Many enthusiasts are waiting for prospects to be called up in September but with at least two more weeks of August, we can still find some gems all up and down the waiver wire. Whether it’s guys who score runs and steal bases or guys who provide mainly power and RBIs, there are players all over the place that are still owned in fewer than 50% of leagues. Below are some guys who can help you out until the prospects are a-comin’.
Note: Ownership shown as (Yahoo!, ESPN).
Owned in 30%-50% of Leagues
Emilio Bonifacio, UTIL, ATL (34%, 33.6%)
Bonfiacio — 38 R, 18 SB, .321 OBP, .281 BA — can play almost any position the Braves need him to play. He’ll see time at 2B, SS, and in the OF mostly, but no matter where he plays, he should bat leadoff for Atlanta a good amount of the time. If they do the smart thing, he can get on base and offer RBI chances for the big guns (Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman). He’s never been much in the power department, but if he continues to hit around .280, you should take it.
Vance Worley, SP, PIT (29%, 32.7%)
Worley was useless as a starter during his tenure with the Twins and Phillies, but as the Pirates did with Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez, Worley has been salvaged. He’s 5-1 on the year with a 39 K and 10 BB, a 2.30 ERA, and a 1.02 WHIP, and his eight quality starts speak for themselves. He soon gets a test against the potent Tigers’ offense, but as we’ve seen this season, that offense can be handled on occasion.
Other Names to Know: Mike Leake, SP, CIN (48%, 35.2%); Phil Hughes, SP, MIN (46%, 31.4%); Bartolo Colon, SP, NYM (41%, 35.4%); Jake Odorizzi, SP, TAM (40%, 34.3%); Chris Young, SP, SEA (38%, 23.7%); Brandon McCarthy, SP, NYY (37%, 42.7%); James Paxton, SP, SEA (32%, 22.1%); Collin McHugh, SP, HOU (35%, 31.8%); Michael Pineda, SP, NYY (36%, 17.5%)
Owned in 15%-30% of Leagues
Dioner Navarro, C, TOR (25%, 20.9%)
He only has 1 HR this month, but hitting in the Blue Jays’ lineup he’s put together a decent fantasy season — .276 average, 9 HR, 51 RBI. He gets the bulk of the playing time and he may have finally found a home north of the border. Currently on Yahoo!, he’s the 11th-ranked catcher ahead of names like Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, and Wilin Rosario. I know Mauer and McCann have both missed time this year, but for a guy that wasn’t even drafted in most leagues, the jump has been impressive. If you need a change, go for Dave Navarro‘s brother (not really).
Matt Shoemaker, SP, LAA (21%, 8.6%)
It was all hands on deck this past Saturday as the Angels battled the Red Sox for almost 20 innings. Shoemaker went three innings in relief, thus missing his scheduled start on Tuesday. Even though he’ll be pushed back, he’s shown the ability to perform against good offenses (Baltimore, Detroit, Toronto). His season numbers — 10-4, 87 K 17 BB, 3.89 ERA, 1.21 WHIP — have helped the Angels out immensely. The ERA might be a little high, but he’s young, and we had to see how Danny Duffy and Marcus Stroman would do as well before trusting them.
Other Names to Know: Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL (29%, 28.7%); Drew Stubbs, OF, COL (19%, 22%); Seth Smith, OF, SD (14%, 20.6%); Trevor Plouffe, 3B, MIN (14%, 19.7%); Dayan Viciedo, OF, CHW (10%, 17.2%); Mike Zunino, C, SEA (19%, 15%); Wade Miley, SP, ARI (22%, 13.4%); Jonathon Niese, SP, NYM (22%, 13%); Tom Koehler, SP, MIA (17%, 5.6%)
Owned in Fewer Than 15% of Leagues
Chris Taylor, SS, SEA (3%, 2.6%)
Taylor is a speed guy and he’s played in every game since his call-up in late July. Willie Bloomquist will have to wait to be a silent assassin once again (he’s on the DL) and Brad Miller is seeing a severe drop-off in playing time after his hot 2013 and great first week of 2014 did not carry over to the rest of the season. So far in 46 at-bats, Taylor has scored 6 runs with 3 RBI and a .391 average. The “new look” Mariners’ offense (with Austin Jackson as well), has the potential to mesh well even though Robinson Cano isn’t collecting homers at the rate he did with the Yankees. Still, if Taylor can get on base, he’ll pile up the steals and runs and Cano and Co. can pile up the RBI.
Kyle Hendricks, SP, CHC (14%, 15%)
Hendricks has registered five quality starts in his six MLB starts this season. He’s gone six or more innings in all of his starts and he blanked the division-leading Brewers on Tuesday (7.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 5 K, BB). His ERA is currently 2.10 and his WHIP is 1.02…not bad numbers from one of the guys replacing Jeff Samardzijia/Jason Hammel. He’s 4-1 on the year and gets the Mets on Saturday. He could pile up the Ks.
Other Names to Know: David Peralta, OF, ARI (12%, 12%); Kennys Vargas, 1B, MIN (3%, 6.6%); Rymer Liriano, OF, SD (7%, 1.8%); Jimmy Nelson, SP, MIL (14%, 4.8%); Jeremy Hellickson, SP, TAM (13%, 8.9%); Jeruys Familia, RP, NYM (10%, 7 %); Tsuyoshi Wada, SP, CHC (3%, 0.8%)