Kelly Johnson: Deep Waiver Wire Pickup

Apr 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Kelly Johnson (24) celebrates a home run against the Washington Nationals in the sixth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, how things come full circle. After starting his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves 10 years ago, Kelly Johnson has been lights out with the Braves this season. He is widely available and, with the way the season has gone so far, he should be picked up off the waiver wire. 

Johnson has been playing all over the field this season. He’s spent time at first base, second base, right field and left field. the multi-position eligibility gives Johnson the edge over plenty of players on the waiver wire. You can slot him as your fifth outfielder or a corner infielder in deeper leagues. It allows you to maneuver your players around to give you the best optimal lineup on any given day.

Over his 10 years, Johnson has averaged 19 home runs, 66 RBI and a .250 average over a 162-game span. This season, he has five home runs, 13 RBI and a .250 average. At that pace, he would end up with 30 home runs and 78 RBI in 120 games played. I don’t see him keeping this pace all season, but 20/80 is not out of the question.

Johnson still has something left in the tank. He’s played every game since April 22. He will not play Monday, but is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday. Johnson usually sits against lefties, but with his current production, management will be hard pressed to sit him. 

Johnson is currently ninth on ESPN’s Player Rater among third basemen over the last 15 days. Fantasy owners have taken notice of his recent success, too. He is owned in nine percent of leagues, all added within the last week.

If you need a No. 2 third baseman or fourth outfielder, Johnson is a guy to target off the waiver wire. I can’t make any guarantees that his current production will last all season, but you should strike while the iron, or this case, bat is hot.