First of all, congratulations to the New York Mets for finally getting their first no-hitter in team history thanks to Johan Santana. With all the big name pitchers that have played for the Mets (Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Warren Spahn, Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, Bret Saberhagen, Al Leiter, David Cone, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, etc.), it’s hard to imagine that it has taken this long. I guess it just goes to show how difficult it is to throw a no-hitter (I mean unless you are Justin Verlander of course).
Anyway, time to get back to business. Let’s take a look at which under the radar players might turn in some superstar performances for your fantasy team.
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
Alejandro De Aza, OF, CWS
After a blistering month of May, Alejandro De Aza is a player that all fantasy owners in need of outfield help should consider adding. With De Aza you will be adding a solid combination of a high AVG and lots of SBs. De Aza can get on base too, as proven by his .380 OBP in 2012 and his .400 OBP in 54 games in 2011.
Currently De Aza ranks in the top five in runs and SBs among outfielders. He has continued his recent success into the month of June, and it’s probably safe to assume that he will not likely be available much longer in many fantasy leagues if he continues producing at his current rate. The bottom line is to get him before it’s too late.
10-team league pitcher to watch
Jeff Samardzija, SP/RP, CHC
Jeff Samardzija is one of the only bright spots for the Cubs at this point in the season. Fortunately for fantasy owners, he has been overlooked by many fellow owners since he has been playing on a poor team.
Samardzija is one of those guys that has “electric stuff” as many like to say. After pitching as a reliever for most of his career, the Cubs decided to move him into the starting rotation this season, and the move has really paid off. In 10 starts this season he has posted a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 3.09 to go along with 65K’s in 64 IP. He has pitched at least six innings in seven of his starts and would be a great find for owners at this point in the season.
12-team league hitter to watch
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, BOS
For a catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia might be your best option if you want power, and he is still available in most leagues. Playing in Fenway Park certainly helps his case, but it’s worth noting that he has hit just as many HRs at home as he has on the road this season. His 10 HR for the season currently ranks first among all catchers, and his 10 doubles rank him in the top five as well. As long as he calls Fenway Park his home, he will automatically have a power advantage over most other catchers.
12-team league pitcher to watch
Matt Harrison, SP, TEX
Despite a couple rough outings this season, Matt Harrison is picking up where he left off last year when he was one of the key arms in the American League Champion Texas Rangers’ starting rotation. Harrison has allowed three runs or less in eight out of his 11 starts this season, with his only hiccups coming in a couple starts in late April and early May in which he got hit hard. Due to these starts, his ERA and WHIP are slightly inflated for the season. However, he has a 2.49 ERA in his past 3 starts and is tied for the AL lead in wins with seven. With the firepower in the Rangers’ offense, you can expect his win total to keep climbing.
14-team league hitter to watch
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE
Though he might not have the power numbers yet, Michael Brantley is having a solid season for the Indians thus far. After a slow start in April, Brantley has picked up the pace by hitting for an AVG of .296 in May and .333 thus far in June. His 9 SB rank him in the top five in the AL, as do his 16 2Bs on the season. Brantley did have 7 HR in just 114 games last year too, so you can expect his power to pick up. It seems that Brantley is continuing to grow for the Indians, and he would be a good find for anyone looking for AVG and SB’s.
14-team league pitcher to watch
Homer Bailey, SP, CIN
Homer Bailey is quietly putting together an impressive 2012 campaign for the Reds this season. He is coming off a CG effort against the Pirates in which he only allowed 4 hits and 1 run. He has a solid 3.73 ERA on the season, which is actually slightly inflated due to one poor outing on May 8. Bailey has pitched at least six innings and allowed 3 ER or less in all but two of his starts on the season. As long as Bailey stays healthy, he is a viable starting pitcher option for any fantasy team.