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Three RBI Waiver Wire Sleepers for Your 2015 Fantasy Baseball Team

What Appears In This Article? hide

When browsing through the expected 2015 RBI leaders, the usual suspects come up. The likes of Trout, Cabrera and Stanton are likely to achieve, or come close to achieving, their lofty expectations for the year. Let's try to think of a few names that may fly under the radar on most RBI projections.

Last year we saw breakout RBI seasons from Michael Brantley, Lucas Duda, and Marcell Ozuna, among others. As fantasy owners, it is important to find these guys before they garner too much attention.

Editor's Note: be sure to check out our famous waiver wire pickups & adds list, a running list of sleepers and waiver wire targets updated daily for all positions. You can also download the free iPhone app

 

Week 1 Waiver Wire Targets for RBIs

Michael Morse (OF, MIA)

Owned in 50% of Yahoo! and 58% of Fleaflicker Leagues

Morse has been brought to Miami to provide protection in the Marlins lineup for one of the best hitters in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton. Known as a power hitter, Morse came through with a .279 average and .475 slugging percentage with the Giants in 2014.

He should see a ton of RBI opportunities this season, as pitchers will do their best to avoid Stanton. The combination of Stanton and speedster Dee Gordon, who will leadoff for the Marlins, will likely wind up in plenty of favorable situations for Morse. The top three of Gordon, Christian Yelich, and Stanton is poised to be one of the toughest in the NL and Morse will have ample chances to drive them all home.

Morse had a .348 BABIP last season with limited run-producing chances. Compare that with Stanton’s .353 BABIP and you are looking at someone who consistently produces when they make contact. Morse is no stranger to production, hammering 31 home runs with 95 RBI in 2011. Expect 2015 to be a solid year for Morse if he can stay healthy and for him to eclipse his career high in RBI.

 

Matt Joyce (OF, LAA)

Owned in 3% of Yahoo! and 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues

Joyce has never been known as an RBI machine. This season he will be relied on to drive in the one and only Mike Trout. Joyce will be batting in the middle of the Angels offense this season while Josh Hamilton is out. He has only averaged 52.6 RBI per season over the last three, but I would expect him to crush that number this year.

He’ll be batting behind two of the top ten run scorers from a season ago in Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun, as well as the always dangerous Albert Pujols. This is a better lineup than Joyce has seen in his time with Tampa Bay. His opportunities will be there in Los Angeles. If he can produce near his average of 40 XBH over the past five seasons in 2015, he’ll knock in at least 70-75 RBI this season.

 

Kennys Vargas (1B/DH, MIN)

Owned in 23% of Yahoo! and 49% of Fleaflicker Leagues

Vargas is a big time talent (very big, at 6-5, 275). This guy is truly poised for a breakout season in his second year in the league. He had 38 RBIs in 53 major league games in his shortened rookie season. In 2015, Vargas will be batting behind exciting leadoff man Danny Santana and a cast of veteran players who know how to get on base like Joe Mauer and Tori Hunter.

His opportunities will be there and I believe he has the talent and ability to make the most of them. Though he struck out at a pretty high rate of 26.9% last year, he still managed a solid batting average of .274. Having a partial season under his belt should do wonders for his batting eye, and I expect the swings-and-misses to decline this season.

According to FanGraphs, he only made contact 47.5% of the time when swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone. For a veteran player this would be disconcerting, but for a guy in his first 53 major league games, this is something that can and should be improved. There's enough to like about Vargas’ power and situation that 80 RBI may be a realistic goal.

 




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