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Silver League Update: Can I PLEASE Get A Home Run?

Like most of these articles, it starts with me trying to solve a problem on my team. I was scanning the waiver wire for home run hitters and I was excited to see Raul Ibanez (28% owned) and his 10 longballs there waiting for me. I could platoon him with Juan Pierre, and together they'd be an unstoppable power-speed force; it would be like finding Andrew McCutchen on the waiver wire! Then, sensibly, I checked on his last month's performance and saw that he'd hit just one homer and hit under .200. That explains that.

Of course, Anthony Rizzo (14% owned), has been picked up. After headlining Tom Warman's Stock Watch and hitting 23 homers in Triple-A, I'd say that ownership is going up. Bryan LaHair's hot start was never enough to keep Rizzo down, but it should be enough to keep him in the Cubs' lineup in the outfield.

If you can't get Rizzo, consider Wil Myers (4%). He's leading the minors with 24 homers and ought to be joining Kansas City's outfield sooner or later. As an added bonus, he's catcher eligible in Yahoo! leagues. Expect his ownership to jump as soon as an announcement is made, so roster him now if you've got space. That's what someone in the Silver League did. 

When I couldn't get these guys, I decided to check back in on a former player of mine: Cody Ross (29%) owned. An injury replacement until his own injury, his nine homers would put him near the top of my free agent list, and that's with missing a month. Ross is back from injury and hitting the ball well. He's been a quality player before, despite a down year in San Francisco, so you might as well grab him and hope his hot streak turns into a decent season. 

Pedro Alvarez (23%) and his streaky ways have bounced from one team to the next in the Silver League. He'd been on mine before and I wasn't torn up to see he was unavailable. If you can pair him with someone who knows how to hit for average (maybe I should've platooned him with Pierre) you can roster him without getting killed. Maybe. His cold streaks are Antarctic. Justin Smoak (18%) is looking pretty similar, but the .220 average is even worse out of a first baseman.

Wilin Rosario (17%) has 11 homers and plays catcher. Seriously, is your catcher actually better than that? Probably not. Rosario has been hot lately and plays in Colorado. While I'm waiting on that Jesus Montero guy, you should do the smart thing and grab Rosario, even if you only play him at home. If Rosario isn't available, Martin Maldonado (4%) might be. He's only filling in for Jonathan Lucroy, but he's hit as many homers in the last month as Rosario.

Luke Scott (17%) is scheduled to come off the DL right around the time this article comes out. His average is down with Alvarez and Smoak, but he's got a longer track record of being decent than either of those players. He's got a higher likelihood of being useful than most of the players I've mentioned, but, buyer beware: most of his nine homers came early in the season. 

Brandon Moss (26%) is coming off a torrid last month...for someone unowned in three quarters of leagues, anyway. Seven homers and a .265 isn't Henry Aaron territory, but it looks pretty good next to everything else. He's too old to be a prospect, so temper your expectations, but the A's need the homers as badly as I do. Needless to say, he's already owned in the Silver League. If you want to take a really big stab in the dark, try Justin Maxwell (1%), who's hit six homers this month for Houston. Like Moss, he's too old to be a prospect, but who else are the Astros going to play?

Colorado's Chris Nelson (1%) is probably available in your league, and his 2B/3B eligibility and home park just add to his value. Humidor or not, his power doesn't have to be real for him to put up usable numbers. Too bad this isn't the mid 90s, or we'd have another Vinny Castilla on our hands. Another multi-position player to (sort of) consider is Ty Wigginton (15%) owned. It's a bit of a back-handed compliment to say that he was once Baltimore's All-Star representative, but he does have some power. With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley still on the shelf, expect to continue seeing Wiggy's bat in the lineup for awhile. Fellow Philly John Mayberry (9%) also has five homers in the last month.

At this point, we're starting to deal with some pretty rough options. I'm still thinking about rostering Ibanez--terrible month and all--but the most appealing of these choices are all picked clean in the Silver League and even they come with serious imperfections. Technically speaking, there's power to be had on the waiver wire, but not much. If you're in need of power, the best thing to do looks like trading for it, then looking for whatever you gave up (try to make it steals!) on the waiver wire. The real moral, though, is for next year: you can never have too much power.

 


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