In fantasy baseball it is always important to have a strong draft each year, but it is just as critical to be actively searching the waiver wire. Free agent pickups can make or break a season, especially as the year begins to drag on. Below is the first compilation of my weekly fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups for 8-10 man leagues:
Small Leagues: 8-10 man leagues
1B: Freddie Freeman , ATL – Freeman can absolutely crush the ball and has potential to be a top five hitter in the game some day. He hit 7 home runs this spring and has completely outshined the over-hyped Jason Heyward, who has continuously slumped over the last two years. Freeman will belt at least 20 balls out of the park this season and will eventually start getting a healthy number of walks as a result.
2B: Danny Espinosa , WSH – “Danny E” is a very versatile second baseman. He can hit home runs and swipe bases. Espinosa has dramatically worked on his hitting and is trying to increase on his .238 batting average from 2011.
3B: Chase Headley, SD – Headley is at the top of most third basemen in fantasy points after crushing a grand slam against the Dodgers on Sunday. The 27-year old has driven in 5 runs already through the first 4 games and plays in an offense that needs a hitter to swing for the fences.
SS: Dee Gordon, LAD – Gordon was not drafted in many 8 man leagues, despite hitting an impressive .304 batting average with 24 steals last year in only 56 games as a rookie. Also as the son of three-time All-Star pitcher, Tom Gordon, DG9 has amazing game intelligence. He is one of the most exciting players in the game to watch, which was evident by his offensive explosion last Saturday where he had 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, and 3 stolen bases in the game.
OF: Melky Cabrera, SF – Melky was overlooked in every draft this off-season and has burned more than a couple owners who passed on him. He has picked up right where he left off last year, by getting a hit in each game so far this year. He still has immense value in deeper leagues and can still be found in many 8-10 man leagues.
OF: Yoenis Cespedes , OAK – The “Cuban Crusher” has certainly lived up the contract that Billy Bean doweled out this offseason by sending three balls out of the park in his first five games. Cespedes drove in seven of the Oakland’s 15 runs during their four game international road-trip against Seattle. He has a very level swing and the “rookie” knows how to drive the ball into the gap. He will finish as a top 20 outfielder this year and is worth grabbing now before it is too late.
SP: Johan Santana , NYM – Santana quickly hushed the rumors that he was not ready to come back from a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder , as he pitched five scoreless innings. He may have only topped out at just over 92 MPH with his fastball, but his velocity will come back as his arm gets back to full strength.
SP: Chris Sale, CHW – After being limited to the bullpen for the majority of the 2011 season, the Sox appear ready to allow their prized pitching prospect to rack up some innings, although he has never pitched over 95 innings in his major league career. Sale has a vicious fastball and mixes it in well with a deceiving breaking pitch.