Waiver Wire: National League

I’m back today to look at the National Leaguers worthy (or not worthy) of a pickup in your league.

Conor Jackson | ARZ | 1B – Mentioned several times before, Jackson is a guy that I like a lot. He has an 89% Contact rate, 14% Walk rate, and 21% Line Drive rate. Jackson should finish well above .300 by year’s end. He also showed good power last year, making 20 HRs a pretty good possibility. Batting second won’t help his RBI numbers, but he has good hitters behind him and should easily get to 100 Runs. If we were to be shifted into the 4th of 5th spot he’d be a solid 4 category contributor, although this seems somewhat unlikely. Given the choice of Jackson or Dan Johnson, go with Johnson.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow NL-only leagues.

Edwin Encarnacion | CIN | 3B – Part of the Third Basemen feature last weekend, Encarnacion is one of the better Third Basemen you’ll find on waivers this year. Should hit at least .280 and has the power to hit 20-25 HRs. Could grab 10 SBs, and he’s hitting in a good lineup for RBIs.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow NL-only leagues.

Ryan Braun | MIL | 3B – Another guy talked about last weekend, Braun has 15-20 HR power, could steal 12-15 bases, and might hit .270. He will need to improve his patience though as his 3% BB rate isn’t very good.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Matt Capps | PIT | CL – The new closer in Pittsburg was talked about a little yesterday. Not a great K rate and his ground ball rate is a little concerning, but he has good control and the ground balls were at a more acceptable level last year.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Brad Hennessey | SF | CL – Another new closer, Hennessey is more risky than Capps in that he doesn’t have as much security and he hasn’t been a reliever for long. His numbers could regress a little, but if they don’t he’s probably a better bet than Capps.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Kevin Gregg | FLA | CL – With Benitez aboard it may only be a matter of time before Gregg loses his job, although he might be a little better pitcher. Keep Gregg until Benitez takes the job. If Benitez gets the job, with his reputation and Gregg’s good play of late, the Marlins might keep him on a short leash, so Gregg should then be kept in leagues where you can afford it.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Armando Benitez | FLA | RP – Gregg will remain the closer for now, but Benitez will have a shot to take the job. His K rate looks good, although his BB rate has been rather poor the past few years. His ground ball rate is up significantly and should see a drop. Own Benitez until he falters.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Rafael Soriano | ATL | RP – With Mike Gonzalez hurt, Soriano becomes the Braves’ go-to-guy before the 9th inning, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Wickman is out of a job before the year is over. One of the best setup men in the game, Soriano should be owned in leagues where relievers have value and for those speculating on saves down the road.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Jeremy Hermida | FLA | OF – Should have hit a few more HRs last year and could hit 15 with 400 ABs. Has pretty good patience and a decent Line Drive rate, but his 68% Contact Rate will need to improve for Hermida to hit more than .270. If it could get back to the 78% of last year he might approach .280. Marlins lineup should help with RBIs and Runs, and Hermida can grab a handful of steals.
Recommendation – Should be considered in owned in 12 and 14-team leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Sergio Mitre | FLA | SP – Has his K/9 up to 6.62 and his 1.74 BB/9 and 61% ground ball rate are very good. BABIP and HR/9 look good, and Mitre should be a pretty solid pitcher as long as he can keep the walks down, which he hasn’t been able to do in the past. Average strikeout rate hurts his value in shallow leagues.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Corey Hart | MIL | OF – While he isn’t guaranteed to continue getting it, Hart is getting regular playing time now. He showed good power last year and could hit 20 HRs the rest of the way given regular playing time. His 83% Contact rate is up from 75% last year. His 7.7% BB rate is up from 6.7% last year, and his Line Drive rate is up to 18.4% from 16.7% last year. That could get him a BA around .275-.280. He also has 7 steals so far, so he should help in that category too.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team leagues, for now. Should be considered in 8 and owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues, for now.

Andy LaRoche | LAD | 3B – Sent down by the Dodgers this week, LaRoche can safely be dropped in most leagues. He did a great job getting on base and probably didn’t deserve the demotion, so we should see him back up at some time this year. Hold onto him in deep leagues in you want, but there might be better options anyway.
Recommendation – Should only be owned in very deep mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in 14-team NL-only leagues, for now.

If you have questions about any other players, feel free to shoot me an e-mail, and I’d be happy to answer your questions.

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