Baseball is back and with it our daily waiver wire column. For the very first installment I planned on largely ignoring the three Sunday games and simply providing you with some players who were not drafted as often as they should have been. Then Randal Grichuk had himself a night, and we get to kill two birds with one stone.
The one thing I’d say before we get to today’s list is that I am philosophically opposed to huge overreactions during the first week of the season. Guys will go 0 for 12 many times this season. Doing it in your first 12 PA doesn’t make it any more special, just more noticeable. Keeping a cool, calm demeanor early in the season will help to make sure you don’t waste FAAB or drop a future star. A star like Randal Grichuk perhaps.
Randal Grichuk St. Louis CF
|I don’t want to overreact too much to Randall Grichuk’s big opening day. He was probably under-owned in the first place. He was owned in less than 65 percent of leagues despite the fact that he still has youth and huge power potential. Grichuk has legit 40 HR potential and simply needs to prove (to Mike Matheny) that he deserves to play every day. Maybe you thought you could just leave him on the waiver wire and pick him up if he gets off to a hot start. I think yesterday counts.|
Jason Hammel Kansas City SP
|I understand completely if you’re skeptical of Hammel’s first-half successes, but his track record is long enough that it’s pretty hard to deny it. Whether he wears down or batters catch up, Hammel just isn’t as good in the later months of the season. That doesn’t matter much in April. Hammel doesn’t have huge upside like Grichuk, but he should be a solid No. 3 or 4 starter early in the season. This is the best home park he’s pitched in since 2007. Expect him to take advantage of that and the solid defense behind him. At the very least you’ll stream him against good matchups like the one he has in Week 1.|
Travis Shaw Milwaukee 3B
|Travis Shaw isn’t even 50 percent owned? I would hate to see where he’d be if I hadn’t been writing about him once a week for the entire preseason. Shaw should be universally started in any 12-team or deeper league that requires a corner infield position, and I’d argue he should at least be owned in most points leagues. He starts the season off with a bang, with seven home games at his cozy new home, Miller Park.|
Cesar Hernandez Philadelphia 2B
If you’re playing in a standard points league with no extra roster spots, I can understand not having room for Cesar Hernandez. But the fact that he’s only 33 percent owned tells me this is a problem it’s bigger than that. Hernandez has shown both elite on-base skills and a high steals potential. In Rotisserie leagues he should be near 100 percent owned. Manager Pete Mackanin has talked about having a more stable starting lineup this season, and that starts with Hernandez in the leadoff role. That’s one huge reason to start considering him in points leagues as well
Delino DeShields Texas CF
|Umm, you guys got the memo, right? You know, that DeShields is the starting left fielder for the Rangers and will be leading off? Because that’s kind of a big deal. DeShields was a breakout candidate in 2016 but fell on his face. Now he’s committed himself to the on-base and speed parts of his game, and the Rangers are very pleased. He had a .344 OBP in 2015. If he does that atop this lineup for a full season, he’ll approach 100 runs and be a top-30 outfielder.|
Matt Boyd Detroit SP
|I wanted to throw you deep-league players a bone with at least one guy below 20 percent. Boyd had a phenomenal spring that was enough to win him the job over a reinvented Anibal Sanchez. While he has been disastrous in his short major league career, he found something this spring that could absolutely be carried over to the start of this season. He’s still just 26 years old and should have a decent defense behind him. If he could get anywhere close to a K per inning and keep the ball in the yard (difficult with a 47 percent fly ball rate), he could finally deliver on the promise many have seen in him.|