Welcome to Part 1 of a special edition of Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers (Tom will be here with Part 2 next week). With the 2009 season nearly over, it’s got to the point where it’s highly unlikely that any last minute waiver pick-ups will make a significant difference to your team, with the possible exception of two-start pitchers, which are already taken care of with the Double Dipper column on Saturdays.
With that in mind, the final two WWWW columns of the regular season will be looking at some players who, on the whole, are available on the waiver wire, but could be highly profitable keepers in keeper/dynasty formats. As always, there will be two options for standard leagues and two for the deeper leagues. But before we get to it, I must just mention Tom’s 2/4 effort – both Diaz and Uribe had solid weeks, but Padilla put up a start to forget, and Nolan Reimold had his season ended abruptly through injury. I hope you paid attention to the former two – they are the sorts of guys who are helping teams win leagues through their September form!
So to my suggestions for keepers. I will not be following the usual eligibility rules this week, as many leagues are, of course, not keeper or dynasty formats, so the eligibility of such players is irrelevant. That said, there will be no players included whose ownership is greater than 50% in Yahoo, so don’t expect to see the likes of Matt Wieters or David Price here, both of whom are obviously worthy of keeper-consideration, depending how many players are kept in your league.
On that point: obviously, the keeper-relevance of each player depends entirely on how many players each team in your league keeps; and also how many teams there are! If your league only keeps 4 players each, chances are that none of these suggestions will be relevant. Therefore, I am making recommendations on the assumption that at least 96 players are kept in your league (12 teams keeping 8 players each). You will need to make adjustments for your own league’s settings to come to your own conclusion on whether or not these guys should be kept.
Standard Mixed Leagues
Travis Snider, OF, Tor
Travis Snider is one of those super-hyped prospects who has largely disappointed in his rookie season. He has shown flashes of power (witness the 2 HRs against the Yankees on September 15th), but has yet to show any consistency, and has had a dismal 71/23 K/BB rate. That problem making contact has been the main factor in his struggles — and that is a learning curve that he simply has to deal with. There is no question that the power is legitimate (he has a career Minor League OPS of .888), and with Alex Rios no longer in his way, he is starting in the OF every day. This season has given the 21-year-old valuable experience; I look to him to break out in 2010 in similar fashion to the way his teammate, Adam Lind, has done this year.
Dexter Fowler, OF, Col
Dexter Fowler, in my opinion, has the opportunity to do for the Rockies in 2010 what Jacoby Ellsbury has done for the Red Sox in 2009, namely steal a load of bases whilst putting up a .300 average and contributing decent numbers. He has been used sparingly since coming back from the DL this month, but that is understandable for a team who is in the hunt for a post-season berth, and doesn’t want to overuse a recently recovered player. The likelihood is that Fowler will be battling Carlos Gonzalez for the starting CF berth for 2010; but with Brad Hawpe possibly on his way out at season’s end, there are other OF spots up for grabs whether Fowler wins CF or not. Give this guy a regular starting job over a full season, and those steals will rack up mighty fast.
Matt LaPorta, OF, Cle
Matt LaPorta was messed about no end by Cleveland when he was called up early this year, getting inconsistent playing time before being sent back down again. When he returned to the Majors in August, he showed what he can do when getting regular at-bats, hitting safely in his first 10 games. Indeed, his post-ASB stats reveal an average of .288, with 5 HRs whilst slugging over .500 in 111 AB. He is currently 3 games short of retaining his 1B eligibility for next season, but Eric Wedge has just said that LaPorta is the leading candidate to start there in 2010, “depending on what the team does this offseason”. There is a touch of ambiguity about that statement, which is why I think LaPorta is a strong keeper option in deeper leagues, but not really worth consideration in a league where only 100 or so players are kept.
Buster Posey, C, SF
Buster Posey is a catcher who, whilst joining the Giants with far less fanfare than a certain Orioles catcher earlier in the season, has the potential to be just as productive in 2010, even perhaps becoming a top 10 fantasy catcher in his first full year! Outlandish? Perhaps, but it’s certainly not out of the question. His bat is the reason that the Giants made him their first pick in 2008, but he’s no slouch with the arm either; it’s his ability to call the game that has delayed his progression to the big leagues, and why Bengie Molina has remained the #1 choice behind the plate as the Giants hunt for a place in the post-season. But with rumors surfacing that Molina’s contract is not going to be renewed for 2010, the way is clear for Posey to claim the starting job behind the plate, and with it, a nice catching option for fantasy leaguers.
That’s it from me with regard to waiver selections for 2009. As I say, Tom will be here next week with four suggestions for keepers, and I will be back in two weeks for an end-of-season review. Best of luck to all still chasing fantasy titles — there are less than two weeks left for you to keep watching those waivers!
Chris Routledge is one of a growing number of Brits infiltrating the Cafe, and is the double reigning champion of the H2H World Series, much to the chagrin of token Cafe Padres fan, wrveres. Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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