NL Waiver Wire: Week 16by Paul Singman
July 22, 2011
Kyle Blanks | San Diego | OF | 1 percent Yahoo ownership
YTD (AA): .282/.353/.485
YTD (AAA): .351/.421/.716
Oliver ROS: .238/.321/.425
Blanks has responded from a disappointing last season in the majors, cut short by an elbow needing Tommy John surgery, with a nice bounce-back year in the minors thus far. He performed decently in Double-A—in a difficult hitters' park mind you—and has really turned it on since being promoted to Triple-A. He will likely have the same contact issues he struggled with in his past major league stints, but with his power ability a .240-.250 batting average can be tolerated.
He was just promoted to the majors, but his path to playing time is not perfectly clear. Ryan Ludwick currently sits in left and Jesus Guzman is doing all he can to keep getting time at first—the two positions Blanks is deemed capable of playing. A Ludwick trade would be the easiest solution to this logjam but for now the Padres will have to shuffle lineups nightly to get Blanks off the bench. Best case scenario is he puts his 6-foot-6, 270-pound frame to use and offers eight to 10 homers the rest of the way.
Recommendation: Should be owned in NL-onlys and deep mixed leagues, plus any league where you are thin on power.
Jose Altuve | Houston | 2B | 0 percent Yahoo ownership
YTD (A+/AA): .389/.429/.590
Oliver ROS: .281/.310/.404
Away goes Jeff Keppinger and in comes Altuve all the way from Double-A. Sorry, dude in Triple-A, but I guess you're just organizational filler. To be fair, Altuve was raking leaves in the minors, which is one way of saying he was hitting really well. In more ways than one, however, he remindsme of Starlin Castro—both are '90s boys with strong contact skills, a knack for having balls in play become hits, and curiously high caught-stealing rates.
Unlike Castro, Altuve has shown some ability to hit the ball out of the park, with 10 homers already this year. All in all, Altuve seems like a he will be a nice five-category contributor in the future but the question is whether he is ready to handle the majors at 21 years old. The Astros are willing to give him the chance to prove himself and on most fantasy teams I would give him the chance too, even over Jason Kipnis.
Recommendation: Should be owned in NL-only leagues and mid-to deep mixed leagues.
Willie Bloomquist | Arizona | SS/3B/OF | 9 percent Yahoo ownership
Oliver ROS: .270/.317/.341
With Stephen Drew out for the year, his at-bats are falling into the hands of Mr. Replacement, Willie Bloomquist. Bloomquist can hit for a decent .270s average and swipe a surprising amount of bases but not much else. Add where shortstop landscapes are bleak.
Recommendation: Probably should be owned in most NL-onlys and deep mixed leagues but in anything shallower you should have better shortstop options. I can only hope.
Edward Mujica | Florida | RP | 5 percent Yahoo ownership
YTD: 2.85 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 6.75 K/9, 6.81 K/BB
Oliver ROS: 3.78 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 7.5 K/9
A big thanks to this Miami Herald article (h/t Behrens) that shared this gem from Marlins manager Jack McKeon: "When you ride a good horse for a while, you ride him.” Well said. That good horse, by the way, is Mujica, who McKeon also said would be his leading choice for closer if Leo Nunez gets traded. Saves vultures, take note.
Recommendation: Can be owned in any league with ample relief pitcher spots and by the saves-deprived.
Gerardo Parra | Arizona | OF | 2 percent Yahoo ownership
Oliver ROS: .285/.328/.411
Parra is a boring fantasy player, kind of like a Ryan Sweeney except with more playing time now that Stephen Drew is out for the year. So pretty much once Josh Willingham gets traded Sweeney and Parra will be the same player: both with playing time in which they'll get some singles and even some doubles but not much else. If you are in a league that values guys simply getting playing time, Parra will be become more of an everyday starter unless Xavier Nady finagles his way into more at-bats than he should.
Recommendation: Can be added in most NL-onlys and the deepest of mixed leagues.
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.
<< Return to Article