It’s finally time, Opening Day is here and we can all rejoice. Sing from the heavens, baseball is back. I must confess, I was worried that the lockout would rob us of far more baseball than the week we were actually delayed. Fortunately, I was wrong and I have never been happier to be wrong. So here we are, drafts are complete, lineups are set. Now the real fun begins. We have real games and that means the wavier wire picks up steam. So let’s get ahead of the wire and check out some guys you should keep an eye on. These guys are all on the wire in a good chunk of leagues but could be fantasy assets. I have reasons for some, such as making the Opening Day roster, and some I just like and want to see do well. Either way, they’re my early waiver wire candidates who at the very least should be on your watch list. Or, if you will, monocle list.
Tanner Houck – There’s no reason his roster percentage should be hovering around 50. Grey wrote him up as a sleeper so that should get your attention. He’s also projected for over a K per inning with the upside for way more. That’s a top 75 pitcher at his projection, or in other words a guy who should absolutely not be kicking around without a team.
Steven Kwan – After earning a spot on the roster he’s ready to run with the opportunity. He’s got some power, and speed, and can hit for average. He’s pretty much free right now as it seems the news of him starting Opening Day hasn’t quite spread. There’s real potential here for a fantasy difference maker. If he’s batting leadoff, even better. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Kwan at Razzball HQ and you won’t want to be left out.
Brandon Belt – Touched on him last week so I’ll just paraphrase that here. His last 162 games have been really good and he’s better in points leagues. The concern is health, his last 162 games were split over multiple seasons, and even though the season hasn’t started yet he’s already banged up. So yeah… that’s not the start we were looking for. Probably has something to do with why he’s so widely available. The knee bears watching but since the Giants haven’t decided if he will open the season on the IL or with the team it doesn’t seem the team considers it to be that serious. Keep an eye on his status and be ready to add him when he rejoins the club.
Adalberto Mondesi – His speed makes him more of a roto darling, he could steal a million bases if he’s healthy, and I wouldn’t draft him at his ADP I am more than willing to have him on the end of my bench for free. The Royals would be wise to give him more regular rest in an effort to keep him in ship shape over the course of the season. If he can stay on the field he could be a very startable asset.
Adolis Garcia – Fresh off blasting 31 bombs and penciled into the heart of the order is definitely someone that deserves your attention. He needs to bring the batting average up to be a real difference maker but he did work the count a little more in Spring Training so we’ll see if that carries over to the real action. Circle him and if the power spikes, be ready to pounce.
Akil Baddoo – What did everyone forget about the player with the awesome name who took the league by storm last season? He has pop and speed and just got some added lineup support with the Austin Meadowstrade. He may not be a top end fantasy option, but he’s number one in our hearts.
Jo Adell – He’s got the top prospect pedigree although sadly if you drafted him last season you were left holding the bag as his breakout never materialized. The stars could be aligning for him this season as the Halos outfield just got a bit less crowded and he looked strong in his Cactus league action. He’s primed to be a fantasy stud and smash his projections.
Oneil Cruz – Been seeing his name bandied about as a breakout this year. Unfortunately, the Pirates threw cold water on that by sending him to the minors because they hate fun. And spending money. When he makes it to the show, and I hope it’s soon, he has the talent to rake. I’ll be watching the news on him for any inkling of a promotion.
CJ Abrams – Oh boy, do I love a shiny new prospect. A strong spring combined with the unfortunate injury to FTJ forced the Friars to consider CJ for their Opening Day roster. He’s more of a speed guy and as I write this we still don’t know if he’ll get a chance to show what he can do. The talent alone makes him an interesting add.
Seth Beer – You didn’t think I would write a list of guys to watch without talking about Beer did you? My Razzball pick for NL ROY (at +3000) figures to be the primary designated hitter for the D Backs. He’s got the power stroke to be a big hit in the desert and for your fantasy team.
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