We’re about to delve into the world of free agents, the waiver wire. First, however, I’ll need you to sign an agreement that basically says you cannot sue me if Jim Leyland lies about playing time, Dusty Baker maims a pitcher or the Rays never promote Desmond Jennings (ever). Sign and date here: __________. OK, now initial here: ___ and we’ll be on our way to checking into who is available in at least half of Y! leagues (50% ownership or less). The jump awaits.
Chris Iannetta, Col (17%) The patient slugger is finally getting a run at full playing time. If J.P. Arencibia is rostered in 54% of Y! leagues, Iannetta should be pushing 60%. They’re projected to put up similar stat lines (according to me, the self-appointed king of projections), but Arencibia’s poor AVG will inflict more damage because he logs more AB in the same amount of Plate Appearances (less Walks).
Carlos Ruiz, Phi (36%) Not much power, but the AVG is nice.
John Jaso, TB (19%) Rough start, no longer atop the order. For two-catcher leagues only.
Alex Avila, Det (10%) Strong start for Avila, tapping into power potential?
Wilson Ramos, Was (2%) Pudge looks like a pudge so far.
Brandon Belt, SF (31%) The shine is wearing off the jeweled prospect, but don’t hate on him because of the .179 AVG. He’s showing patience (12.5% BB%), he’s not striking out too much (21.4% K%) and he’s hitting Line Drives (18.2% LD%). It will get better for Belt. I still expect him to hit close to .280 with 20 HR and 10 SB.
Kila Ka’aihue, KC (15%) It’s been a rough start for Kila Tequila. He’s watching a ton of pitches and missing when he swings, the K% is not pretty (36.7%). I don’t expect this to continue. I have a hard time seeing him striking out in more than 28% of his At Bats considering he was in the 19%-23% range in AAA. The power is real and the patience is virtuous. We just need some contact.
Matt LaPorta, Cle (10%) Nice start for LaPorta (.273/1/1). Showing better plate discipline so far (improved K% and BB%).
Freddie Freeman, ATL (32%) The poor K% and BABIP should come around, he’s been a slow starter in the past.
Mitch Moreland, Tex (20%) He has one single At Bat vs LHP. I warned you.
Justin Smoak, Sea (19%) It’s too early to make fun of his LD%. He should be an OK option for deep leaguers.
Brett Wallace, Hou (3%) Under-the-hood numbers much improved, working on spraying the ball to all fields.
Mark Trumbo, LAA (4%) No HR yet, but he has a Stolen Base. Yay!
Chase Headley, SD (27%) Looks like the K% will improve for the third straight season. Could hit .270 this season.
Chris Johnson, Hou (12%) I hope you’re not expecting another .387 BABIP.
Brent Morel, ChW (3%) Morel is a cheaper version of Chase Headley.
Alberto Callaspo, LAA (20%) Ride the hot streak.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Oak (3%) Awful start, but he’ll end up with close to 20 HR.
Danny Espinosa, Was (10%) The AVG will come crashing down, but he’s a power/speed threat. There is potential for a 20/10 season here, maybe more.
Jose Lopez, Col (13%) The AVG will come up with the BABIP (.227) and he already has 2 HR and 1 SB. Herrera will fight for At Bats.
Freddy Sanchez, Pit (32%) Line Drive machine (career 23.9% LD%) will help your team’s AVG. Will provide 10-15 combined HR/SB.
Dustin Ackley, Sea (6%) 2011 projection: .280-7-47-53-9 (400 AB).
Sean Rodriguez, TB (27%) Power/speed threat that you may want to bench against Right Handed Starters.
Orlando Cabrera, Cle (16%) Ride the hot streak.
Alcides Escobar, KC (23%) We’ve seen few swings and misses so far (3.6% SwStr% and 5.7% K%), but Escobar needs to hit the ball with more authority (6.1% LD%). I’m hoping for a .320ish BABIP. Right now his BABIP is .186, we have some work to do. The power is minimal, but Alcides has 25-35 SB potential. His production should encroach Starlin Castro, Rafael Furcal and Ian Desmond territory.
Maicer Izturis, LAA (24%) Eligible everywhere, leading off, hot streaking, 20 SB potential, Aybar on the DL. What’s not to like here?
Jhonny Peralta, Det (28%) He’s hot streaking, just hit his first HR.
Miguel Tejada, SF (45%) You’ve heard of Miguel Tejada.
Erick Aybar, LAA (21%) Was projected for .268-6-23, but he’s on the 15-day DL now (oblique/ribcage strain). He’s eligible to return on the 18th.
Paul Janish, Cin (4%) Locked in (.444 AVG, 7.4% K%, 36% LD%).
Magglio Ordonez, Det (49%) He’s 38-years old and has nothing, but a single Run to his credit thus far. He’ll likely see time off here and there to alleviate stress on his injury prone body and to give Brennan Boesch some playing time. However, Magglio still has the skills to hit .300 with 20 HR. He hits in front of VMart and Miguel Cabrera. Now you know where that single Run came from!
Michael Brantley, Cle (7%) My 39th ranked OF is owned in only 7% of Y! leagues? I thought I had more influence on the nation than that. Come on people. Ignore the bad luck BABIP from last season, Brantley has the tools to hit .290. He also has the speed to steal 35 bases. I own multiple shares of Michael Brantley, as should you.
Dexter Fowler, Col (34%) The Batting Average won’t be pretty, but Fowler takes enough walks and has enough speed to be an effective leadoff hitter for the Rockies. You read that? Leadoff hitter for the Colorado Rockies. Get on that. He’s up to two SB and has the potential to steal upwards of 30 to 35.
Coco Crisp, Oak (43%) Leading off, has four SB already (32 SB in 75 games in ’10).
Seth Smith, Col (6%) Monster at home vs RHP.
Cameron Maybin, SD (14%) Former top prospect hitting .276 with 2 HR and 3 SB.
Logan Morrison, Fla (38%) I thought Logan was slightly overrated by some, which is why I’m surprised to see him owned in only 38% of Y! leagues. He hasn’t shown much for power since his time at single-A ball, but he could steal a handful of bases to help ease the pressure of hitting Home Runs. Anyway, Logan has come out gangbusters, hitting .333 with 2 HR to start the season. He has the prospect pedigree, he’s hitting, what is he doing in the free agent pool?
Desmond Jennings, TB (12%) Just waiting for the promotion. Give me those 40 SB!
Will Venable, SD (9%) Power/speed threat that can be used against RHP only.
Johnny Damon, TB (10%) Good shot at getting back up to 20 SB under Joe Maddon.
Nate McLouth, Atl (11%) Hitting 2nd in ATL, former 20/20 threat, only 29-years old.
Ben Francisco, Phi (41%) Potential for a 15/15 season, maybe even 20/20 (PT).
Willie Bloomquist, Ari (52%) Scorching hot start, but will see less AB with Drew back.
Other players owned in less than 50% of leagues that I could have mentioned: Luke Scott, Josh Willingham, Melky Cabrera, Juan Rivera, Carlos Gomez, Milton Bradley, Matt Joyce, Rich Ankiel, Allen Craig, Franklin Gutierrez, Peter Bourjos, Tyler Colvin, Michael Morse, etc. I had to cut it off at some point. If you want me to touch base on any of these players or go more in-depth with another player, hit up the comments or contact me via email or tweeter.