2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: American League

Eric Hosmer, 1B Kansas City Royals ( 41 percent owned in Yahoo, 87.8 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .281 AVG / 48 R / 15 HR / 61 RBI / 8 SB

Hosmer has been on a power surge recently. He just had a ten game hitting streak end Friday but during the streak he went .425/10/5/7/2. We all know he has the potential to be a star and he is batting cleanup behind three batters hitting .296 or better. Expect him to be a solid contributor across the board going forward.

Projection (rest of season): .287 AVG / 12 R / 4 HR / 16 RBI / 2 SB

Jemile Weeks, 2B Oakland Athletics ( 29 percent owned in Yahoo, 81 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .297 AVG / 39 R / 0 HR / 25 RBI / 21 SB

Jemile Weeks is a speed and contact specialist for the Oakland A’s. Since August 25th he has hit .395/11/0/2/7. For leagues that don’t count walks or OBP he is especially useful because he is only getting on base with a hit (5.3% BB rate). While hitting atop the Oakland lineup, he will be a good source of AVG, R, and SB the rest of the way.

Projection (rest of season): .292 AVG / 15 R / 0 HR / 5 RBI / 6 SB

Cliff Pennington, SS Oakland Athletics ( 16 percent owned in Yahoo, 20.9 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .272 AVG / 50 R / 7 HR / 51 RBI / 12 SB

I have never been a huge Pennington endorser but his production since the All-Star break cannot be ignored. Since the break he has hit .344/24/4/28/6 and if you extrapolate that over 600 AB you get .344/95/16/111/24.  Expect a slight uptick in SB as he has 4 SB in the past 7 GS, he stole 29 bases last year, 34 across two levels in 2009, and 35 across three levels in 2008.

Projection (rest of season): .280 AVG / 12 R / 2 HR / 10 RBI / 5 SB

Austin Jackson, OF Detroit Tigers ( 30 percent owned in Yahoo, 55.9 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .254 AVG / 74 R / 9 HR / 41 RBI / 19 SB

With the numbers Jackson has put up this year, he makes it easy to forget his breakout rookie season last year. Now it looks like he is finally breaking out of his season-long funk. Since August 25th Jackson has hit .405/13/3/7/2 in only nine games. The biggest knock on him last year was the insane .396 BABIP which I admit is a little high but, with his speed he should be able to maintain a .350 BABIP thus raising his average.

Projection (rest of season): .275 AVG / 16 R / 3 HR / 10 RBI / 5 SB

Freddie Garcia, SP New York Yankees ( 29 percent owned in Yahoo, 24.9 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: 11 W / 7 L / 85 K / 3.09 ERA / 1.27 WHIP

Garcia certainly doesn’t have the most overwhelming stuff but, he has been the most consistent pitcher for the Yankees all season long. In his 21 starts this year, Garcia has only given up four or more runs four times and he has never given up more than five. In his past five starts he is 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA. His schedule sets up nicely for the first week of your playoff run with potential starts against BAL 9/5 and @LAA 9/10.

Projection (rest of season): 3 W / 1 L / 21 K / 3.45 ERA / 1.25 WHIP

*All stats are current as of 9/3/11, 12:00 PM

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