Thanks to Jerry Hairston Jr.’s multi-elgibility presence, we can safely say that every fantasy team’s hitting need can be filled with this waiver report.
Should you own Hairston? At this point, absolutely, just don’t expect to make him a lineup fixture. Use him like a paper towel. When he starts getting some holes on him, send him to the trash bin.
Here are the most available hitters who have shown the most production in the last week in fantasy baseball. Ownership rates are in parentheses):
Angel Pagan (26% Yahoo, 36.9% in ESPN) — Scored a homer, six runs and four steals in the last week. He’s hitting .393. Pagan is on a hot streak, but he hit .306 with an .837 OPS, 54 runs and 14 steals in a little more than a half a season in 2009 so he’s shown some skill. Ride the streak, then hold him for a week or two after that.
Miguel Cairo (Yahoo 1%, ESPn 1.5%) — This is a patchwork fix because he only has consistent value as long as Joey Votto is missing day-to-day. But Votto has missed six days, and in that amount of time Cairo has eight runs, two homers, three RBI, a stolen base and is 12-for-28 (.429). Unless they find more regular work for him when Votto’s back at 100 percent, Cairo will have no value. [Update — Wrote this Tuesday afternoon before Votto came back all 4-for-5 with three runs and a homer. Cairo also backs up Scott Rolen at third, but until somebody else gets shelved don’t bother with Cairo.]
Seth Smith (Yahoo 7%, ESPN 7.2%) — Dexter Fowler was demoted making Smith one of the full-time big dogs in the Rockies’ outfield. In the last week he celebrated with three homers, six runs, six RBI and a .318 average. Let’s not call him the next great Rockies outfielder, but he should be owned in considerably more leagues than he currently is. And unless he loses the starting gig, he’s an OF to hold for at least a couple weeks after he cools down.
Jeff Francoeur (28% Yahoo, 25.1% ESPN) — In the last seven days he scored five runs, drove in four and stole two bases. He’s hitting .458 (11 hits in 24 ABs). I wouldn’t own Francoeur, but a streak is a streak and he is streaking — 15 for his last 45 (.333).
Jerry Hairston Jr. (5% Yahoo, 1.5% ESPN) — Hit three homers and drove in seven runs with a .357 average in the last week. There’s a running theme this week, in case you haven’t noticed. It involves players you should own while they are hot and cut at the first sign of trouble. Hairston can plug into your second base, third base, shortstop and outfield slots.
Nick Hundley (2% Yahoo, 0.5% ESPN) — The only catcher on our list. Hundley hit .500 with a homer and six RBI in the last week. In his last nine games, Hundley is 12-for-26 (.461).
Drew Stubbs (22% Yahoo, 25.9% ESPN) — Hit .364 with seven runs, four RBI and a homer in the last week. I’ve been plugging him for weeks. In Matthew Berry’s latest post, he tells us that Stubbs is just as good as B.J. Upton, who is owned in 100% of Yahoo leagues.
Lyle Overbay (3% Yahoo, 0.8% Yahoo) — If you’re desperate for 1B power — I’m talking really desperate — Overbay is an option. He’ll probably finish with 20-25 homers and had three last week. However, his average is going to kill you. He hit .238 last week and that brought his average up to a smooth .212 on the season.
Rajai Davis (53% Yahoo, 90.4% ESPN) — Not nearly as available in ESPNs, where their player rater overrates steals players, Davis is a pure steals option. We recommended him in an update on May 27. Check that link out to know why his seven steals, seven runs and .400 average in the last week are all legit.
Troy Glaus (26% Yahoo, 58.1% ESPN) — Hit a pair of homers, drove in 10 runs and scored seven in a 7-for-23 (.304) week. He’s another 1B option who is probably a little safer than Overbay and Cairo.
Jason Kubel (51% Yahoo, 53.6% ESPN) — Hit .350 with three homers and eight RBI in the last week. We’ve said it here multiple times before, Kubel’s streaks can carry fantasy teams. His .262 batting average on balls in play is nearly 40 points below his career average, indicating some bad luck. His average was over .300 for almost all of 2009. His current .233 average is in the process of correcting itself.
Franklin Gutierrez (53% Yahoo, 99.4% ESPN) — Stole a base, hit a homer and hit .429 in the last week. He has 16 multi-hit games this season, according to Yahoo, and four in the last six games. His Yahoo availability (47%) should be closer to his ESPN availability (0.6%).