Fantasy Baseball Musings: Underowned Stretch-run Sleepers

Click here to read Billy Bruce's latest musings, in which he details a handful of stretch-run sleepers to add value to your fantasy team from the waiver wire.

Billy Bruce - RotoBaller

If you don’t read past the next paragraph of this article, that’s fine by me. In it, I ask one simple question: Why in Bill James’s sacred sabermetrical name is Hector Santiago so grossly under-owned?

Hector Santiago on June 26, 2012

Santiago is so widely ignored it blows my mind. Sure, his 3-7 record is ugly on the surface, but how many wins can we reasonably expect from a White Sox pitcher? His past several outings have been fabulous, rivaling all of the stud hurlers in the game. He’s fanning more than a batter per inning and stacking up quality starts, yet is only 15% owned in Yahoo. This is a travesty. For crying out loud, at least look at his numbers. Don’t let this guy escape your attention.

OK, you've read the paragraph I wanted you to read. If necessary, read it again. Then, go to your waiver wire and do what you know you need to do. After that, you may proceed.

When you’ve logged 400 at-bats, it is very difficult to raise your batting average twenty points in a span of four games. But Mariners 1B/DH Kendrys Morales did exactly that. From July 30 – August 2, Morales collected 13 hits in 17 at-bats, bumping his season average from .278 to .298. Not surprisingly, the Mariners lost all four games.  But Morales is an example of a lesser-revered hitter on a non-contender who could keep pace with some of the big dogs the rest of the season. He won’t mash homers at an eye-popping rate, but…well, let’s create an example. Suppose you own Prince Fielder and your team is in playoff contention. If you floated the idea of a trade of Fielder, a marquee name, to the owner of Morales, what other quality players could you get in return? Morales and Fielder have played at essentially the same level, fantasy-wise. So why not seek the guy out, trade an underperforming stud, upgrade where you are deficient, and improve your overall chances of winning your league? Just a thought, even in keeper leagues where first basemen tend to be overvalued.

I recently dropped Adam Lind and plucked B.J. Upton from the waiver wire. Don’t ask me why, because I struggle to make this decision sound logical. I just had to do it. Call it a gut feeling, but I don’t believe Upton can be nearly as bad going forward as he’s been so far this season. This guy has 30/30 potential over a full season, granted with a ton of strikeouts. Admittedly, this is a roll of the dice on my part. But, hey, Pete Rose was my childhood idol. Sometimes, you have to roll the dice to win your league.

Mets SP Jonathon Niese will return to the team in the next week or so. Be the first in your league to take his rehabbed rotator cuff for a test drive. If he proves serviceable, this is a move that could pay dividends. And speaking of forgotten Mets, Ike Davis is still available in 70% of Yahoo leagues. Remember his second half numbers last year? Of course you do. He went 3-for-3 Friday against the Royals. I might be in the minority, especially with his struggles against lefties, but I think the guy has too much talent, ala B.J. Upton, to totally ignore. Davis seems to thrive when the pressure is off….and for the Mets, the pressure is definitely off.

I’m off to Wilmington, North Carolina, for a training so I’m wrapping this up. Most readers probably didn’t get past the first paragraph, anyway. Wait, I lied; one more thing: Since I mentioned Pete Rose earlier, I’m presently working on an article in favor of him being reinstated to baseball. My opinion on this subject has wavered through the years, from for to against to for. Anybody have any comments on whether or not he should be welcomed back? I’d  love to hear your perspectives. Reach me in the comments below or @Billy_Bruce.

Week 8 Waiver Wire & FAAB Bids