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The Wire Troll: Emilio Bonifacio Second to None

July 27, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (0)
Emilio Bonifacio is a fine source of steals for the Chicago Cubs.
Emilio Bonifacio is running wild for the Cubs. (Baseblog94.com)

We are more than a week into baseball’s second half, and this is the time for the real contenders to stand up. It is also a time for floundering teams to see what they have for the future. So for those players like Danny Santana, that time is now. For you Fantasy owners, well, that time may also be now. Don’t sleep on Santana or Emilio Bonifacio. Let’s look at this week’s solid waiver wire options:

Emilio Bonifacio, OF/2B, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 13 per cent owned, CBS: 42 per cent): Obviously he cooled after that crazy good start to the season, but EB Games (okay, we’ll work on the nickname) can slide into either middle infield spot or center, and he’s 8-for-20 (.400) in his last five games since coming off the DL (looking none the worse for wear with a leadoff double in his first at-bat back — see video below). In NL-only leagues, versatility should count for something, and Bonifacio’s respectable .272 average and 14 stolen bases aren’t too shabby for a guy who missed over a month with an oblique injury. The Cubs finally parted ways with beleaguered middle infielder Darwin Barney, so Bonifacio could see time when the Cubs decide to give Arismendy Alcantara, whom we recently featured in this column, a blow.

Danny Santana, CF, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 26 per cent owned, CBS: 34 per cent): Oh Danny Boy, the Fantasy owners should be calling. From Glen (Perkins to you, what else is there to really celebrate in Minnesota these days? Since returning from injury post-All-Star break, Santana is 8-for-31 (.258) with a homer, hitting safely in six of eight games.

Dustin Ackley, LF, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 12 per cent owned, CBS: 27 per cent): Brush those trade rumours aside, Mr. Ackley, we don’t think you’ll be going anywhere. You may, however, find some new Fantasy owners after your torrid July, which includes a .358 average, 814 OPS, and five RBIs. No, Ackley’s season numbers don’t wow you, but the former No. 2 overall draft pick seems to be finding his stroke as of late.

Joe Kelly, SP, St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN: 11 per cent owned, CBS: 43 per cent): We discussed Kelly on our July 10 Podcast, and now it’s time to bring him up again. He had a rough start on Friday in Chicago, allowing his first two home runs of the season, but make no mistake, this guy is a worthy starter on your Fantasy team if you need a quick fix. Kelly’s July has been rocky after returning from a hamstring injury, but we think he is more the pitcher that shut down the Dodgers on July 19 to the tune of one run over seven innings than the guy that was lit up in Milwaukee and Chicago in his other two post-DL starts.

Other Options

Drew Smyly, SP, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 45 per cent owned, CBS: 48 per cent): Keep smiling, Tigers fans, because Detroit’s rotation has yet another guy who has become more reliable than Justin Verlander in 2014. Ignore Smyly’s overall numbers to some degree (6-9, 3.77 ERA) and relish his last two starts in which he’s been filthy, allowing a mere three earned runs over 12 2/3 IP while striking out 17. He was also phenomenal in June, posting a 2.63 ERA over five starts.

Juan Uribe, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 10 per cent, CBS: 21 per cent): Uribe has been grooving in July, batting .325 (25-for-77) with a homer and eight RBI, and his 748 season OPS is worth noting if you need a little extra pop in your lineup.

Josh Rutledge, 2B, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 7 per cent, CBS: 25 per cent): Rutledge has been hot in a season when the Rockies have been as cold as the Rocky Mountains. J-Rut is 17-for-48 (.354) in July with 10 ribbies and a robust 914 OPS.

Josh Collmenter, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (ESPN: 6 per cent, CBS: 32 per cent): Before Saturday’s shellacking at the hands of the Phillies, Collmenter had been outstanding of late, allowing just one run in three of his previous four starts, including a pair of seven inning outings. He doesn’t rack up many Ks (just 73 in 114 IP) but is 8-5 with a 4.03 ERA for the season. It’s hard to believe Collmenter is so underowned in Fantasy land.

Dioner Navarro, C, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 6 per cent owned, CBS: 39 per cent): Navarro is 21-for-73 (.288) with two homers, seven RBI, and a 722 OPS in July. The switch-hitting backstop also has four multi-hit efforts in his last six games including Tuesday, when RotoRob had to witness the pudgy catcher help to make mincemeat of his beloved BoSox.

Adam Dunn, 1B, Chicago White Sox (ESPN: 12 per cent owned, CBS: 43 per cent): Dunn is hitting .271 over his last 13 games (a torrid pace by his standards) and has three long balls in that span. The power maven has 15 bombs on the year and an 806 OPS to go along with his usual abundance of strikeouts (107 to be exact).

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.

RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast

Crave more in-depth Fantasy analysis? Then join us every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST for RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast on Blogtalkradio as we entertain and edify you for an hour or more each week. We were off last week thanks to the insanity of the real world, but will return this week, as RotoRob is joined by MLB Editor Michael Seff. Tune in here.

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The Wire Troll: Joaquin Benoit Steps Up

July 20, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (0)
The second half is officially underway, which means rumours about who stays and who goes from teams’ rosters is now all the rage. No one expected the San Diego Padres to be anything but sellers at the trade deadline, so the deal sending Huston Street up the coast to Anaheim was no surprise. For Fantasy owners, this means Joaquin Benoit is the man to own, just as he was last year for Detroit. For now, at least.
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The Wire Troll: Arismendy Alcantara Arrives

July 13, 2014 | by Tim McLeod | Comments (2)
Mercer is slapping the ball all over the place and is scorching hot with a .415 BA in July, following up a five-homer June. What’s not to like? If you’re looking for a middle-infield replacement for Phillips, look no further.
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The Wire Troll: Stephen Drew Finds His Power Stroke

July 6, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
Jones has had a rough weekend against the Pale Hose so far, but he came in red hot, batting nearly .310 in the last week. The rookie hasn’t received much ink so far, but it’s hard not to be impressed with the numbers he has quietly amassed in Em City. Jones is averaging over a hit per contest through 59 games and 215 at-bats, and while we’d like to see his walk rate closer to what it was in Triple-A, he’s managed to slightly reduce his strikeout rate since being promoted. The key to his game, though, is speed, and with a success rate like he has (17-of-18), any increase in his walk rate is going to translate into value.
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The Wire Troll: C.J. Cron is Mashing

June 29, 2014 | by Tim McLeod | Comments (0)
Duvall has smashed 23 homers in 263 at-bats at Triple-A Fresno this year.
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