The hitters waiver report is a mixed bag this week, with old guys, young guys and one guy who is a no-doubt must-own.
As usual, we’re taking a look at the players who had the greatest week in fantasy baseball but are still available in most Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Austin Kearns — He’s not a long-term option, but Kearns can help your team when he goes on a tear. He hit a pair of homers, stole two bases and scored seven runs in the last week while hitting .417. He’s owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues and 14.8% of ESPNs.
Bill Hall — Hit safely in eight of his last 10, going 12 for 31 with 11 runs and 8 RBI. In the last week Hall hit .364 with seven runs. He’s available in 98% of Yahoo leagues and 96.7% of ESPN leagues, but I can’t believe this will continue. Once he cools down and Jeremy Hermida heals up, Hall will get few at-bats. Kearns is a safer pickup.
Kevin Kouzmanoff — Available in 90% of Yahoo leagues and 82.2% of ESPNs, Kouzmanoff hit three homers and batted .400 in the last week. He’s hit safely in nine straight games, going 13-for-30 (.433) over that stretch. Kouzmanoff’s no all-star, but he’s played better than Chipper Jones, Chone Figgins and Miguel Tejada who were all drafted well ahead of him this season.
Brennan Boesch — We can only call a player must-own so many times. Boesch is available in 76% of Yahoo leagues and almost half of ESPN leagues. That’s far too available for a player who has 21 extra base hits in just 35 games. He’s hitting .341 on the season with six homers and 28 RBI. Don’t be surprised if he finishes with 25-30 homers.
Erick Aybar — Hit .371 (130for-35) with eight runs in his last nine games, raising his average from .231 to .252. Aybar has 10 steals this season and got three — while scoring six runs — in the last week. He was lucky (.338 BABIP) when he hit .312 last season, but he’s a career .279 hitter, so he could stay hot for a while as his average corrects into the .285-.290 range. Aybar is owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues and 66.2% of ESPNs.
Justin Smoak — One of the top hitting prospects in the majors coming into the season had a solid week, scoring seven runs, driving in six and hitting .368 witha homer. According to Yahoo Sports, Smoak is hitting .406 against righties in his last 12 games with a 1.150 OPS. The switch-hitter is only 2-for-38 against lefties. He’s owned in 10.7% of ESPN leagues and 13% of Yahoos. Let’s assume those leagues are AL-only and/or dynasty/keeper leagues. He’s a must-own in those formats. With his pedigree (first-round pick, Baseball America loves him, etc.) he’s worth an add in other formats to see where this hot streak goes.
Jack Cust — Really expected him to hit more than he has since returning from triple-A, did hit two homers in the last week with a .346 average. He won’t maintain the .346 but more two-homer weeks are not out of the question. There’s a reason Cust is available in 99.5% of ESPN leagues and 97% of Yahoo leagues. If he still has the power in a couple games, those numbers should change.
Matt Treanor — Despite hitting three homers last week, Treanor’s not getting a stamp of approval. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong, but in 850 AAA at-bats, he had just 13 homers and hit .232. Treanor’s available in 99% of Yahoo leagues and 76.3% of ESPNs and Ninjas shouldn’t change those numbers.
Hideki Matsui — Struggling this season, Matsui popped out a two homer week while batting .407. He’s 13-for-31 in his last eight games, raising his average from .235 to .257. However, over that stretch Matsui only has four runs, two homers and six RBI. He’s owned in 43% of Yahoo leagues and 64.2% of ESPN leagues, and that feels about right. Maybe he’s warming up — June and July are Matsui’s best months — but I’m not adding him on any of my teams.
Blake DeWitt — The 25-year-old homered, drove in six runs and scored five times while hitting .421 in the last week. He had three consecutive multi-hit games before a 1-fer on Tuesday. DeWitt is the Dodgers starting second baseman and qualifies at third base, adding to his potential value. However, the former first-rounder (2004) has never lived up to expectations. Let’s just keep an eye on him for now. He’s available in 98% of Yahoo leagues and 99.7% of ESPN leagues.