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Waiver Wire: September 29

Some people are still fighting in their finals, or trying to squeeze some life out of their last few at-bats, so we’ll do a few last waiver wires. This one is themed by statistical profiles!

Batting Average / On-Base Percentage / Stolen Bases / Runs
There’s no way we can talk about batting average right now and not talk about Mike Aviles (38% owned). Yes, we profiled him just last week, but he’s found that patented Aviles magic once again – his .358 batting average in September is nice. In stretches like this, his low walk rate is a boon: he’s had more at-bats in which to put up those hits, and four multi-hit games in the past week shows it’s working right now. He doesn’t steal many bases, though, so you could also give Cliff Pennington (10% owned) a look in Oakland – he’s getting on base right now and stealing bases to boot. He’s had a nice year, and if he could cut that strikeout rate just a smidgen (19.3% this year, 19.9% career), he might be able to push that batting average up a few points. Franklin Gutierrez is walking a little more in September (5 walks) than he has since his freakish May (20 walks), is playing in a nice park in Texas the next few weeks (against a catcher core that gives up a 67% success rate on stolen bases), and has five stolen bases in his past two weeks. He’s a good shallow league option (26% owned). Ryan Kalish (3% owned) also deserves a mention as the Red Sox fall out of contention, but he’s not quite playing every day, isn’t walking enough just yet (5.6%) and is also batting low in the lineup when he’s in. Finally, deeper leaguers have to look the way of Peter Bourjos (1% owned) for speed and speed alone. He’s still playing most days and he’s swiped four bags in the past two weeks. Beyond improving poor plate discipline stats (3.6% walk rate, 22.4% strikeout rate), Bourjos could also use some regression to the mean in his BABIP (.231). At least he’s gotten on base in five of his last 13 plate appearances and his excellent defense (+36.1 UZR/150!).

Slugging Percentage / Home Runs / RBI
Now we’re looking for boppers. Ty Wigginton (54% owned) is a nice power pickup because he’s playing well and is eligible all over the diamond. The Orioles’ infielder has been wiggin’ out a little at the plate – his strikeout rate climbed almost 7% from last year – but his power is back in line with career norms (.173 ISO, .180 career) and he finishes the year at home, where he has a decent .269/.318/.455 line. He has struggled a little out of the gate, but Pedro Alvarez (19% owned) has been much better in September (.292/.354/.562) and could be your lightning in a bottle – which is, let’s face it, what you are looking for in the final week. The reason we can be excited about this final stretch is that Alvarez has been struggling with the whiff all year (34.9%) but has really cut down on those Ks this month (24.7%), and with nice power already (.200 ISO) and more on the way (.251 ISO in minor leagues), that lower strikeout rate will play just fine. We’ve given Michael Morse (9% owned) a lot of love recently for his power, but he deserves another shout-out here. John Bowker (1% owned) and Lucas Duda (0% owned) are both available in most leagues and could run into some home runs this week as their teams look to next year. Bowker might be the better bet – he’s in his peak years at 27 years old, and has all that minor league promise yet to be tapped into (.198 career minor league ISO, up to .264 over his final two stops). On the other hand, the Bucs draw decent pitching staffs in Florida and St. Louis while the Mets face Milwaukee and Washington over the final week.