This is going to be a very interesting week of FAAB with the hot prospect parade that has occurred this week. Austin Reily, Brendan Rodgers, Oscar Mercado, Keston Hiura, Willie Calhoun, and Nicky Lopez have all been promoted and are going to be sucking the life out of your FAAB budgets. Maybe you’re cheap. Maybe you’re low on cash having spent a ton on Kieboom, Senzel, or Lowe. Maybe you’ve been chasing saves and the likes of Swarzak, Jackson, Robles and Martin have cost you mucho dinero. While everyone is typing in triple digit bids, you can sneakily add a few cheap players who, in daily moves leagues, can help add versatility to your roster.
Having multi-position eligible players on your team is crucial in a daily moves league. When looking at waivers/FAAB for next week, the following players should be targeted as they are all owned in less than 21% of Yahoo leagues. Each of them is eligible at three or more positions, and 3 of 4 in both infield and outfield allowing for maximum versatility. It’s time to start churning your roster, getting rid of players like Kike Hernandez and Chad Pinder and replacing them with players who are producing now.
Of course if you’re not cheap, haven’t blown through your FAAB budget, and are in need of a potential big boost, then the high priced prized prospect may be the way to go. I’d rank them in the following order for potential impact: Reily, Hiura, Rodgers, Calhoun, Mercado, and Lopez. Hiura is probably the safest bet to hit but the Brewers will have to decide the fate of Travis Shaw if he’s not seriously hurt. Does Reily stick in the lineup when Inciarte returns? Will the Rangers play Calhoun enough? Will the Rockies give the full time gig to Rodgers? These are risks you may have to take – buyer beware.
Let’s take a look at a few players who can potentially be cheap alternatives this week.
Howie Kendrick of the Nationals is 15 % owned and has 2B/3B/OF eligibility. Kendrick is like the Energizer bunny, he just keeps going. Stashed in the minors at the beginning of the season by the Nats, he got the call when Trea Turner went down. He has played both in the infield and outfield and has slashed 15/6/21/.306. With Turner starting his rehab stint earlier this week, his playing time could be in jeopardy but I think his versatility, combined with injuries at first base and the poor play at 2nd by Brian Dozier, there are ample opportunities for him to get into the lineup. He should come cheaply in FAAB with only a small bid needed.
Next up is Ronny Rodriguez. The Tigers have utilized him all over the infield as he is eligible at all 4 positions. He is only owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues and is starting to make waves in FAAB/waiver discussions. As of this writing he is batting .301, has an OPS of 1.oo8, and has 5 HRs in just 73 ABs. Detroit is playing him every day and this will allow you to have him in your lineup on a regular basis if you need the help on the infield. He looks like he’s going to be permanent addition to the Tigers lineup.
David Fletcher has done a great job filling in since his promotion. In 146 plate appearances for the Angels he has an average around .300 with a K% of only 5.5. He has contributed across the board but isn’t a power or speed guy. He’ll keep up your average and add some runs and RBI along with a few SBs and HRs. Fletcher isn’t a sexy pick up as evidenced by his 15% Yahoo ownership, but his 2B/3B/OF eligibility can help you fill in your lineups on off days for some of your better players.
If you need steals, Danny Santana could be the guy you target. 1B, 2B, and OF eligible, Santana can be a welcome addition to your bench. He has produced 17 runs, 6 steals, and a .298 average in just 84 AB. The Rangers may have thrown a potential monkey wrench into Santana’s playing time as they promoted highly touted Willie Calhoun and with Calhoun homering in his first game, playing time may be harder to come by. He’s worth a bid, especially if you need steals, but temper your expectations now. Ownership sits at 20% and may not go up much this week so you may be able to sneak him in with a small bid.
Doing his Marwin Gonzalez impersonation, Aledmys Diaz has played all over the infield for the Astros. In just 76 ABs, his 21 RBI are more than that of full time players such as McCutchen, Benitendi, DeJong, and Pham. By playing in such a potent offense, Diaz has the potential to produce good numbers for a part time player who you can sneak into your lineup a few days a week. He definitely won’t break the bank and a dollar bid may be all you need.
Owned in only 30% of Yahoo leagues and eligible at 1B and 3B, the Twins activated Miguel Sano on Wednesday. He may fly under the radar with all the prospect call ups, especially if he doesn’t get off to a hot start. Sano has the potential to be a major add if he can find that power stroke and stay healthy. If you are/were a Miguel Andujar owner, Sano could be the perfect fit to replace that lost power. If you’re looking for speed, Mallex Smith was recalled by the Mariners and is only owned in 39% of leagues. I’m not convinced that his success over the past few weeks in the minors will carry over to the bigs, but speed is a valuable commodity and he will be highly sought after.
With 25% of the season in the books, it’s time to start tweaking your roster in order to move up in any category you can. The big time prospects can help in a big way if they produce or they can be a huge detriment to your chances if they bust. It will be tempting to go all out, but look at your team carefully and determine if you really need to add these players. Saving FAAB dollars for later in the season is crucial to making runs towards the end of the season, and the versatile bench is a way to put yourself in that position.
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