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Top 5 Hitter Streamers For Week 9: Waiver Wire Targets


By Keith Allison on Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Some Of Your Best Trades Are The Ones You Didn't Make

I almost traded for Prince Fielder two weeks ago. If I had done that trade, I might be sitting in a dark room crying right now, so if you're a Fielder owner out there in despair, trust me I have all the sympathy in the world for you. It's been a really tough season for injuries this year, not just because there have been a lot of them (though there have been), but because they've been the types of injuries that derail a player for months on end, or in Fielder's case, the entire season. However, if you've been one of the unlucky owners dealing with these issues in your lineup, you’ve come to the right place. This week I'll be breaking down five potential sleepers, waiver wire players that I think could make a big impact in weekly lineups next week including NL-Only and AL-Only formats. These hitter streamers are all guys owned in less than 50% of leagues so they should be available, and hopefully useful, plug-ins for your lineups.

 

Week 9 Lineup Tools: Hitting Streamer Options

 

1) Wilson Ramos (Nationals, C)

2014 Stats: .150 BA, 4 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 46.9%

Opponents: Marlins, Rangers

Games Scheduled: 6

By Keith Allison on Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I was a big proponent of Wilson Ramos during the offseason and a big part of that enthusiasm was a statistic I've quoted in most every article I written about him. In 2013 Wilson Ramos had an average fly ball distance of 309.51 ft, a number good for 4th highest of all qualified batters in the major leagues. When Ramos hit a fly ball, he hit it farther on average than Miguel Cabrera, farther than Chris Davis, and farther than Giancarlo Stanton.

His power this season has been largely nonexistent due to his wrist injury, but as he moves away from the injury and begins to establish himself at the plate again, I look forward to a nice power surge from Ramos. If you're short on power and lacking a good catcher or utility option, Ramos should be a nice add this next week. He has a six game homestretch to enjoy and considering that he'll be facing the tattered remains of the Texas Rangers pitching staff, I think he should do quite well for himself.

 

2) Nick Swisher (Indians, OF / 1B)

2014 Stats: .211 BA, 17 R, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 34.2%

Opponents: (at) White Sox, Rockies

Games Scheduled: 6

As I talked about in my intro, next week a lot of people are going to be staring at a big hole in their lineup where Prince Fielder used to reside. Considering how thin the market for good corner infielders is right now, owners are going to have to be creative if they want to solve that problem through free agency. I think Nick Swisher has a chance to be a good temporary fill in for owners in this situation. There's no avoiding the fact that Swisher has been awful so far this season, but considering the fact that his batting-average-on-balls-in-play this season is .030 lower than his career average, I'm confident in saying part of this slump has been some very poor luck on batted ball placement.

His career numbers suggest that he's a reliable 20-23 homer hitter with an average to above-average bat in terms of batting average (depending on how heavily you want to weigh 2013's numbers), and even though age has taken some punch out of his bat, I don't think it's robbed him of everything that made him a very useful player in the past. He's heated up somewhat in the past week, hitting .276 with a home run, and looking at Swisher's month to month splits in recent seasons, he's shown the tendency to be a very streaky bat, at least when it comes to batting average. Outside of Chris Sale, none of the pitchers he'll be facing next week are particularly noteworthy, and the White Sox have the kind of park that can produce some nice power numbers for a hot bat. I think Swisher could be a nice add next week if you need a first base bat badly.

 

3) Kolten Wong (Cardinals, 2B)

2014 Stats: .250 BA, 9 R, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 5 SB

Ownership: 11.7%

Opponents: Yankees, Giants

Games Scheduled: 7

What's really going to hold Kolten Wong back most weeks going forward is the very high likelihood he'll be used in a platoon role. The reason he makes this list despite that is because this week he'll be facing pitching rotations which lean heavily on right handed pitchers. The Cardinals are currently projected to take on Chase Whitley, David Phelps and Hiroki Kuroda when they face the Yankees, all three of whom are righties. Afterward he'll face the Giants, who only have one lefty in their rotation (the ever amazing Madison Bumgarner). This means that given the seven games available to him, Kolten Wong should be a mainstay in the lineup for at least six of them, which puts him right on par with the other hitters featured this week. In terms of talent, Wong has always had it, and it looks like his brief return to the minor leagues did him a lot of good in reestablishing his swing. He's hit very well since returning, and could be an excellent source of speed if you're needing help at second base.

 

4) Marcell Ozuna (Marlins, OF)

2014 Stats: .255 BA, 19 Runs, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 32.9%

Opponents: (at) Nationals, Braves

Games Scheduled: 6

Marcell Ozuna Miami Marlins MLB News

After starting out the season white hot, Marcell Ozuna has gone through quite a slump in recent weeks, hitting only .164 this month. These kind of slumps have to be expected for a hitter with as much swing and miss to his approach as Ozuna has, but happily there are signs that his bat is heating up once again. He's hit .278 with two home runs and 8 RBI over the last five days, numbers a fantasy owner would jump for any week.

Power hitters with big strikeout problems can be notoriously streaky, but if the recent past is to be trusted, Ozuna might be getting into one of those streaks. Considering his body of work the past season and a half, I think he's a good option for fantasy owners this next week.

 

5) Mitch Moreland (Rangers, 1B / DH)

2014 Stats: .286 BA, 12 Runs, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 0.9%

Opponents: (at) Twins, (at) Nationals

Games Scheduled: 7

Considering how hard it's been for Mitch Moreland to get at bats this season, he's been surprisingly productive with the little he's been given. During the month of May, he's hit a very impressive .342 with 1 home run and 6 RBI in 38 at-bats. Now with Prince Fielder presumably about to receive season ending surgery, I expect Moreland to get every day at bats at first base and DH as the Rangers try to desperately fill the very big hole Fielder leaves in that lineup. He'll enjoy a 7 game schedule next week, four of those games against the Twins, who sport a 4.51 team ERA, fourth worst in the major leagues. Now of course this is all contingent on Fielder actually going under the knife, but if he does, I think Moreland could be a decent fill in for fantasy owners next week, if you're facing a particularly bare spread of infielders from which to choose from.

 




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