Fantasy Baseball Week 12: Top 5 Waiver Wire Hitters

May 22, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. (2) hits an RBI triple during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
May 22, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. (2) hits an RBI triple during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

With the fantasy baseball season halfway over, now is the time to start making a push for the playoffs. Here are the top five players on the waiver wire.

This baseball season is flying by. Monday starts the beginning of Week 12 and that means, for most leagues, the season is halfway over. By this time, you should have a good idea what your team is, you are either a playoff contender or not. If you are in the former, then you’re in good shape. If you’re not a contender, you should still try to be competitive. Regardless of your status, here are the top five players to add off the waiver wire.

In this list of players, I will focus on hitters. With the amount of injuries that have happened this season, a lot of fantasy owners are in need of batters. Depending on your league structure, some of these players may already be owned. So, I do apologize if this list doesn’t pertain to you. I will do my best to include players with high availability.

The hitters listed will be available in more than 60 percent of ESPN leagues. I think that covers a good majority of owners that are looking for help. I will also not include any of players we have recently wrote about.

More from Fantasy Baseball

Before we get into the list, here are a couple of names worth mentioning. They are players owned in more than 50 percent of leagues, but need to be owned in more.

Michael Saunders, OF: The Toronto Blue Jays starting left fielder is crushing the ball over the last week. He went 3-for-5 with three home runs and eight RBI on Friday. He has six home runs over his last name games. With the absence of Jose Bautista, the Blue Jays will need someone to fill in for his missing power, and Saunders looks to be that guy.

Toronto’s bats are heating up and Saunders is one of the main reasons. While you shouldn’t expect three-home run games, but the power is legit and should be added.

Curtis Granderson, OF: After a dismal start to the season, .214 over the first 49 games, he is lighting up the stat sheets in June. He is hitting .262 with four home runs, five RBI and a 14:6 K:BB ratio. He was on an eight-game hitting streak, racking up 14 hits, before going 0-for-5 on Saturday.

Granderson has not lost his power, 13 home runs, and the contact is starting to pick up. He isn’t stealing anymore, only one stolen base, but the leadoff home runs are welcomed by fantasy owners. He is available in 40 percent of ESPN leagues.

Next: No. 5: Martin Prado

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The veteran Martin Prado is making great contact with the ball this month. He isn’t going to hit double-digit home runs like he did from 2009 to 2014, he is hitting over .300.

Prado just lost his 10-game hitting streak after going 0-for-3 on Saturday. In that span, he racked up 19 hits (four doubles, one triple, one home run) and six RBI with four strikeouts and four walks and a .452 average.

He has the third-most games played among all Miami Marlins hitters at 64. He is hitting .325/.370/.420 with two home runs and 22 RBI on the season. The Marlins offense isn’t what many thought it would be. Giancarlo Stanton is hitting just .210 and the starting pitchers are struggling a bit.

However, the one contact is Prado’s bat. If you need help with batting average or on-base percentage, then add him. He’s available in 70 percent of leagues.

Next: No. 4: Ryan Rua

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Ryan Rua is making a name for himself in the Texas Rangers lineup, playing in both corner infield and all three outfield positions. He is hitting .293 with six home runs, 18 RBI and a 40:13 K:BB ratio.

With the trouble the Rangers have had at the outfield position and on offense, Rua is making the most of this opportunity. In his last 14 games, 12 starts, he has four home runs, 10 RBI and a .317 average. In just 45 games, he has posted career highs in hits, home runs and RBI.

Rua has spent most of the season in left field. Though, he has done a good job filling in at first base while Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland‘s bats are ice-cold.

He is hitting in the bottom half of the lineup, behind Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre, which gives him plenty of opportunities to drive in some runs.

With the dual eligibility in the outfield and first base, Rua gives you flexibility in your lineup to bench your struggling players.

Next: No. 3: Justin Turner

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Justin Turner is the second-most added third baseman over the last week, and with good reason. While his batting average is 50 points lower than his 2015 average, he is making big strides with his power numbers.

In the month of June, 16 games, he has a .283 with six home runs and 14 RBI. He also has nine strikeouts and six walks. He has hit three home runs and six RBI in his last two games. It looks like as the temperature continues to rise, Turner’s bat is heating up as well.

Turner struggled at the beginning of the season, .247 with zero home runs and five RBI in April. May was a little better, .225/3 HR/11 RBI, but the average obviously was the big eyebrow raiser here.

Turner’s been around since 2009 and has never reached the full potential experts thought he would have when he debuted. If he’s able to make more contact and raise his batting average, this could be his best season of his career.

I would make the move and add Turner now. He’s available in 63 percent of leagues.

Next: No. 2: Mallex Smith

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Mallex Smith is one of the lone bright spots in this Atlanta Braves offense. Since getting the call on April 11, Smith’s legs are driving his fantasy value.

He is hitting .241 with three home runs, 21 RBI and a 42:17 K:BB ratio. Next to all that is his 14 steals. Over his last 10 games, he has eight hits, five strikeouts, seven walks and seven steals with a .229 average.

The average is low, but that’s not why you were adding Smith. Everything was going well for him this season. Then, Sunday happened.

The X-ray revealed that Smith has a broken thumb. There is no timetable for his return, but I expect him to be out at least three weeks.

Despite the injury, Smith is still someone I see worth adding. His speed is not something that will be halted once he returns. With owners likely to drop him, Smith’s availability will continue to rise. He’s owned in just 10.3 percent of leagues, so you should have nothing to worry about.

Next: No. 1: Melvin Upton Jr

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

In his second season with the San Diego Padres, Melvin Upton Jr. is playing very well. He is making good contact, hitting for power and stealing bases. For someone who wasn’t drafted in the majority of leagues, he is the 21st outfielder on the Player Rater.

He started the season hitting .244 with two home runs and 11 RBI in April. Two months later and he is hitting .250 with nine home runs, 32 RBI and 15 steals. In the lowly Padres offense, Upton is one of the few with fantasy value.

He is on a modest four-game hitting streak and has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games.

Upton, similar to Smith, is not someone to add if you are in need of batting average or OBP help. He is, however, worth adding for the power and speed. With very little of those players left on the waiver wire, Upton’s value is very high.

If interested, he is available in 70.8 percent of leagues.

Next: Wrap Up

Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

The fantasy baseball waiver wire is rich with players of all kinds. To find value in them all depends on what kind of player you are looking for. Some of these players provide power, some contact and other speed. They all can help your team in one form or fashion.

Like I mentioned, Smith just recently injured his thumb, so be warned if you add him and he doesn’t play. However, he is someone worth stashing until he comes back.

There are still talented players on the waiver wire, but the number of leagues that they are available in is a small amount. I went towards players with high availability to cater to the majority of our readers.

Next: Didi Gregorius: Wavier Wire Add

The way I listed the players here are the way I would add them with Upton being my No. 1 priority and Prado being my last. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below. Good luck with your waiver wire claims and for the rest of the season.