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.
I hope you jumped on the Rod Barajas boat when you had the chance - staying hot with a .318 average and a few RBI this week - as well as Scott Rolen and Juan Pierre. All of their ownership numbers are heading North and are definitely not available in the deeper leagues anymore. If you didn't, do not fear we have some more options to help you out for Week 7.
The theme so far for Under the Radar catchers is play the hot hand, and there is none hotter than Ruiz right now. In the past two series he has hit over .556 with a home run. Now there is some concern with Ruiz because of an injury he sustained in Wednesday's game but there should be enough opportunity to see how he looks over the weekend series to make your final decision, but Ruiz sees himself fit to play.
Aubrey Huff - 1B, San Francisco Giants (Yahoo! 17% / CBS 51%)
Aubrey has graduated from an NL-Only option to a mixed option, especially if you are rostering someone struggling at the Corner Infield slot. He has continued to hit this week for average and next week he will make a trip into Arizona where you probably can expect for some of those hits leave the yard. There is nothing sexy about Aubrey Huff - in a fantasy baseball sense of the term sexy - but he does have pop w/ an average that will hurt you less than others with the same kind of power potential.
Mike Aviles - 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals (Yahoo! 15%, CBS 32%)
Another graduate, but of course from the AL-Only Under the Radar offering, Aviles has been non-stop at the plate since being recalled. There probably will come a period soon where the pitchers are going to make and adjustment, which in turn means that Aviles will too but with inter-league concluding Week 7 don't expect the Colorado Rockies to have a book on him - at least not one up to date. The power he has offered so far is of course nice, but do not expect it to continue. His value comes in his solid contact and ability to move around the bases.
Jhonny Peralta - SS/3B, Cleveland Indians (Yahoo! 25%/ CBS 43%)
Peralta has struggled mightily since before the 2009 All-Star break, but he is starting to show a few signs of life again at the plate that could mean a turn around is coming. You have to take into consideration he is a season removed from 23 home run, 89 RBI season and is only 28 years old. His fly ball rate has gone up this year so far and sooner or later as the weather gets warmer - as it is starting to - those fly balls are going to start turning into home runs.
Andy LaRoche - 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates (Yahoo! 5%, CBS 19%)
It seems like LaRoch, the younger, is starting to finally develop into what scouts had said he was able to be. I really shouldn't be too hard on him though considering he is still only 26 years of age. As a highly touted prospect in Los Angeles, at least until he started turning his wheels at triple-A. It seems like he does better against familiar pitchers, hitting very well against rival NL Cenral pitching, but that should start expanding. Also he has seen a jump up higher in the Pirates line-up as of late, which helps any players value, even a Pittsburgh Pirate.
Luke Scott - 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles (Yahoo! 7%, CBS 20%)
Scott is similar to many players that hit around .260 with 20-25 home runs at the end of the year, he is streaky. Right now he is on one of his hot streaks for the Orioles. Over his last six his average has not been too impressive, sitting at .261, but he has sent 3 offerings over the fence. He is heading into Arlington next week to hit in one of the friendliest home run parks in the American League - especially when the weather is warm and the wind is blowing as it has as of late.
Cody Ross - OF, Florida Marlins (Yahoo! 29%/ CBS 42%)
Cody started the season off in a horrible slump, causing a lot of fantasy owners to cut bait on probably a pretty low draft day investment. He only had 2 home runs so far this season but has shown an increase in contact rate over the past 14 days and has done a better job facing right-handed pitching. This is one of those options that if you need to fill a hole grab him, but he does not have a lot of upside as a long term investment with the performance he is showing now.
Julio Borbon - OF, Texas Rangers (Yahoo! 33% / CBS 44%)
Expectations were high for this young center fielder entering the season and he definitely came out of the gates letting all those owners that reached on him - and those that didn't and drafted him at "value". Ron Washington gave him a few games to collect his thoughts and moved him down in the line-up hoping that with less pressure would come more production. Even though his average is still a dismal .213 it has shown steady growth over the past 10 days and in the last six he is hitting .333 with a stolen base. More of those stolen bases will come as his opportunities increase, which it looks like they will.
Jhoulys Chacin - SP, Colorado Rockies (Yahoo! 25%, CBS 54%)
If this article came out yesterday before Chacin ran into the hot Washington Nationals, giving up 6 earned in 5 innings, you all would have agreed probably without question. (By the way, I did say hot Washington Nationals) Keep in mind two things about last night, weather conditions were far from favorable and it was probably the first team that had any kind of "book" on Chacin. Now is the time he will adjust his approach, mix things up a bit and come back looking sharp next week for two, one at Chicago on the North Side and one in Kansas City, two less than spectacular offenses. The one discouraging aspect about last night was the fact he only collected 3 strike outs, but as I said weather conditions could have played a big part in his bump in the road.
Manny Corpas - RP, Colorado Rockies (Yahoo! 12% / CBS 16%)
With stand-in closer Franklin Morales finding his way to the disabled list this week it appears that Manny Corpas will be the next in line to collect saves before Huston Street's return. Corpas has been fairly effective as a closer in the past and this year his ERA is just above 3 and has 17 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. Street is out on a rehab assignment, but will attempt to throw back to back nights for the first time this weekend - if everything goes as planned. Street's comments make it sound like he is getting through his rehab okay but is not happy with how he feels so unless Corpas struggles a lot, you can expect to see at least a week of opportunities at finishing games.