2011 Fantasy Baseball waiver wire gems: American League

Justin Smoak, 1B, Seattle Mariners (46% owned Yahoo, 71.8% ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .250/21/12/38/0 (avg/runs/hrs/rbis/sbs)

Smoak has quietly put together solid backup 1B/starting Util numbers in the ocean of woe that is the Seattle offense.  He also walks a good amount (33 thus far), and doesn’t strike out as much as lots of power hitters (53 in 62 games).  He should continue to provide some pop and rbi production through the rest of the season, though don’t expect that average to get any better.

My Projection (rest of season): .240/40/13/50/2

Travis Hafner, DH, Cleveland Indians (33% Yahoo, 20.6 % ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .345/17/5/22/0

Hafner had been on the shelf since May 18 with a strained oblique, but was activated on Friday.  Remember that Pronk was raking before he was injured (see above), and if the oblique is really fully healed, he could provide a nice power/avg boost, if your team needs that sort of thing. If he stays healthy, Hafner could reach 20 HRs.

My Projection (rest of season): .280/40/15/45/1

Delmon Young, OF, Minnesota Twins (53% Yahoo, 58.9% ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .242/17/2/19/1

Young has put together a .319 average, with a HR and 8 RBIs in the last two weeks.  While this isn’t earth shattering production, it is useful.  Recall that Young had a stellar campaign last year and could definitely help teams with avg and rbi production woes, despite the Twins horrid offensive output.

My Projection (rest of season):  .285/50/10/60/5

Luke Scott, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles (24% Yahoo, 30% ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .251/21/8/21/1

Scott, the perpetual waiver wire roller coaster ride, has again started hitting home runs of late.  He has 2 in his last 6 games.  He may see some bench time during interleague play, but if you catch Scott during one of his monthly long ball binges, you will be glad you picked him up. Although he has three straight 20 HR seasons, he has never been consistent production or health wise, so be prepared for weeks where he just disappears.

My Projection (rest of season): .245/35/14/37/1

Dustin Ackley, OF/2B, Seattle Mariners (25% Yahoo, 18.5% ESPN)

Current Stat Line (minors): .303/57/9/35/7

And lastly, a long awaited rookie arrival from Mr. Ackley.  He should gain 2B eligibility quickly in Yahoo leagues, and if he performs anywhere near his minor league numbers, would instantly become very valuable as a middle infielder.  As an outfielder, not so much, but given his pedigree, he is worth the risk short term in standard leagues; in keepers, it goes without saying that you will give him a longer leash.

My Projection: .275/40/7/30/10

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