Each week, Baseball Press provides some "under the radar" fantasy players for AL-only leagues, NL-only leagues, and mixed leagues. We'll review the diamonds in the rough on the waiver wire that might help you boost your fantasy team in 2011.
Reggie Von Bartles
Under the Radar - AL/NL Only Leagues
Thursday September 1st, 2011
This week's AL/NL-only list features a group of young players with low-percentage ownership numbers in most leagues, but will see plenty of playing time during the final month of the regular season. For managers looking to make that final push on their single-league fantasy teams, look no further.
* Owned percentages via Yahoo!
Luke Hughes - 1B/2B/3B, Minnesota Twins (1% owned)
26 year-old utility man Luke Hughes hasn't turned many heads this season with his .237/.304/.374 triple slash line, but hitting four home runs over a span of five games will earn you attention quickly in deep fantasy leagues. Minnesota has turned to Hughes at second base for most of the season, but as of this week, Hughes has also started at third base, sending Danny Valencia to the bench. The Twins are giving Hughes a ton of playing time and will likely continue to do so the rest of season, so there's hope he can find some rhythm in the final month of the season.
Mike McCoy - 2B/3B/SS/OF, Toronto Blue Jays (0% owned)
With both Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis on the disabled list, the Blue Jays have turned to super utility man Mike McCoy to play everyday in center field. McCoy had a rough month offensively in August, hitting .143/.333/.143 with three stolen bases. Regardless of the the low production, McCoy is likely a free agent in your league and will see plenty of at-bats, making him worth the risk down the road.
Hank Conger - C, Los Angeles Angels (1% owned)
When the Angels originally recalled catcher Hank Conger for the second time this season, manager Mike Scioscia explained Conger would see everyday playing time in order to help a sluggish offense. However, Scioscia's plan hasn't worked out like he said, as Conger has appeared in just three games since his promotion, with Jeff Mathis continues to win Scioscia's heart, leaving Conger owners and baseball fans scratching their heads. It remains unseen if the Angels will give Conger a real shot over the final month of the season.
Andrew Miller - SP, Boston Red Sox (6% owned)
Once an ex-pitching prospect for the Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins, starter Andrew Miller has found new life with the Boston Red Sox this season. In ten starts, the Red Sox have a team record of 9-and-1. In his last two starts, Miller has allowed just one earned run over 11 2/3 innings while striking out 9 batters. He'll have plenty of run support with the Boston lineup behind him, making him a likely candidate to pick up fantasy owners cheap wins down the final stretch.
Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B, Colorado Rockies (1% owned)
Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff is back in the National League West, this time with the Colorado Rockies. After hitting a miserable .221/.262/.353 with the Oakland Athletics in 46 games this season, Kouz is now seeing everyday playing time at Coors Field in Denver. In his first seven games with the Rockies, he's hitting .296/.367/.370. Ty Wigginton has been reduced to a bench role with the team, as manager Jim Tracy seems to be committed to Kouzmanoff in the month of September.
Chris Marrero - 1B, Washington Nationals (0% owned)
The Nationals recalled their former first round pick of the 2006 MLB draft early this week when they promoted first baseman Chris Marrero from Triple-A Syracuse. The 23 year-old was hitting .300/.375/.449 with 14 home runs in 127 games this season. The 6'3'', 210 lb. rookie hit .285/.353/.457 with 83 home runs in six minor league seasons. He's a power-hitting first baseman who is a below-average defender at first base, but will play everyday for the Nationals in the final month of the season.
Nick Evans - 1B/OF, New York Mets (1% owned)
With Lucas Duda in right field everyday, the Mets have used 25 year-old Nick Evans at first base in seven straight games. During that time, Evans is hitting .407/.448/.704 with one home run and two walks. His .407 batting average is fueled by a .476 batting average on balls in play (BAbip) - but at this point in the season, fantasy managers are searching for counting stats and riding hot streaks. Evans hasn't showed much power at the big league level, but continues to draw walks from opposing pitchers and hit for a high average.
Alex White - SP, Colorado Rockies (1% owned)
While rehabbing for an injury, starting pitcher Alex White was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Colorado Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimnez deal. White, 23, was ranked the No. 47 best prospect in all of baseball prior to the start of the season by Baseball America and the No. 2 best prospect in the Cleveland's organization. Since returning from a finger injury with the Rockies, White has struggled, posting a 7.50 ERA in two starts. However, even though White's Colorado debut wasn't easy on the eyes, his low walk total and ability to challenge hitters with off-speed pitches makes him a promising pick-up not only for his final few starts of the season, but for the 2012 season.
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