As standings in your league begin to take shape, remember it's a LONG way to October. Waiver wire advise is a tricky venture, as every league is different. Are you in a mixed league? 10 teams? 16 teams? Do you use FAAB to bid on players? Are you in a keeper league? There are so many factors to take into account. What we do each week is bring to your attention players that should be on your radar, then you can evaluate from there as it applies to your particular setup.
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Our list is a bit lengthy this week as we want to be sure you have something to work with after you eliminate players that were either taken at the draft/auction or have already been picked up in the first two weeks. If you are looking for names like Jeff Samardja, Matt Harvey, Dexter Fowler and the like, you won't find them here. If you don't know them by now, or they are still available in your league, you either are in a very small league or runnin' with folks that don't follow baseball.
Paul Maholm Atlanta- Maholm came into Nationals Park on Sunday and shutdown the Washington bats to complete the three game sweep for the Braves. Maholm has been around and along with Tim Hudson lends experience to the young Atlanta staff. Maholm has allowed ZERO runs this season, my only worry is what goes up... well you know the rest.
Jose Fernandez Miami- This guy has electric stuff and I am absolutely shocked at how many leagues he is still available. He is only 20 years old, had only pitched in the low minors and is on a inning count, but Fernandez is special. While he has yet to earn a decision, Jose has allowed but a single run over 11 innings, with 13 K's, while allowing only eight base-runners.
Shelby Miller St.Louis- In the Matt Harvey mold, Miller earned a spot in the rotation this Spring, much to the delight of those that follow top major league prospects. Miller is 2-0 with a sparkling 1.45 ERA. Miller was especially nasty on Friday night, tossing seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out eight and not issuing a walk. Get him now!
Garrett Richards LA Angels- It took the injury to Jared Weaver for Richards to get a spot in the rotation, but Richards may never give it up. The former number one draft pick got a taste of the bigs each of the last two seasons, but appears here to stay. Richards was brilliant on Saturday in his first start, tossing three hit ball into the seventh.
Patrick Corbin Arizona- The Diamondbacks have are strong in finding and developing pitchers, so much so that they can afford to ship the likes of Max Scherzer and Trevor Bauer to other teams. Corbin leads the next group and was lights out on Friday night to the tune of six shutout innings of three hit ball against the Dodgers.
Kelvin Herrera Kansas City- Looking for some cheap saves? It's nearly impossible to find a Craig Kimbrel or Aroldis Chapman after draft day, but a closer in waiting like Herrera can help you fill out that saves column. Everyone was riding Greg Holland, but Herrera has nasty stuff. Don't be surprised if the job is his full time by July.
Trevor Rosenthal St.Louis- Rosenthal is my personal favorite of all this week's talent. Something about that 100+ mph fastball that equals outs in my opinion. Lots of missed bats and a bullpen that's a mess. Not only is the Cards relief corps missing Jason Motte, the next in line- Mitchell Boggs- is like kerosene on a camp fire. Rosenthal IS the next great closer.
Andrew Bailey Boston- Remember when Josh Reddick was on the Red Sox? Maybe you don't because he didn't break out until he got to Oakland. Well, Andrew Bailey is who the A's gave up to get the long haired, power hitting outfielder. With Joel Hanrahan not able to get anyone out and also nursing an injury, here comes Bailey to the rescue!
Alfredo Figaro Milwaukee-OK, here is my super sleeper. So much so, I haven't gone to him yet in any of my leagues. For now, Jim Henderson is the closer in Milwaukee. K-Rod (Francisco Rodriguez) is gone and as Charles Barkley says, John Axford is "turrible". Who is Figaro you ask? He's been in Japan, but is now the Brewers next closer.
James Russell Chicago Cubs- Which bullpen is worst? Milwaukee or the Cubs? Carlos Marmol is in his annual funk. Kyuji Fujikawa looked promising, but he's now on the DL. That leaves Shawn Camp or James Russell. Russell is our choice, the 27 year old left hander has nasty stuff and has not been scored upon in six appearances with five strikeouts.
John Buck NY Mets C- Chris Davis, Justin Upton and John Buck? Which name doesn't fit with the others? Yes, Buck has been carrying not only the Mets offense, but fantasy teams across the land as well. Buck's six home runs and 19 RBI are allowing the Mets to take their time with super prospect Travus d'Arnaud.
Evan Gattis Atlanta C- If you were wondering if Gattis is the real deal, he is! I went to Saturday's Braves-Nationals game and witnessed Gattis tomahawk a 96 mph Stephen Strasburg fastball at the letters half way to Pennsylvania Avenue. Brian McCann will be back soon, but the Braves will find a spot for Gattis in the lineup.
Jean Segura Milwaukee SS- Segura has been white hot out of the gate, hitting over .400. Don't worry about the game he missed last Monday, he was given a precautionary day off after a hard slide last weekend. The 23-year old Dominican is much more than a stop gap and is a must have in keeper leagues.
Matt Carpenter St.Lous 1b/3b/OF- The Cardinals just keep rolling out stud hitters. The latest is Matt Carpenter, hitting .333 with a homer and six RBI. Carpenter should be on your wish list as a 1b/OF, but he also qualifies at 2b- where he can start for any fantasy team. At 27 years old, the left handed hitting Carpenter is just approaching his prime.
Chris Carter Houston 1b/OF- Could this finally be the year that the big-time power hitting prospect has a breakout season? The 26 year old Carter is 6-4, 245 pounds and put on a power display on Tuesday and Wednesday night when he went a combined 7-for-11, with three home runs and five RBI. Need power? This is your man!
Daniel Murphy NY Mets 2b- Murphy is easily one of the biggest surprises of the young 2013 season, hitting at a blistering. 381 clip with a pair of home runs and 11 RBI. The 28 year old left handed hitter when 4-for-5 on Friday night with four RBI. I am so confient in Murphy that I cut Howie Kendrick to pick him up!
Matt Adams St.Louis 1b- The ONLY question mark surrounding Adams is where is he going to play? The Cards have found time for the 24 year old left handed power hitting three times in the last six days and he rewarded them with home runs in each start. Adams is hitting at a ridiculous .643 clip, but remains a man without a full-time position.
Jed Lowrie Oakland SS- Are you looking for a shortstop or middle infielder? If you are in luck, Lowrie has somehow slipped through the cracks. Lowrie has been a major part of Oakland's swift start, hitting at a .375 clip with three home runs and eight RBI. Lowrie showed signs of breaking out last season, hitting 16 bombs with the Astros.
Mark Reynolds Cleveland 1b- Whether it be Arizona or Baltimore, Reynolds is known as the Dave Kingman of this era... strikeout or homerun... or bust. Now with Cleveland, Reynolds is displaying the same great power (Five home runs and 13 RBI) but is also hitting a respectible .263 at this early juncture. Reynolds= Power.
Omar Infante Detroit 2b- Need a quick plug and play in the middle? Omar Infante may be your man. A steady presence in the powerful Detroit lineup, Infante hits for consistent average and will have plenty of RBI opportunities. Infante is hitting .333 with four RBI and while he won't bring big power and speed, he is quite reliable.
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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