According to my extremely non-mathematical study I conducted for this article, we’re about one-third of the way through the 2015 fantasy baseball season. This means that by this point you should have a pretty good measure of what you team is or isn’t, and are certainly aware of areas you could improve upon. When I last wrote, I discussed widely owned guys I felt like it was time to drop – this time we’ll take the opposite tact and discuss 9 widely available guys (around 30% owned or less) that you should consider adding to your squad.
I’ve had my eye on McCullers for a while, but his performance on June 3rd was truly impressive, and worth mentioning. He threw a complete game against the Orioles strong offense, striking out 11 while scattering four hits. He allowed only a single run. Including today’s stats, he’ll be up to 29 K in only 24 innings, while allowing a total of five earned runs in that time. His ERA is now at 1.88 and WHIP at 1.00. Those are ace numbers, and he can’t be ignored any longer. If he’s still available in your league, stop reading this and find room for him on your team right now. (about 30% owned)
Delino Deshields, Jr.
Junior has evoked shades of Senior over the last 30 days, and he’s just what the Rangers offense needed. He’s batted .300+, stolen 10 bags, and scored an insane 22 runs while maintaining an OPS over .800. That’s extremely legit, and it’s good for a top-20 ranking over that time period. Even if he’s only a bench option, you have to find some way to get this guy on your team. (about 25% owned)
Maybin is living proof that a change of scenery can really jumpstart a player’s season and career. He’s always been a freak athlete and crazy talented, but due to poor performance and injury has just never put it all together. Now free of San Diego, and with a full-time role on the rebuilding Braves, he’s answered the call to the tune of eight R, three SB, and a HR over the last two weeks, and today (June 3rd) he went 3-5 with two R and two RBI. He’s easily a top 75 player over that period, and could climb higher as he continues to acclimate to his new team. I love reclamation stories. (about 10% owned)
In a year where there aren’t too many quality 2B, Panik is definitely worth a gander if he’s still floating on the free agent wire. He doesn’t really hit bombs, and he doesn’t really run either. All he does is hit hit hit…no matter what. His last 30 line includes a .300+ BA, 3 HR, 17 R, and 13 RBI. If that doesn’t play in your league, you’re either in a really shallow format or have a stud 2B. (about 25% owned)
His name is Ben Paulsen. Man, Fight Club was such a good movie. Okay, back to Ben. He’s been a rake machine and has stolen playing time from Wilin Rosario. Four HR and a .340 BA over the last 14 days will do that for you. That’s a top-25 guy. He’s hit successfully in the big leagues before, gets the Colorado bump, and has a world-class moustache (check out his Yahoo! pic). What else do you want? He’s almost certainly available in your league. (about 5% owned)
Well, Michael Morse, this is what happens when you struggle to stay above a .200 BA – you get overtaken by guys like this. Bour happens to actually somewhat resemble a real-life boar (in my mind, anyway), but his batting stats look like a potential monster. He’s really come on lately, throwing together four HR, seven RBI, five R and a .900+ OPS over the last two weeks. At this rate Morse might never play again, and if you’re holding a Ryan Howard, Adam LaRoche, or Adam Lind on your team waiting for them to heat up, both Bour and Paulsen before him make for good additions. (about 5% owned)
Now the proud owner of a 13-game hitting streak thanks to my Nationals, the SodaMan has been most fizzy over the past month. He’s raking at a top-25 overall level, and his stats are so gaudy (4 HR / 2 SB / .356 AVG / .940 OPS / 15 R / 15 RBI) that I simply can’t see how we can ignore him any longer in the standard fantasy game. It doesn’t hurt that he plays on the Toronto offensive juggernaut, and his positional flexibility is just a great freebie. Maybe he can’t keep this up, but over the short run, don’t you want to find out with him in your lineup? (about 30% owned)
Maybe I’m just a sucker for cheap speed. Actually, I know I am. But let’s face it – You bat near .300 for a month, steal 5 bags, score & drive in a bunch of runs, play two positions…you should have my attention. Jace has it. The Atlanta offense has actually been way better than I expected, and he’s got playing time locked down in the top half of their lineup. He’s not a flashy add like Joey Gallo (not included here because he’s way too highly-owned already) but he’s the steady type that you can slot in during a time of need and forget about the position for a week or two. (about 5% owned)
Say what you will about Vogelsong in other years – for the last month, he’s been flat-out dominant. We’re talking about 5 QS, 1.67 ERA, and 0.98 WHIP over the last 30 days dominant, ranking him inside the top 25 for the period. He’s been going so well that his 3 ER in 6 IP against the Pirates (another QS, for what it’s worth) actually raised his ERA significantly. He’s flashed dominance before, and he’s also flashed total incompetence. If I had to bet on one or the other I’d bet on the latter, but while he’s on a heater he’s well worth starting at home against almost anyone, and on the road against middling offenses. You can definitely do a lot worse for a SP6. (about 25% owned)