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.
Under the Radar - AL/NL Only Leagues
Thursday September 15th, 2011
This week's AL/NL-only list features a group of young players, some of which could be future fantasy standouts, as well as a couple former prospects that are currently getting it done, making them fantasy relevant once again. For managers looking to make that final push on their single-league fantasy teams, look no further.
* Owned percentages via Yahoo!
Matt Moore - RP, Tampa Bay Rays (6% owned)
The Tampa Bay Rays officially added top pitching prospect Matt Moore to their major league roster Monday afternoon. Moore has been fantastic between Double-A and Triple-A this season, striking out 210 batters while walking only 46 in 155 innings pitched. The 22 year-old lefty is slated to pitch out of the bullpen the rest of the season, but if the Rays seriously make a run at the American League Wild Card he could get a start or two down the final stretch of games. If you are in a keeper league, or a league that values true middle relievers, Matt Moore is a great pickup at this point in the season.
Brent Morel - 3B, Chicago White Sox (3% owned)
White Sox rookie third baseman Brent Morel struggled early in the year after winning the starting job at the hot corner out of spring training. Simply being overmatched at the plate, Morel's average sat around .250 for most of the season with virtually no power or speed to help his offensive contribution. He has started to turn things around in the month of September, hitting five of his seven 2011 home runs this month with a .316 batting average and 10 RBI. Whether he's figured out major league pitching, or is taking advantage of favorable match-ups, the California native needs to be active while he is hot and collecting counting stats.
Nolan Reimold - OF, Baltimore Orioles (1% owned)
Nolan Reimold was mentioned in our Mixed League Under the Radar in late May, but has since fell out of favor among fantasy owners - exhibited by his low 1% ownership. In the last week, the former prospect has done very well at the plate, and may continue this late season surge to October. Over the last week, the former prospect is hitting .357 with a home run and three stolen bases. Reimold has had a few mini-hot streaks this season, lasting 10-14 days, making it worthwhile to take advantage of what could be the tail end of this streak and hope for the best.
Jerome Williams - SP, Los Angeles Angels (6% owned)
Formerly a top prospect according to Baseball America, Jerome Williams could never put it together at the major league level to hold a rotation spot for an extended period of time. Now 29 years-old and with his fifth big league team, Williams is pitching effectively for the Angels. As a starter this season, Williams owns a 3.06 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings pitched. He did struggle his last time out against Oakland, lasting only 4 1/3 innings, but is a two start pitcher next week, making him a good source for strikeouts and wins in a weekly league.
Bryan LaHair - 1B/OF, Chicago Cubs (0% owned)
Bryan LaHair was recalled to Chicago when major league rosters expanded on September first, and has seen consistent playing time between the outfield and first base since. This season's Pacific Coast League MVP owned a triple-slash line of .331/.405/.664 with 38 home runs while at Triple-A Iowa this year. LaHair, now 28 years-old, doesn't likely have a future with the Cubs organization, but is drawing interest from other teams, as well as the Nippon Professional Baseball teams in Japan. For this reason, he should continue to see consistent playing time for the rest of the season as Chicago showcases him to get the best return possible for him this offseason.
Drew Pomeranz - SP, Colorado Rockies (0% owned)
Drew Pomeranz, the centerpiece trade chip coming back to the Rockies when Ubaldo Jimenez was shipped to Cleveland at the trade deadline needed just 63 pitches over five innings to earn his first major league win against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. It is not clear how the Rockies plan to use Pomeranz for the rest of the season, but he is scheduled for at least one more start against the San Francisco Giants this Saturday. Owners playing in a dynasty format should be sure to pick up Pomeranz before the season ends, because of his long-term potential, especially now he is pitching in the National League West.
Wilin Rosario - C, Colorado Rockies (0% owned)
With the sounds of people still shouting "Free Chris Iannetta" in the background, Rockies manager Jim Tracy announced Friday that rookie Wilin Rosario will see a majority of the playing time behind the plate for the team for the rest of the season. Colorado is taking an extended look at the 22 year-old Dominican Republic native to see if he is ready for the major leagues, allowing them to possibly move Iannetta this off-season. Rosario, who possesses legit major league power, hit 21 home runs in 405 at-bats at Triple-A this season. In his first 20 at-bats with the Rockies, he is hitting .200 with a home run, a double, and two RBI, making him a great upside pick-up and a must own in any two-catcher leagues.
Randall Delgado - SP, Atlanta Braves (6% owned)
It seems that Atlanta's plethora of young pitching talent is endless, and Randall Delgado is the latest hurler to earn a rotation spot for the Braves. Delgado, a 21 year-old native of Panama, has made two spot-starts for the Braves throughout the 2011 season, but looks to finish the season in the rotation - having made two September starts on normal rest - barring the unlikely return of injured Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson. In his four major league starts this season he is winless, but has posted a 3.60 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. The Braves have a fairly pitcher-friendly schedule for the rest of the 2011 season, helping Delgado's chances of succeeding until the playoffs start.
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