If your team is out of the race, then you’re probably not reading this, but if you’re in the playoffs here are the top fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups that you need to hurry up and snag before you’re competitive opponents do.
2014 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for the Playoffs
Kennys Vargas, Min 1B
This rookie first baseman has caught the attention of many fantasy owners since being called up from the minors back in early August. The switch-hitting slugger owns an impressive .319 average with six homeruns and 31 RBI in just 131 at-bats this season. Standing at six-foot-five and weighing in at 273 pounds, the massive 24-year-old is one of this week’s most sought after waiver wire additions. Those looking to bolster their team’s offense for the playoffs shouldn’t think twice about adding Vargas if he is still available.
Adam Eaton, CWS OF
Since returning from the disabled list with an oblique injury, Eaton has gone 13-for-34 (.387) with five extra-base hits and nine runs scored. He is now hitting .310 on the season with 14 stolen bases and an outstanding .377 on-base percentage. Don’t expect any power out of Eaton’s bat as he has hit just one long ball in 2014. With that being said, his consistency at the plate is definitely worth a pickup if any of your current outfielders are going through one of those dreaded late season slumps.
Luis Valbuena, ChC C2B/3B
The Venzuelan infielder has been swinging a hot bat lately with six homeruns within the past two weeks, while going 17-for-54 (.315) in that stretch. The 28-year-old seems to have found his groove at the plate, giving his owners good reason to roll with him as long as the moonshots keep coming. He has hit a respectable 16 homeruns and 48 runs batted in on the season. The Cubs have erupted as of late and continue to give opposing pitchers headaches on the hill. Valbuena is eligible at both second and third base, providing comfort for any fantasy owner in need of some productive infield depth.
Justin Turner, LAD 2B/3B/SS
I think it’s fair to call Turner by his new fantasy nickname; Mr. Eligibility. The super utility man can be started at not only second and third base but can be plugged in at shortstop as well. Turner has hit .322 in 244 at-bats this season and manager Don Mattingly has figured out ways to keep him in the starting lineup since Juan Uribe’s return from the disabled list. Turner’s five homeruns and 32 RBI are far from flashy numbers, but his consistent plate approach makes him worthy of a late season add especially if he keeps that batting average up over .300.
Carlos Carrasco, Cle SP
In his past five starts, Carrasco has been lights out allowing just three earned runs in that span. The beefy right-hander owns a 2.94 ERA on the season, including a stingy 1.06 WHIP to go along with it. Although the Indians have had their struggles offensively this season, they seem to be generating a decent amount of run support within the past couple of weeks. Carrasco (6-4) should be available in the majority of ESPN leagues and makes for an excellent playoff addition for any questionable pitching staff.
Mike Minor, Atl SP
The Braves offense has officially hit rock bottom and I think it’s safe to say that their pitching is the reason their playoff hopes are still alive. 26-year-old Minor has managed to put together four straight quality starts while maintaining a 2.52 ERA over his last 35.2 innings pitched. The southpaw will have a tough matchup against the red hot Nationals in his next start, but could come in handy down the stretch as a reliable candidate for a spot start come late in the fantasy playoffs.
Tsuyoshi Wada, ChC SP
This Japanese left-hander has been nothing shy of superb in his brief Major League career. Wada owns a stellar 2.79 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in his first nine starts with the Cubbies and will look to remain on track as his rookie season begins to wind down. The 33-year-old holds a 4-2 record with an impressive 44 punch-outs in just 51.2 innings. Due to the team’s thriving group of young new talent, Cubs fans have a lot to be excited about. If their pitching staff continues to get a steady deal of run support from here on out, then this hidden gem should be one of the waiver wires best pitching options to this point.
Kevin Quackenbush, SD RP
Since the Padres have decided to shut down Joaquin Benoit due to shoulder soreness, 25-year-old Kevin Quackenbush will step in as the team’s temporary closer. The Florida native has collected a pair of saves over the past few weeks and fantasy owners in desperate need of saves should add him before it’s too late.
Mike Minor (Atlanta Braves) photo credit: LWYang