Between injuries, demotions and benchings, you probably could use a pick me up (or three) off the waiver wire, right?
I sauntered out and snagged a few this morning myself. Let’s talk about some of the hottest hitters available on your waiver wire right now.
Luke Scott — The top hitter in 5x5s in the last week, Scott is available in 86% of fantasy leagues. His streakiness is legendary. He has five homers and 10 RBIs in the last 7 days (.500 average) and he’s the kind of batter who will likely streak his way into the HR lead before slowing down. He’s eligible at 1B and OF and as long as he’s hitting will not lose playing time. He’s owned in only 8.6% of ESPN leagues.
Jose Bautista — Hit a career-high 16 homers in 469 at-bats with Pittsburgh in 2006. After hitting four homers in the last week (with eight runs and eight RBI), Bautista now has 11 homers in 175 at-bats. He’s 30, and while we’ve seen players break out at 30, it’s unlikely. I expect a reality check any time now. However, he’s still available in 46% of Yahoo leagues and if you need a bat for a few weeks there’s no sense letting his hot streak go to waste. He qualifies at 3B and OF. Owned in all but 18% of ESPN leagues.
David Ortiz — Like Bautista, Ortiz’s is a cautionary tale. He’s got three homers, eight RBI and is hitting .458 in the last week. Just don’t expect him to sustain it like the juicin’ Ortiz of old. Two of those homers came in the same game May 14. But if you have an open spot, you can’t ignore the streak. Ortiz has raised his average from .171 to .248 since May 5. He’s owned in 58% of Yahoo leagues and 51% of ESPNs.
Andres Torres — Nearly talked about Torres in a recent daily update. Torres is 32 so, like Bautista, if this is a breakout it’s a little late. But he’s hitting .409 with two homers, seven RBI, five runs and a stolen base in the last week. He’s also available in 98% of Yahoo leagues and 99.5% of ESPNs. If you add Torres, drop him at the first sign of a cool-off.
Jonny Gomes — Flexing a good chunk of his 20 homer power in the last week, Gomes hit a pair of dingers, scored six runs and drove in six more. He’s hitting .500 (10/22). So far this season, Gomes is hitting .303 with 19 runs, 5 homers and 25 RBI. He hit .330 into July of last season but finished at .267. Interestingly, he had 15 of his 20 homers as his average sank in the second half. Gomes, an OF, is available in 92% of Yahoo leagues and 87% of ESPNs.
Corey Patterson — He only played in 29 games last season, but Patterson is a legit 15-30 threat. He could steal 10 bases in a month easy and this week has two homers, two steals and eight runs scored while hitting .308 for the Orioles. If you need some speed, owning Patterson for stretch will help. He’s available in 99% of Yahoos and 99.5% of ESPNs.
Corey Hart — He’s capable of good numbers when he’s hitting. In the last week, he has four homers, seven RBI and is hitting .304. He’s available in 66% of Yahoos and 61% of ESPNs. Like most anybody on this list, drop Hart at the first sign of a slump because you don’t want that on your team. However, you want what Hart is doing now.
Brennan Boesch — It’s painful to see Boesch still at only 26% ownership in Yahoos. Intelligent ESPN owners have him at 52%. Boesch hit 89/23/93/11/.275 for AA Toledo last season and was crushing pitchers (3 homers, .379 average in 58 at-bats) before getting called up this season. Doode is legit. Add him now. He’s hitting .464 with four runs, five RBI, a homer and a steal in the last week.
Mike Sweeney — Hit 21 homers and batted .300 in 2005. In the last week, Sweeney has three homers and a stolen base and is hitting .455. However, he only has five hits in 11 at-bats and has a dreaded DTD (back) after his name. That doesn’t bode well for a player who hasn’t played in more than 122 games in any season since, you guessed it, 2005. He’s available in all Yahoos and ESPNs, but you don’t want to own him if he’s not playing.
Eric Hinske — Qualifying at 1B, 3B and OF, Hinske is the most versatile player on this list. He’s also smoking the ball. Hinske is 10-for-19 (.526) with three runs, two homers and six RBI in the last week. He’s owned in 5% of Yahoos and 2.4% of ESPNs. He started 2008 hot and finished May with 15 homers and 27 RBI. He won’t maintain his current .389 average over a whole season, but the potential for 15 homers in a two-month hot start is good for your fantasy team.