Each week I will be digging into the deeper depths of the fantasy baseball waiver wire to find some gems and potential sleepers for you that could pay off nicely in the weeks or months to come. These players should be scouted in deeper leagues at the very least, and some should even be picked up immediately. All ownership percentages from Yahoo!
5 Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues
Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF, BOS) - 6% Owned
Bradley has benefited from Shane Victorino’s injury early on. This could be a trend for the rest of the season as well since the Red Sox also have the fragile Grady Sizemore starting in the outfield. Although his defensive prowess does not help fantasy wise, it may keep Jackie in the lineup.
Right now, he may have some holes in his game, but he has shown the ability to put together good at bats thus far. With patience at the plate, Bradley could score fantasy points in the runs scored and stolen bases categories. Watch carefully as the Red Sox will have critical decisions to make on playing time when Victorino returns from the DL.
Recommendation: Monitor until after Victorino is healthy and his role is established.
Jason Kubel (OF, MIN) - 13% Owned
Only one year removed from an All-Star caliber campaign with the Diamondbacks, Kubel looks to be a working his way nicely into the Twins offense. Kubel fell of the radar with a miserable 2013 performance, but he has returned to the familiarity of Minnesota and manager Ron Gardenhire. I am sure that his solid track record, minus last year, has earned him some additional opportunities. I see the Twins rolling with Kubel for a while because of their ever-desperate need for bats. Especially against right handed pitchers, which he his hitting at a .481 clip thus far in the season. He makes for a solid rotation type player in daily leagues.
Recommendation: Pick him up now if you need bench depth.
Lorenzo Cain (OF, KC) - 6% Owned
When looking for bench depth, athletic players that can run and score are nice options to have. Cain is not an upper echelon outfielder, but he can do a little of just about every thing. Currently he is quietly batting over .300 with 5 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. As long as he stays healthy, which is a big if; he can be a decent contributor. Last year in less than 400 ABs Cain scored 54 runs with 14 SB. Projected his stats over a full season, and most fantasy owners would be happy with the results.
Recommendation: Wait a while longer to see if he can sustain the production.
Jason Vargas (SP, KC) - 24% Owned
Vargas has been remarkable consistent the last few years. He is not at all flashy or will ever be accused of lighting up a radar gun, but is a nice safety net on the bench. Every fifth day, Vargas will be out there toeing the rubber and keeping his team in the game. Even with poor teams in the past, such as the 2012 Mariners, Vargas won fairly consistently and posted quality starts collecting 141 K. This year he is on a potential playoff team and they are counting on his recent track record, and so far he has excelled 1-0 with 1.64 ERA.
Recommendation: He is Mr. Consistency right now; pick up to fill out your staff.
Devin Mesoraco (C, CIN) - 20% Owned
Anyone that has watched Mesoraco play recently knows this backstop is some serious country strong. Example A would be the bomb he hit Sunday afternoon in the Reds trouncing of the Rays. It’s clear that Devin has started the season hot, but can it be sustained for any length of time? Probably not, but he looks like an improved hitter from the past few seasons. Not only than that, but the Reds need his right-handed pop in the lineup. Currently, he is hitting .500 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs. A nice start for a player at an offensively deprived position. Hopefully Mesoraco can take advantage because Cincinnati is an absolute launching pad.
Recommendation: Get after him, he is going fast.