More times than not, fantasy baseball owners will draft the ‘sure thing’ instead of the high-upside rookie. What do you do when Mr. Reliable goes into a slump or even gets hurt? Every fantasy team must work through injury woes during the season. Sometimes, these injuries will cripple your team. However, do not fear!! I am making it my weekly job to help you add uncover hidden gems that are just waiting for you on the waiver wire…Who are my picks this week???

Centerfieldgate.com


From now on, every Saturday morning, I will select my top rookie of the week, as well as a runner-up pick. It should help you fill those devastating DL(Disabled List) positions on your roster. If you haven’t noticed, it becomes harder and harder to make trades in a league once the season is under way. Managers fall in love with their players and don’t want to part with them. Luckily, for decent young players available in a league, all it takes is the click of a ‘green plus symbol’.

Unfortunately, the top rookies for the season have been drafted or picked up in most leagues. Guys like Jason Heyward have found homes early on, but there ARE other options…

Today’s Rookie of the Week is…Wade Davis!

Wade Davis, selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 3rd round of the 2004 draft, had two starts this week in which he gave up only one run in 11 innings. His only problem early on has been issuing too many walks, which has hurt his pitch count. Davis has a great pitcher’s build, standing at 6’5″, weighing 220 pounds. The Rays have been waiting for years for this kid to emerge and it seems like he’s finally figuring out how to pitch. He’s also capable of compiling a lot of wins with a formidable Rays offense backing him up. If you lack pitching depth, grab him now. He is available in 84% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

Honorable Mention:

Austin Jackson. Jackson, who was recently traded from the Yankees to the Tigers for Curtis Granderson, hit .310 this week, scored three runs while swiping one base. However, he struck out 13 times, which is an alarming total in only one week. If you need an outfielder that hits for average and can swipe 20-25 bases, Jackson is your guy. He’s an excellent outfielder pickup for deep mixed leagues and is available in 72% of Yahoo! formats.

Cold Case:

Even though he’s technically no longer a rookie, Drew Stubbs has been the biggest disappointment so far this season. This week, he hit .125 with six strikeouts in 16 at-bats. After slugging eight home runs in only 180 at bats last season, Stubbs only has two extra-base hits in 46 plate appearances in 2010. He’ll steal fantasy owners some bases, but that’s only if the Reds manager Dusty Baker decides to keep him in the lineup. There are way too many other options for the outfield to rely on this guy. I would hold him in deeper ‘NL Only’ leagues, but otherwise, drop him.

On The Way Up?:

Texas Rangers first base prospect, Justin Smoak was just called up to replace struggling slugger, Chris Davis. Smoak was drafted with the 11th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He’s a switch hitter who shows excellent plate discipline, along with big-time home run potential. If he plays full-time, I project him to hit between 15-20 HRs, while maintaining a high on-base percentage. He sounds a lot like Nick Johnson. Smoak hits will enjoy hitting in the friendly confides at the Ballpark in Arlington behind some of the AL’s better hitters(Kinsler, Young, Guerrero).

On a side note, he has the PERFECT baseball name. To poke fun at Yankee broadcaster, John Sterling, “Justin ‘Smoaked’ one”. He’s available in 87% of Yahoo fantasy leagues, so add him if you could use a first baseman.

Do you agree with my choices? Did I miss anyone important? Feel free to comment.