As September begins, fantasy baseball leagues around the country and entering their playoffs or engaging in the final weekly battle to make the postseason. Here are some names to pay attention to as the stakes raise with championships on the line.
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
Alfonso Soriano may no longer be the player capable of producing 30/30 numbers per season, but he still should be a viable power option for most leagues.
Most people do not realize it, but Soriano has had at least 20 homers in every season since 2002. Soriano seems to have had his power stroke working in August as well, as he has belted out 5 HR in the month so far. Another positive statistic of Soriano’s is that he has his power stroke working at home and on the road. So far this season, Soriano has belted 12 HR at Wrigley Field to go along with his 10 HR on the road.
Soriano’s production is basically limited to power numbers at this point in his career, but nevertheless, these are power numbers that could help out any fantasy team.
10-team league pitcher to watch
Vance Worley, SP, PHI
Vance Worley has literally come out of nowhere and turned out to be one of the most reliable pitchers for an already stacked starting rotation for the Phillies.
One important statistic of Worley’s is that the Phillies have won 16 straight games in which he has started. This means there is a good chance of him being able to rack up some more wins before the season is over. He has been nearly untouchable at home this year, as he has a perfect 5-0 record with a 1.96 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and .175 BAA. If Worley had enough statistics to qualify for the league leader board, his 2.65 ERA would rank 7th in the NL, and his 1.12 WHIP would rank 8th.
Worley is basically an under the radar star rookie that has the ability to quickly improve a fantasy starting rotation in need of some help.
12-team league hitter to watch
Vernon Wells, OF, LAA
It looks like our theme for “hitters to watch” so far is “players who are past their prime”. Vernon Wells is in a very similar situation to Alfonso Soriano. At one time Wells was a star slugger for the Blue Jays, and the Angels expected big things from his when they acquired him this offseason. Unfortunately, things have not gone according to plan.
After posting awful numbers in April and May (.207 OBP in April, .250 OBP in May), Wells started to find his stroke to some degree in June and July as he hit a combined 12 HRs in those months compared to 4 HR combined in April and May. So just like Soriano, Wells seems to be well past his prime, but he seems to still be capable of producing power numbers. In addition, he has been on a bit of a hot streak of late as well. In his past 5 games, Wells is batting .529 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, and 5 runs scored.
Like I said previously, Wells is still capable of hitting the long ball, and maybe his recent hot streak will get him back on track.
12-team league pitcher to watch
Josh Collmenter, SP, ARI
Josh Collmenter is probably one of the most unorthodox pitchers in the MLB. Fortunately, his literally “over the top” delivery has made him one of the more successful rookies of 2011.
Collmenter has posted an ERA of 3.19 on the season to go along with a very impressive 1.06 WHIP. So far this season, he has only had one month in which he had an ERA over 4.00, and batters are only batting .231 off of him this season. Over his last four starts he has a record of 2-1 with a dazzling ERA of 1.73.
Batters are probably going to have a tough time facing Collmenter for a while due to his odd delivery to the plate, so he should be someone to keep an eye on for the rest of this season and for seasons to come.
14-team league hitter to watch
James Loney, 1B, LAD
Compared to his career averages, James Loney is having a subpar year for his standards. That being said, he has been on fire lately and has been known as a solid run producer over the course of his career.
Over his last 7 games, Loney has a BA of .444 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 6 runs scored. Overall in August, he is batting .368 with 4 HR, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored. It seems like over the course of the past month, Loney is starting to turn back into the player that averaged just under 90 RBI per season from 2008-2010.
Though he might lack in the power department for a first baseman, Loney is still a very solid run producer when he is at his best, and from the numbers he has produced over the month, it seems like he is at his best right now.
14-team league pitcher to watch
Doug Fister, SP, DET
After getting one of the worst run supports in the league in Seattle, Doug Fister now has the ability to do something in Detroit that he never could do with the Mariners: rack up wins.
Fister has a very solid ERA of 3.35 on the season, but he only has 6 wins to show for it due to his poor run support that he received in Seattle. In 21 starts in Seattle, Fister managed to only get credited with 3 wins despite a 3.33 ERA while pitching for the Mariners. In 5 starts since being traded to Detroit, Fister has already matched his win total from Seattle by winning 3 games for the Tigers. He also continues to maintain his great ERA, so an increase in wins should be expected. In his last two starts, Fister has pitched a combined 14 innings allowing only 1 run and striking out 12.
Pick him up while you can, because it might be one of the better steals you can make at this point in the season.