Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 10
Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ is having himself quite a first few weeks in The Show. Last night, in prime time on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, the 22-year-old outfielder went deep twice in Chicago's win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The young left-handed slugger has been an extra-base hit machine in his brief time up with the big club. Those two homers gave him 4 for the season, to go along with 5 doubles and a triple, giving him 10 extra-base hits this season. That's 10 out of 16 hits.
Sure, he could use a few more singles to help get that batting average (.235) and on-base percentage (.325) up a little bit, but the slugging percentage (.515) is darn impressive for someone with just 20 games and 77 plate appearances to their credit. And the 10.4% walk rate is pretty good, although the youngster is still striking out in 35.1% of his plate appearances this season.
Still, Happ is owned in just 23.5% of ESPN leagues, and he's an exciting young player who could improve and be a wealth of power in the midst of an already-powerful Cubs lineup.
Here are some of the other players worth snagging this week.
Chase Utley - Los Angeles Dodgers (2B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 3.4%
Hopefully, the Chase Utley rejuvenation machine hasn't broken down now that the calendar has flipped to June, because the Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman had a turn-back-the-clocks May that would have helped out anyone's fantasy lineup.
The 38-year-old batted .314/.402/.571 with an OPS of .974 and a weighted runs created (wRC+) of 160 in May, with 3 doubles, 3 triples and 3 homers. He knocked in 14 runs and scored 9 in that stretch, making what is known as a late-career "Cooperstown Push."
In four games this month, Utley has cooled off, hitting .167/.333/.167 in 15 plate appearances, so hopefully the party isn't over.
Carlos Beltran - Houston Astros
ESPN Percentage Owned: 36.2%
Things weren't looking so good for Houston Astros designated hitter/outfielder Carlos Beltran in April, when he hit .241/.283/.345 with a wRC+ of 71 and had just 2 home runs. As virtually everyone else in the Houston lineup was red-hot, Beltran was feeling each and every one of his 40 years.
However, as was the case with Utley, May was a different story. In 96 plate appearances, Beltran hit .253/.313/.483 with a wRC+ of 113 and 4 homers. And over his last 7 games, Beltran has been really hot, with 3 dingers and 2 doubles in 34 PAs, batting .367/.441/.733 over that stretch.
Sometimes it just takes a while for older guys to get going.
Edinson Volquez - Miami Marlins
ESPN Percentage Owned: 9.2%
Over the weekend, Miami Marlins hurler Edinson Volquez pitched the best game of the season thus far, a no-hitter with with just two walks and 10 strikeouts. He became the first pitcher to throw a no-no in under 100 pitches since Henderson Alvarez, also with Miami, in 2013, and his Game Score of 95 was the best in baseball so far this year.
But Volquez' no-hitter was just the latest in a series of excellent starts for the veteran right-hander. Over his last 3 outings, Volquez has an ERA of 1.71 and a fielding independent pitching (FIP) of 3.00 in 21 innings. He hasn't been striking out a ton of guys -- just 6.86 per nine innings thus far -- but he's getting a ton of ground balls, 57.7%, over that stretch.
He's not elite, but if you have a rotation beset by injuries, Volquez is a good add for this week. Try to ride the hot streak, gang.
Ty Blach - San Francisco Giants
ESPN Percentage Owned: 29.6%
In their series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants lefty Ty Blach pitched his first career shutout. But like Volquez, Blach's outstanding outing was just the latest in a string of good performances.
He's 4-2 in 58.1 innings this year (8 starts) and has a 3.24 ERA and 3.87 FIP in 15 overall appearances. If you're looking for strikeouts, don't expect that from Blach, who has K'd just 3.55 batters per nine this year. That's dead last among 90 qualified MLB pitchers this year.
But ever since an 8-run outing against the Cincinnati Reds back on May 6, Blach has been dealing. In his last 5 starts, Blach has a 1.91 ERA and a 3.26 FIP in 37.2 innings. He's struck out 18 and walked 6 over that stretch, only 4.30 batters per nine.
It's likely Blach will have outings in which he gets hit around a lot -- he simply doesn't miss many bats. But again, if you're looking for some temporary relief, he's not a bad guy to turn to, especially since there aren't any hot young hurlers making MLB debuts at the moment.