Apr 2, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Yangervis Solarte (26) bats during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
There are plenty of waiver wire columns that will tell you to add a player that is owned in 75 percent of a league or so. Of course, those types of articles are no help to those in deeper leagues. If you’re in one of the latter, you’ve come to the right place.
Each week, I will suggest some players worth a flier in 12-team fantasy baseball leagues or deeper.
For those of you that partake in Free Agent Auction Bid leagues, I will also discuss how much to bid on these players, using the standard $100 budget.
Yangervis Solarte, OF/3B, New York Yankees
31 percent owned on CBS; 10 percent on ESPN
The injury to Mark Teixeira all but ensured Solarte playing time for the foreseeable future. He is certainly making the most of it as he has a league-leading six doubles in 24 at bats along with seven RBI and a whopping .458/.519/.708 slash line. A career .286 hitter in the minors, Solarte had a knack for getting on base without striking out very often. The 25-year-old is finally getting his chance in the bigs and could be a potential breakout player this season. He will provide owners with a good OBP and run production and all those doubles certainly help his SLG%. Yes, he is not going to hit .458 all year, but for the time being add him and enjoy the ride.
FAAB: $3. This may be a little high and it is very likely a $1 big could win him, but his gaudy numbers could make him a high commodity on the waiver wire this week.
Michael Morse, OF, San Francisco Giants
43 percent owned on CBS; 12 percent on ESPN
Morse is coming off the worst season of his career, hitting an ugly .215 (.103 after getting traded to the Orioles in July) with only 13 home runs. Morse has found a good fit with the Giants as he will be counted on as more of a role player rather than the big bat in the lineup — a role similar to when he hit .303 with 31 home runs for the Nationals in 2011. So far Morse has two doubles, seven RBI and one home run, all while batting .391. The best sign is he has only stuck out six times, while drawing two walks in 23 at bats. At his best, Morse will draw walks without striking out at a prolific rate. He is only three years removed from being a good No. 2 OF and has the upside to contribute to fantasy teams all season.
FAAB: $3. This is a lower price then you will pay once other owners start believing Morse is for real.
Abraham Almonte, OF, Seattle Mariners
20 percent owned on CBS; two percent on ESPN
Almonte has more value in roto leagues that count OBP instead of average. He has proven to be an on-base machine with a .324 OBP, despite batting only .233. He has one home run and two doubles in the early going, and has racked up has five RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base. The Mariners will look to take advantage of his speed (he stole 20 bases in 94 Triple-A games last season) to manufacture runs. His minor league numbers indicate that he will continue to get on base at a high rate and more stolen bases should lead to him scoring more runs. He has 10-home run potential, but playing in Safeco Field may make that too difficult of a task for him. For those in 12-team rotisserie leagues — which usually start five outfielders — he will be worth the flier.
FAAB: $1. A low-risk pick up with upside.
Archie Bradley, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
62 percent owned on CBS; two percent owned on ESPN
For those of you in leagues with a minor league spot, he may no longer be available, but if he is, go grab him. Have you seen how bad the Diamondbacks’ rotation has been? He is the best (healthy) starting pitcher in the organization and is pitching in the minor leagues. That won’t last long. He should be called up in May, perhaps even earlier if the D-Backs’ struggles continue. When he goes get the call, he will instantly become fantasy relevant. The 21-year-old throws his fastball in the mid-90s but can dial it up to 97 mph if need be. He pairs his wicked fastball with a change up and a knuckle-curve that has a devastating break. Once called up, he should be a No. 4 fantasy starting pitcher, and that’s probably being a little conservative.
FAAB: $8. I would go even higher, but if he is still on waiver wires, chances are you can get him for cheaper. It may seem like a high price for someone you may have to stash for a month, but it will be worth it.