Dee Gordon & Eduardo Nunez: Adding Speed Via the Waiver Wire

Obviously, one of the keys to making savvy waiver wire pick-ups is to do so with a specific category in mind.  Whether you have a particular need in your head to head league or you have a roto category that looks like you can make a big jump in points, you should be targeting specific players to help out in that area.  Maybe they don’t help in other categories, maybe they do, but for the immediate need, they make sense.  Stolen bases is usually that category.  It always seems to be one of the easiest to move up in in roto leagues and an easy one to match or beat your opponent in head to head.  Here’s a look at a pair of infielders that just might be able to help you make that jump right now.

Dee Gordon |SS|  Ownership:  ESPN – 16.4%  Yahoo – 17%

The son of Tom Gordon certainly has some flash of his own and will be keeping it on display, atleast until Rafael Furcal is ready to return.  As it stands right now, Furcal still hasn’t been able to take BP from the left side of the plate, and won’t go on a rehab assignment until he does.  Gordon will continue to be the Dodgers regular shortstop until then, which could be another couple of weeks.  In that time, things should click even more for the 23 year old speedster.

You can tell he’s a bit overzealous right now — Swing%: 52%;  O-Swing%: 37% — but he is making decent contact (86.1%).  Once he starts laying off those pitches out of the zone, he’ll likely improve on that 3.8 BB% and increase his opportunities on the bases.  As his OBP starts to climb, watch out.  You’re talking about a kid who swiped 166 bases in just 374 minor league games.  He’s only at 4 right now in 13 games, but that total should quickly increase over the next week or so.

Eduardo Nunez |3B/SS|  Ownership:  ESPN – 4.3%  Yahoo – 3%

Nunez’ playing time will obviously depend on how long Derek Jeter remains sidelined with the calf strain.  He claims to be shooting for the end of the month, but the Yankees will be cautious with him so that he doesn’t come back too soon and re-aggravate it.  Jimmy Rollins dealt with this and basically warned Jeter that it wouldn’t fully heal until the offseason, so expect the Yankees to give him plenty of time to recover.

In the meantime, Nunez will get the work over at shortstop and could be a nice stopgap that can throw you some decent stolen bases for the short run.  He’s averaged just over 21 SB in each of his last 4 minor league seasons and already has 8 to his credit as a part-timer this year.  His plate discipline is solid and he doesn’t strike out a lot (8.6 K% — never higher than 19% in any minor league season), so while he may not hit for a high average, he certainly has the skills to get on base more.  Once that happens, he’ll make for a nice mid-game 1-2 punch with Brett Gardner on the base paths and should give you a nice little boost in the steals 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, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


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That Guy
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That Guy

Re: Gordon, what makes you think his BB rate is going to substantially increase? He was just over 6% the last two years against inferior minor league pitching, so he isn’t quite Dustin Ackley at the plate…

And, 4 steals in 13 games projects out to 50 SB over a full 162 game season. Is he really fair to his SB rate will “quickly increase” in the coming weeks?

That Guy
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That Guy

And for the record, I do think Dee Gordon is a good “Speed Via the Waiver Wire” candidate, I just think this article sets expectations too high. He’s more likely to continue doing what he’s doing now, hit .270 with no power and steal some bases.

jswede
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jswede

he said “improve”, not “substantially increase”.

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