Fantasy Baseball 2012: Waiver Wire Watch

Welcome back to the Waiver Wire Watch!  Hope everyone had a terrific Memorial Day filled with good food and good company. Once again, thank you to those past, present, and future heroes that have given us freedom by serving our country.

From America’s heroes to America’s pastime, here once again is the format for the 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.


Bud Norris can help any fantasy baseball team out. Photo by SBoyd via CC BY 2.0.

10-team league hitter to watch

Angel Pagan, OF, SF

Angel Pagan has always been somewhat underrated as a fantasy outfielder dating back to his days with the Mets.  Playing in his new pitcher-friendly home at AT&T Park in San Francisco has not really affected his numbers though, since Pagan has never been a power hitter.  He makes his living by stealing bases and hitting for a high average.  So far he has done both of these things very well in 2012.

Pagan currently holds a .306 AVG to go along with 8 SB.  He is more than capable of maintaining this statistics over the course of the entire season.  If your team is in need of stolen bases, be sure to remember that Pagan is coming off two consecutive 30+ SB seasons and looks to be well on his way to making that mark for a third straight season.

10-team league pitcher to watch

Bud Norris, SP, HOU

Bud Norris is a really good pitcher and has been for a couple seasons now.  Playing in Houston is a likely reason for him not getting the attention he deserves, but he can really help out any fantasy pitching staff.  You can depend on Norris to give you a solid ERA, throw a decent number of innings, and strike out a lot of batters.

Norris is averaging exactly 1 K/IP on the season as he has struck out 62 in 62 IP.  He has posted great strikeout numbers per inning since arriving in the MLB in 2009, so his strikeouts are no fluke either.  After a shaky start to the season, Norris has pitched like the consistent, reliable pitcher fantasy owners need in May.  He has a perfect 4-0 record for the month with an ERA of 1.17.  He is a great under-the-radar pitcher capable of producing big numbers.

12-team league hitter to watch

Alcides Escobar, SS, KC

Alcides Escobar has always had the potential to be a solid big league ballplayer, and he is starting to perform with some consistency now in 2012.  Expect a lot of hits, a high average, and a lot of steals with Escobar.  Something promising about Escobar, though, is that he really has not shown a whole lot of weaknesses at the plate through the first two months of the season.

He has an AVG of .320 at home compared to .295 on the road.  He also has an AVG of .310 versus left-handed pitching and an AVG of .306 versus right-handed pitching.  His OBP and SLG have improved significantly since last season as well.  It looks like Escobar is taking his next step forward in 2012, which is good news for fantasy owners because there is a lot of potential that this kid brings to the table.

12-team league pitcher to watch

Addison Reed, RP, CWS

Say hello to Addison Reed, the new closer of the Chicago White Sox.  Reed is still relatively unknown since he is just a rookie and was just recently anointed the closer of the White Sox this May.  However, Reed has all the tools to be a superstar closer for a long time.  His numbers are slightly inflated this season due to one terrible appearance against the Royals on May 13.  However, he has been pretty much dominant outside of that appearance.  He has 19 strikeouts in just 15.1 IP, and he has a .207 BAA.  He is a young power arm with electric stuff, and I think it’s a relatively fair comparison to potentially call him the Craig Kimbrel of the American League.  Expect a lot of strikeouts and a lot of saves for years to come.

14-team league hitter to watch

Denard Span, OF, MIN

Not much is going right in Minnesota for the Twins this season, but Denard Span has been a bright spot for them as he is quietly putting together a solid season.  In his young career, Span has stolen 20+ bases twice in his career, and there is a good chance he will do this again in 2012 as long as he stays healthy for the remainder of the season.  His average has also improved so far this season in comparison to his past couple seasons.  Span has a solid AVG of .306 thus far through the season, and he also has posted a respectable OBP of .362.  Due to the lack of firepower in the Twins’ lineup, he may not score runs at the pace that he used to, but he is still a good source of SB’s with a decent AVG for a 14-team league.

14-team league pitcher to watch

Felix Doubront, SP, BOS

Felix Doubront is turning out to be a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox this season.  He has allowed two runs or less in each of his last four starts, and he has had the strikeout pitch on his side as well.  Doubront has struck out 59 batters in 56 IP this season, and he has also struck out at least six batters in seven out of his 10 starts.

Doubront’s minor league statistics show that he has always had the ability to strikeout batters, so the Ks are no fluke.  He has 5 wins on the season as well, and you can expect him to continue to rack up the wins if he continues to be the consistent pitcher that he has been thus far this season.

* All statistics used are as of Sunday May 27, 2012.


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