Anyone who has played fantasy baseball for any length of time surely remembers back to when Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles was not only an elite fantasy baseball second baseman but an elite baseball player. Injuries have wiped out most of his 2010 and 2011 seasons as well as the beginning of his 2012 season. But he’s back. And now is the time to scoop him up an any format where the waiver wire is as shallow as the kiddie pool at your local swimming hole.
From 2004 through 2009, Roberts averaged 152 games played, 175 hits, 46 doubles, 4 triples, 12 home runs, 62 RBI, 101 runs and 35 stolen bases with a .290/.365/.438 slash line. Over the last two season, he’s totaled only 98 games played with 100 hits with a less than stellar slash line of .254/.321/.366 but was not far off his 162 game averages when healthy (see links).
In his first game of the 2012 season, Roberts was 3-for-4 with three singles and a sacrifice fly. Not a bad start for a guy who’s been out of the majors for nearly 13 months. He’s only owned in 1% of ESPN leagues, 9% of Yahoo! leagues and 32% of CBS leagues. I recommend those of us in very deep, mixed leagues or those of you in shallow AL-only leagues take a chance Roberts still has a lot left in his tank and plenty to prove to the fans of Baltimore caught up in the midst of an exciting season. I know I’ll be rooting for a guy who’s always played the game the only way he knows how…hard! Now just stay healthy, Brian.
Here are some other fantasy baseball players worth a look who may still be available on your league’s waiver wire:
OF Michael Saunders, Seattle Mariners: Over the last 15 days (12 games), Saunders has been on an absolute tear. He’s gone 21-for-50 (.420/.453/.660/1.113) with six doubles, two home runs, six RBI, nine runs scored and two stolen bases, making him the 15th-ranked player over this span according to ESPN’s Player Rater tool. His ownership numbers have risen to 41.5% in ESPN leagues, 24% in Yahoo! leagues and 40% in CBS leagues.
OF Ben Revere, Minnesota Twins: If you’re outfield could use a little spark of speed, Revere deserves a look. Since May 26th (13 games), he’s hitting a cool .400 (22-for-55) with 10 runs scored and seven stolen bases. He’s only owned in 10.9% of ESPN leagues, 10% of Yahoo! leagues and 25% of CBS leagues.
RP Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle Mariners: Wilhelmsen has gone 3-for-3 in save opportunities since replacing Brandon League as the team’s closer. All closers in all formats should be owned. He’s 41.2% owned in ESPN leagues, 30% in Yahoo! leagues and 34% in CBS leagues.
SP Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox: Over his last four starts (including 6/12/12), Buchholz has gone at least seven innings with 6+ strikeouts, 2 or less walks and 2 or less runs allowed and a 3-0 record. If he’s sitting on your league’s waiver wire, grab him now because he looks like he’s figured out what was wrong earlier in the season and corrected it. He’s owned in 66.5% of ESPN leagues, 54% of Yahoo! leagues but a whopping 86% of CBS leagues.
1B Brett Wallace, Houston Astros: Since his call up, Wallace has hit safely in all seven games played with a .400/7/2/4/0 5×5 line with a 1.260 OPS. Could this be the Wallace we’ve all been waiting to show up in the majors? Owners in very deep, mixed leagues or NL-only ones should be paying attention. He’s only 1.8% owned in ESPN leagues, 3% of Yahoo! leagues and 10% of CBS leagues.
SS Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres: Since starting his season 0-for-17, Cabrera has gone 20-for-59 (.339 BA) with seven doubles, two home runs, six RBI, eight runs scored, seven walks and 5-for-5 in stolen bases. Owned in just 1.4% of ESPN leagues, 3% of Yahoo! leagues and 12% of CBS, he could provide your roster with a little boost while he’s hot.
Note: All statistics are accurate through games played as of 6/11/2012 unless otherwise noted.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @DJAubain and our site @FullSpectrumBB as well as “liking” us on Facebook to help spread the word about all the great content our baseball writers are producing each day. Feel free to share some thoughts about this article in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.