This year we started the regular season with two games in Japan the third week of March, took a break for a week, and then resumed the regular season the last week of March. Managing rosters, the DL, and potentially a staggered Waiver Wire is a handful, to say the least. With that in mind, here’s an early look at 15 players who are currently available on the Waiver Wire in most formats. Giving them a good look, could be beneficial to your Fantasy squads long-term success this season.
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Shawn Armstrong, RP, SEA (CBS: 2% owned): Yes, he’s starting the season on the DL with a strained right oblique, but don’t let that deter you. Prior to the injury, Armstrong was penciled in as the setup man in Seattle. Hunter Strickland is on a one-year deal, and the rest of the M’s bullpen is far from being carved in stone. Once healthy, he’ll quickly assert himself in a prominent role in the Seattle ‘pen.
Steven Duggar, OF, SFG (CBS: 4% owned): Since turning pro in 2015 the lowest OBP that Duggar has amassed is a rather strong .354. That hit tool works well in the leadoff spot, as does the low double-digit speed potential.
Erik Gonzalez, SS, PIT (CBS: 1% owned): In what has to be considered a surprise, Gonzalez has now laid claim to the shortstop gig in the Steel City. The dream of Newman and Kramer playing in the Pirates infield seems to be lost.
Dakota Hudson, SP, STL (CBS: 9% owned): Hudson looks to be breaking camp in the fifth slot in the Cardinals rotation. That 96 mph sinker has me intrigued. He has proven that he can keep the ball in the park. Now he has to prove he can keep it around the plate.
Jung Ho Kang, 3B, PIT (CBS: 14% owned): Kang managed to beat out Colin Moran for the full-time gig at third, and with six homers under his belt this Spring looks ready to pick up where he left off in 2016.
Merrill Kelly, SP, ARZ (CBS: 10% owned): It’s a rule that I must own any former North American player returning from Asia, so why would I change my approach heading into 2019? Here’s hoping he follows in the footsteps of Colby Lewis, Ryan Vogelsong, and Miles Mikolas.
Pablo Lopez, SP, MIA (CBS: 6% owned): The 23-year-old Lopez is having a terrific spring. In five starts he’s currently sporting a 3-0 won/loss record with a .90 ERA and 16 strikeouts. Currently, Lopez is in a battle for the fifth spot in the Marlins rotation with Wei-Yin Chen, and barring a surprise, should emerge the victor.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, TAM (CBS: 13% owned): The 28 homers, 101 RBI and ten thefts in 2018 should have your attention. When you toss in the six-year $24 million contract extension and the strong numbers that Lowe is posting this Spring, the opportunity to secure full-time at-bats is at-hand.
Richie Martin, SS, BAL (CBS: 3% owned): The competition is thinning with the release of Alcides Escobar this past week. The fact that Martin has to be on the 25-man roster as a Rule 5 player or returned to Oakland, definitely improves the odds that he’ll be in the mix at shortstop and providing Fantasy teams with a boost in their speed game.
Drew Smyly, SP, TEX (CBS: 7% owned): It has been one injury after another for the now 29-year-old Smyly. The Rangers are taking a cautious approach, as they should be based on his past history, but it appears he’s slowly rounding into shape.
Mac Williamson, OF, SFG (CBS: 5% owned): The concussion symptoms that caused him to miss most of the 2018 campaign appear to be resolved. A healthy Williamson should own the full-time gig in left field and with it comes the potential to be a solid contributor in the middle of the Giants lineup.