The dog days of summer are upon us and your fantasy baseball teams may be dragging a bit, too. What better way to add a spark to your lineup than combing through your league’s waiver wire looking for players who can help you make a run at a title while your fellow owners get all jazzed for the beginning of football season (that’s still a thing?). Stay active and pay attention to trades, call ups and players being designated for assignment (the dreaded DFA) to find opportunities to liven up your roster. Even if you are out of the running for a league title, now may be the time to target a keeper for the 2013 season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are making a run at the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades and there’s no time like the present to call up their highly-touted outfield prospect Starling Marte. Marte was called up Thursday, immediately penciled in to start his first major league game in left field and inserted into the leadoff spot in the lineup. All Marte did was hit the first pitch he saw for a home run and finished Thurday night’s game 2-for-4 with a caught stealing.
In 99 games at AAA Indianapolis this season, Marte had 21 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs and 21 stolen bases. YES, PLEASE! My friend Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) pointed out on his blog, Roto Think Tank, that Marte “could be worth blowing most or all of your remaining FAAB depending on your needs”.
I expect these numbers to change by time this article goes live but he’s currently owned in just 3.6% of ESPN leagues, 15% of Yahoo! leagues and a whopping 35% of CBS leagues. He was already gone in two of the five leagues I’m participating in this season (which made me realize I’m in three crappy leagues). Don’t wait to make a bid or use a waiver wire pick up for Marte much longer because he’ll probably be gone very, very soon.
Here are some other fantasy baseball players worth a look who may still be available on your league’s waiver wire:
SP Matt Harvey, New York Mets: Harvey made his debut on Thursday night, too, and was equally as impressive as Marte. In 5.1 innings, he allowed just three hits, no runs, walked three and struck out 11 Diamondbacks. He threw 106 pitches (65 strikes) and also uncorked two wild pitches. He’s only owned in 5.5% of ESPN leagues, 1% of Yahoo! leagues but a hearty 38% of CBS leagues. For a complete breakdown of Harvey’s minor league history and major league potential, check out Full Spectrum Baseball’s own T.J. McDonald’s article from yesterday.
SS Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies: The Rockies may have found a temporary replacement for the injured Troy Tulowitzki who can actually provide some level of offensive production. In 12 games since his call up, he’s hit .356 (16-for-45) with five doubles, two triples and a home run. He’s also had six runs, six RBI and three stolen bases. He should be in the mix for the second base job once (if) Tulo is healthy. Owned in 29.5% of ESPN leagues, just 9% of Yahoo! leagues and 38% of CBS leagues, I wouldn’t wait much longer to decide if you should pick him up.
OF Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: Werth is about a week away from returning to the Nationals and could be a nice addition to your roster in deeper mixed leagues or NL-only ones. Talk is he’ll split time in center field and right field at first, so don’t give up too much for him yet. In 98 at bats before the injury, he had a 5×5 line of .276/10/3/12/3. He’s owned in 41.2% of ESPN leagues, 52% of Yahoo! leagues and 72% of CBS leagues.
OF Justin Ruggiano, Miami Marlins: When Omar Infante was traded to the Detroit Tigers, the Marlins decided to move Emilio Bonifacio to second base and all but guaranteed Ruggiano a spot in the outfield for the rest of the season. And why not? All he’s done so far in 2012 with his 137 plate appearances is put up a slash line of .367 /.430/.683 with seven home runs and seven stolen bases. If you’re in need of a low-risk power/speed guy, Ruggiano is worth a look. He’s owned in 45.1% of ESPN leagues, 25% of Yahoo! leagues and 29% of CBS leagues.
SP A.J. Griffin, Oakland Athletics: Griffin has made the first six starts of his career in 2012 and pitched exactly six innings in each of those games and recorded a quality start in all six, too. In those 36 innings, he’s allowed just 27 hits and eight walks while striking out 29. He has a 2.25 ERA (3.56 FIP; 3.92 xFIP) with a 0.97 while batters are hitting just .205 against him. Owned in just 13.2% of ESPN leagues, 13% of Yahoo! leagues and 49% of CBS leagues, he’s definitely worth streaming while continuing to perform.
How much did Marte and/or Harvey go for in your FAAB league(s)? How are league-only owners dealing with trade deadline moves in which players change leagues? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain for daily fantasy baseball nuggets, news and links. I’m always available to discuss anything and everything related to the game of baseball.