2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: National League

David Freese, 3B St. Louis Cardinals ( 40 percent owned in Yahoo, 82.4 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .361 AVG / 15 R / 2 HR / 15 RBI / 0 SB

It’s a shame Freese has been forgotten since he hit the DL (Yahoo owners, I’m looking at you!). Since his return, he has hit .381 while batting fifth in the Cards’ lineup. He has always been a .300 + hitter in the minors and he hit .296 with the Cards’ last year. He has also shown some pop in the minors with his best year in ’08 (26 HR in 464 AB).

Projection (rest of Season): .288 AVG / 30 R / 7 HR / 37 RBI / 0 SB

Ryan Ludwick, OF San Diego Padres ( 40 percent owned in Yahoo, 71.4 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .252 AVG / 35 R / 10 HR / 51 RBI / 1 SB

It’s hard to believe that a guy on pace for 20/100 is available in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. Owners seem to shy away from Ludwick because he plays for a bad team and Petco park is very pitcher friendly. But if you took a closer look, you wouldn’t be shying away at all. Since May 18th, Ludwick has hit .313 in Petco Park and he is cemented in the clean-up spot. The Padres won’t score many runs but there is a possibility he gets traded. Imagine what his numbers would look like if he was hitting clean-up for Cincinnati.

Projection (rest of Season): .260 AVG / 32 R / 11 HR / 43 RBI / 1 SB

Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B/3B/OF New York Mets ( 38 percent owned in Yahoo, 69.9 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .303 AVG / 35 R / 5 HR / 34 RBI / 4 SB

Murphy has been a solid contributor all year-long. You have to love the fact that he’s batting clean-up and eligible at four positions. His career numbers suggest that he won’t provide much pop or speed but he will help you in batting average, RBI and runs.

Projection (rest of Season): .290 AVG / 32 R / 6 HR / 36 RBI / 4 SB

Rafael Furcal, SS Los Angeles Dodgers ( 34 percent owned in Yahoo, 22.1 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .214 AVG / 8 R / 1 HR / 5 RBI / 3 SB

I know Furcal is an injury waiting to happen but when he’s healthy, he’s producing. Furcal is a career .285 hitter and he will hit at the top of the Dodgers’ lineup. He stole 296 bases in his career and stole 22 bases as recent as last year. He swiped a bag in his first game back from the DL, which is a good sign. When healthy he will help you in runs, average and steals.

Projection (rest of Season): .280 AVG / 34 R / 3 HR / 20 RBI / 11 SB

Cory Luebke, SP/RP San Diego Padres ( 14 percent owned in Yahoo, 14.9 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: 2 W / 2 L / 56 K / 2.52 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

Luebke was a strikeout machine as a reliever but, I don’t believe a K/9 over 8 is sustainable while in the rotation. He has added a curveball to his repertoire and it looks like it will be a successful pitch for him. He has looked great in his past two starts; 1-0, 11 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 13:2. Luebke also has the luxury of playing half of his games in Petco.

Projection (rest of Season): 5 W / 5 L / 77 K / 3.55 ERA / 1.20 WHIP

*All stats are current as of 7/4/11, 12:00 PM.

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