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 most recent compilation of my weekly fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups for 8-10 man leagues:
Small Leagues: 8-10 man leagues
C Carlos Ruiz, PHI – The Phillies do not have many healthy starters left in their lineup card, but Ruiz is still one of them. He is hitting just over .300 and the veteran backstop has always provided a little pop from behind the plate.
1B Carlos Pena , TB – Pena continues to crush the ball with 3 home runs and is tied for the AL lead with 11 RBI. He is swinging a very level bat through the strike-zone and is making contact on every pitch. The 33-year old is not a long-term option at the position in fantasy terms, but he will be a great bench player.
2B Darwin Barney, CHC – Barney has gotten off to a slow start, but has finally got his batting average up to .300. Barney will only get better with more big-league experience, so expect more multi-hit games in his future.
3B Mike Moustakas , KC – “Eminem” may have burst on the scene young, but the third basemen has really earned some street cred in the last month. He has six extra base hits (5 doubles and 1 home run) in the last nine games. The 23-year old will struggle, with 10 strikeouts and zero walks in his ten games this year, but the team is 100 percent behind their prized prospect.
SS Mike Aviles, BOS – “Mikey A” has shown some surprising pop over the last three games with two homers and a long double. He will get plenty of at-bats in the Bo-Sox heavy hitting batting order and could be a great backup to grab before his batting average gets up to his .287 career total.
OF Chris Young, ARI – Young continues his monster season with 5 home runs and a stellar .410 batting average. He plays in one of the best hitting ballparks in the majors, as the ball seems to shoot off the bat down in the desert. CY is prime for a career year and should be grabbed while he is still available in a small amount of leagues.
OF Jason Heyward, ATL – After an entire season of doubt and criticism, Heyward is finally playing how the whole world knows he can. In his last six games Heyward has 8 singles, 2 home runs, 4 RBI, 3 stolen bases, and 3 walks. He raised his batting average from .200 all the way up to .361 during that span and looks much more relaxed at the plate. He is still available in a small number of 8-man leagues and should warrant a starting spot when he is playing like this.
SP Barry Zito, SF - After missing almost the entire 2010 season, Zito is looking like the guy they paid $100 million dollars to bring in, unfortunately it is six years too late for most Giants fans. Zito may not win a NL Cy Young this season, but look for him to have between 13-15 wins in a bounce back season.
SP Jonathan Niese , NYM – Neise is showing great command over his fastball/ breaking ball combo and has only limited his competition to 7 hits over his 12.6 innings pitched in 2012. He will be one of the Mets’ aces with Mike Pelfrey and R. A. Dickey struggling throughout their careers with consistency, and the 25-year old has the stuff to put up solid fantasy numbers as a fifth fantasy starter.
RP Henry Rodriguez , WSH – Rodriguez has been lights out for the Nationals this year. He has yet to allow a run in 6 appearances and picked up his second save of the year in his time-share with veteran Brad Lidge.