Waiver Worthy: Look Whose Streaking – What To Do With These Hot Hitters

by Will Overton

What does a hot streak mean for fantasy owners? All hot streaks are not created equally and fantasy owners can’t treat them that way. Sometimes hot streaks are the beginning of something bigger and make for a potentially important add for your fantasy baseball team. Other times a hot streak is really just a fluke and fantasy owners can burn a move to grab a guy who you’ll be dropping a couple days later.

You can’t always just add the hottest player on the wire because a wasted move can cost you the guy you should’ve added, or it can lead you to drop someone you should really be holding on to. We are going to look at some of the hottest hitters available across the majority of leagues and discuss whether or not these guys are worth adding or not.

Will Middlebrooks – 3B, San Diego Padres: It has taken a little bit of time for Will Middlebrooks to settle in for the San Diego Padres, but he’s starting to find his footing now. Middlebrooks is 12 for the last 35 at the plate covering nine games. In those nine games Middlebrooks has 6 R, 3 HR and 8 RBI as he hits in the middle of the Padres lineup. The Padres revamped lineup has been underwhelming so far,  but I still like Middlebrooks hitting right behind Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. Middlebrooks has been a slow starter before and so history shows us that it’s very possible this is Middlebrooks starting to find his groove and turning it up, which I think has a chance to last and Middlebrooks could turn in close to 20+ HR’s.

Jace Peterson – 2B/SS, Atlanta Braves: The pressure is on Jace Peterson to hold in to his job with Jose Peraza looming at Triple-A. Peterson has responded by stepping up his play lately, hitting safely in 10 of his last 12 games. Peterson is also showing some of the speed he displayed in the minor legaues with a pair of steals in his last five games and five steals total in the month of May. Peterson has been moved to the top of the lineup as of late which paired with his boost in speed gives him a nice jump in overall fantasy value. I do wonder how long Peterson will keep this up, but if he can stay near the top of the lineup he’ll maintain value.

Chris Iannetta – C, Los Angeles Angels: It’s hard to talk about a guy whose average is below the Mendoza line as being on a hot streak, but Iannetta fits the bill here. The Angels catcher has won back his starting job by going 13 for his last 38 at the plate. Iannetta also has three HR’s and 11 RBI in that span and he really is red hot. Iannetta has had streaks like this in the past, but he’s always struggled to maintain a consistent streak of hot hitting. In two catcher formats he absolutely has to be owned, also in 16 team and deeper leagues. In more standard formats I think you can find a catcher that will have more long term success.

Preston Tucker – OF, Houston Astros: The Astros have turned over to Preston Tucker to help stabilize their outfield and so far it’s working out well. Tucker had a .320 batting average and 10 HR’s at Triple-A before being called up and he’s kept this momentum going. Tucker is 11 for his last 33 and he has scored six runs in this stretch of games. It’s still early to know if this is just a hot streak for Tucker because he hasn’t been up for long, but the upside is certainly high. Tucker’s hot streak is definitely the kind you want to take a stab at.

Randal Grichuk – OF, St. Louis Cardinals: Another Cardinals prospect with a big stick has emerged onto the scene in the big leagues. Grichuk has hit safely in seven of his last eight starts and is 8 for his last 23 at the plate. Grichuck’s recent success has comeas a result of Matt Holliday’s illness, which is now cleared up, making playing time more murky. However, Grichuk has legitimate 20/10 or better upside which is something Jon Jay doesn’t possess, or even close to it. Grichuk should find himself in a platoon situation with Jay, but over time I believe he winds up on the more favorable side of it.

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