by Will Overton
The injury bug seems to be hitting especially hard in the outfield as of late and it’s not a position that has a lot of depth compared to usual. In the last week we have seen the likes of Matt Kemp, Carlos Lee and Nick Markakis hit the DL to go along with the guys already on it such as Austin Jackson, Lance Berkman and many more.
Maybe you don’t own any of those guys, but if you play in a real man’s league you’re still using five outfielders in your lineup. And most teams will have at least one on their bench if not more. That makes for slim pickings on the waiver wire at times, but it also makes for a lot of turnaround because it’s rare for a team to have six locked in outfielders going good at the same time.
So for the position that has more turnaround than any other position in fantasy baseball other than the pitcher its important to always have a close eye on the waiver wire waiting for the next potential pickup. Here are some of the trendy outfield adds and some other guys I personally have taken a liking to.
Colby Rasmus – Toronto Blue Jays: It is clear that Rasmus has burned a lot of bridges with fantasy owners because despite his recent hot streak and despite his potential he’s still only owned in a little over half of ESPN leagues. Rasmus has been hitting .368 since the calendar switched to June and he has four HR’s in his last 10 games. Because the hype train got going so fast a couple seasons ago people forget that Rasmus is still 25 and far from done growing as a player. It was just two years ago that Rasmus hit 23 HR’s and he should be even stronger now and playing in a homer friendly park. I know you’ve been burned by him before, I have to, but even in a ten team league where at least 60 OF’s are owned, Rasmus should absolutely be one of them.
J.D. Martinez – Houston Astros: It didn’t take long for people to jump ship on J.D. Martinez after his scorching hot start to the season began to fade. Now he’s starting to heat back up and he’s available in a whole lot of leagues. Martinez has knocked in 11 runs in his last 13 games and is also hitting .314 in those 13 games. Martinez looks like he has the makings of a streaky player, but I suspect there will be more ups than downs and with his placement in the lineup he could still drive in a whole lot of runs this season. If someone else gave up on him you should still give him a chance.
Quintin Berry – Detroit Tigers: I wouldn’t consider Berry more than a short term solution if you need a boost in speed or have a guy on the DL, but he can provide a spark to your team for the time being. Eventually Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks will be back and Berry will likely become a platoon player or situational base runner, but right now he’s playing everyday and hitting at the top of the Tigers lineup. In 15 games Berry has scored 14 runs, tied for third among all OF’s over that span of games. Berry also has seven steals already, including four of them in the last seven games. And he has yet to be caught taking a base. Fantasy owners can get too hung up on what’s going to happen two or three weeks down the road, right now Berry is lighting it up and he should be getting playing time in all leagues.
Ryan Ludwick – Cincinnati Reds: After his two homerun performance yesterday people might actually be remembering that Ryan Ludwick plays the game still. But if you play in a deep league you should already know. Yeah, the Reds is crowded and Ludwick doesn’t play everyday, but in a deep league you might just have to accept that. In a 16 team league you’re looking at 96 OF’s being owned, minimum. When all 30 teams play there are only 90 on the field. Yes there is multi-position guys and DH’s, but you get the idea. Ludwick isn’t a sexy name, but he’s got power in his bat, its just been held back by the confines of Petco Park the last two seasons. Now that Ludwick is in homer friendly Cincinnati he’s homering once every 15.8 AB’s. Even sharing time that’s quite a few HR’s for a deep league outfield.
Ben Revere – Minnesota Twins: Let’s just go ahead and say right now that Ben Revere will not get you any HR’s and very, very few RBI, but he will get you steals and he will score runs as the second hitter, even in the Twins lineup. Revere is hitting .382 in his last ten games including six multi-hit games, he’s also scored six runs and stolen four bases in that span of time. Revere was sent to the minor leagues earlier this season for reasons I still don’t fully understand, but he has done nothing but hit the ball, steal bases and score runs since coming back. He’s basically locked in as an everyday starter now and he’s also locked into that second spot. I wouldn’t hesitate to add Revere in deep leagues, even if he won’t contribute at all in two categories.
Gerardo Parra – Arizona Diamondbacks: In reality Parra should be getting talked about as an add in standard leagues as well, but at just a little under 10% ownership he is out there in deep leagues too. Parra is having a career year so far as he has already totaled 30 Runs scored, 4 HR’s and 10 SB’s. And now he’s heating up even more with a .364 average so far in June. His playing time had become a bit erratic at the end of May which probably accounts for his being dropped in as many leagues as he was, but he has started all six games in June and is starting to see the occasional at-bat in the leadoff spot. Parra has good speed, decent power and is on a hot steak, there is no question he should be owned in all deep leagues.
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