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Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Friday

With the light schedule of games, we’re going to take advantage every Friday and give a look at the top talent available on the waiver wire. At each positon we’ll give you the top players available in >60% of Yahoo standard leagues and for those of you in deeper games, we’ll throw out a name available in more than 90% of those formats.

Working the Wire

Catcher

Alex Avila (DET)  36% owned: The Tigers’ backstop is batting just .226 so far in 2013, but he’s got a pair of multi-hit games in his past thee contests with two home runs on the year. Avila’s .357 career OBP will help keep him productive in a powerful Detroit lineup.

John Jaso (OAK) 7% owned: Jaso slugged a pinch-hit three-run home run Tuesday and has put up a .360 average (9-for-25) in his first seven games with five runs scored and six RBI. Like Avila, Jaso’s strength lies in his excellent on-base skills (.394 OBP in 2012) and he make for a very solid option even in standard mixers.

First Base

Brandon Moss (OAK) 35% owned: Moss lit up the Angels this week with a pair of home runs and 9 RBI in the past three game while going 7-for-13 in the series.

Matt Adams (STL) 7% owned: Playing time is the only issue for Grizzly Adams (FYI he does have a beard) who is batting a decent .643/.667/.1.214. The formidable triumvirate of Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran are blocking Adams’ pathway to at-bats but lets be honest, those three are not exactly the healthiest bunch. When Adams gets in the lineup, he will hit.

Second Base

Kelly Johnson (TB): 8% owned: It is certainly slim pickings on the wire at second base and Kelly Johnson represents the best and the brightest. He’s got 15 home runs and 10 steals in the bag if give 450 at-bats, with upside to do much better.

Donovan Solano (MIA): 4% owned: Solano is the polar opposite of the aforementioned Johnson, but if you are looking safe, Solano’s empty batting average in South Beach reminds us of his veteran teammate Placido Polanco. For what its worth, Solano has seen at-bats in the two-hole at times this year and could perhaps put up some useful counting numbers if the Marlins get their offense going a bit.

Third Base

Juan Francisco (ATL) 8% owned: For better or worse, Francisco will see an uptick in at-bats now that Freddie Freeman is sidelined. He has a fair amount of pop and is off to a 9-for-28 start to the season.  There’s 20 home runs in that bat if he somehow stumbles his way into a full-time gig.

Placido Polanco (MIA) 4% owned: Well, we recommended a Polanco close right above, so why not buy into the real thing. If you just lost Aramis Ramirez or your waiting for Brett Lawrie or Chase Headley to return, a veteran stop-gap whose batting .333 (11-for-33) and getting at-bats out of the cleanup spot is there for you in Polanco.

Shortstop

Jean Segura (MIL) 38% owned: Segura suffered a leg injury over the weekend but appears to be just fine. He’s off to an 11-for-24 start with a home run. two runs and three RBI.

Stephen Drew (BOS): 10% owned: Without much depth at the bottom of the barrel in the middle infield and Stephen Drew represents a veteran option who has been fantasy relevant in the past. He recently returned from a spirng concussion and collected his first hit of the year (and a pair of walks) on Thursday evening.

Outfield

Starling Marte (PIT) 40% owned: It’s likely the last time you are going to find Marte on this list as he is sure to keep that ownership number rising after putting up five-straight multi-hit games. Marte hit 17 homers and stole 33 bases between the majors and minors last year you know how we feel about 20/20-type talents.

Peter Bourjos (LAA) 6% owned: Bourjos is off to a solid 7-for-22 start and while he lacks outstanding skill in any particular area, he did have a very solid season back in 2011, knocking 12 home runs (as well as 26 doubles and11 triples) while swiping 22 bags over 522 plate appearances.

Starting Pitcher

A.J. Griffin (OAK) 39% owned: Griffin has done nothing but dominate since coming into the league, posting an 8-1 record and 2.89 ERA over 17 career starts. He beat a formidable Angels’ lineup on Thursday and thought he strikeouts are not dominant, he needs to be owned in all leagues.

Kevin Slowey (MIA) 1% owned: With no run support to speak of in Miami, Slowey is not going to rack op the wins. He does, however, look to be healthy for the first time in years and has pitched well over his first two starts of the year. Desperate times…

Relief Pitcher

Joaquin Benoit (DET) 38% owned: The Tigers have indicated that when possible, Benoit would be used in the ninth inning role as the primary closer. They may try to limit his ability to pitch on mutiple dyas ina  row, leading to stray opportunittes to Phil Coke adn Octavio Dotel among others, but for now, it’s Benoit’s job to lose.

Andrew Cashner (SD) 9% owned: We’re cheating here a little bit because Cashner’s fantasy value really relies on his eventual move to the starting rotation. He throws gas and puts up a very nice strikeout rate. In NL only formats, Cashner is worth owning as a reliever with the hope that he’ll give you 15 or so starts down the stretch.

Around the League

  •  Zack Grienke owners are not so happy this morning. The Dodgers’ right was cruising along when an errant pitch hit Carlos Quentin and ignited a rumble. During the fight, Grienke broke his collarbone and is now looking at months, not weeks, on the disabled list. A real shame for one of the top pitchers in the game.
  • Mariner slugger Michael Morse suffered a small fracture in his hand Thursday evening but fortunately, he is only expected to miss 3-7 days. It does scare us just a bit that the hot-hitting slugger may lose a bit of punch on his power stroke with the hand injury, but at least it appears he’ll only miss about a week of action.

 

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