Here are three players with low ownership rates who could pay immediate dividends in fantasy leagues:
John Ely, Los Angeles Dodgers (owned in 5% of Yahoo! leagues)
After an impressive performance against the Brewers where he allowed 1 ER in 6.2 IP and had 0 BB and 7 Ks, the Dodgers opted to send Ely to the minors. But the gods intervened and Ely returned after Los Angeles placed Charlie Haeger on the disabled list. Ely then went out and hurled a Quality Start in Arizona to pick up his first win in the majors. He throws four pitches and while his fastball is below-average in velocity, it is a plus pitch in results, as are his slider, change and curve. Ely has 17 Ks and 3 BB in 18.2 IP in the majors this year.
Angel Pagan, New York Mets (owned in 5% of Yahoo! leagues)
In his last 18 games, Pagan is batting .311 with 15 R, 11 RBIs and 4 SB. Some of that production may tail off now that he is no longer acting as the team’s leadoff hitter. But Pagan’s continued emergence at the plate, combined with Jeff Francoeur’s continued non-production, makes it likely that he will still have a significant role even when/if Carlos Beltran returns to the lineup.
Max Ramirez, Texas Rangers (owned in 1% of Yahoo! leagues)
A few years ago, Ramirez was thought to be an impact bat but there were questions if he could catch in the majors. He had an injury-plagued year in 2009 but got another chance this year with both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden sent to the minors. Salty is struggling with the yips, unable to throw the ball back to the pitcher. Teagarden was 1-14 in Triple-A and was demoted yet again to Double-A. So Ramirez and Matt Treanor are sharing the catching duties for the time being. Treanor is not much of a threat with the bat, so Ramirez should see plenty of ABs as long as his defense is not too terrible. He made three straight starts May 12-14 and went 5-10 with 2 HR.