After a great trip to New York, I am back for some more Waiver Wire Watch. I hope everyone got a chance to look at Derek’s article last week, as he had some good stuff in there.
Also, I was lucky enough to visit Yankee Stadium to see the Yanks take on the Mariners. If anyone is headed to New York City anytime soon, I would highly recommend visiting Yankee Stadium if you have not already. It is a really beautiful ballpark.
Anyways, back to business!
Format for waiver wire watch:
- 50-75% Owned- Player qualifies for 10-team league
- 25-49% Owned- Player qualifies for 12-team league
- Less than 25% Owned- Player qualifies for 14-team league
Again, these percentages are found on Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball.
10-team league hitter to watch
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B/SS/OF, FLA
After a torrid July, Emilio Bonifacio should have put himself on the radar for many fantasy owners to consider picking up. His July consisted of a 26-game hit streak in which he batted .390 during his streak.
Overall for the month of July, Bonifacio batted .380 with a .466 OBP. He also put up a .450 SLG, which is a very respectable number for someone who does not hit for much power. Bonifacio also stole a whopping 16 bases during the month of July, and his 24 SB rank 6th in the NL for the season overall. In addition, Bonifacio only has 336 AB, so all of his production has come in a limited number of AB this season.
Bonifacio is a player to look for to continue to give any fantasy team hits, runs, stolen bases, and a good batting average. His eligibility for multiple positions in many leagues also makes him a very intriguing option.
10-team league pitcher to watch
Ervin Santana, SP, LAA
Well, I guess throwing a no-hitter is one way to make the Waiver Wire Watch. In all seriousness though, it is pretty surprising Ervin Santana is owned in less than 75% of fantasy leagues.
After a sub-par April Santana has posted ERAs of under 4.00 in every month since, while posting a sparkling ERA of 1.67 in July. Throughout his career, Santana has been inconsistent for the most part. At times he has been nearly untouchable, but at times he has also lost command of his pitches. That being said, Santana is a pitcher that has topped the 200 IP plateau 3 times in his career, so he has been an innings eater for the better part of his career. Also, his current .237 BAA, 1.16 WHIP, and 3.47 ERA would all be career-bests for him if the season ended today.
Though his record does not indicate it, Santana is throwing the ball really well this season.
12-team league hitter to watch
Baseball America ranked Desmond Jennings as the 6th best prospect for the 2010 season and the 22nd best prospect for the 2011 season for good reason. Jennings’s hot start in Tampa Bay has given baseball fans a brief glimpse of what he is capable of. He has the potential to become a star 5-tool player in the MLB someday.
Over the course of 6 seasons in the minor leagues, Jennings stole a combined 188 bases with a career .294 AVG and .382 OBP. Before being called up in 2011, Jennings had even blasted 12 HR on the season. He is the type of player that teams build around, and the type of player that can make an immediate impact in multiple areas.
Word is going to get out quickly on Jennings, so try and pick him up while he is still available.
12-team league pitcher to watch
Jason Isringhausen, RP, NYM
Due to the trade of Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers, veteran Jason Isringhausen seems to have taken over the closer’s role for the Mets at this point in the season. As I have mentioned before, closers at this point in the season are generally very difficult to find in most leagues, so make the most of the opportunity while he is still available if your team could use some more saves.
Isringhausen may not be the dominating reliever that he used to be, but he has still put up respectable numbers in 2011. Batters are only batting .192 of Isringhausen this season, and his 1.12 WHIP is still respectable. He has also struck out 32 batters in 36.1 IP, so he still possesses the ability to strike out batters.
The truth is that you probably are not going to find many other closers for the last two months of the season, so it might be worth it to just go ahead and take a risk on Isringhausen.
14-team league hitter to watch
Hideki Matsui, OF, OAK
Believe it or not, at age 37 Hideki Matsui still has some offense left in the tank. Matsui was having a below average year…and then July happened. For the month of July, Matsui batted .369, with a .449 OBP, and a .560 SLG. He also scored 16 runs and had 22 RBIs for the month. Matsui has not shown signs of cooling off anytime soon either. In his last 26 AB Matsui has a .500 AVG, with 1 HR, 6 runs scored, and 8 RBI.
Matsui is no longer the player that is capable of hitting 30 HR per season anymore, but he should still be considered a reliable option for offense in a 14-team league.
14-team league pitcher to watch
Jeff Niemann, SP, TB
Since coming off the DL in late June, Jeff Niemann has been simply spectacular.
Since his return, Niemann is 4-0 with an ERA of 1.88. He also has an ERA of 0.87 with 25 K’s over his last 3 starts. Overall for the month of July, Niemann finished the month with an ERA of 1.06, which set a record for the lowest ERA by a Rays starting pitcher for a month. Niemann has rattled off 5 straight quality starts, and has only allowed a total of 4 earned runs during this time. He also struck out 10+ batters in two of these starts.
Obviously Niemann is locked in since coming off the DL, and there is really no one in the AL pitching better than him right now. If you’re looking for some potential starting pitching help, here is your guy.