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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: April 22

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Stay tuned each week to Athlon Sports for a 2013 Fantasy Baseball Weekend Waiver Wire report every Monday. Our fantasy junkies cover the hottest hitters, best waiver wire pick ups, top starting pitching spot starts and sift through bullpens from around the league each and every week.

Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters of last week (Apr. 8-Apr. 14):

 

Name

Pos.

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1.

Carlos Gonzalez

OF

COL

7

1

6

2

.417

1.214

2.

Mike Trout

OF

LAA

4

1

9

2

.391

1.052

3.

David Wright

3B

NYM

5

2

5

2

..350

1.369

4.

Evan Longoria

3B

TB

6

4

6

0

.250

1.026

5.

Carlos Gomez

OF

MIL

5

2

3

1

.500

1.470

6.

Mike Napoli

C/1B

BOS

5

1

10

0

.354

1.096

7.

Lorenzo Cain*

OF

KC

4

1

3

2

.556

1.508

8.

Troy Tulowitzki

SS

COL

5

3

6

0

.333

1.242

9.

Jacoby Ellsbury

OF

BOS

8

0

1

3

.355

.859

10.

J.P. Arencibia*

C

TOR

5

4

5

0

.250

.964

11.

Joe Mauer

C/1B

MIN

3

1

6

0

.588

1.491

12.

Carlos Beltran

OF

STL

4

3

4

0

.375

1.192

13.

Ryan Braun

OF

MIL

4

3

8

0

.200

1.010

14.

Joey Votto

1B

CIN

5

2

4

0

.385

1.100

15.

Anthony Rizzo

1B

CHC

4

3

5

0

.316

1.170

16.

Desmond Jennings

OF

TB

6

2

3

2

.233

.706

17.

Peter Bourjos*

OF

LAA

5

1

6

0

.318

1.010

18.

Jose Altuve

2B

HOU

4

0

3

2

.455

1.111

19.

Todd Frazier

1/3/OF

CIN

5

2

7

0

.238

.891

20.

Bryce Harper

OF

WAS

4

2

4

0

.421

1.342

21.

Mark Reynolds

1B/3B

CLE

4

2

5

0

.368

1.053

22.

Jonathan Lucroy*

C

MIL

4

2

6

0

.316

1.053

23.

Robinson Cano

2B

NYY

4

2

5

0

.346

1.068

24.

Brandon Crawford*

SS

SF

6

2

2

0

.381

1.123

25.

James Loney*

1B

TB

4

1

5

0

.471

1.350

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Weekly Waiver Wire:

Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL (57% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
On April 12, Lucroy was hitting .167 with no home runs and a pathetic OPS of .424. A six-game hitting streak later and Lucroy is sitting at .259/.768 with three homers and 10 RBIs. He has moved up to the No. 10-rated fantasy catcher — meaning he is a starter in a 10-team league — and will only continue to hit. Playing in the World Baseball Classic is likely what caused his slow start and owners can't expect the .320 average he posted a year ago, but Lucroy can hit. 

Brandon Crawford, SS, SF (40%)
The Giants took the UCLA shortstop in the fourth round of the 2008 MLB Draft and he is beginning to pay dividends. He has a great glove and has always been a solid fielder but his fantasy bat has come to life. And at a scarce position (one that's missing Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Derek Jeter), you cannot afford to ignore Crawford. Don't buy the power numbers — he has 10 HR in 694 career at-bats — but there is no reason he can't deliver solid counting stats. Think Alexi Ramirez-type production.

Yankee Free Agents
Travis Hafner is only eligible at UTL and is owned by only 34 percent of Y! leagues. Vernon Wells is owned in only 39 percent of Y! leagues. Neither should be considered long-term starters in your fantasy lineup, but while Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are out, these two will get at-bats. Hafner should capitalize on the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium and Wells appears to have plenty left in the tank. Both are worth the risk and both are ranked in the top 60 overall hitters thus far in 2013.

James Loney, 1B, TB (1%)
Only one-percent of Y! owners have use for a career .283 hitter? No, he will never deliver the power numbers — 74 homers in 3,213 career at-bats — but has always hit for average, driven in runs and been a solid fantasy backup at 1B or UTL. The Rays offense has taken off of late, winning four of five, and could still easily be the team to beat in the AL East. I am not using a waiver priority on Loney, but if I am desperate at corner infielder, he could be your guy.

Recommended Articles

Top 20 fantasy Starting Pitchers of last two weeks:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

1.

Matt Harvey

NYM

22.0

3

22

1.23

0.73

2.

