Like many fantasy baseball owners, I have one eye always focused on the waiver wire. As we head towards week 6 of fantasy baseball 2013, lets take a look at who is rising up the ranks at catcher, first base and second base. Remember, these are intended for deep league formats, so I will only be looking at players that are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
It is a rather large mystery what Evan Gattis‘ role will be now that Brian McCann is returning, and his owners would do well to find a backup C just in case Gattis ends up being a bat off the bench most days. Here are the top catchers that have been hot recently at the dish.
Russell Martin – C – Pittsburgh Pirates (37% owned)
Last 14 days – .357 (15 for 42) – 5 HR – 8 RBI
Martin has been turning back the clock over the last 2 weeks, cranking out 5 HR’s in just 42 AB’s. Is the power sustainable? Certainly not at this rate, but Martin can provide pop for fantasy owners that have a struggling backstop. We have seen enough of these streaks out of Martin over the years to know it probably won’t last long, so ride the hot streak for all it is worth, and be ready to make a move to a steadier option once the inevitable slide begins.
Last 14 days – .333 (15 for 45) – 1 HR – 4 RBI – 1 SB
Yes, the catcher position really is that thin! Especially if you play in a 2 catcher format. Jason Castro has been quietly productive for the Astros over the last 2 weeks, and while he was expected to have a timeshare with Carlos Corporan, so far it is Castro that is receiving the majority of the AB’s. On the season, Castro has just 2 HR’s in 103 AB’s, so you aren’t adding him as a speculative power pickup, but if you have 2 catchers, and one of them is an Evan Gattis that may potentially lose playing time, Castro is a warm body that can provide the occasional HR/SB with a decent average (between .260-.280) most weeks.
Last 14 days – .325 (14 for 43)- 0 HR – 4 RBI
Update – Todd Helton just came back off the DL meaning Pacheco will likely return to fantasy obscurity
Going over the hottest bats at first base the last 2 weeks, there really aren’t any sleeper names that jump off the list other than this one. By now, everyone has heard of Yuniesky Betancourt and his ridiculous power surge in Milwaukee, but Jordan Pacheco has very quietly been hitting for the Rockies out west. With Todd Helton on the DL, Pacheco has finally been given everyday at bats in Denver, and while the power hasn’t materialized just yet (0 HR in 68 AB’s), Pacheco is hitting a very solid .325 over the last 2 weeks, and in deep formats that use a CI he is certainly worth a look. Remember to check Pacheco’s eligibility in your league, it is rumored that he may be available at catcher in a number of Yahoo formats this season, only increasing his value further.
Jedd Gyorko – 2B/3B – San Diego Padres (23% owned)
Last 14 days – .300 (15 for 50) – 1 HR – 3 RBI
Gyorko finally came through with his first HR in week 5, and as evidenced by the 50 AB’s the Padres will continue to give him every opportunity to succeed. Gyorko can fill in at both MI/CI in most leagues, making him that much more valuable. A 20 HR campaign is still not out of the question for the potential NL Rookie of the Year, and if you need some infield depth in your league, Gyorko should be one of the better pickups for week 6.
Ryan Raburn – 2B/OF – Cleveland Indians (23% owned)
Last 14 days – .428 (15 for 35) – 4 HR – 10 RBI
The fairy tale may be coming to an end rather abruptly for Ryan Raburn in the weeks ahead. He was one of the more popular waiver wire pickups in deep leagues, but with Jason Kipnis finally playing well, and Michael Bourn expected back in a week or two, it looks like Raburn will once again be reduced to a bench/ part time role for the Indians. Sadly, it doesn’t look like he is a very safe pickup at this time, even in deep leagues. If you have been using Raburn and are desperate to find a suitable option, you can give guys like Rickie Weeks, Donovan Solano, and Kelly Johnson a look off waivers.
Questions or comments are always accepted. Love to get feedback from the readers – KJ