It’s been a while since I’ve been to the pond, and I’m sorry for that. It’s been even longer since Big Statisticles has made an appearance, and I’m even sorrier for that. I’m back on the wagon though and vow to bring more fantasy baseball to you beautiful Twins fans. You will have to bear with me and stomach some analysis of AL Central foes, but if you’re chasing that virtual fantasy trophy, hopefully the following can be of some use to you. I’m on a bit of a hot streak to start the season, so take a look at some players worth grabbing as we head into waiver weekend.
OF Dayan Viciedo, CHW (31.2% owned)
Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsAn alumnus of the Birmingham Barons, Viciedo is a player whose ownership percentage would be in the 90’s if not for sustaining an injury only two weeks into the season just as he was heating up. Now over a week removed from the DL, the man they call “The Tank” in Chicago, has reached safely in five of his last seven games while swatting two HR and tallying six RBI. To the casual eye, his line of .288/.329/.530 is appealing, but his real value to the White Sox thus far is reflected in his wRC+ (124) and wOBA (.346); both of which are just a tier below what is produced by the game’s elite. You just can’t find greater power potential (with proven ability to hit for modest average [.283 minors] / [.264 majors]) on the wire right now. When healthy, this Cuban import packs the power of a laced Cohiba, and I’d set his floor for the remainder of the season at 20 HR.
SS Didi Gregorius, ARZ (33.1%)
With his.407 AVG through April 26, Didi was set to become the bee’s knees, but a short trip to the DL calmed the excitement around the 23-year old rookie. He has since returned and is now hitting second for the surging D-Backs. Although his AVG should drop near his career mark (minors) of .267; Arizona believes they have an everyday player that is ready to contribute now. Didi doesn’t provide much power but has decent speed, and his stellar play in the field has secured him the job at shortstop. I’m not convinced he can remain fantasy-relevant this season, but at this point, he’s worth a flier if you need a change at middle infield.
1B Chris Carter, HOU (23.6%)
I can’t confirm that it’s true, but Chris Carter is definitely the spawn of Pedro Cerrano. Both are always a threat to go deep when they step in the box, but more often than not, the pitcher prevails and another K is hung from the rafters. For the non-Major League fans (heaven help you), it’s quite simple. Carter’s astronomical 25.4% HR/FB and .275 ISO coupled with his ghastly career 34.1 K% and .215 AVG make him the ultimate boom or bust candidate. His HR power is very real but it will come at a major cost to your team’s AVG. It’s going to be a roller coaster ride all season for Chris in terms of add/drops, but he’s on pace for 35 HR and that’s nothing to scoff at. So if you’re willing to punt AVG at any point, you better lock this guy up for the long haul.
OF Oswaldo Arcia, MIN (15.0%)
Apr 23, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Oswaldo Arcia (31) hits a three run home run in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsThe legend of Oswaldo Arcia began during a B-game in spring training last year, when the then-20-year old, who was on nobody’s radar (much less the Twins’), launched a 450-foot homer to the opposite field in left. The blast looked like it came off the bat of Mark McGwire (yes, the juiced version), and Minnesota’s GM, Terry Ryan, immediately knew he had something special on his hands. The internal organizational buzz only continued to build as Arcia went on to post a line of .320/.388/.539 (with 17 HR and 98 RBI) between High-A and Double-A ball in 2012.
This past March, Arcia came to Ft. Myers ranked as Baseball Prospectus’ 60th overall prospect, and it was believed he had a good shot to break camp with the big club, but an intercostal strain dampened those plans. It didn’t take long to slug his way out of Triple-A Rochester and make it to the show though. After only 10 games, he was hitting .394/.474/.727 and had 3 HR and 8 RBI to his name. Since the rocky start following his promotion on April 15, it appears Arcia has successfully transferred his skill-set to the pros (.340/.354/.532 in May) and he has been getting regular AB between right-field and DH. Even though he has cooled a little in the last week, I believe his short-lived days of riding the bus in the minors are over. This could be a very sneaky power play as the 22-year old inches his way towards the heart of the Twins’ order.