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Searching through the waiver wire and making the right pickups at the right times can result in huge benefits. The Stealthy Ninjas column is here to let you know the kinds of players you’ll find available on your wire and whether it’s worth wasting a roster spot on them or not.
Each week, I’ll outline a couple hitters and a couple pitchers that had great weeks and are more than likely available on your waiver wire based on ownership rates in Yahoo’s leagues. This week we’ll start with hitters:
Randy Winn, OF, Giants (15%) Key stats: .414 average, 10 R, 8 RBI, 2 SB.
- Advice: Winn stole 25 bases last year, but typically he’s a 15 homer, 15 steal, .300 average kind of player. He’s also typically better post All-Star break. If he keeps this up he could be looking at a career year. If you’re carrying dead weight, the veteran should be considered an option.
Juan Pierre, OF, Dodgers (41%) Key stats: .407 AVG, 8 R, 3 RBIs, 5 SB
- Advice: I know Pierre’s not super stealthy at 41%, but I find it hard to believe that there are so many teams in such great shape in the speed department that they aren’t jumping on him. He’ll win weeks for many fantasy owners until Manny gets back.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Indians (57%) Key Stats: .370 AVG, 8 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI
- Advice: Remember back a month or two when Choo was a super OF breakout candidate? I’m not saying he’s going to dominate through the end of the year, but he’s hot right now and should be owned in almost every league.
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B, SS, OF (16%) Key Stats: .286 AVG, 9 R, HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB
- Advice: Alex Gonzalez is back, Hairston moved to 3B and went 0-for-4. He’ll be super utility guy again in no time. That makes him helpful for the Reds but a multi-position-eligible tease for your fantasy team.
Casey Blake, 1B/3B (38%) Key Stats: .455 AVG, 4 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI
- Advice: Blake’s a streaky hitter, but when he’s streaking hot you want to go along for the ride. He’s eligible at both corner infield spots.
Matt Harrison, SP, Rangers (7%) Key stats: W, 9.0 IP, CG, 5H, 0 BB, 7 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP.
- Advice: For a couple weeks I’ve been telling everyone to wait for him to bust. Instead, he’s 4-0 with a killer K:BB ratio. If you need starter help, he looks like a decent option.
Rick Porcello, SP, Tigers (11%) Key stats: 11 IP, 2 W, 10 K, 1.64 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 2 QS
- Advice: Tigers phenom is starting to show off. He’s available in 89% of leagues, but unfortunately he’s not available in three of my four leagues. Like any young pitcher, he’ll probably have a hiccup or two, but he looks like he gets it. The Anti-Phil Hughes
Brett Cecil, SP, Blue Jays (25%) Key Stats: 14 IP, 2 W, 11 H, 9 K, 4 BB, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 2 QS
- Advice: Another top prospect living up to the billing, but on a team that is leading one of the toughest divisions in all of sports.
Ramon Ramirez, RP, Red Sox (20%) Key Stats: 4.1 IP, 2 W, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP
- Advice: His pair of vulture wins doubled his season total. He’s got excellent stuff and has put up great numbers, but he’s really not going to help your fantasy team unless his role changes.
C.J. Wilson, RP, Rangers (13%) Key Stats: 4.1 IP, 1 W, 2 SV, 2H, 3 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
- Advice: Wilson won’t lead the league in saves, but he’s going to get a bunch with Frank Francisco going to the DL. If you need save help, and there are many of you out there who probably do, Wilson’s not a bad option.
Micah Owings, SP, Reds (2%) Key Stats: 12.2 IP, 1 W, 5 BB, 9 K, 1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 1 QS
- Advice: A solid start coupled with a relief appearance in the Reds 16-inning marathon Saturday bloated his numbers a little. He’s posted a sub 4.00 ERA so far this year and is 3-4. Pass on Owings.
What do you think? Going after the ChooPorcello? Gonna ride the C.J. Wilson save train? What players have you targeted? Let us know in the comments, or visit our forums and start a conversation.