Blake’s Free Agent Finds – 15-21 June

I must be doing something right now, as I’m now onto my third Free Agent Finds column, although I seemingly managed to put a curse on Dinelson Lamet who decided to blow up in my face. Such is the life of a Fantasy baseball player, when it works you’re a hero but when it doesn’t you’re left cursing some random player you’d never heard of until a few weeks ago. So here are my next batch of players, who can hopefully shed a Ray of light on your team:

Edinson Volquez, SP, Miami Marlins

This is the obvious pick as he has recently thrown a no-hitter against the Diamondbacks and then shut out the Pirates over 7 innings in his follow-up outing. But you really should pay attention to Volquez right now. Over the last 30 days, he has a 2.48 ERA in 40 innings with 33 Ks, which is pretty impressive in itself and also has a start with Oakland on tap for Wednesday, who aren’t the most offensively gifted team. Volquez has previously been more than a solid option in fantasy circles dating back to his early Cincinnati Reds days, and then with the Royals recently where he started Game 1 of the World Series. He’s practically a must-add now.

Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

As people in my keeper league can vouch for, I’ve been really excited about Brinson’s arrival all season, and have had him stashed in said league for a few weeks. He’s a incredible talent, as evidenced by his .312 average, 6 HRs and 7 Steals in just 45 games in Triple A this year. We’re talking about a kid (*sighs*, at the age when players called up are younger than me) who has genuine 30 HR and 30 SB potential over a full seasons work. As with a lot of younger players coming through now, one of his main issues has been to strikeout too often; 45 Ks in those 45 Triple A games. But I have faith that with a bit of Counsell’ing (I’m here all week) from their Manager and coaching staff he could help to minimise this and hit towards .300.

Felipe Rivero, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates

When the Pirates traded away Mark Melancon at last year’s trade deadline whilst still somewhat in contention there were certainly eyebrows raised. The key piece they got back in this trade was Felipe Rivero, a fire-balling young lefty from the Nationals, but most importantly with a lot of low-cost contractual control. Fast forward back to June 2017, and Tony Watson, who initially replaced Melancon as closer, is out and although Clint Hurdle suggested the closer’s role would be shared; Rivero has gotten the first 2 save opportunities so far for Buccs. If that isn’t enough to persuade you, before taking over the closers role he had a 0.53 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and a 10.43 K/9 ratio, he could dominate in his new role and an immediate add if you’re in need.

Deeper League Finds

We went fairly deep with a couple of the above picks this week; so even those of you in deeper leagues may be able to nab the likes of Brinson or Rivero; so here a couple bonus picks for that may well be available in your keeper and dynasty formats to nab of the waiver wire.

Mallex Smith, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Things didn’t look good for Smith when he moved from the rebuilding Atlanta, where he would likely have a secure job to earn his place in the rebuild; to Tampa Bay who have the superhero-esque defender Kevin Kiermaier in CF, Dickerson in LF and Souza in RF. But with Kiermaier out injured and Dickerson regularly occupying the DH role, the speed-demon now has a regular route to playing time. If his first few games back in the big are anything to go by, then he looks ready to hit the ground running going 9-for-19 with 6 Runs, 3 RBIs and 4 Steals in his first 4 games back. The speed is legit, and he has potential to crack double digits before June is out, and the speed will raise that batting average to .300 when all is said and done.

Jacob Faria, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

It’s a Rayfest in our Deeper League finds this week as Jacob Faria is seriously a pitcher to watch now in a lot of fantasy leagues. With Matt Andriese going back to the DL< Faria has a chance to impress the Rays and stay up permanently this time. In his two starts so far, he has a 1.42 ERA over 12.1 Innings and 13 Ks with 3 Walks. The most interesting part about Faria’s game is the K potential; as before being called up for his most recent start he was the Minor Leagues strikeout leader with 84(!!) in 58.2 Innings. This alone makes him a desirable acquisition in deeper leagues, but if he can keep providing a respectable ERA and WHIP to go along with it; he’ll be a must-add in all formats soon enough. Get ahead of the game and grab him now.

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