While the season hasn’t started yet, it’s never too early to get familiar with your league’s waiver wire. Situations are still changing on some teams and by keeping up with the news, you’ll be better prepared to pounce on a potential quality pick-up before your competition. The waiver wire articles you’ll find here focus on players owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues.
Ryan Theriot – 2B, SS | Yahoo!: 23% owned | ESPN: 23% owned
Based on a cursory glance of Theriot’s stats, it’s not hard to see why he’s only owned in only 23% of fantasy leagues right now. When your previous season was a down year and you weren’t all too impressive to begin with, it’s very easy to be overlooked. While Theriot may not hit for any power (career .072 ISO and never more than 7 HR in a season), his real value comes in the form of runs scored and stolen bases. He’s had 20+ SB in each of his last 4 seasons and has topped 80 runs scored in 3 of those 4 years. With reports coming out of St. Louis that he will be batting in the leadoff spot, those numbers could increase significantly. I don’t need to tell you the benefits of hitting in front of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, so as long as he brings that OBP back up towards his career average of .348 he should stay there and possibly grab you upwards of 90 runs scored with 25-30 SB. Oh yeah, and the dual eligibility at second and short makes for a nice guy to add to your middle infield mix in leagues with daily roster moves.
Jake McGee – RP |Yahoo!: 32% owned | ESPN: 53.8% owned
When I first chose to use McGee for this post a few days ago, he was owned in less than 50% in both Yahoo! and ESPN. What a difference 3 days and a Kyle Farnsworth hyper-extended knee makes! While those in Yahoo! leagues have failed to catch on, ESPN fantasy owners are quickly jumping on the bandwagon. Sure, Rays manager Joe Maddon says that he plans to use the dreaded closer-by committee, but I expect the 24 year old lefty to eventually take hold of the job by himself. The kid has outstanding arm action, deceptive velocity, and a solid arsenal of pitches, including a changeup, slider and curve to go along with his mid-90’s fastball. Originally slated to be developed as a starter, the Rays couldn’t pass up what they saw from him out of the pen in Triple-A – 0.52 ERA in 11 appearances while striking out 27 in just over 17 innings of work. That led to a quick call up late last season where he posted a 1.80 ERA in 8 appearances while striking out 6 in 5 innings and looked very comfortable on the mound. He’s got the right attitude for the job and considering he’s battling Farnsworth, who has never succeeded as a closer, Joel Peralta and Juan Cruz, it shouldn’t be too long before he becomes Maddon’s go-to guy. I know what Mike said about Peralta in his Deep League Waiver Wire piece earlier today, and rest assured, I’m very happy to have a little side wager working with him on that one.
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