DJ LeMahieu is one of the hottest hitting second baseman in the league right now and yet he is only owned in a third of Yahoo Leagues. For some understandable reasons he does not attract a big following, but it’s high time you let him take you for a ride, cause this particular DJ knows how to spin.
LeMahieu has average speed and probably below average pop, especially for a second baseman of his stature. On top of this, he often hits from the dreaded 8-spot, which is usually followed by the pitcher. These are the negatives. Now let’s get to the positives:
The positives are: (A) He’s slashing a cool .338 AVG/ .391 OBP/.432 SLG for a .824 OPS. (B) He’s on a 10-game hitting streak leading up to Friday’s game, during which he’s had five 2-hit games, 10 runs and 20 RBI. and (C) He plays for the high-scoring Rockies – let’s face it, hitting 8th on the Rockies is better than hitting 1st for the Phils.
Here’s another reason DJ deserves to be the headliner this week: There seems to be a general trend as far as my “Watch List” has gone all year – it’s chock-a-block with outfielders and first basemen every week. You know, it’s a shame Marlon Byrd doesn’t play third base, for instance, because he’d be scooped up in many more leagues by now.
There’s just too many good outfielders and first basemen period. So, unless you must replace an injured player, how much are you going to improve upon what you already have? This is why I’m going to devote Waiver Wire Week 9 to the other (scarcer) positions:
Jimmy Paredes 2B/3B (71% owned in Yahoo Leagues) I’ve harped on and on about this guy. I’m not going to say anything more about him. So, I will instead ask you this: did you notice the new 2B status by his name? That’s right, for Fantasy purposes, he is now one of the best second baseman in the league. Love it.
Alex Guerrero 3B/OF (42% owned in Yahoo Leagues) A clearer path has now formed for the Cuban rookie, as Juan Uribe has been traded to the Braves. So, patient owners may now be rewarded. They should, however, temper themselves a little, as well. Guerrero had such a fantastic start with all those pinch-hit home runs, a pace which no player could maintain. May’s performance has displayed some of this expected regression, but he’s still very much relevant with an .849 OPS during the month. He now has 9 HR in just 87 AB. Guerrero will still miss games here and there as all of the Dodgers that play his eligible positions continue to rake, including Justin Turner and Scott van Slyke. But it’s such a potent offense that I wouldn’t hesitate to grab him if I had the room.
DJ LeMahieu 2B (35% owned in Yahoo Leagues) More hits (50) than games played (43) is always a great sign two months into a season. For LeMahieu, and his teammate below, let’s not forget about some of the freaky weather that hit Denver in April. Things are normalizing at Coors now – and normal is nothing short of high-octane offense.
Nick Hundley C (34% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Like so many players before him, Hundley is taking full advantage of Coors Field. He’s slashing .339 AVG/.365 OBP/.627 SLG/.992 OPS at home, and has tallied 10 runs and 13 RBI in those 16 games at Coors. Concerned about him cooling off? He’s just coming off a 13-game hit streak and his May numbers are an improvement over April’s. If he’s even playing half of his weekly games at home, he’s worth streaming.
Trevor Plouffe 3B (24% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Never been a big fan, but that may be due to the team more than the individual. Plouffe is on fire presently, so it may be a good time to stream him as a corner infielder.
Jung-ho Kang SS/3B (21% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Let me add a little more to Kang’s credentials from my write-up in Waiver Wire Week 7: During a crucial point in Wednesday’s game, Kang came to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 out. He promptly had two very questionable pitches called as strikes, without losing one iota of his composure. If he even questioned the ump, then it didn’t show. Meanwhile, the Pirates announcer was beginning to get perturbed by the growing strike zone. Carter Capps then threw a 98 mph fastball on a 1-2 count and Kang put a beautiful swing on it for an opposite-field 2-run single. Kang’s RBI single was a “singular” confirmation of what I’ve been saying since Week 7 – Kang is a professional who is here to stay and is terribly under-owned for a shortstop of his calibre.
Matt Moore SP (14% owned in Yahoo Leagues) I have to agree with my cohort Lenny from his Waiver Wire Week 8 post: “If you are looking for aces on the wire – they might be there in the form of pitchers who are are nearing return status.” As well, I agree with him that Moore is amongst the best that will return in June. Before going down for Tommy John surgery early last year, Moore had lost much of his original appeal. This was almost entirely due to his lack of control, as he remained fairly un-hittable, for the most part. However, he was so dominating in his rookie year, that it’s impossible to ignore the high strikeout rate and the potentially low batting average against. If he finds that control early, it will probably be too late to grab him. So, pick him up now. Then play the wait and see game.
Taijuan Walker SP (31% owned in Yahoo Leagues) If any player ever qualified as a gut pick for me, Walker is it. His numbers are horrid: 7.33 ERA/.313 BAA/1.84 WHIP. But just remember, the insignificance of small sample sizes can work both ways, especially for rookie pitchers. I think Danny Salazar is a perfect comparison – he’s a high-K fireballer who may have been tipping his pitches last year – now look at him. There’s only upside left here. He will not get any worse and he did show a lot of promise in 4 of his last 7 games, including a quality start against the Padres where his line included: 6 IP/4H/1BB/6K.
Walker will come around at some point, it’s just a matter of when. And given what’s left on the waiver wire for starters right now, he may be worth a flier if you have the room. His next start comes tonight at Safeco against the Tribe. It may be a key one in determining the rest of Walker’s season, so keep your eyes peeled.
Mike Wright SP (25% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Speaking of misleading small sample sizes, Wright’s great start could be one of them. We see this all the time – unfamiliar pitchers doing well as soon as they arrive in “the bigs”. Well, I’m not buying in yet, but he has turned my head enough to take note. Wright has yet to allow a run in his first two starts, which came against
Well, there goes Wright’s spotless record. Adam Eaton, of all players, just took him deep to lead off the game. See, he’s already coming back down to earth.