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.
So I had a few strike outs last week with the Mixed League group. Chris Davis is no longer in the Majors and Dexter Fowler hit .136 with only 1 stolen base over the past week. But, Andruw Jones has been bumped up in the order going 6-22 with 2 homeruns and a stolen base and Alcides Escobar hit .385 with 6 runs scored. This week we look at the new first basemen for the Rangers as well as some forgotten power left on the wire.
Rod Barajas - C, New York Mets (Yahoo! 24%, CBS 49%)
He won't do anything for your average but what he can do is hit the ball a very long way, and seems to be on a little hot streak as you read. He has been hitting the ball very hard in the last series with the Cubs and already has 3 homeruns going into this weekend's series. With as many people content with Mike Napoli on their roster out there, Rod Barajas should also be playing on a team in your league.
Justin Smoak - 1B, Texas Rangers (Yahoo! 9%, CBS 39%)
I about included Smoak in the AL Under the Radar on Wednesday but I thought the Rangers would give Chris Davis the weekend before a move was made, I was wrong. Expect to see Smoak slotted in at first for the Rangers as of today. He has been tearing up AAA this season hitting .300 with a 1.010 OPS over 50 at-bats. He is only 23 years old and may see struggles once pitchers get a book on him, but a big bat in Texas should look good on any roster.
Skip Schumaker - 2B, St. Louis Cardinals (Yahoo! 29%, CBS 20%)
Skip has run into some early season struggles and with the drop in the Cardinal's line-up from last year has lost some fantasy value as well but he is showing signs of reverting back to his old self. He is driving the ball lately with 2 doubles and a homerun in the last week and seems to have found his stroke again. He will provide a fairly empty .290+ average but if you need help in that category here is your guy.
Cristian Guzman - SS, Washington Nationals (Yahoo! 27%, CBS 13%)
Another middle infielder that can help in the average department while also contributing a few steals is finding some at-bats out in Washington with the hamstring issues that Ryan Zimmerman is seeing and the debacle that is right field. He will continue to get some at-bats while he is on his hot streak (10-26 this past week) because the Nationals need some help in the line-up and they also want to showcase him for a trade.
Ty Wigginton - 1B/2B/3B, Baltimore Orioles (Yahoo! 34%, CBS 41%)
Wigginton has taken over as the every day bat in Baltimore's line-up and has shown himself worthy. Since doing so, he is hitting .281 (9-32) and hit 5 homeruns. His position flexibility of playing all over the infield is a plus and if he can keep up this power surge you should be able to find a spot for him in your line-up.
Marlon Byrd - OF, Chicago Cubs (Yahoo! 30%, CBS 52%)
Marlon was mentioned in the first Mixed Under the Radar the weekend before the season started, but it is worth mentioning him again here because his role is changing in the struggling Cubs line-up. With Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Theriot getting off to bad starts Byrd has been hitting lead-off against lefties and slotted in the clean-up spot against righties. Hitting .440 over the last week with 6 RBI you have to think that maybe you can expect another 2009 type season out of him in 2010.
Darnell McDonald - OF, Boston Red Sox (Yahoo! 2%, CBS 3%)
I really had a hard time including a 31 year old labeled quad-A player with a .240 lifetime batting average in 154 major league at-bats on this list, but Under the Radar is about picking up guys that are going to help your team now and McDonald seems to be able to do that. With word that Mike Cameron is out for at least 6 weeks and Jacoby Ellsbury having four line hairline fractures on his ribs he should have the opportunity to keep helping. He has 2 homeruns in 7 at-bats so ride him while he is hot.
Fred Lewis - OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Yahoo! 1%, CBS 2%)
Coming over from San Francisco because there was no room in their outfield, Lewis looks to be the every day lead-off hitter and left fielder for the Blue Jays for the near future at least. Lewis is no spring chicken but has the ability to bring a power/speed combination to the top of the surging Blue Jays offense. If he performs like he is capable and holds down that lead-off spot then expect value to follow.
Wade Davis - SP, Tampa Bay Rays (Yahoo! 16%, CBS 70%)
After struggling in his first two outings Davis showed all of us what he is capable of his last time out against the White Sox. He probably won't be quite a K per inning pitcher but he will rack up some strike outs and have a chance for some wins pitching for the Rays. Next week he gets Oakland at Tropicana. There is a good chance for a strong outing and keeping a spot in your fantasy rotation.
Tyler Clippard - RP, Washington Nationals (Yahoo! 31%, CBS 11%)
A bright spot so far out in Washington has been their end of the game guys. Combining with Matt Capps to allow only 2 earned runs over 20 innings pitched Clippard is a guy that should be picked up to help your team out with the ratio categories. By the way he also has 8 strikeouts in 8.1 innings. The other plus to owning Clippard is if Capps needs a night off he will definitely be getting 9th inning duties for the game.