Clay Buchholz

BOS

23.0

3

25

0.78

0.96

3.

Paul Maholm

ATL

20.2

2

19

1.31

0.77

4.

Hiroki Kuroda

NYY

21.2

2

18

1.66

0.83

5.

Jose Quintana*

CHW

13.2

1

14

0.00

0.59

6.

Lance Lynn

STL

18.0

3

22

2.50

1.06

7.

Adam Wainwright

STL

16.0

2

16

1.69

0.81

8.

Jorge De La Rosa*

COL

18.0

2

14

1.50

0.83

9.

Wade Davis*

KC

12.0

2

13

0.00

1.00

10.

R.A. Dickey

TOR

12.1

2

11

0.73

0.81

11.

Shleby Miller

STL

13.0

1

14

1.38

0.62

12.

Ervin Santana*

KC

23.0

2

18

1.57

1.09

13.

Derek Holland

TEX

15.0

1

10

1.20

0.67

14.

Yu Darvish

TEX

13.0

1

18

2.08

0.77

15.

Hisashi Iwakuma

SEA

12.2

1

8

0.71

0.63

16.

Carlos Villanueva*

CHC

14.1

1

9

1.26

0.63

17.

CC Sabathia

NYY

16.0

2

15

2.25

0.94

18.

Doug Fister

DET

22.0

2

15

2.05

1.00

19.

Max Scherzer

DET

14.0

0

23

1.29

0.93

20.

A.J. Burnett

PIT

13.0

1

16

2.08

0.77

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Top 5 Spot Starts for the Week (Mon. - Sun.):

1. Shelby Miller, STL: Pittsburgh (Sun.) 73% owned
Miller will pitch against the Nationals on Monday (if you can add him day of) and will get the Pirates on Sunday. Both offenses are adequate but Miller has been nasty of late. The former first-round pick is showing fans why he was so highly touted by allowing four earned runs, striking out 18 and winning twice in his first three starts this season.

2. Travis Wood, CHC: at Miami (Sat.) 22% owned
The former Reds starter is rounding into form for the lowly Cubs. He won't get great run support (11 runs in three starts) but has been strong in all three of his starts thus far. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in a start and will get the anemic Marlins next weekend. He will face his former team on Monday in Cincinnati.

3. Wade Miley, ARI: Colorado (Sat.) 75% owned
Other than one inning in his last outing, Miley has been downright unhittable. Outside of a three-run seventh inning against the Yankees last Wednesday, Miley had allowed three earned runs in over 18 innings pitched. He won't post huge strikeout totals but will help ratios and get wins. He also gets the Giants on Monday if you can add day-of starters.

4. Ryan Dempster, BOS: Houston (Fri.) 70% owned
The strikeout totals have been unreal for Dempster — he has 33 Ks in 24.0 innings thus far — but has yet to notch a win. He will get the Astros on Friday and should be able to provide solid ratios and big strikeout numbers against this lowly AL West lineup.

5. Ryan Vogelsong, SF: at San Diego (Sun.) 78% owned
Vogelsong is owned in four out of five leagues but owners may have given up on the young hurler after a slow start to the season (5.89 ERA/1.47 WHIP through Sunday). He gets the Diamondbacks on Monday (if you can add and start same day) but more importantly will get the Padres on Sunday. Look for Vogelsong's numbers to improve over the next few weeks.

Closing Morsels:

The Brewers' closing job might be Jim Henderson's for good. He has four successful saves and one win in six appearances since taking over for John Axford. He has allowed one run and struck out eight over that span... The Cardinals went with Edward Mujica last Thursday and it worked as he struck out two in a 1.1-inning save. St. Louis hasn't had a save chance since so keep an eye on this one but Mujica is the one to own currently... In Detroit, Drew Smyly is pitching in an interesting role — he threw 5.2 scoreless innings on Saturday. He has a win, a save and two holds over 15.0 bullpen innings (1.80, 1.00, 17 K). In leagues with holds, a guy with "SP" eligibility is invaluable. And don't be shocked if the tall lefty gets some more save chances for the Tigers... Greg Holland had the rare two-save day on Sunday, and, with Kelvin Herrera working through some struggles of late, he appears to have regained favor in the ninth for the Royals... Keep a close eye on Boston and add Andrew Bailey immediately if you are desperate. He converted three straight saves last week after blowing a lead on Monday while Joel Hanrahan is on the DL. Bailey has been lights out: 9.1 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 3 SV, 15 K and is a must add.

Keep up to date all season long with Athlon Sports' Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid