Nyjer Morgan, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (17% owned Yahoo, 24.2% ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .331/29/3/20/6
Morgan has very low ownership, partly due to him being in a platoon with Carlos Gomez, but he seems to have gotten the bulk of the starts of late. Nyjer boasts superior plate discipline and comparable fielding prowess to his centerfield counterpart, and has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, with 1 HR, 6 RBIs, and a steal (yea, need to see more of those). Even if he gives up some playing time to Gomez going forward – Morgan will probably sit against lefties – if he can hover around .280-.290 the rest of the year, steal 13-17 bases, and score close to 30 runs, all legit outcomes in the vaunted Brewer lineup, you have yourself a sale rack star.
My Projection (all rest of season): .290/30/2/18/14
Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (40% Yahoo, 61.8% ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .247/42/13/48/2
Ibanez isn’t one of those exciting waiver wire adds, i.e. the hot young prospect or the buzzy top of the lineup out of nowhere star, but he has been ridiculously productive of late: 4 HR and 14 RBIs in his last 7. Of course this torrid stretch won’t last much longer, but even when he levels off, he should be a solid run/hr/rbi man as your 4th OF/bench option.
My Projection: .265/35/9/39/1
Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (20% Yahoo, 10.7% ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .247/22/5/16/3
It would be an understatement to say that Brown has been a disappointment thus far. First the hand injury, then a generally mediocre June, which ended with him hitting .214. He has raised his average over 30 points since July 1, and has a nifty 18/25 Walk/K ratio, so a big 2nd half could be forthcoming. Could produce similarly to Ibanez, with a better average and more SBs, plus the added bonus of youth and upside, if you are in a keeper league.
My Projection: .270/30/9/28/7
Chris Iannetta, C, Colorado Rockies (22% Yahoo, 10.6% ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .219/33/10/34/3
Iannetta doesn’t hit for average, like most catchers, but he provides some pop and great plate discipline: .372 OBP, 52/63 BB/K ratio. If he ends up close to 65 R, 20 HR, 70 RBIs, with a near .800 OPS, could you really complain about that from your backstop?
My Projection: .230/29/8/30/2
Bud Norris, SP, Houston Astros (55% Yahoo, 71.6% ESPN)
Current Stat Line: 3.59/1.28/118/5-6 (ERA/WHIP/K/W-L)
Norris is owned in the majority of leagues, but just barely in Yahoo leagues. His number should be closer to 75%, and should definitely be above the likes of Ricky Nolasco (72%), A.J. Burnett (63%), and – good god – Jonathan Broxton (really, 58% of you think he’s worth holding onto?!). He has come down some after his terrific start, but this is still a guy who Ks over 9 per 9, and who has brought his walks down this year as well. He has an xFIP of 3.42, so he isn’t just getting lucky. Yeah, he probably will not end up with a 3.5 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP, but the way he misses bats is more valuable than what the pitchers mentioned above do IMO (you could make an argument for Nolasco, but how long is he going to be “due” to bust out?). Go and get him if he’s still around.
My projection: 4.10/1.35/76/5-5