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Deep League Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 17

It’s another look at the deepest of the deep waiver wire pickups. In our newest trash-to-treasure edition, we have some hot sleeper pitchers and a young prospect coming off injury. I hope you find some sleeper hitters worth salvaging from the bottom of the pile.


James Loney - 1B, TB

Owned in 19% of Yahoo Leagues

rotoballer-fantasy-baseball-advice-james-loneyLoney continues to pound away in obscurity down in Tampa. Sure, he isn't much of a power threat, but he's a nice hitter to stash away on your bench or utility role. Last week he hit over .500 and he's posted the highest current average of any Ray regular not named Kiermaier.

It's likely that Loney's 46 RBI, 20 doubles and .322 July average will be attractive to buyers approaching the trade deadline. Putting Loney in a stronger lineup might boost his stock. Although Loney gets regular playing time, he is far more effective against righties.

Recommendation: The guy can hit. You are getting a modern-day Mark Grace type of hitter when he is seeing it well.


Wade Miley - SP, ARI

Owned in 25% of Yahoo leagues

Wade_Miley_2013Miley may look more mountain man than big league pitcher, but the Arizona lefty is putting together a nice little run lately. In his last four starts, Miley is 3-0 with slightly more strikeouts than innings pitched and a sparkling July WHIP of 0.87.

His season ERA during that dropped from an ugly 4.80 to a more respectable 4.16. Remember that Miley has been effective in the past and his numbers are starting to resemble his breakout season of 2012.

Recommendation: Enough of a track record to trust his recent work.


Odrisamer Despaigne - SP, SD

Owned in 24% of Yahoo Leagues

The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but the Padres don’t care because Despaigne has been practically their one and only bright spot of the summer. Mixing a low-90s fastball and commanding a tight slider and slow but big-breaking curve, Odrisamer is keeping hitters seriously off balance.

Opponents can't square up his pitches, managing a pathetic .171 BA as Despaigne has posted a strong 0.90 WHIP.  He hasn't been a big strikeout guy as of yet, but when he gets more comfortable, he will feel out his best put-away pitch.

Recommendation: Hot pitcher with a cavernous home-field advantage. Fantasy owners are already moving on him.


Danny Santana - SP, CLE

Owned in 24% of Yahoo Leagues

Santana made a splash earlier in the season by compiling an outstanding batting average. In fact, only a month ago he was hitting a robust .339. In only 140+ at-bats, he has collected 10 doubles and stolen six bases. His numbers will obviously go down and coming off a leg injury will not help, but some may overlook him as a possibility at shortstop. Being a switch hitter, Santana is a solid play against both left- and right-handed pitching.

Recommendation: Keep an eye on him after the injury. Interesting youngster.


Jordy Mercer - SS, PIT

Owned in 14% of Yahoo Leagues

Another gritty up-the-middle player making an impact with the Pirates, Mercer has been steady so far this season. With a little pop (6 HR, 15 2b, 31 RBI), Mercer has the flexibility to play both shortstop and second base. He is particularly hot in July, hitting .367 with a .426 OBP. In daily leagues, it's worth noting that Jordy hits left-handed pitching 40 points higher than righties.

Recommendation: Nothing to write home about, but decent sub for desperate times.