By Adam McGill @adammcgill83twitter.com on April 1, 2014
The 2014 fantasy baseball season has officially started and that means it is time to start fixing the holes in your lineup. To help you sort through the heap, here are some of the top waiver wire pickups in 10 or 14-man baseball leagues.
D’Arnaud has been a household name since he was #6 on Baseball America’s top-100 list. However, the backstop really struggled in 2013 and he posted a .202 batting average.
Luckily, the Mets are willing to give him all the at-bats he can stand. The 25-year-old will naturally improve as a hitter throughout the year and fantasy fans can expect him to develop into a low-end starter in deeper formats.
Ownership: 2.1% (ESPN)
Smoak has quietly increased his home run total in each of his six MLB seasons, including a 20-homer season in 2013. The Smoak Monster slugged a three-run home run on Opening Day against the Angels and the slugger seems primed to finally breakout. He will be an ideal second first baseman this fantasy season.
Ownership: 55.5% (ESPN)
Roberts has missed an astonishing 456 games over the past four seasons, compared to just 192 played. Shockingly, though, the veteran played 77 games down the stretch in 2013. He will take control of the everyday keystone spot in the Bronx, and as long as he is healthy, he will have fantasy value in leagues with over 10 owners.
Ownership: 2% (ESPN)
Owings ended up winning the starting shortstop job in Arizona, as Didi Gregorius was sent down to Triple-A Reno before the season started. Owings tore up the Pacific Coast League and the stopgap displayed a serious eye for the ball. As long he hold down the job defensively, look for Owings to be a great backup infielder, especially in any dynasty league format.
Ownership: 1.2% (ESPN)
Uribe is one of the most experienced hitters on the Dodgers and the veteran will be hitting sixth in one of the most star-studded lineups in the majors. Uribe isn’t a permanent solution at third, but he can certainly carry his weight as a flex option or backup 3B.
Ownership: 2.6% (ESPN)
Ozuna continues to be the odd man out in Miami’s outfield with superstars Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yellich roaming the grass beside him.
However, O-Dog hit 69 HRs between 2010-12 in the MiLB and the kid displayed legitimate 20-HR potential. Ozuna displayed his skills on Opening Day by going 3-4 with a double and a solo homer. The 23-year-old will be a respectable OF3 in deeper formats this season.
Ownership: 6% (ESPN)
Garcia joined the White Sox midway through the 2013 season, but he posted an incredible .304/.327/.447 slash line with the Sox. Garcia will suffer the occasional slumps, like most young hitters, but he can be a legitimate fantasy commodity. Add Garcia off the wire now before someone else pulls the trigger.
Young led the NL with 44 stolen bases last season and he is the ultimate roto-league option. Young will hit leadoff for the Mets, and considering he started at second in the opener, EY2 will eventually qualify for more than the outfield. He will do a little of everything for fantasy owners and can be a serviceable OF4 this year in Flushing.
Ownership: 33.4 % (ESPN)
Skaggs had a very streaky minor league career, but he was still able to rack up the K’s. The six-foot-four southpaw struck out 544 through 498.2 innings of work and showed potential to be an elite strikeout pitcher. Skaggs won the fifth spot for the Angels and the 22-year-old will be able to show his talents from day one. Add him now before the fantasy world wakes up.
Ownership: 1.4 % (ESPN)
Seattle desperately needed a pitcher in their rotation after Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker hit the DL. Fortunately, Ramirez had a brilliant spring (3-0, 1.14 ERA, 0.84 WHIP) and quickly caught the attention of the team’s front office. He will step into the number two spot in the rotation and the 23-year-old will be worth a look in deeper formats.
Ownership: 1.8% (ESPN)
The closer for the Astros has never been a highly coveted role for fantasy owners. Every closer matters, though, in fantasy and Qualls is currently at the front of the line for the job. Qualls posted a 2.61 ERA in 2013 and the 35-year-old has the most experience in the pen. While Josh Fields is also rumored to be in the mix, Qualls is the number one guy to target in Houston at the moment.
Ownership: 3.6 % (ESPN)
Hoover will take over as the closer with Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list and the veteran immediately becomes a fantasy worthy reliever with the promotion. Hoover won’t be a long-term option, but he deserves to be owned while he is closing out games for the Reds.
Ownership: 6 % (ESPN)
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