Michael Saunders and Josh Harrison can help in deep leagues


Welcome back to “Off The Deep End”, where I will give you fantasy baseball tips on who to pick up in deeper leagues. For people who play standard leagues, drop/add columns are easy for you to find, but for those of you that love deeper leagues, advice can be harder to come by. That is where I can help. All of these players are available in 85% or more of ESPN leagues.

This post will focus on outfielders and catchers.  Corner infielders are here.  Middle infielders are here.

Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) in the dugout before the game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


Alex Avila, Tigers: Yes, the batting average is terrible, but he does have two homers and three doubles in the last two weeks.  He is hitting just .204 on the season, and every time Avila seems about to turn it around, he goes into another slump.  He could be worth picking up if you need power.  Just be wary of the average.

John Jaso, Athletics: Jaso has cooled off a bit lately, but his is still hitting .333 over the last fortnight with a gaudy .912 OPS.  He has no speed and little power, but if you could use some help in the average department, he starts against every right handed pitcher.

Brayan Pena, Reds: Pena is riding a ten game hitting streak, running his season average up to .292 in the process.  The Reds are using Pena almost exclusively at first base with Devin Mesoraco back and Joey Votto out, so he likely will only have value until Votto returns.  But his .292 average, three homers, and two steals will help you out in deep leagues until then.

Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Josh Harrison (5) singles against the Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Michael Saunders, Mariners: Saunders has shown signs of brilliance over the course of his career, and he is in the midst of one of them right now.  Saunders is hitting .333 with two homers over the last two weeks, and will continue to start until he cools off.  He should for you in deep leagues as well.

Lucas Duda, Mets: Yeah, the batting average is a bit of a turn off, but Duda has a modest five game hitting streak going.  He has also smacked three homers in the last week, so if you need some power, he can help you out.  At least until he inevitably cools off again.

Josh Harrison, Pirates: The emergence of Harrison has made the bitter pill of Gregory Polanco refusing a long term contract easier to take.  Harrison is hitting .295 with three homers and two steals, and should provide a nice boost to you deep league team.  At least until Polanco is called up and takes his job.

Juan Lagares, Mets: His outstanding defense has kept him in the lineup and on highlight reels, but Lagares can also help in deep fantasy leagues.  He is hitting .283 with a homer and seven RBI over the last two weeks.  While he hasn’t swiped many bags lately, he does have good speed and can always pick up some here and there.

James Jones, Mariners: Jones has planted himself at the top of the Seattle lineup with his four stolen bases over the last nine games.  His average sits at .285, so he won’t hurt you there either.  If you need some speed in deep leagues, give Jones a shot.

Come back tomorrow for pitchers you should pick up!