With about 25% of the fantasy baseball season already in the bank, your roster should be pretty set by now, with the exception of an injured player here or there which is unavoidable in any sport. By now owners also have been able to see how their fellow managers conduct their team’s business; who streams frequently, who requests trades, who is always dropping & picking up hot players, and who doesn’t do much at all. The key is to weed through all of the hype and be quicker to the waiver wire than your competition. Which brings us to this week’s pickups to consider…
1. Justin Grimm-SP-Rangers- Arguably one of the premier rookie pitchers out there this season, Grimm just had the honor of winning the A.L. Rookie of the Month of April by virtue of his three outstanding starts. He has averaged 6 strikeouts per game this season and boasts an excellent ERA of 2.28 and a modest WHIP of 1.27. He has a two-start week this week, vs the Brewers on Tuesday and the much maligned Astros on Sunday. Owned in just 20% of most leagues, we recommend Grimm for those in A.L. only leagues as well as deeper mixed ones, especially with this week’s opponents. To the rest of you we say, ‘Happy streaming!’
2. Yonder Alonso-1B-Padres- Alonso, who just turned 26 last month, must be eating his Wheaties because he’s off to a torrid start given what he recorded in his first full season last year. He has hit safely in 9 of his last 11 games and has two home runs to go along with 11 RBIs over that span. Alonso’s batting average has remained just south of .300 for most of the young season and although there is only a small sampling to refer to, we recommend that deeper roto leaguers should enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. The most intriguing stat to us is his 4 HRs this season against just 9 all of last year. *Note: Perennial All Star Joey Votto has 9 less RBIs than Alonso. Just sayin’…
3. Dee Gordon-SS-Dodgers- Although not confirmed, it has been reported that the speedster Gordon will be called up as Hanley Ramirez heads to the DL…again. Gordon has been tearing it up in Triple-A Albuquerque batting .314 with 14 steals in 25 games. In 143 total games that Gordon has played at the major league level, the 25 year old has 56 steals! Baseball guru Jon Heyman is the one that has reported the probable call-up of Gordon and he is usually correct on whatever he reports so in deeper mixed leagues, so grab yourself some “lightening in a bottle” while this speed demon is only 5% owned.
4. Kevin Slowey-SP,RP-Marlins- The second starting pitcher that we’re touting this week is a ‘good news’/'bad news’ kind of waiver wire offering. He has clearly recovered from injuries that plagued him in the last two seasons while he was with Minnesota. Sometimes switching to the National League can work wonders on prolonging a pitcher’s career and in Slowey’s case, it has resurrected his. The ‘good news’ is his ERA is an outstanding 2.15 and his WHIP a miniscule 1.10. He has recorded 29 K’s in 37 innings and all six starts this season have been of the ‘quality’ variety. The ‘bad news’ is that he is pitching for the offensively challenged Miami Marlins so wins will be harder to find than hen’s teeth. Those in deeper leagues should add the 10% owned Slowey as he is serviceable in all categories except wins; at least for the moment..
5. Russell Martin-C-Pirates-
- RUNS HRs RBIs BA %OWNED
Catcher #1 5 2 7 .200 44%
Catcher #2 7 1 9 .278 72%
Catcher #3 13 6 10 .267 37%
We put up this illustration just to highlight the fact that Russell Martin, although probably off the waiver wire in most shallow leagues, is owned way too little when you put other catcher’s numbers up against his. In Yahoo! Leagues, catcher #1 is Jesus Montero (Mariners), #2 is Salvador Perez (Royals), and #3 is Martin. See what we’re suggesting here? (He is also the 8th highest ranked catcher as of May 4th in Yahoo! Leagues).