saunders. It will be a very crowded outfield in Toronto and Pompey could lose playing time. Just a hunch, but I think it is going to be Pillar who loses out more than Pompey.
Jesse Hahn, SP, Oakland Athletics (8.8%)
Hahn loses a start this week due to a blister on his finger, but I’m still on board with a pitcher who has a 2.12 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. I get it, the lack of strikeouts hurts his value and also makes him boring to own, that needs to be looked past though. ERA and WHIP are still categories that you need and he will help you with both of those. Also keep in mind a good ERA gives him a great chance to get wins and especially quality starts.
Tony Watson, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates (6.7%)
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In leagues that count holds, I’m assuming Watson is already owned. In saves only leagues if you are struggling in that category Watson should be picked up. Incumbent closer, Mark Melancon, is struggling this season with a 8.53 ERA and 1.89 WHIP and already a blown save out of three chances.
It is early so Melancon’s high ERA and WHIP are not really a huge concern as they should come down if he is right. What is a huge concern for Melancon is the drop in velocity this season. His fastball is down more than four mph, which is bringing a lot of discussion that he might be dealing with some sort of injury. Grab Watson in the chance that Melancon is injured and he gets the closer role.
Jake Marisnick Photo Credit: Joel Dinda
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