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With week six of the fantasy season upon us, there are plenty of newly-called up players and guys shifting to new roles that are suddenly worth a pickup. For every star that gets hurt, like Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, or Roy Halladay (whose star status is very much in question), there is a 20-something looking to come up and steal some fantasy relevance for himself. Let’s take a look at the top waiver wire adds for this week.
Michael Saunders (Owned in 30% of Yahoo Leagues): Saunders is a very reliable outfielder who is capable of hitting 20+ home runs and stealing 20+ bases. After putting up 19 HR, 21 SB, 57 RBI, and 71 R in 2012, Saunders is off to a good start with four homers, 11 RBI, four steals, 14 runs, and a .283 BA through 53 at-bats. A former top 30 prospect, Saunders’ .223 career BA is not indicative of his ability after he put up a .280 career average in the minors.
Jose Fernandez (36%): While the nay-sayers claimed Fernandez couldn’t translate to the Majors, I was picking him up in every league. With a 3.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 32 K/12 BB in 31 IP, I haven’t looked back. It hasn’t all been perfect for the 20-year-old, he had a couple of tough starts against the Twins and Reds but has allowed more than two runs in just two of his six starts. On Saturday, Fernandez blanked the Phils for seven innings, surrendering just one hit and one walk while striking out nine.
Marcell Ozuna (10%): We mentioned Ozuna as a speculative add last week after Giancarlo Stanton went down because he had put up 22+ home runs in each of his last three years in the minors. He’s looked like a Godsend since, going 11 for 23 with a home run, four doubles, four RBI, and two walks. He’s a top 75 prospect and is getting to bat in the middle of the order making him a worthwhile add at least until Stanton returns.
Dee Gordon (22%): With Hanley Ramirez headed back to the DL, Dee Gordon is back in the Dodgers lineup. In his first seven at-bats, Gordon has three hits including a triple, three RBI, two runs, and three steals. His batting average is a question after batting .304 in 56 games in 2011 but only .228 in 87 games last year. Still, he has stolen 59 bases in just 145 Major League games which is a pace that would be hard to match. The former 26th top prospect was playing well in the minors this year, batting .314 with 14 steals, 19 runs, 12 RBI, and 10 extra-base hits.
Hector Santiago (5%): Santiago looked promising last season putting up a 3.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 79 K in 70 IP. He looked even better as a starter, putting up a 1.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 26 K in four starts. With the White Sox rotation in all kinds of hurt, Santiago is back to starting and should keep the role for the foreseeable future. So far this season he has a 2.29 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 17 K in 19.2 IP. He made his first start of the season last Thursday and allowed just one run, two hits, and two walks to the Rangers over 5.1 innings while striking out six.
Kevin Slowey (20%): I haven’t had Slowey on the list this season because…well, he has a career 4.66 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.7 K/9. That said, he is killing it in Miami right now and has even managed a win with their miserable offense behind him. In his first 44.2 IP, Slowey has a 1.81 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 36 K/8 BB. He’ll level out eventually but he’s worth starting until he stops putting up ridiculous numbers.
Jeremy Guthrie (38%): Like Slowey, Guthrie has avoiding the waiver wire list thanks to a career 4.28 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and a mere 5.4 K/9. Like Slowey, Guthrie continues to put up serious numbers and is worth starting until he shows otherwise. In his first 41.1 IP, Guthrie has a 2.40 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 27 K. More impressive, he has those numbers despite having given up six home runs.
Adam Morgan (N/A): With Roy Halladay seemingly headed to the DL, Adam Morgan or Tyler Cloyd will likely take over his spot in the rotation. Cloyd is a solid pitcher who looked great in his last two minors seasons, putting up a 2.77 ERA/1.05 WHIP in 2011 and 2.26 ERA, and 1.01 WHIP in 2012. He has struggled some this season, allowing 21 runs and 52 baserunners in 35 IP and only has a 7.3 lifetime K/9. Morgan, on the other hand, has a 3.13 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 247 minor league innings and a lifetime 8.7 K/9 that his 9.6/9 over 159 IP last season. Morgan could be the next Tony Cingrani if he can translate well into the Majors.
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