Top Pickups at 1B and 3B for Week 4
The 2014 MLB season is almost a month old, but it is still not too late to find help on the waiver wire. If you're looking for help at the corner infield spots, you are particularly fortunate, because injuries and even an early trade have created some opportunities for a few players. Throw in a few veterans that have been exceeding expectations in the early going, and there are several options still available in a majority of Yahoo! leagues that can provide solid value. All ownership percentages from Yahoo!
Juan Uribe (3B, LAD) - 29% Owned
BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Formats
ANALYSIS: Few players have been as dialed in to start 2014 as Uribe. He is hitting .313 with three home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored to go along with a .854 OPS. Granted, there is nothing in his history that suggests he can sustain his current pace, but there is nothing wrong with riding a hot streak while it lasts. Uribe is just 29% owned in Yahoo! leagues, so there is still time to jump on the bandwagon.
Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B, TEX) - 15% Owned
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues
ANALYSIS: The one-time highly-touted prospect never really lived up to expectations, but he has been piling up some useful numbers since getting inserted into the Rangers lineup in the wake of Adrian Beltre's injury. Kouzmanoff is hitting .362 with 8 runs scored, 2 HR and 10 RBI in 12 games. He also boasts a 1.029 OPS. After spending most of his career playing for bad San Diego teams in cavernous PETCO Park, he is taking advantage of his time in a loaded Texas lineup. With Beltre slated to return in another week or so, Kouzmanoff's value is limited to deeper leagues. However, he is currently just 15% owned in Yahoo! leagues, so he should be out there if you want to soak up a few more games of solid production.
Nick Castellanos (3B, DET) - 41% Owned
BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting; Add in Deep Leagues
ANALYSIS: It has been an uneven start for Castellanos, and through 12 games, he is hitting .265 with 2 HR and 9 RBI. The slow start has caused some owners to jump off the Castellanos bandwagon, and he is currently owned in just 41% of Yahoo! leagues. While there is no doubt he has been underwhelming thus far, it is way too early to hit the panic button on a highly-touted prospect that has just 61 major league at-bats under his belt, especially when he gets to hit sixth in Detroit's lineup. With Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera among the guys hitting ahead of him, Castellanos should see plenty of RBI opportunities this season. He should still have a very solid rookie season.
Ike Davis (1B, PIT) - 12% Owned
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues
ANALYSIS: While his current numbers are far from impressive, Davis just received a massive upgrade in value when he was traded from the New York Mets to the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the move, Davis goes from a backup to Lucas Duda to a full-time starter with a spot in the middle of Pittsburgh's lineup, and in a sample size, he is hitting .277 in his new gig. Yes, he is coming off a horrible 2013 season, and as a career .242 hitter, he does have his limitations. However, Davis is just 12% owned in Yahoo! leagues and just two years removed from a 32-homer, 90-RBI campaign. If you are looking for cheap power stats, Davis is worth a flier after his change of scenery.
Justin Morneau (1B, COL) - 67% Owned
BALLER MOVE: Add in All Formats
ANALYSIS: His ownership has been rising as he continues a strong start to the 2014 season including a 5 RBI game a couple nights ago, but he is still just 67% owned in Yahoo! leagues, and that number is far too low for a player hitting .347 with four home runs and 15 RBI. Granted, his power isn't anywhere close to what it was early in his career, but playing in Coors Field certainly seems to have helped offset Father Time. Morneau does tend to do most of his heavy hitting against righties, but considering he is batting .369 against lefties so far this season, he is still a guy that can be left in your lineup every day. With a juicy spot in the middle of a powerful lineup and with home games at a hitter-friendly park, Morneau appears to be headed for his best season in quite some time. Don't wait any longer to snatch him up.
Adam Dunn (1B, CWS) - 35% Owned
BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Formats
ANALYSIS: You know going in that Dunn is going to strike out a lot, but he should still be owned in more than 35 percent of Yahoo! leagues. After all, we are talking about a player that has hit at least 34 homers in nine of the past 10 seasons, and last season, he was one of only 10 players to reach the 30-homer plateau. With 4 HR through 16 games, including 1 one last night, Dunn is right on pace for close to 40 home runs in 2014. The downside is that Dunn can be brutal on your batting average, but he is actually hitting a passable .250 thus far, and depending on how much you need power, the hit on your average is a relatively small price to pay.