As this young season continues to unfold, there are more and more unheralded players who are revealing themselves as worthy of being part of your fantasy lineup. Week after week, I’ll be here for your benefit, carefully dissecting the fantasy baseball waiver wire in order to present you with some players who are currently flying under the radar and that you need to know about. These are the type of players that can help you to gain the upper hand in your fantasy league. Utilize enough of these guys at the right times, and you'll be on your way to a successful campaign. Ownership values are based on information obtained from CBS.
Tom Koehler (SP): Marlins - Owned: 19%
Tom who? I know I am digging deep by touting a guy who is owned in just 19% of CBS fantasy leagues - although after his nasty start Monday night - 6.1 IP, 8 K, 2 ER, his ownership is sure to rise. If Tom Koehler continues to put up solid fantasy numbers, I can always boast that I knew about him way back when. I actually chose Koehler with the second-to-last pick in my fantasy draft. Although he had a tough start to his major league career, posting an overall 4.40 ERA last season, Koehler has shown signs that he is ready to take his career to the next level. In his last eight major league starts dating back to September, Koehler has compiled a 4-2 record and posted a 2.64 ERA. After watching him put together an impressive spring during which he allowed just three earned runs in 18 innings of work, the Marlins rewarded him with the fifth spot in their starting rotation. He has pitched remarkably well through his first four starts this season, but Koehler will need to learn to control his occasional bouts of wildness if he wants to remain in the rotation. If your fantasy team needs some starting pitching help, take a chance on Koehler. At 28 years of age, he might just be the type of late bloomer that can help your team. If you do pick him up off of the waiver wire, make sure to watch his progress carefully, just in case he takes a step backward in his development.
Roenis Elias (SP): Mariners - Owned: 25%
Allow me to introduce you to Roenis Elias. There aren’t too many who had ever heard of Elias as the Mariners broke camp this spring, but he posted some impressive numbers in the Cactus League, pitching well enough to make the jump from Double-A and earn a spot in the Mariners rotation as their number four starter. Elias suffered a bit of a setback with a rather poor outing on Saturday, but in his first three starts this regular season, he rewarded the Mariner’s confidence by splitting his first two decisions while pitching to a 2.16 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. His arsenal includes a fastball that approaches 95 MPH and a devastating curveball that some scouts have called one of the best they’ve ever seen. The 25-year-old Cuban defector still needs to develop some of his raw talent, and as his last start clearly demonstrates, he may have his ups and downs this year, but he definitely should be on your radar. You have to love this guy’s tenacity as he seized the opportunity that became available when Seattle starters Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker began the season on the DL. It is that internal drive that Elias possesses that will help him to rebound from the occasional poor outings that all young pitchers experience. Watch Elias carefully. He's got the goods and tons of upside.
Marcell Ozuna (OF): Marlin - Owned: 37%
Marcell Ozuna has gotten off to a hot start for the Marlins, and he definitely deserves your attention if your team is in need of outfield help. Through his first 16 games, Ozuna batted .329, scored 12 R and hit 3 HR. He definitely can hit for power, having put together three straight minor league seasons in which he hit 20 or more home runs. He also has decent speed for a player who is 6'1" and 222 lbs. Although he has performed well thus far, Ozuna does need to cut down on his strikeouts. After enjoying moderate success filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton last season, Ozuna came to spring training and beat out Jake Marisnick in order to become the Marlins’ everyday centerfielder. He has a great deal of potential and will soon be on your fellow managers' radars. Add him while you still can in deep leagues.