At this point in the season many people are looking at grabbing the next potential impact prospect to come up. While it is always fun to speculate, it is a kind of a crap shoot. We would all love to believe that the Pirates are going to be calling up Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell or that the Astros are going to be calling up AJ Reed, but no one really knows their timetables. If you are fighting to stay in the hunt, it may be more apt to grab some guys that are more likely to make an impact now. So, here are some guys that are making (or will be) an impact right now that are widely available on fantasy waiver wires.
Steven Moya, OF, DET (3% owned in Yahoo): With J.D. Martinez on the shelf for a while, Moya is now the starting right-fielder for the Tigers. He also represents one of two left-handed bats in Detroit in the starting lineup. Moya has real legit power and is going to be hitting behind Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Nick Castellanos, and Justin Upton. He will strike out a ton and doesn’t really walk, but for the next few weeks he could be a homerun and RBI asset for the next month and a half or more.
Jose Reyes, SS, Somewhere (21% owned in Yahoo): As of this writing, Reyes hasn’t found a new team after being designated for assignment by the Rockies. However, the Royals have expressed a level of interest, the Mets are discussing whether he is worth the PR hit, and you have to believe there are other contenders mulling over a cheap veteran that can hit atop their lineup. Once he does find his new home, there will be a bunch of people that don’t want to grab the 33-year-old off the waiver wire for either morality reasons or ageism, but he can still play. In 40 plate appearances he hit .303/.425/.485 with two home runs and three stolen bases at Triple-A Albuquerque. If you don’t use your conscience will playing fantasy baseball, stash him now before he signs somewhere.
Rajai Davis, OF, CLE (52% owned in Yahoo): I cover the American League outfield beat for Rotographs and started prepping my updated ranks for the end of June and noticed something shocking. Rajai Davis has been a top 10 outfielder according to the ESPN Player Rater. Now, the amount of stolen bases has been a huge factor, but even in Yahoo’s ranks, he is top 20. So why is he so under owned? It is part ageism and part disbelief, but with Michael Brantley on the shelf with no timetable to return and no real threat to playing time on the 40-man roster, why not grab him and ride the streak? He is one home run away from his career best and has more stolen bases than nine Major League teams. It probably won’t last for the rest of the season, but while other owners stash his eventual replacements in Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer, cash in on the stats that are happening right now.
Daniel Mengden, SP, OAK (16% owned in Yahoo): Acquired in the trade Scott Kazmir trade along with Jacob Nottingham, Mengden is not an elite prospect by any measure. He doesn’t have any plus pitches, but he has four solid ones and pitches in one of the best parks in the AL. He has two starts in the Majors so far and has fared well, striking out seven in a quality start at home vs. Texas. He is probably best served for home starts right now, but there is no reason for the A’s not to leave him in the rotation.
Brandon Kintzler, RP, MIN (19% owned in Yahoo): The Twins have been playing closer Russian roulette for the majority of the season and with Glen Perkins down for the year, Kintzler appears to be the guy who has seized the role… for now. He has picked up three saves in the last six games and while the underlying stats don’t look amazing, saves are saves and managers go with what makes them feel good as opposed to what makes the most analytical sense. There are plenty of trendy guys to speculate on like Ryan Buchter, Michael Lorenzen, Seung Hwan Oh, and Edwin Diaz, but you can rack up a few saves now and not have to wait until the trade deadline approaches or a manager finally pulls the plug on an established guys. Not to mention, it rarely is the guy we think it’ll be when someone is replaced.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.