Josh Willingham had been out since April with a wrist injury but he reclaimed his spot in the heart of the Minnesota Twins lineup on May 26 and since then he’s hit .344 with four home runs, seven runs and 11 RBI in just 10 games.
There aren’t too many chances mid-way through a fantasy baseball season to add an impactful power bat to your lineup, but at the moment, Willingham is offering plenty of virtual general managers that exact opportunity. He’s currently available in 51 percent of ESPN leagues and in 71 percent of Yahoo! leagues and fantasy owners who need some pop should strongly consider adding the veteran outfielder.
Willingham hit just 14 home runs in what was an injury-plagued 2013 season but he hit 64 home runs from 2011-2012 and has hit at least 21 home runs in five of his eight full big league seasons. He owns a .216 career ISO and that’s the 34th highest among all active major league players, right in the ballpark of players like Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Holliday, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Beltran. He’s shown good power against both right- and left-handed pitching throughout his career (a little bit more against lefties though) and whatever park he’s hitting in has never seemed to effect him.
This season, Willingham has a .286 ISO — giving him the 13th highest ISO among all hitters with at least 60 plate appearances — to go with a .612 SLG percentage, the seventh highest among hitters with at least 60 plate appearances.
If you need to find a replacement for your injured Carlos Gonzalez — or if you’re just sick of playing a guy like Matt Kemp, Alfonso Soriano or Austin Jackson every day — Josh Willingham is likely one of the best, if not the best, options available to you.