Finding Fantasy Value Amongst The Bottom Feeders
Bad teams end up giving valuable playing time to players that ordinarily do not deserve it. Thus is the case with my (very) deep league wavier wire pickups for this week. Being near the bottom of the standings has its privileges for those I have selected. They should get plenty of second half at bats and fit in neatly in lineups for desperate clubs. They could be fantasy baseball sleepers over the next couple weeks.
Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Chicago White Sox
Owned in 15% percent of Yahoo Leagues and 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues
Red hot entering the All Star break, Conor Gillaspie hit over .500, drilled 3 dingers and scored 8 runs in the last week and that was done while the Sox were on the road. In Boston he was a one man wrecking crew, going 6 for 9 with 5 RBI. A couple of other stats that pop out are his 23 doubles and his OBP of nearly .380. All of his damage has come against right-handers so he is best equipped for daily league matchups.
Recommendation: Not sure this guy could get any hotter. Pick him up and hope the break does not cool him off.
Chris Coghlan, OF, Chicago Cubs
Owned in 14% percent of Yahoo Leagues and 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues
Chris Coghlan has finally landed on his feet after a few injury-plagued years. There is definite potential there for the former NL Rookie of the Year as the bottom feeder Cubs are more than happy to get offensive help from wherever they can. Coghlan posted an impressive three homeruns and nine RBI's in the last week. Since he has had some success in the past, this may be no fluke. The fantasy world is paying attention as well, with his ownership increasing 14 percent recently.
Recommendation: Add for outfield depth. A good experienced veteran on a team in need of everything.
Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets
Owned in 11% of Yahoo Leagues and 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues
This may finally be the right time to take a chance on the talented young backstop. Some prospects take longer to “get it” than others and with struggles and a recent demotion come growth and experience.
The Mets are not going anywhere, so this second half of the season will allow them to take a long look at the development of their young players. Travis D’Arnaud has taken some big steps recently.
Recommendation: Monitor for the next couple of weeks before making your decision.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Rays
Owned in 8% percent of Yahoo Leagues and 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues
One of the big surprises of the season thus far, Kevin Kiermaier went from being a defensive wiz to an offensive weapon. With an average over .300 and surprising pop, the Rays have moved the youngster to the top of the lineup. If he can use his speed more, he could become a solid option in fantasy leagues. Fair to say, Tampa should be sellers in the second half, meaning that Kiermaier should see regular playing time in a developmental period for the team.
Recommendation: The more you watch of this kid, the more you like him. He should be a strong consideration to pick up.
Justin Ruggiano, OF, Chicago Cubs
Owned in 6% percent of Yahoo Leagues and 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues
Another Cub player that has hit a recent surge as a hitter, Justin Ruggiano makes up for his lack of power with a speed element to his game. With Junior Lake slumping and the rest of the outfield options unappealing, Ruggiano along with Coghlan have worked their way into some serious playing time. He has bounced around for a long time getting a little taste of the big leagues here and there so he may be starting to finally feel comfortable. A .400 overall batting average in July along with his .324 batting average with RISP are making him popular in Chicago.
Recommendation: Still a long shot, but keep watching.