2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: National League

Angel Pagan, OF New York Mets ( 49 percent owned in Yahoo, 87.7 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .265 AVG / 51 R / 7 HR / 46 RBI / 26 SB

Angel Pagan has reached base safely in every game this month. During the month he has hit .377/.403/.594 with 3 HR and 7 SB. It is easy to forget last year’s breakout campaign because of inconsistency and injuries early this year. When healthy, he is capable of playing at an all-star level. He will continue to hit leadoff for the Mets until Jose Reyes returns.

Projection (rest of season): .280 AVG / 21 R / 3 HR / 15 RBI / 8 SB

Kyle Blanks, 1B/OF San Diego Padres ( 7 percent owned in Yahoo, 13.8 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .273 AVG / 15 R / 5 HR / 14 RBI / 0 SB

It’s hard to believe Blanks is under 14 percent owned in Yahoo and ESPN. Since August 5th he has hit .375/13/5/14 in only 56 at bats. Blanks has put up good power numbers in the minors so the five home runs is not a fluke. He still strikes out too much so expect hot and cold streaks. Be patient with him because this is the type of guy that will help you win a head-to-head fantasy league.

Projection (rest of season): .265 AVG / 18 R / 7 HR / 20 RBI / 0 SB

Lucas Duda, 1B/OF New York Mets ( 6 percent owned in Yahoo, 5.3 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .276 AVG / 20 R / 5 HR / 31 RBI / 1 SB

Duda, the new Mets’ cleanup hitter, has looked great since the all-star break. Since the break he has hit .323/12/5/19 with 13 BB and only 16 K. He has also hit .353 with 2 HR in his 35 at bats out of the cleanup spot. Before getting the call this year, Duda hit 10 HR in only 129 AB for Triple A. Last year he hit 27 HR across three levels in only 509 AB.

Projection (rest of season): .275 AVG / 18 R / 6 HR / 21 RBI / 0 SB

Jose Constanza, OF Atlanta Braves ( 29 percent owned in Yahoo, 71.6 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .375 AVG / 17 R / 2 HR / 9 RBI / 6 SB

Constanza has been trying to prove that he deserves to be in the starting lineup. With his speed and contact percentage, he actually seems to be a much better fit for the two-spot in the lineup. He has never hit more than two home runs in the minors so don’t expect a return in that category. Pick him up while he is hitting but don’t be afraid to drop him if he starts losing serious playing time.

Projection (rest of season): .280 AVG / 15 R / 0 HR / 15 RBI / 5 SB

Cory Luebke, SP/RP San Diego Padres ( 48 percent owned in Yahoo, 72.3 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: 5 W / 6 L / 104 K / 2.99 ERA / 0.99 WHIP

Everyone though Luebke was going to regress substantially after joining the rotation. The regression didn’t quite happen, he has actually been pretty successful. Since June 26th he has a 2.83 ERA with 61 K in 60.1 IP. He may end up starting against the Giants twice during fantasy baseball playoffs. The Giants have been the worst offensive club in the game for the past month.

Projection (rest of season): 2 W / 2 L / 41 K / 3.20 ERA / 1.19 WHIP

*All stats are current as of 8/21/11, 12:00 PM.

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