Mitch Moreland: Waiver Wire Pickup

Jun 30, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland (18) hits a two run home run in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

This article should not take 400 words, but I have to do it anyway. Texas Rangers‘ first baseman Mitch Moreland is crushing the ball like you wouldn’t believe. Yet, he is owned in less than 40 percent of ESPN.com leagues. If you need power help due to injury or player struggles, pick him up now.

Moreland hasn’t been much of a power hitter throughout his 5+ year career. He hit a career-high 23 home runs and 60 RBI in 2013, but his batting average suffered, hitting just .232. However, he is easily on track to eclipse those numbers this season.

In just 57 games, five more than he played all of last season, he has 14 home runs, 43 RBI and a .300 batting average. He hit two home runs and drove in three in Monday’s game. He hit two more home runs with four RBI on Tuesday. Nine of his 14 homers have come in the month of June.

Moreland has the added benefit of hitting behind a healthy Prince Fielder and returning Adrian Beltre in a Rangers’ lineup that is averaging about four runs per game. 

If you are one of the owners who lost Giancarlo Stanton for the next six weeks, Moreland is your guy to pick up. He can help in the counting stats as well as the ratio stats. All you need to do is look for a player to plug the gap until Stanton returns. You are not looking for a season-long replacement.

However, Moreland could be the difference maker in your team making the playoffs or watching from the dugout. With the gap between the top two or three first basemen and the rest of the group growing by the day, replacing your first baseman or corner infielder with Moreland isn’t a farfetched idea.

Moreland is currently ranked 18th on ESPN’s Player Rater among first basemen. Mark Teixeira, who is in the midst of a power outage, is 14th. Jose Abreu is No. 12, but has just one home run in his last 12 games. Now, I’m not saying drop these guys, but to bench them for a game or two.

Mitch Moreland is owned in just 38.8 percent of ESPN leagues, and I don’t understand why. He is doing it all right now and looks to be in the middle of a career year. Wednesday is July 1, so I don’t see this stopping any time soon. Go ahead and pick him up while you can.