Aoki and Cabrera: NL Waiver Wire Speed

With just three and a half weeks to go in the season, you should be targeting specific categories in which you can move most easily. Even if it’s just a couple of points, if you can take them, take them now.  In looking at the standings of my roto leagues, stolen bases still looks like the easiest category in which a move can be made in a short period of time, so here are readily available two guys who you might consider picking up to get a quick speed boost.

Norichika Aoki, MIL |OF|  Ownership:  ESPN – 13.6%  Yahoo – 11.0%

It’s actually a bit surprising to see Aoki available in so many leagues still as he’s not only been getting regular playing time, but he’s also been fairly productive. Maybe there’s the random game where Nyjer Morgan gets a start, but with 50 at-bats over the last two weeks, it’s pretty obvious who the everyday right fielder is in Milwaukee.  And during those 50 at-bats, Aoki has swiped five bases while batting .322 with a .386 OBP.  On the year, he’s got 22 stolen bases with a .288/.354/.417 slash line, so this recent run isn’t something out-of-the-blue.  His BABIP is still well within the range it has run most of the season. Fact is, he’s a strong contact hitter who doesn’t strike out very often, and while he may be mashing the ball into the dirt at a 57.4% rate, he’s got the speed to leg it out and still find his way on-base.  Brewers coach Ron Roenicke has the green light on and Aoki is 22-for-29(75.9%) in stolen base attempts, so if there’s even a slight chance that you can move in the category, he should be worth the pick-up.

Everth Cabrera, SD  |SS|  Ownership:  ESPN – 3.2%  Yahoo – 5.0%

Here’s a prime case of not caring about anything but one category.  Let’s face it, going with Cabrera as your shortstop for the season is not something you want to be doing.  A .232 average with just a .313 OBP isn’t what you would call ideal and the fact that there’s virtually no power whatsoever, he’s barely even a plug-and-play during the year.  Until now, that is.  While Cabrera overall numbers aren’t looking too pretty, he’s playing almost every day and is 26-for-27 in stolen base attempts for the year.  Over the last two weeks, he’s also swiped five bases which ties Aoki for the lead in that time frame amongst players owned in less than 80% of leagues on ESPN and Yahoo.  With probably less than 100 at-bats remaining for him this season, the chances of him hurting you in the batting average/OBP department are pretty low, but what he can do is provide you with a nice cheap speed burst in the middle infield and help bump you up a place or two in the category.


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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

3 Responses to “Aoki and Cabrera: NL Waiver Wire Speed”

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  1. You're dumb says:

    I’m really surprised you didn’t write this about Billy Hamilton, and then bitch and moan about how he’s still in the minors and it’s ruining your fantasy team

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  2. Eminor3rd says:

    I jumped on the Aoki bandwagon several weeks ago and I just wanted you guys to know that I found out the key to his performance: he has great games exclusively when I don’t start him. So if you guys let me know if you need him, I’ll be sure to bench him the rest of the year since he doesn’t do me any good in the lineup anyway.

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