Waiver Wire Friday: What Have You Dunn For Me Lately?

In a league where power is at a premium, just how often can you find a player whose average 41 home runs per 162 games over the past two seasons just sitting on the waiver wire three weeks into the season? For over 60% of you out there, the answer is just a click away.

It’s no true mystery as to why owners simply don’t trust Adam Dunn. He’s a player who has not hit better than .216 since 2010 (when he batted .260 for the Nats) and has a pretty painful .211/.326/.455 line over the past two seasons, but we must not forget the power. Dunn is doing his thing on the South Side so far this season, showing that the big man can still slug it.

Through his first 64 at-bats, Dunn has whiffed 24 times (as expected) but he’s also produced a strong .400 OBP with five home runs, 11 runs scored and 11 RBI.

Though the sample remains small, we’ve seen some modest improvement from Dunn through three weeks. His strikeout rate (30.1%) is certainly trending in the right direction — down from 31.1% last year, 34.2% in 2012 and 35.7% in 2011 — while the walk rate has also rebounded.

No, Adam Dunn will not continue to .266 and, yes, he’s likely going to be a drain on you batting average. But if you play in an OBP or OPS league or even in a head-to-head format, Dunn is going to bring a lot more good to your lineup than bad.

Need some pop? Get it Dunn.

Each week we’ll provide a position-by-position roundup of the top talent on the wire. To qualify, players must have an ownership rate below 50% in standard 12-team Yahoo leagues. For our deeper formats, we’ll also throw out names with under 15% ownership. Check out last week’s list to find a number of other options who may still be out there on the waiver wire.

Working The Waiver Wire


Carlos Ruiz (12%): After knocking seven hits in 14 at-bats during a four-game set with the Dodgers, Chooch has pushed his season line to a solid .270/.395/.476. with 15 runs scored and 10 extra-base hits.

Josmil Pinto (8%): The .222 batting average is not helping many owners, but four bombs in 54 at-bats is some tasty production from the catcher spot.

Dioner Navarro (8%): Navarro continues to sit on waivers as a nice well, he won’t hurt you option at catcher with a .288-10-1-13-1 line over 73 at-bats.

First Base

Adam Dunn (36%)

Corey Hart (31%): With his knee issues finally in the rear-view mirror Hart is batting .270 with four home runs over the first three weeks. He may be done stealing bases, but the power will play.

Ike Davis (12%): The change of scenery paid rapid dividends for Ike but even more promising is the fact that he will no longer have to struggle against left-handed pitching in  a platoon with Gaby Sanchez.

Middle Infield

Danny Espinosa (3%): Fantasy owners can have long memories, and for some, Espinosa’s injury-riddled 2013 was enough to write him off forever. Those that have are also missing out on a .317/.377/.524 slash line in the middle infield. He  may be squeezed out of the lineup when Ryan Zimmerman returns, but there are few higher-upside players getting everyday at-bats that are out there in over 95% of leagues.

Johnathan Villar (42%): Villar’s ownership is actually dropping since we mentioned him last week despite a modest three-game hitting streak. Scoff at the .211 batting average and I’ll take three home runs and four steals from my shortstop in just 71 at-bats.

Derek Dietrich (3%): Time is running thin for Dietrich as Rafael Furcal continues a rehab stint, but for as long as he’s in the lineup, he can help your team.

Third Base

Tevor Plouffe (43%): We covered Plouffe extensively in last week’s writeup and he just continues to do his thing, hitting in five-straight games with five runs scored and three RBI.

Juan Uribe (23%): Guess who has the second most extra-base hits in the National League? That’s right, Uribe’s eight doubles and four long-balls to accompany a robust .330/.341/.557 slash line put him among the top offensive performers in April. It appears that close to 80% of fantasy owners are yet to notice.

Matt Dominquez (8%): He’s all power and little else from a fantasy perspective and has delivered early on with four home runs so far.


Rajai Davis (41%) The elite speedster blasted his second home run of the season this week.

Dayan Viciedo (13%): Avisail Garcia’s injury has cleared up playing time for the Cuban Clubber and he’s doing just fine with it so far, batting .377 with nine runs and nine RBI in 69 at-bats. Expect some more pop as the weather warms in Chicago.

Jason Kubel (10%): Doing his best Rodney Dangerfield impression, the veteran Kubel just can’t get no respect despite a fine .294/.377/.426 start to the season.

Corey Dickerson (4%): More of a speculative play than anything, Dickerson is a very intriguing option playing in Coors, but he’s blocked by the red-hot Charlie Blackmon. If/when Charlie comes back to earth (or Carlos Gonzalez hits the DL) Dickerson becomes a nice power/speed play.


Wily Peralta (40%): Three straight quality starts on the most surprising team in baseball have pushed Peralta  into the conversation as more than just a streamer. We are buying.

Rick Porcello (40%): He leaves something to be desired in the strikeout department but Porcello’s ground ball rate and K/BB ratio are solid indicators that his early success can continue.

Jenry Mejia (29%): His workload will be hard to trust, but Mejia has been throwing well and has a date with the Marlins on Saturday.

Jason Hammel (26%): We’re not gonna stop talking about Hammel until you pick him up or he blows out his knee. You move.

Trevor Bauer (7%): Carlos Corrasco pitches this evening and if the results don’t improve, it could be Bauer taking his next turn in the rotation.

Closer Carnage

It will be a constant race to the wire to go mining for saves, here’s how we see it.

Go get ’em: Kyle Farnsworth (39%), Joe Smith (24%), P{edro Storp (15%), Chad Qualls (12%)

Keep an eye on: Cody Allen (26%), Hector Rondon (13%), Daisuke Matsuzaka (6%)

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