Week 2 Fantasy baseball waiver-wire talk
We've seen plenty of movement on the wire after the first week, but are any of these guys for real?
We've seen this before
Emilio Bonifacio, through five games, 2009: .583 BA, four stolen bases, nine runs scored
Emilio Bonifacio, though four games, 2014: .579, four stolen bases, three runs scored
Bonifacio is certainly capable of being the best player in baseball for a week every six years or so, at least. At 28, there probably isn't much left for Bonifacio to show us, though it remains easy to be wowed by his elite speed and ability to make things happen with it -- when he reaches base. That last bit remains the eternal problem for Bonifacio, a slap hitter who doesn't walk enough to make up for his low-contact approach. He posted a .288 on-base percentage from the sixth game on in 2009, with just 17 stolen bases in 122 games.
He peaked as a player in 2011 when he hit .296/.360/.393, but needed a .372 BABIP to sustain that production, a number he hasn't approached in any season otherwise. Bonifacio's speed is truly a rare skill, but it isn't one you want to fool yourself into buying. As the Fantasy Baseball Today guys talked about in the video above, you might want to supplement your team by picking up Bonifacio for a steal or two every week, but you don't want to drop a player you actually liked coming into the season just because he had a hot week.
"Looks like the real deal"
Those are the words of Michael Hurcomb, who came away from Paxton's season debut very impressed. Paxton has long been considered a valuable, but less-than elite pitching prospect, though he consistently showed the ability to strike out more than batter per inning in the minors. That will be the skill he needs to translate if he is to emerge as a viable Fantasy option, and it has worked out for him so far in his brief major-league career. He has picked up swinging strikes on 10.1 percent of his pitches in five starts dating to last season, a number that would have tied Jose Fernandez for 23rd in the majors a year ago. Paxton might not even have cracked the rotation out of spring training if not for innings, but he could pitch well enough to stick around even when the team gets healthy. Paxton should be owned in all AL-only leagues, and one more start like his debut might be enough to make him a must-add in mixed leagues.
Matt Lindstrom, RP, White Sox; 39 percent owned, +34 percent
Lindstrom's long had the fastball for late-inning relief work, but he's never emerged as the kind of shutdown option some envisioned when he broke into the league. He should remain the White Sox's closer almost by default now, with Nate Jones on the DL for at least the next two weeks. That doesn't really mean he is someone you need to run out and grab, as he showed in blowing the save opportunity in his second appearance of the season. Lindstrom is the kind of pitcher who has to be picked up in category-based leagues because saves are inherently valuable, not for any merits of his own. You'll be dropping him as soon as he loses his role.
Jenrry Mejia, SP, Mets; 40 percent owned, +31 percent
Some warning signs
It seems like a long time, but Jenrry Mejia was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball only three years ago. Mejia is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and opened his season with an impressive eight-strikeout performance, continuing his solid run to close last season. The concerning thing for Mejia is that his velocity was nowhere to be found, as he averaged just 90.29 miles per hour with his cutter, down more than two miles per hour from last season and 4-5 from his pre-surgery peak. Mejia still got plenty of swings and misses in his first start, but if he can't dial up that fastball a few more ticks, he might not be able to keep it up.
Nice story, still NL-only
The Marlins had one of the worst offenses in a generation a year ago, but they entered play Saturday leading the majors in runs scored per game. That they have been sparked by a 31-year-old whose most-recent work experience features a stint in the Nippon Baseball League in Japan might make for one of the best stories in baseball if McGehee can keep even a fraction of his current level of play up. McGehee has been useful in the past -- though that is the distant past at this point, as he posted a .632 OPS in two seasons since he racked up 104 RBI in 2010. Maybe his year spent in Japan, where he hit 28 home runs to finish second in the league, helped him find his stroke. Of course, it's also possible that he's just having a solid first couple of series against subpar pitching staffs. McGehee is best left on the wire in mixed-league formats at this time, but it's certainly been fun to watch him turn back the clock this week.
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