NL Waiver Wire Gems

Sorry its a day late folks, but here are some hidden gems in the NL who I think can provide some help for the stretch run:

Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington Nationals (45% Yahoo/59.2% ESPN)

Current Line: .225/55/17/55/12

Espy has not hit a home run since July 17th, and has seen his average drop 23 points, but he is likely due for one last surge here at the end of the season. Not too many second basemen available out there in over half of yahoo leagues can match his potential power/rbi/speed output. Gordon Beckham and Aaron Hill are owned in more yahoo leagues, which seems criminal. I think 20/15 is a lock, and 25/17 is not too far-fetched.

My Projection (all rest of season): .235/23/7/25/4

Jason Bay, OF, NY Mets (49% Yahoo/70.8% ESPN)

Current Line: .248/47/9/42/10

Bay has been a colossal disappointment to Mets fans everywhere since joining the team in 2010, and has also pretty much been a fantasy bust. However, if you are making a playoff run these last few weeks, all you care about is a player’s production this last month and a half (assuming you are in a redraft league). Bay has been very good the last two weeks: .311/11/3/6/1, and I think he will provide decent spot starter OF numbers the rest of the way. This is a guy who used to average 30/100 through 2009, so he has not completely forgotten how to hit, citifield notwithstanding. Bay did clear waivers today, according to ESPN NY, but anyone think a team might take on the rest of his 66 million dollar contract? Well, anyone but the White Sox?

My Projection: .255/20/6/20/5

Jose Tabata, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (41% Yahoo/18.8% ESPN)

Current Line: .265/39/3/15/14

Tabata was a trendy pick this year, and unfortunately for me, I went along with this trend. He started the season red-hot, then fizzled, then got hurt, out since the end of June with a strained quad. Tabata is due to return to the Pirates this week, and, if his legs are fully healed, could be a big run/speed contributor. He should even be a plus average bat. If the Bucs use him at the top of the order, Tabata could be a Michael Bourne Light the rest of the way.

My Projection: .275/22/3/12/10

Jason Barlett, SS, San Diego Padres (21% Yahoo/17% ESPN)

Current Line: .254/50/2/33/22

Bartlett has been hot of late, and that is half of what gets a low owned player mentioned here, since being hot in Mid-August could be enough to stay hot into September. He is hitting .300 with a HR and 10 RBIs the past two weeks, and we know from his 2009 season that he is capable of going on ridiculous runs (even though that season was a huge outlier, to say the least). Given the dearth of production at SS in both leagues, Bartlett is worth a flier for his speed and average. Not saying he will save your team from extinction, but he should be better than Ryan Theriot, Darwin Barney, and Ian Desmond, all who are owned in more yahoo leagues.

My Projection: .265/16/1/17/10

Javier Vazquez, SP, Florida Marlins (37% Yahoo/15.5% ESPN)

Current Line: 4.68/1.39/104/7-10

Vasquez is much maligned, but lately, he’s been very useful. He has struck out 18 in his last 20 innings, with a 2.25 ERA and .90 WHIP. Go back even further, to June 16, and his ERA has dropped over two runs since then. Javy has San Diego at Petco coming up this week, so a perfect time to add him.

My Projection: 3.95/1.25/40/2-3

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