Waiver Wire: National League

Here’s the National League Waiver Wire for the week.

National League

Milton Bradley | SD | OF – 11% Walk rate, 80% Contact rate, and 20% Line Drive rates are good, and they could improve a bit with the move to the National League. Bradley might be good for a .280-.285 Batting Average. Petco won’t help his power, but he might be able to hit 8 HRs the rest of the year if he plays full-time. He should get the opportunity to play full-time for Padres, taking playing time away from Jose Cruz Jr. and Terrmel Sledge, especially once Brian Giles is back from injury. Where he hits in the lineup will shed some light on his RBI and Run prospects.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Ryan Freel | CIN | 2B/3B/OF – Mentioned a couple weeks ago, but with Freel possibly coming off the DL on Monday, I had to put him here again. While he has never hit .300, he has all the skills to: 85% Contact rate, 10% Walk rate, 20+% Line Drive rate. If he could ever play a full season, he would steal 50 bases. He should also score well over 100 Runs batting leadoff for the Reds, and he should hit 8 or so Home Runs.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues.

Bob Howry | CHC | CL – Manning the closer’s role for the next couple weeks until Ryan Dempster gets back from the DL, Howry needs to be owned in all leagues. His peripherals aren’t great, but they are good enough to get you some saves over the next couple weeks: 7.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 35% GB. Watch out though, as Carlos Marmol is breathing down his neck.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Carlos Marmol | CHC | RP – Fantastic 12.27 K/9 and 3.75 K/BB, but his 25% Ground ball rate isn’t very good. He is a much better option than Howry — and Dempster for that matter — and would make a fine closer. Might be a good idea to stash him, now.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Dave Bush | MIL | SP – Well, it looks like Gallardo will be moving to the Bullpen, keeping the jobs of Bush and Claudio Vargas safe… for now. Bush is striking out 6.5 batters per game now and walking less than 2. His 3.40 K/BB and 45% Ground ball rate are good, but his 64.5% LOB% and .329 BABIP seem to be a bit unlucky. Bush is a guy like Javier Vazquez that some consider to be worse than their peripherals indicate, but he did put up a 71% LOB% in 2004 and 2005. I think he should be able to turn it around a bit.
Recommendation – Peripherals indicate he should be owned in all leagues, but be just a little wary.

Yovani Gallardo | MIL | SP/RP – Despite three solid starts, Gallardo will most likely be moving to the bullpen. He’ll still have value in NL-only leagues, and if he moves back to the rotation this year should have value in most mixed leagues. For now, though, his value is limited. Unless the Brewers move Vargas or Bush to the bullpen.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

J.A. Happ | PHI | SP – The newest Philly minor league pitcher to get a crack in the majors, I don’t expect Happ to rise to the challenge. He pitched decently in Double A last year with a (9.72 K/9 | 3.48 BB/9 | 40% GB) line in 75 IP, but this year he’s been much worse (10.05 K/9 | 5.10 BB/9 | 35% GB) in 60 Triple A innings. The Strikeouts are nice and should help in the majors, but his control has been horrible and he doesn’t have a good Ground ball rate to cushion the damage. The high Ks and a good offense makes his use in mixed leagues not quite ridiculous. Could have a shot to keep the job with Jon Lieber injured, but I don’t think he’ll be able to pull it off.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 12 and owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.

Jason Bergmann | WAS | SP – Getting lucky across the board (.207 BABIP | 76% LOB | 6.7% HR/FB | 12.8% LD), but his peripherals are decent enough for the National League. He’s striking out 7.81 batters per 9 innings and walking 3.57, putting his K/BB at a respectable 2.19. His 34% Ground ball rate doesn’t help anything, but Bergmann is a decent play in certain leagues.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Justin Germano | SD | SP – A guy in the mold of Chien-Ming Wang and Fausto Carmona, but not quite that extreme. His 4.67 K/9 is bad, but he doesn’t walk many and his 3.50 K/BB is very good. His 51% Ground ball rate is also very good. Had nearly identical numbers in Triple A for the Reds last year, so he might see a little regression. The low Ks hurt his value and make him ownable in deep mixed leagues only on teams with several high K guys and no better options available.
Recommendation – Should be owned only in very deep mixed leagues. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Mike Jacobs | FLA | 1B – Contact rate between 75% and 80% isn’t great, but he does walk nearly 10% of the time and hits Line Drives 20% of the time. He could hit .280. He also has good power. He hit 12 of 20 Home Runs past 400 true feet last year, according to HitTracker, and should easily hit a dozen HRs the rest of 2007. The Marlins lineup gives him some good RBI and Run opportunities while batting 4th.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Troy Tulowitzki | COL | SS – Has hit 4 of 7 HRs HitTracker has data on past 400 true feet, and the furthest went 471 true feet. Tulowitzki could hit 20+ HRs this year. He’s walking 9% of the time and hitting LDs 22% of the time, but his 77% Contact rate is only alright. A .280 average to go with 20 HRs is pretty good for a shortstop, and with plenty of good hitters ahead of him he should put up a decent RBI total.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in deep 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but the shallowest NL-only leagues.

James Loney | LAD | 1B – Talked about a few days ago. 10 HRs with a .280 average has value in some leagues, but there are lots of better first base options out there.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Mike Fontenot | CHC | 2B/SS – 87% Contact rate is good, but Fontenot only has a 5% Walk rate and 17% Line Drive rate. If we look at the breakdown with Fliners included, though, he has a 15.25% Line Drive and 15.25% Fliner rate. The LDs are just a smidge under league average and the Fliners are well above league average, making his great contact hitting so far a little bit more believable. He is still in for a huge regression, but he might be able to hit .265-.270 from here on out. He’s hit both HRs HitTracker has data on past 400 feet, but he didn’t show great power in the minors. More than 10 HRs would be a big surprise.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Kelly Johnson | ATL | 2B/OF – While he’s been losing a little playing time, his peripherals are still pretty good. I expect a .280+ BA and 17-18 or so HRs. He could also end up with 12-15 steals. If he can keep the leadoff spot, he should also score 100 runs easily. Let’s just hope the Braves realize that Johnson is this good.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Yunel Escobar | ATL | 2B/SS/3B – No power, but Escobar is a decent contact hitter. He has a good contact rate (should end up in the mid-to-high 80s), but his .333 BABIP is too high right now. He’s only walking 5% of the time and hitting 17% Line Drives. In Double A last year, though, he walked 12% of the time, so this number has room to improve. He’s playing over his head, and shouldn’t hit more than .275. Even if he were to gain an everyday role, which he shouldn’t, there would still be lots of better options available.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

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