by Will Overton
If you failed to draft power, it can be very tricky to get it, simply because there isn’t as much of it as there used to be. If you drafted sufficient power hitters and you’re watching them struggle or they’re sitting on your DL you are in the same place. Trading for it is hard cause the teams that have it treasure it and you’ll have to pay top dollar to get it.
Power has been declining the last couple years and this season is no different. Last season there were 41 guys with 5 HR’s or more at the end of April. This season there were only 31 players who did it. It’s hard to find on the waiver wire, but it is out there if you look hard enough. You may have to sacrifice in a few other places to get it, but sometimes its worth it.
Here are some of my standard league and deep league waiver wire pickups for those in need of a power surge.
Ike Davis – 1B, New York Mets: Yes I am aware that Ike Davis is hitting .167 and he has not hit a homerun since April 18. But the Mets haven’t given up on him yet, and neither have I. In 2010 Davis hit 19 HR’s and batted .264, in 2011 he ended up with a season ending injury, but was hitting ,302 before that and had 7 HR’s in 36 games.Davis is your typical big framed first baseman and he has real power, and he’ll also strike out too much and hit for a mediocre average. Do remember that it was around this time last year that Davis got hurt and never came back, so a little rustiness is to be expected. Going into the season I believed Davis was a 25 – 30 HR guy, and I still believe that. If you can afford a little struggles in average and you have a place on your bench to let Ike wait until the power heats up, than there is no reason not to grab him.
Josh Reddick – OF, Oakland Athletics: Playing in Oakland is not exactly a homerun hitter’s haven. And so I know there may be some natural concern to searching for power on the Oakland roster. Reddick is a natural power hitter though and he’s just been waiting for a chance to play everyday on a big league team. He has that chance in Oakland and he already has 6 HR’s including 3 in his last eight games, and 2 in his last four games. Reddick hit for power all through his minor league career and I expect him to clear 20 this season without too much trouble. And hitting in the middle of the lineup he should also score plenty of runs and knock in a fair amount as well.
Will Middlebrooks – 3B, Boston Red Sox: I talked about him last, but I am going to talk about him again this week because Middlebrooks is only owned in 30% of leagues. Middlebrooks is built like a power hitter at 6’4, he has consistently hit for power in the minor leagues, and he is hitting for power so far in the big leagues. In just 22 AB’s in one week he has 3 HR’s and four doubles to go along with it. Will he head to the minors when Yokilus gets healthy? Maybe, but right now he has power and if you need power, you shouldn’t be picky.
Wilson Betemit – 3B, Baltimore Orioles: One way or another the Orioles have been getting Wilson Betemit into the lineup almost every day lately and he has been producing, 10 for his last 32 and 3 HR’s in that span of time. With Nolan Reimold on the DL Betemit has even been seeing time in left field and he could gain outfield eligibility at some point. Betemit isn’t an elite power hitter, but he has had an AB/HR rate between 18 – 22 a few times in his career and he could provide some power in deep leagues, especially when he’s hitting as hot as he is now.
Eric Thames – OF, Toronto Blue Jays: He may not have shown it quite yet this season, but Eric Thames does have power. Unfortunately for those deep league players who do own him he only has two so far. Fortunately for those don’t own him, he’s being dropped in a lot of leagues and is available in almost all of them. Thames hit 27 HR’s in AA in 2010 and had 19 last season between AAA and the big leagues. The ball is going to start leaving the yard off from Thames bat sooner or later, grab him now before it starts.
Ryan Doumit – C, Minnesota Twins: One way of another the Twins are getting Doumit into their lineup almost everyday. And as someone holding catcher eligibility he is worth a spot in most every deep league, despite only being owned in 3% of leagues. Doumit only has 4 HR’s on the season, but he does have 3 of them in the last three games. If Doumit were to get 500 AB’s, which means staying healthy, he would hit between 15 – 20 HR’s, in a deep league at catcher, that’s more than good enough to earn a roster spot and get a boost in power for your team.
Do you need power? Whose out there on your waiver wire’s that can provide you some pop in the standings?
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