Welcome back to the Waiver Wire Watch. I’m sure I’m not the only person this week that is in complete awe of what R.A. Dickey has been able to do over his last two starts. Back-to-back one-hitters while striking out a combined 25 batters? Are you kidding me?
Dickey has been absolutely unbelievable this year, and it looks like the National League has a pretty good chance of having this knuckleballer take the hill for them as their starting pitcher at the All-Star Game on July 10. Unfortunately, I highly doubt he is available is available in your fantasy league. The good news, though, is that the following guys probably are.
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
Alex Rios, OF, CWS
Alex Rios has shown us in the past that he can be a very valuable fantasy commodity by combining power and speed. He is quietly doing this again in 2012, although not a whole lot of people are taking notice. He has 8 HR and 8 SB on the season, which would get him pretty close to a 20/20 season if he continues at his current pace.
Rios also has his AVG up again this season at .291 after a miserable 2011 campaign. He seems to have returned to form this season, thus, he can help out your team in a few different categories across the board.
10-team league pitcher to watch
A.J. Burnett, SP, PIT
A.J. Burnett was certainly not the first good pitcher to perform poorly under the pressure of pitching in the Bronx (Javier Vazquez, Carl Pavano, and Randy Johnson to name a few). A move out of the Bronx and into Pittsburgh has had a positive effect on Burnett as he is pitching like a front-of-the-rotation starter once again. His current ERA (3.52), WHIP (1.28), and BAA (.244) are all better than the stats he posted in each of the past 3 seasons with the Yankees.
These are pretty decent stats for Burnett, but also take into account that he has actually pitched much better than these numbers show. His stats are inflated due to just one bad outing against the Cardinals in early May (well, “bad” is probably an understatement for that performance: 2.2 IP, 12 hits, 12 ER…but you get my drift). He is throwing like a top-tier starting pitcher right now and can improve pretty much any fantasy starting staff.
12-team league hitter to watch
Aaron Hill, 2B, ARI
Aaron Hill has reestablished himself as a potential power threat from the 2B position. He has been on fire in June with a .351 AVG for the month to go along with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Hill is also coming off a game in which he hit for the cycle on Monday. His 8 HR on the season ranks him in the top 5 in his position as does his .284 AVG.
Hill has shown in the past that he has some real potential in the power department (36 HR in 2009, 26 HR in 2010), and while he may not repeat these numbers ever again, he has proved that he is still a long ball threat.
12-team league pitcher to watch
Wei-Yin Chen, SP, BAL
Wei-Yin Chen has turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the Orioles this season. After a dominating month of April (2.22 ERA) Chen came back to earth a little bit in May (4.20 ERA). However, it seems like he has readjusted to the league and is performing well so far in June.
He currently holds a 3-1 record for the month and an ERA of 3.46. His statistics at home have been brilliant this season as he holds a perfect record of 4-0, a 2.72 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.16. Chen should continue to be a solid option for 12-team leagues.
14-team league hitter to watch
Rajai Davis, OF, TOR
I was shocked to find out that Rajai Davis, the AL leader is SB, is owned in just 11% of all fantasy baseball leagues. Davis has some serious speed and will instantly be an asset for any team looking to boost their stolen base total. Davis has stolen at least 25 bases in each of the last 4 seasons and has stolen more than 40 bases twice.
He already has 16 SB this season, which should put him into the 30-40 SB range at the end of the season if he keeps this rate up. Davis is about the easiest pickup you could have if your team is lacking in the speed department, so go ahead and take a chance on him.
14-team league pitcher to watch
Dillon Gee, SP, NYM
Dillon Gee is a good, under-the-radar pitcher for fantasy owners in 14-team leagues to consider picking up. He can eat up a lot of quality innings, striking out batters in the process. In 83.1 IP this season, Gee has struck out 74 batters while posting a solid WHIP of 1.28.
Gee is also in the midst of a string of six starts in which he has allowed 3 or less ER in each start. Sure, Gee may not be Justin Verlander or Clayton Kershaw, but he is a viable option that will give your team a lot of quality innings.
**All statistics used are as of Monday, June 18, 2012.