As July approaches, it’s time to take another look at your waiver wire and see what overlooked gems may be easily within your grasp. This week, we look at Brennan Boesch, Sergio Santos, Seth Smith, Brandon Beachy, Mark Trumbo, and Jason Vargas.
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
Brennan Boesch, OF, DET
After a dreadful month of May, Brennan Boesch will be sad to see the month of June end in 2011. Boesch has been blistering the baseball in June posting a .385 AVG for the month with 6 HR and 13 RBI.
Unlike many lefties, Boesch hits left handed pitching very well as he has hit a fantastic .338 against southpaws this season, compared to a respectable .286 against right-handed pitching. In addition, Boesch actually hits better on the road than at home. He sports a .321 AVG on the road compared to a .273 AVG at pitcher friendly Comerica Park. Also, his 52 runs scored currently ranks 6th in the AL.
The only red flag for Boesch is that he is known as a pretty streaky hitter, so be alert if he starts to go cold. However, he is hitting as well as anyone in the MLB right now, so it’s hard to turn down the numbers he has been producing over the course of the last month.
10-team league pitcher to watch
Despite a couple bad outings in June, Sergio Santos should be a top reliever to watch if he has not been picked up yet in your fantasy league.
After Opening Day closer Matt Thornton struggled out of the gate for the White SOx, Ozzie Guillen handed the job over to Santos, and he responded with flying colors. Opponents are only batting .171 against Santos this season, with righties batting .134 against him. He can obviously handle the pressure of the closer role as he has not allowed an earned run on the road yet this season. Santos has also got great stuff as he has 47 K’s in just 37 IP.
At this point in the season, it is unlikely that there are many good closers available. Thus, if you are in need of a closer, I would jump on Santos as soon as possible if he is available.
12-team league hitter to watch
Seth Smith, OF, COL
Despite being a consistent producer for the Rockies all season, Seth Smith still manages to go under the radar as he is only owned in 42% of fantasy leagues. Smith has hit over .300 in every month this season, so he would help any fantasy owner that needs a player to boost their team’s batting average.
As of right now his .314 AVG ranks 7th in the NL, while his .547 SLG ranks 5th and his .912 OPS ranks 6th. So Smith can help out in a number of different statistical categories. His split stats have been pretty consistent too, as he is batting over .300 at home and on the road, along with during day games and night games. Smith’s only real weakness is left-handed pitching, as he is only batting .225 against lefties compared to an impressive .333 against right-handed pitchers. He is also batting over .300 with bases empty, with runners on base, and with RISP.
Thus, aside from left-handed pitching, Smith does not really have an offensive weakness in his game, so fantasy owners should pick him up before word gets out.
12-team league pitcher to watch
Brandon Beachy, SP, ATL
Brandon Beachy is a talented, young strikeout-pitcher for the Braves, with a TON of upside. The only reason he has not been picked up yet in most leagues, is because he has not received a ton of run support in his starts and he just returned from a month and a half long stint on the disabled list. Therefore, Beachy’s 2-1 record should not be a turn-off for any fantasy owners.
In fact, Beachy has often looked like a future star in the making in many of his starts. So far he has struck out 57 batters in 50.1 IP, which translates to an amazing 9.34 K/9 ratio. In addition, he has an excellent ERA at 3.22 and WHIP at 1.07. Also, batters are only hitting .217 against Beachy on the season. In his first outing since coming of the DL on June 22, Beachy pitched 6 innings, striking out 11 batters and getting the win against the Blue Jays.
If he continues to pitch like this, the wins will eventually come for this young phenom.
14-team league hitter to watch
Mark Trumbo, 1B. LAA
Just like good closers, productive first basemen are fairly tough to find at this point in the season since most of them have already been picked up. Mark Trumbo should give fantasy owners something to think about if they are in need of a first baseman.
Basically Trumbo is not really going to hit for a high average, nor is he going to have a high OBP. However, he has got prodigious power so there is a lot of HR and RBI potential with Trumbo. His 13 HR on the season lead AL rookies. Trumbo hit power at basically every level of the minor leagues, so he definitely has the ability to continue to for power at the major league level. In his 2010 season at Salt Lake (AAA), Trumbo blasted 36 HR and amassed 122 RBI. Those are staggering numbers for a minor league player, and though he might not hit for power like that in the MLB just yet, he should certainly be able to hold his own.
14-team league pitcher to watch
Jason Vargas, SP, SEA
Jason Vargas has been a pleasant surprise for the Seattle Mariners this season, and is a low-risk option for any fantasy team in need of starting pitching. It looks like Vargas has really figured things out this June as he has won 2 games (both complete game shutouts), posted an ERA 2.82 and a WHIP of 0.94, and has a BAA of .197 in the month. Prior to losing his last start in a solid effort against the Marlins, Vargas had averaged 8 IP over his previous 4 starts.
Since he pitches at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field in Seattle, he should continue to eat up innings and maintain a respectable ERA for the remainder of the season.
* All statistics used are as of Monday June 27, 2011
* – Sergio Santos photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America via Zimbio.com