OpinionMay 2, 2008

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The Watch List

By Daniel Wilson

There are players out there that are either playing a long way below their ability/projected numbers, or are pretty good and have not had regular opportunities because of circumstances out of their control. These are the players you should watch and keep up on, because it’s these guys who will provide the meat to your team’s A-Rod/Santana/Holliday skeleton and win you league titles.

Fred Lewis: One of the many heinous crimes committed by the current Giants front office was to let this guy (nearly) rot on the vine. His minor league line of .282/.381/.420 shows nice promise, and he has three 30-steal minor league seasons under his belt. With Dave Roberts out for an undetermined, but long (2+ months) amount of time, the Giants lead-off spot is all Lewis’ for the time being. At the time of this writing, Lewis is off to a sweet .333/.411/.548 start with two home runs and two stolen bases. If you have bench spots, or are in a deep league, snap him up.

Dan Wheeler: Al Reyes is out with a shoulder impingement, is old, and losing the plot. Troy Percival is old, but good. Keep the corner of your eye on Wheeler’s status; I don’t think it would take much for his geriatric colleagues to fall by the wayside.

Jonny Gomes: Gomes is free of the injury cloud of recent years, and is off to a reasonable start (.265/.373/.490). The reason why he’s on your watch list and not on your roster? His manager doesn’t play him enough. If you see a “Jonny Gomes Gets Traded” headline, swoop on him – quickly. He has the power and speed to be something very relevant in fantasy.

Travis Buck: Buck has the potential to be ridiculously good. His career minor league line of .325/.398/.507 is pure, under-rated gold. At the moment he is on the DL with shin splints and is batting .154/.197/.277. This is the time to stash him, buy way low, or watch if you haven’t got room. He is easily capable of hitting .300 with 15 home runs and 10 steals over the rest of the season. .300 average starting hitters don’t grow on trees.

Billy Butler: You didn’t think you’d escape my first article submission Butler-less did you? King Billy has had a power outage for the month of April with only one home run so far. But hang on, the leading HR hitter for KC is… Miguel Olivo. Miguel. Olivo. Kansas City is obviously suffering from a team-wide lack of power. Billy will snap out of this, his minor league SLG is .561 – that’s insane. There have been many complaints about his performance on the forums here at the Cafe – if these complaints are a sampling of the fantasy community at large BUY LOW. He is a potential .300 hitter with 20+ home run ability.

Daniel Wilson is the greatest thing since sliced bread. You should follow all his fantasy advice to the letter - he is the goods. Billy Butler is a close second. You can catch up with Daniel in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of AussieDodger.
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