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The Wire Troll: Didi Gregorius Flashing Some Power

August 30, 2015 | By Michael Seff | comment on this post
Tom Wilhelmsen is the current closer for the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners’ closer carousel has landed on Tom Wilhlemsen. (Rick Osentoski-USA Today Sports)

It’s getting late in the season, but in the Fantasy world, it’s never too late. Here are some names that might help you during your September stretch run:

Didi Gregorius, SS, New York Yankees (ESPN: 5 per cent owned; CBS: 14 per cent owned): Gregorius got off to a slow start and is supposed to be all about his defense, but his bat has started to come around big time. His six-RBI game in Atlanta Friday was his second straight game with a homer (check out his first blast in the video below), and he has plenty of protection in a potent, albeit streaky Yankees lineup.

Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 19.9 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): Like Gregorius, Wilhelmsen was another Troll recommendation back in May and he has gone from virtually unowned in the ESPN world to a hot commodity. The Mariners’ bullpen has been an adventure all year, but it looks like Wilhelmsen is the closer again, having earned saves in each of his last four appearances.

J.A. Happ, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 25.8 per cent; CBS: 38 per cent): Happ has turned things around in a big way since being dealt to the Buccos from Seattle — most importantly, he’s keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Miguel Montero, C, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 15.9 per cent; CBS: 45 per cent): Since returning from injury, Montero has rediscovered his stroke, going three straight games with a homer for the surging Cubbies last weekend.

Andres Blanco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies (ESPN: 6.9 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Blanco was battling for PT with Freddy Galvis back in April, and now he’s heating up as August winds down. Blanco recently had a nine-game hitting streak for the Phillies and has a little power, too.

Derek Dietrich, OF/3B, Miami Marlins (ESPN: 9.1 per cent; CBS: 14 per cent): If a Marlin gets a hit in Miami and no one sees it, did it really happen? Dietrich has been a recent bright spot for the floundering Fish, with some clutch hits and a little extra-base pop.

Thomas Pham, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: 1.8 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): The 2015 Cardinals are the ultimate “plug-and-play” team, with players filling in for injured stars as seamlessly as we’ve seen in years. Pham has benefited, getting on base at a high rate while getting regular playing time in the absence of Matt Holliday and Randal Grichuk.

Aaron Altherr, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (ESPN: 3.6 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): The youth movement has officially begun in the City of Brotherly Love, meaning Altherr is getting an extended look. He has racked up some extra-base hits in his short stint already.

Others to Consider

Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 17.2 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): We’re still waiting for the .300 bat Castellanos consistently swung in the minors to manifest itself in the majors, but the power sure is coming around (11 homers, 35 RBI since the beginning of July). It’s easy to forget that he hasn’t had that long to establish himself in the majors yet. Castellanos remains a superb keeper league asset.

Ryan Goins, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 0.7 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Goins has now more than doubled the hit total he accumulated in his first two seasons in the bigs. He spanked a two-run double Sunday to run his hitting streak to 10 games.

Javier Baez, 2B, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 10 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Here come the September callups, peeps! The Cubs 2011 first round pick is one of those expected to get the call when rosters expand on Tuesday. Baez has been doing a great job of getting on base at Triple-A, so is worth a look when he returns to the Windy City.

Marlon Byrd, OF, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 29.3 per cent; CBS: 46 per cent): Byrd’s power has awakened since arriving in San Francisco as he’s bashed three dingers and driven in 14 runs in nine games. His BA — usually his strongest suit, but a struggle while in Cincy this year — has rebounded as well as he’s now batting .278 as a Giant.

Eric Campbell, 3B, New York Mets (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: unowned): Yes, Campbell struggled with the Mets this year and no, he’s not really a prospect anymore, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s doing at Triple-A. A five-game hit streak has him up to .360 for the season with power, patience and a splendid batting eye. Is he Quad-A player or can he actually provide some value in the majors? See if he gets a September call-up before even thinking about him, but makes sure Campbell’s on your radar at the very least. He waited a really long time to get the majors; we’re sure he’s going to perform better if given another crack.

Michael Cuddyer, OF, New York Mets (ESPN: 17.6 per cent; CBS: 42 per cent): Cuddyer went 0-for-7 in his rehab stint at High-A — hardly looking ready to hit big league pitching — but since returning nearly three weeks ago, all he’s done is hit .375.

Drew Pomeranz, RP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 8.2 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): In mid-May 2014, we last recommended Pomeranz as a waiver wire pickup. It worked out well as he enjoyed solid hit rates until getting hurt. Now, Pomeranz is a reliever and he’s recently been getting plenty of save chances. He hasn’t always converted them, but if you are desperate for saves, he’s a nice choice.

Juan Uribe, 3B, New York Mets (ESPN: 1.9 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): August has not been kind to Uribe, but he’s heating up now with back-to-back multi-hit efforts. The fact that the Mets are seeking places to get him on the field (playing him at second base Sunday) suggests he’s going to see plenty of PT down the stretch.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.

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