Each week Baseball Press will be providing some Under the Radar fantasy players for NL-Only Leagues, AL-Only Leagues and Mixed Leagues. These articles will be dedicated to finding those diamonds in the rough on the waiver wire that will either be a short term or long term replacement to an injury or struggling player on your fantasy team. All players listed are owned in less than 30% of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.
Injuries to some pretty heavily drafted guys at shallow positions is already making owners sweat in Only leagues and it is only Week 2. Don't sweat it yet, the main thing is to get AB and some of last week's pickup suggestions have been doing that for you - Minus Jarrod Saltalamacchia who went on the DL the day the Under the Radar ran last week. A couple of last weeks options are still out there, Chris Getz had had 2 stolen bases in the last 7 days and Kevin Gregg was named the primary closer and has picked up 3 saves with 9 strikeouts since last weeks article.
Jeff Mathis - C, Los Angeles Angels (Yahoo! 4%, CBS 8%)
It looks as if manager Mike Scioscia is more worried about the defense being put out on the field instead of the number of bats in the line-up. This means it looks like Mathis is going to get more at-bats than Mike Napoli for the near future in the Anaheim line-up. If you are in a two-catcher AL-only you are looking for at-bats in both slots and Mathis is getting that contributing at a .350 avg and 1 homerun through 20 at-bats so far.
Daric Barton - 1B, Oakland Athletics (Yahoo! 10%, CBS 30%)
Daric probably would not have been let go by the Cardinals in the Mark Mulder trade if it wasn't for a man named Albert Pujols. He looks to be the every day guy for Oakland and since Jack Cust was designated for assignment, there won't be fighting for at-bats with other possible line-up options. He hasn't shown first base power yet but he is a typical on base machine with a .346 avg and .526 obp so far in 2010.
Mark Ellis - 2B, Oakland Athletics (Yahoo! 15%, CBS 28%)
To complete the right side of the Oakland infield Mark Ellis is also worth a look in AL-onlys and another reason the A's are off to a better start than most thought they would have. Ellis only has average speed and his current .345 average may not last but he is getting at-bats and is hot now, so if you need a Brian Roberts stop-gap he is out ther ein most leagues. If he does keep the average in the .300 range - he did bat .316 in 2005 - then he is worth hanging onto long term.
Julio Lugo - SS/2B, Baltimore Orioles (Yahoo! 1%, CBS 4%)
With the injury of Brian Roberts it appears Lugo is going to be collecting most of the 2B at-bats in Baltimore for the time being. After a couple of injury plagued let-down season Lugo did excel at that end of 2009 with the Cardinals. He hasn't shown much yet this year in his at-bats but if he gets back his rhythm he can be a solid middle infield contributor once again.
Edwin Encarnarcion - 3B, Toronto Blue Jays (Yahoo! 8%, CBS 30%)
After many years of un-fulfilled potential Edwin was overlooked by a lot of people coming into the 2010 season even though he plays at one of the more shallow fantasy positions. After starting off and having a rough first series Eddy is hitting .318 with a homerun and a stolen base in his last two series. He is not going to be removed out of the line-up, is at that magic 27 age and should be owned and playing in all AL-onlys.
Rick Ankiel - OF, Kansas City Royals (Yahoo! 14%, CBS 25%)
The once pitcher turned outfielder Ankiel seems to have found his swing on the West side of Missouri that he had lost on the East side. He is taking full advantage of the change of scenery in what most would consider a less intense baseball surrounding in Kansas City. He probably will not maintain the .300 average since he has never shown that skill in his professional career but it is encouraging to see 3 doubles and a homerun already showing that he could contribute with 20+ homers over the season.
Gio Gonzalez - SP, Oakland Athletics (Yahoo! 7%, CBS 36%)
I realize that Gio's numbers may be low because most fantasy owners are streaming him right now, but I don't know how he can be sitting on the wire in an AL-only league. His upside is 200 strike outs over the season which should be owned even though he can be a WHIP killer. He had a very solid outing against a patient at the plate Anaheim team and you have to keep marching this guy out there until he gives you a huge reason not to.