We’re, not but a month past the All-Star break but the season is rapidly coming to an end for you head-to-head players out there. In pretty much every league I play in, the trade deadline has either just passed us by or is in the coming weeks and a half so it is an critical time to scan the waiver wire to find what you need to drive you to that trophy.
You get the drill by now… here’s some names who are owned in far to few leagues. Go get them… and get them now!
Working the Wire
Alex Avila (DET) 28% owned: A potential Thursday evening concussion could certainly throw a monkey wrench into the plans, but if Avila manages to emerge healthy, it’s time to give him a look. He’s got three home runs and 15 RBI since the break, batting a respectable .265 in those 15 games.
Carlos Ruiz (PHI) 8% owned: the Phightin’ Phils may be in the tank, but Ruiz is just finally finding his swing. He’s batting .313 over his past 10 games with a pair of homer runs in that time. For his career, Chooch is a .282 hitter in the second half compared to .268 in the first half while typically seeing an increase in his power and speed numbers increase as we get deeper into the season as well.
Justin Smoak (SEA) 16% owned: We talked about Smoak a couple of weeks ago and he continues to provide value for fantasy owners willing to buy in. Since the start of June, Smoak has eight home runs, 22 runs and 22 RBI in 39 games. Solid totals for a mid-tier first baseman and those paces translate roughly to 33 home runs, 91 runs and 91 RBI over a full 162-game slate.
Brett Wallace (HOU) 7% owned: Four of Wallace’s last 10 hits have gone over the fence as as the Astro’s corner man is slugging .508 in 19 games since the All-Star break. Once a well-regarded prospect, Wallace’s stock has steadily dropped over the year. Still, he was productive down the stretch last year and has a chance to help owners once again.
Eric Chavez (ARI) 8% owned: The brittle veteran is back in the lineup (for now) and swinging a hot stick. We certainly like the .316 average he’s put up over the last 10 games, and with a season-long .305/.350/.537 in 61 games the performance speaks for itself. Chavez is a to-10 option when in the lineup.
Brandon Crawford (SF) 26% owned: The light-hitting shortstop continues to return surprising value. He’s batting .324 with a .979 OPS over the past two weeks.
Brian Dozier (MIN) 19% owned: With Dozier you get just a little bit of everything. He’s got 10 home runs and nine steals on the year and depsite a poor .242 average, the Twinkies second sacker is batting .318 in his last 10 contests.
Johnathan Villar (HOU) 7% owned: there isn’t all that much upside in the batting average with 21 strikeouts in just 15 games. He does, however, have 10 steals in that time and that will make you a name of interest for fantasy owners. There’s a touch of power potential here as well and Villar is an interesting name with regular playing time down the stretch.
Michael Saunders (SEA) 25% owned: I could spend this space trying to convince you to add Saunders, but I did that pretty well a couple of weeks ago. At this point, just save us all the trouble and grab the power/speed threat in the outfield. he continues to play well and has waked in each of his past five games.
Cody Ross (ARI) 20% owned: A top-25 overall player of the past two weeks, Ross is warming for the Snakes with three home runs and 10 RBI in his past 34 at-bats. He also has a pair of steals during that time, matching his total from all of 2012 in just the past six games.
Justin Maxwell (KC) 2% owned: The former-Astro put up monster power and speed numbers in the minors–bashing 27 home runs and swiping 35 bases in 2007 in the Nationals system–that has repeatedly failed to hit at the major-league level. A year ago, he mashed 18 home runs and stole nine bases for Houston in 124 games. He certainly wasn’t doing much this season, posting a .253/.323/.411 slash line in 45 games before coming over to Kansas City, but Maxwell has caught fire since joining the hottest team in baseball. Maxwell homered Wednesday and has five hits in his first 12 at-bats with the team. If he carves out some playing time, there is talent to help in AL-only and deeper mixers.
Danny Salazar (CLE) 22% owned: Salazar will step into the rotation full time and try to duplicate what his predecessor Corey Kluber had been doing for much of the year. After striking out over 12 batters per nine innings in the minors this season, Salazar has 17 strikeouts in his first 13.2 big league innings.he’s also show phenomenal control, walking just two batters in those two starts. His four earned-run effort against the Tigers last time out gets a bit of a pass due to the competition. Up next for Salazar? A date with the Twins followed by a start at Oakland and then another rematch with the Twins back in Cleveland. Very nice.
LaTroy Hawkins (NYM) 13% owned: With Bobby Parnell on the shelf, the Mets turned to veteran LaTroy Hawkins to fill the void at the back end of their ‘pen. Hawkins has been solid–and perhaps more importantly, healthy–for the balance of the 2013 season, posting a 2.86 ERA and 4.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Hawk has converted saves in each of his last two appearances and while Parnell is optimistic that he will avoid surgery on the herniated disc in his neck, the issue is not necessarily a minor one that the closer can shrug off in two weeks.