by Will Overton
One of the things I preach every year when I write the waiver wire articles is that you have to know your standings. We’re a month into the season so the standings are coming into focus as the sample size has grown larger, so this is a good time to bring out this reminder for the first of many times this season.
To be successful using the waiver wire you have to know your team and you have to know your standings. It’s a waste to go to the wire and grab a random guy because he’s been hitting well if it doesn’t fit what you need. If you’re up by 10 steals but you’re in a three way tie for third place in home runs, it makes no sense to go grab a speedster even if he may be the “best guy” on the wire.
In light of this discussion we are going to take a look at guys who can give you a power boost if that is what you need. Power can be tough to find on the wire, but we’ll look at a few options who jump out as potential sources of HR and RBI.
Renato Nunez – 3B, Baltimore Orioles
The 25-year old third baseman is getting his first real run in the Majors and he is so far making the most of it. Nunez has 6 HR, one every 17 AB, which is a very nice rate. He has also at 17 runs scored and 18 RBI while batting .287. Joining the Orioles last season was the best thing that could’ve happened for him, as he needed an opportunity and may not have gotten one elsewhere.
I’ll be honest, I am a bit worried about the bottom falling out on his average as he has never flashed too great of an average in the minor leagues. That said, I do believe that the power is real and we saw that in the minors and now it’s coming out in the big leagues. If he ends up hitting .250, which I think is much more likely, I am totally fine with it since I don’t think he’s going to lose his job and he could reach 30+ HR.
Jorge Alfaro – C, Miami Marlins
There are a small handful of catchers who I think are really solid options you want to have, and if you don’t have one of them you are just looking for someone who can give you a little bit of pop. Right now at least Alfaro is one of those guys. He has 5 HR this season in 74 AB and he is playing enough to where his power can help.
The guy strikes out at least one out of every three AB and his .297 average is unsustainable, but again you aren’t looking for your catcher to win you fantasy leagues necessarily. You just want him to help you in a couple categories.
Eric Thames – 1B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers
This one comes with a bit more risk, though Thames probably has more power than anyone else on this list and most anyone you will find on the wire. However, he is not an every day player and while he has 5 HR he only has 51 AB.
Thames plays both the outfield and first base and he has started in four of the Brewers last six games. Jesus Aguilar was great last year and I think the leash is going to be long for him, but he is hitting .123 and hasn’t hit a HR so the playing time for Thames, who is hitting well and hitting bombs, should be increasing. Thames probably won’t keep hitting a HR every 10 AB, but this is some serious power and if he gets 400 AB in this season he’ll hit 25 – 30 HR.