Waiver Wire Targets from the National League
Week eight is here, and while it's still not time to panic, we are approximately a quarter of the way through the season. For guys with proven resumes, like say, Prince Fielder, patience is still the way to go. For other guys, especially anyone you may have taken a late round flier on, or reached for in your draft, it may be time to move on.
Once again, the time to move on a player that is sitting on your waiver wire is much shorter in a league specific format. If you're looking for help in NL-only leagues, this is the place to look each week. As we head into the eighth week of the baseball season, here are a few guys to consider grabbing from the waiver wire who may be available in your league.
Jenrry Mejia, RP, New York Mets
(36% owned CBS, 21% owned Yahoo!)
The New York Mets' closer carousel continues, and it looks like Jenrry Mejia will be the flavor of the moment for ninth inning duties in Queens.
Before we talk about Mejia, let's have a quick review. In this space we have talked about picking up Jose Valverde, Kyle Farnsworth, and Dice-K Matsuzaka as possible answers to the Mets closer woes. If closers weren't so important, especially in league specific fantasy formats where the number of guys is cut in half, not one of those players would be worth owning. What the Mets have now, however, is a bit different.
Technically, Terry Collins has stated that the team will use a committee in the ninth until someone emerges as the top choice. As of now, it looks like Mejia will get the first shot at the ninth, so if he is still available, grab him asap. If he's not, there is still a chance that Jeurys Familia or Gonzalez German end up getting save chances as well. I'd rank them exactly in that order when looking to snag one of these guys.
So what makes these guys different from the other Mets' "closers" we told you to grab? Well, all three of these guys are young, hard throwers with plenty of potential, not washed-up retreads who the Mets were able to sign for next to nothing. Mejia, Familia, and German all have a boat load of potential, and are all off to solid starts. There may be some ups and downs as these guys learn the ropes, but I'd be shocked if one of these guys doesn't stick in the ninth.
I love Familia, but I think Mejia is the guy to own, and may ultimately end up the closer of the future. He showed signs of brilliance as a starter, and now that he only has to worry about pitching one inning at a time, I can see him being able to throw everything he has at hitters all at once. Mejia is a must own player in all leagues, and if you have the roster space, grabbing Familia as a speculative move makes a lot of sense as well.
AJ Pollock, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
(33% owned CBS, 24% owned Yahoo!)
Going into the season, the Diamondbacks were a popular sleeper pick in the NL West, and youngster AJ Pollock looked like a popular sleeper pick late in drafts. Both got off to slow starts, and have been all but forgotten only a quarter of the way through the season.
With Adam Eaton traded, Pollock looked to get more playing time this year as he continued to develop. Once Mark Trumbo got hurt, Pollock looked to get all the time in the Arizona outfield he could handle. A slow start and a few minor injuries lead many fantasy owners to give up very early on Pollock, and their loss could end up being your gain.
Pollock is healthy and hitting well. He's shown a terrific combo of power and speed. He's quietly batting over .300, and has five home runs and six stolen bases. He's red hot right now, and has raised his batting average close to 50 points in a span of 10 days.
Pollock's value is hurt a bit by his strikeout rate, and the fact that he's batting in the lower half of Arizona's lineup. That is sure to change sooner rather than later if he keeps up the hot streak. He's as must own as they get in all deep leagues and NL-only leagues until he cools off, and there's plenty of potential there for him to last on your roster for the long haul. If you gave up too quick on Pollock, give him another chance.
Jason Motte, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
(12% owned CBS, 4% owned Yahoo!)
I loved Trevor Rosenthal going into the season, and thought for sure that he would be the next guy to reach elite status at the closer position. I thought that he had a chance at being nearly as good as Aroldis Chapman.
Boy was I wrong. Aside from the strikeouts, he has 26 whiffs in 21 innings pitched, Rosenthal has not lived up to the hype. His ERA is just a tick under five, and has already issued 12 free passes (he had only 20 walks all of last year). Rosenthal has blown three saves to date, the latest coming Sunday night as he walked in the tying run, and there have been multiple occasions where he has given up runs and still gotten the save. Simply put, his velocity is down, and his walks are up, and that's usually a death sentence for closers.
Which leads us to former closer Jason Motte. He's fresh off of Tommy John surgery, and is in the midst of his minor league rehab assignment. He's close to rejoining the club, and there is no reason to think that he couldn't see some save chances if Rosenthal continues to struggle.
Motte is not a must own player yet, not even in NL-only leagues. If you need saves, however, he makes for a great speculative add, especially if you have a free DL slot.