Waiver Wire: August 23rd

Here are three players with low ownership rates who could pay immediate dividends in fantasy leagues:

Josh Bell – Baltimore Orioles (owned in 1% of Yahoo! leagues)

The overall numbers are nothing special but since August 11, Bell has a .333 AVG with 2 HR and 6 RBIs in 10 games. While most of that damage came in just one game, the encouraging thing for Bell is the plate discipline he has showed recently. For the year, he has a 34.6 K% with the Orioles. But in his last 10 games he has 9 Ks in 33 ABs for a more manageable 27.3 K%. Bell should give you power potential with a solid AVG the rest of the way if he can keep the strikeouts under control.

Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians (owned in 9 percent of Yahoo! leagues)

Another player whose overall numbers mask a recent stretch of productive play. Thanks to a .220 BABIP, Brantley carries a .212 AVG for the year. But in his last 12 games he has hit .327 with 12 R and 7 RBIs. Additionally, he has 2 HR and 2 SB in that stretch since being recalled from the minors. Brantley did sprain his ankle recently, but an MRI came back negative and he will not go on the disabled list.

Bobby Parnell – New York Mets (owned in 5 percent of Yahoo! leagues)

With Francisco Rodriguez done for the year, the closer spot is up for grabs in the Mets bullpen. So far, Hisanori Takahashi and Manny Acosta have notched saves in his absence. But Parnell is another option and could easily pick up a handful of saves the final six weeks of the season. Even if he does not get many saves, Parnell has the opportunity to help fantasy owners with a 9.36 K/9. Always a hard thrower, Parnell has been over 100 mph with his fastball recently. At 3.24, his ERA is higher than you would like from a setup guy as a fantasy player, but both his FIP (1.74) and xFIP (2.28) paint a different picture.

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Eddie in NYC
Eddie in NYC

I like Bell a lot. I think he’ll be a good 3G in the future with a ton of power, but saying he’ll provide avg the rest of the way is not too realistic if you actually watch his ABs. He’s still young, and every now and then, has a wild HR cut in the wrong count just like you expect young guys to do.