We’re back to help you crush your fantasy baseball competition with some free agent pickups. Below you will find three players to snag off the waiver wire. For a player to qualify for this article, they’ll need to be available in at least 50% of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. For deep league players, one of these first basemen sits on the wire in 90% of fantasy baseball leagues. [Jeff]
Yonder Alonso, Oakland (38% owned)
Who leads 1B in HR over the seven days? Not Eric Thames, not Ryan Zimmerman, and not Mark Reynolds. In other words, it isn’t any of the early hot starters. Oakland’s Yonder Alonso smacked five dingers over the past week, including three this weekend. He never really materialized as anything great until now, but there’s potential there. He could be part of the Launch Angle Revolution, wherein baseball players are trying for “barrels” to hit the ball as high and hard as possible. His average launch angle is 20.28 degrees, which is well higher than the league average 12.91 degrees. His average exit velocity sits in the same range as Giancarlo Stanton and Yoenis Cespedes, indicating the power has some legitimacy.
Danny Valencia, Seattle (13% owned)
Valencia turned it on recently, hitting two home runs over the last week. While he’s off to a slow start (.227/.283/.381), his career averages all sit well above that slash line. There’s not much different to Valencia over his last three seasons where he hit on a 25-30 home run pace all season. He’s walking and striking out at the same rate, and his line drive and flyball rates are all within career norms. He’s on the upswing, so deeper league players can soak up his positive regression.
Kennys Vargas, Minnesota (1% owned)
Vargas started the season rehabbing from smacking a ball off his foot in the Grapefruit League. The Twins brought him back to the major league roster on April 26, and he’s gotten 37 plate appearances in that span. He’s responded with a .913 OPS with 3 home runs, 6 R and 8 RBI. That’s a hot pace over a full season. We don’t know if it’s a hot streak or a return to his 2016 form wherein he hit had a .833 OPS over 177 PAs, but it’s at least worth monitoring. He has hits in seven-of-nine games, and his ownership will definitely get higher than 1% ownership.