The Wire Troll: Kelly Johnson Earning More PT
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations. We’re into mid-August now, so it’s time to really scour the wire for bargains as you gear up for the big push over the final six weeks of the season.
This week, Alex Rodriguez’s time as a Yankee came to a close, and with it, perhaps his career; the Cardinals are considering making a deal to add Carlos Gomez; and Carlos Santana had a scary episode as he was beaned by a foul ball.
Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver recommendations…
Kelly Johnson, 2B, New York Mets (ESPN: 0.8 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Johnson has been seeing more PT at 3B lately with David Wright still out and Wilmer Flores really scuffling against RHPs. The fact that Johnson hit a dramatic ninth inning homer on Wednesday shouldn’t hurt his stock. Since returning to the Mets in a deal from Atlanta in June, his extra-base pop (see video below for an example) has been through the roof — five doubles and six homers in 101 at-bats.
Nick Noonan, SS, San Diego Padres (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): When he started on Thursday, Noonan became the fifth player this year to start at shortstop for the Padres, who continue to struggle to find a solution at this position. Alexei Ramirez’s hitting just keeps going downhill, opening the door for Noonan, a first round pick of the Giants way back in 2007. Noonan’s skills are limited, so don’t expect miracles, but he was enjoying a productive year at Triple-A and should be given a decent look down the stretch.
David Freese, 3B/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 8.5 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): We’ll always have Game Six of the 2011 World Series, right? Freese has never really lived up to the promise he showed early in his career with the Cards, but this season marks the closest he’s come. He’s batting .412 over the past week, enjoying what could be his finest month of the season (938 OPS). Overall, Freese is hitting much better this season, flashing his finest extra-base sock since 2012 in what’s shaping up as a pretty productive campaign. He would not look out of place in the corner infielder slot of a deep mixed league.
Brian Goodwin, OF, Washington Nationals (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): With Bryce Harper (neck) out, Goodwin — a 2011 compensation pick — is getting his first look in the bigs. Goodwin was enjoying a fine season at Triple-A, scoring more runs and flashing more pop, although his walk rate is down dramatically. He picked up his first big league hit Wednesday, added another with his first RBI Friday and could get a chance to get more this weekend, so give him a look if you need help in a very deep NL-only league.
Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros (ESPN: NA; CBS: 3 per cent): Last week, Fisher was promoted to Triple-A, leaving him an Astro injury away from making the bigs. A supplemental first rounder in 2014, he racked up the total bases at Double-A this season, earning his recent promotion to Triple-A, where he’s quickly shown how productive he can be, driving in five runs in his first five games. Fisher struggles to hit for average, but his potential to pile up dingers and steals makes him an intriguing Fantasy keeper option. Just note that the Houston system is flush with outfield prospects, so his window to stick may be short.
Luke Gregerson, RP, Houston Astros (ESPN: 17.5 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): Gregerson’s implosion led to Will Harris taking over as the Astros’ closer in early June, but Harris has since lost the gig to Ken Giles. Gregerson, meanwhile, continued to struggle in June, but turned it around last month before getting hurt. He’s back now, so if you need help with holds, he’s a solid option. Gregerson has slightly improved his ERA this season, but is still a shaky option for saves given his propensity for periodic meltdowns.
Luke Weaver, SP, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: NA; CBS: 22 per cent): With Michael Wacha landing on the DL and potentially missing the rest of the season, the Cards had an open slot in their rotation and it’s been filled by Weaver. Weaver, 22, is one of the team’s top pitching prospects and he made his MLB debut Saturday against the Cubs — a tough task for anyone, let alone an untested rookie. He held his own despite some uncharacteristic command issues. The Cards’ 2014 first rounder was absolutely dominant at Double-A before tossing six shutout innings in his first start at Triple-A.
Others to Consider
Jorge Polanco, 3B, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 7.8 per cent; CBS: 12 per cent): Polanco’s 13-game hit streak ended Friday, but this rookie is hitting up a storm since his recall.
Chris Devenski, RP, Houston Astros (ESPN: 2.5 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Devenski proved he’s a rotation candidate, hurling five innings of goose egg ball in a spot start on Thursday for his first career win.
Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Washington Nationals (ESPN: 1.6 per cent; CBS: 12 per cent): Lopez has a blazing heater that should only get better in time. Small wonder he’s soared on the prospect lists this season.
Aaron Hill, 2B/3B, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 5.9 per cent; CBS: 13 per cent): Hill is basically a bench player at this stage of his career, but he could have some short-term value with Dustin Pedroia currently ill.
Jurickson Profar, 3B, Texas Rangers (ESPN: 21.5 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): Profar is having a tough August, but seems to be picking it up now and likely no one benefited more than this kid from Prince Fielder’s injury and subsequent retirement.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.