StrategyAugust 4, 2011

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Wide World of Waivers: Digging Deep

By R.J. White

Normally in the Wide World, we come at you with several waiver options at each position. This article is going to be a little bit different, as I’m only going to recommend one player per position. However, each guy is available in at least 90 percent of Yahoo leagues, meaning that if you like what you hear, you should be able to add him without issue. As always, if you want specific waiver wire help, visit our excellent DTKW forum.

C Wilson Ramos, WAS. After jumping out of the gate with a hot April, Ramos suffered through a big slump in May and June. He showed signs of progress in July, posting an .856 OPS while hitting .286 with three home runs. Ramos provides more power than you can usually find from catchers this far down on the FA list, so don’t be afraid to add him solely for that purpose.

1B Paul Goldschmidt, ARI. Jesus Guzman (9% owned) would be a fine player to add, especially after he creamed the ball in Petco, but let’s discuss the Arizona rookie instead. Goldschmidt was brought to the majors Monday after leading the minor leagues with 30 homers this year. Chase Field is slightly above average for righties hitting home runs. While Guzman is excellent to ride while hot, I like Goldschmidt’s long-term outlook more.

2B Jason Kipnis, CLE. This rookie struggled mightily upon being called to the majors, but he’s found his groove over the past week, homering in four straight games. He’s a solid power/speed option, with a dozen homers and a dozen steals in the minors before his promotion. By the way, with the majority of this power surge coming in Boston, Kipnis now has a .455/.538/.1.364 line against the Red Sox, good for a 1.902 OPS. Yowza.

3B Chris Davis, BAL. While it normally isn’t good for a hitter to be traded away from homer-happy Texas, the move to Baltimore allows Davis to play full-time at first base, where he replaces Derrek Lee. Baltimore is an excellent place to hit homers as well, and the former top fantasy prospect could easily deliver 10 bombs by the end of the season, making him worth an add if you aren’t married to your current 3B.

SS Dee Gordon, LAD. The Dodgers were more than happy to cut ties with the oft-injured Rafael Furcal by sending him to St. Louis. That gives Gordon the starting SS job for the rest of the season (and likely longer), which is great if you’re mining for steals. In 86 at-bats during his first cup of coffee this year, Gordon already piled up nine swipes. He had 30 steals in the minors in just under 300 at-bats. You should expect 10-plus SBs the rest of the way.

OF Mike Carp, SEA. The Mariner offense is admittedly a mess, but Carp is starting to stick out as a bright spot in the chaos. He’s batted cleanup in his last five games, hitting .350 with five RBIs over that time. Overall, he’s hitting .297 with two HRs in 91 at-bats. However, half of that came in a terrible June — since re-joining Seattle, Carp sports a .357/.390/.554 line in 56 at-bats.

SP Brandon McCarthy, OAK. The Oakland pitcher has been magnificent this year, walking just 1.43 batters per nine innings and serving up only five HRs in 100.2 innings of work. Turns out moving from Texas to Oakland is a good thing for pitchers — who knew? He has a 3.58 ERA and 1.21 WHIP this season, but his xFIP (expected Fielding Independent Pitching) of 3.27 suggests he’s been even better than his ratios suggest. Grab him for the stretch run.

RP Glen Perkins, MIN. Saves are generally hard to find this low in the FA list (though it does happen, right Mr. Javy Guerra). But Perkins is a guy that can give you the occasional save and win while keeping your ratios down and your Ks per inning up. Check out this July line: 13 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 17 K, with three wins and two saves. That’s a 0.23 WHIP! Think that could have helped your fantasy team last month?

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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