In this piece, RotoBaller delves deeper into three players who are currently in our Daily Updated Waiver Wire Watch List that you should look to own over the next few weeks. These are fringe players, available on the waiver wire in many leagues, who could have an immediate impact on your team. If you invest a roster spot in one of these guys and catch a hot streak, you could then trade for a more stable player, or roll the dice on continued hot performance. Either way, you could see a fairly nice return from any of these players.
Stephen Drew, SS (BOS) – Plagued by injuries and largely irrelevant the past two seasons, Drew signed a one-year, $9.5 million deal with the Red Sox in the offseason to serve as their starting shortstop. A spring training concussion had Boston fans – still embittered by brother JD’s forgettable (and expensive) five-year tenure – rolling their eyes in disgust and bracing themselves for another year of The Drew Chronicles. But a four-hit game on Monday night raised Drew’s average from .182 to .225, and if you look a little deeper, he’s showing signs of coming around: in the last two weeks he’s hitting .316/.386/.605 with a double, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI. A top-12 SS option from 2008-2010, Drew is still just 30 years old and a legitimate candidate to resurrect his career in Beantown.
Justin Ruggiano, OF (MIA) - Ruggiano spent much of his career fighting the ‘Quad-A’ tag until raking at a .312/.374/.535 clip in 321 plate appearances for the Marlins last season, and lately he’s been showing signs that another strong season could be afoot. Witness that since the start of May, the Marlins outfielder has hit .273/.407/.682 with three HR, and is currently on pace for a 20/20 season. Yes, his approach is unrefined, and his career OPS against lefties is nearly 100 points higher than against righties, but there’s obvious value in any player with a solid power/speed combination. Ruggiano will continue to get at-bats on a bad team and could very well provide sneaky top-40 outfield production.
Kevin Slowey, SP (MIA) – Coming off a lost 2012 campaign spent mostly on Cleveland’s minor league disabled list, Slowey was a non-roster invitee to Marlins spring training but subsequently pitched well enough to earn the number-two starter gig out of camp. So far, the one-time Twins hurler has been a $750K bargain for spendthrift Miami, as he has posted a sparkling 1.81 ERA and 0.94 WHIP through seven starts. Of course, the downside has been that he's pitching for the Marlins, and so despite five quality starts in seven appearances (and just one earned run allowed in each of the two other starts), the right-hander has just one win. That figures to be a problem all season long, but we’re starting to reach a point where his consistency cannot be ignored. Slowey won’t maintain quite this level of performance – he typically pitches far too much to contact – but it’s important to remember that pitching in Marlins Parkn will serve his flyball tendencies well, and he also has tremendous control. If you're short on pitching, Slowey is someone to take a look at as a cheap option who can impact multiple roto categories.
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