Digging Deeper: Week 5 AL Waiver Wire Targets

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Welcome back to Digging Deeper! I'll be taking a look at some deeper AL waiver wire options for Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season.

The search for upside continues! As injuries pop up and long cold streaks turn into concerns of permanent regression, winning the waiver wire upside battle becomes crucial. You may feel like a deranged lunatic for adding and dropping 10 players a week, but you'll feel much better when one of those players proves he is for real.

The prospect talk will begin to flourish in the next few weeks, and while it may still be a little early for call-ups, you have to gauge where your league is in terms of stashing minor league players and follow suite. Best of luck finding that flame among the sparks in the pan! Any feedback is welcomed, and you can find me on Twitter @BellRoto. Let's do it.

Editor's note: Get a free one-week MLB Premium Pass including our famous Lineup Optimizer/Generator, Premium Matchup Ratings, DFS Lineups, Cheat Sheets, and 10 other tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Digging Deeper: Week 5 Picks - AL

Josh Reddick (OF, HOU) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

I'm not sure how much upside Reddick actually provides in comparison to what he is doing now, but a player hitting at the top of the Astros lineup should not be 11% owned on any site. He took the spot from Alex Bregman a few weeks ago, and hasn't done anything to lose it yet.

Reddick is basically in line with the numbers from the past two seasons, so if he stays healthy you can expect at least 12 home runs with 70ish runs and RBI and a handful of stolen bases. Like I said, it's nothing to go crazy about, but this is a useful player who can provide consistent production in an above average offense.

 

Delino DeShields (OF, TEX) - 9% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Including Wednesday's start, DeShields has batted leadoff for the Rangers for seven straight games. After the first six starts, he has put up eight runs, a home run, and three steals. We can't guarantee DeShields will stay in this spot forever, and we certainly can't guarantee he'll continue hitting enough to provide these stats. However, we were touting this guy during Spring Training, and he certainly has the walk ability and speed to contribute consistently in runs and steals. There's no reason you should be leaving this guy on the wire if you're in need of those two categories.

P.S. His upside is huge in this offense.

 

Yonder Alonso (1B, OAK) - 4% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

The reason why Alonso has five home runs and 15 RBI through the first month of the season is pretty simple: He's trying to hit more fly balls. Eno Sarris has written twice about Alonso since his fantastic Spring Training, and there might be some validity here. Obviously Oakland's home park is where fly balls go to die, but his average and production in the middle of the A's lineup suggests he's doing OK so far. I understand the first basemen pool is very deep, but this guy can legitimately help a lot of teams, particularly the ones that are still relying on Adrian Gonzalez-type corner infielders.

 

Jesse Hahn (SP, OAK) - 22% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Speaking of the park where fly balls go to die, Hahn pitches there! OK, that's not the only reason why he made this list; his statline speaks for itself. Hahn hasn't gone less than six innings yet this season, and his strikeout and walk percentages are both moving the right way. Low BABIP and HR/FB numbers surely mean some regression is coming, but the eye tests bodes well for this young righty. I don't mind investing in a promsing arm in a great pitcher's park in hopes of a continued breakout.

 

Jose Berrios (SP, MIN) - 7% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

It's our first prospect! Before you roll your eyes, yes, I know how bad Berrios was in his major league stint last season. That seems to be an unfortunate trend with Byron Buxton and company. However, Berrios is lighting it up again in the minors, and a return to the big league club seems likely in the coming month or two. If you're in need of a high-upside arm to help out a middling rotation and you have enough bench/NA room, take a shot on this top prospect.

 

Tommy Kahnle (SP, CHW) - 4% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Kahnle has turned into the Nate Jones of the White Sox' bullpen. He has looked stupendous in a setup role, racking up 19 strikeouts and just one walk in nine innings so far this season. If (at this point it seems more like "When") David Robertson gets moved this season, Kahnle could challenge Jones for the job, as the other White Sox reliever has looked more human this season. If nothing else, Kahnle can help tremendously in K/BB and WHIP in the meantime.

 

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