We’re back again for some more Free Agent Finds, in-between my piece/rant about the Nationals bullpen. Some of the first few players I list this week have relatively high owned percentages so it’s possible they may not be available in your league; but I feel that they’ve graduated to the must-own category from the pick-up/drop because they’re hot category of players. So even if they aren’t available, I’d strongly recommend going out and trading for them before their value continues to sore even higher:
Wilson Ramos, C, Tampa Bay Rays
After the glut of Rays last week, we kick-off this week’s column with yet another one in Wilson Ramos. Until his horrific injury last year, you could make a point that Ramos was the most productive fantasy catcher last season in the potent Washington Nationals offence, consistently hitting cleanup hitting 22 HRs and collecting 80 RBIs. Now with a new team, Ramos has been rehabbing hard and is set to return to the Rays in the next week or so and we could see his bat in the lineup fairly consistently along the way. Unlike the Nats in the Senior circuit, the Rays have the luxury of giving Ramos days off catching and letting him DH to keep his bat in the lineup more often. And given how much of a wasteland Fantasy Catchers can be at times if you don’t have an elite guy, Ramos is definitely worth an add if you need help there.
Jimmy Nelson, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
The Brew Crew have also been fairly strong in this section lately, with last week’s pick Lewis Brinson not off to a fast start (stick with him guys) but Jimmy Nelson is scorching hot right now and looks to continue this trend. He twirled an absolute gem against the Padres firing a Complete game shutout, striking out 10, and only giving up 6 hits and 2 walks. “But it was only the Padres” I hear you cry, and you’re right; but in his previous 4 starts he compiled a 2.70 ERA with 31 Ks in just 26 2/3 innings, including 8 innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers. He also has a start against the Braves coming up, so it’s another chance to shine against a fairly weak offence.
Cameron Maybin, OF, Los Angeles Angels
After the usual suspects; Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton and Trea Turner, you have Cameron Maybin sat at 4th in the league in Stolen Bases (most in the American League) which is even more impressive given he’s not been back long after a brief DL stint. Since returning from the aforementioned DL stint on the 9th June he’s yet to have a hitless game, hitting .409 with 2 HRs, 14 Runs and 8 SBs; that’s some elite level production right there! I wouldn’t expect Maybin to keep up the average, and will probably normalise to a .280/.290 hitter; but the Angels are intent on him being aggressive on the basepaths, which he hasn’t had in abundance so far in his career. He’ll be valuable needle mover in the counting stats and is definitely a worthwhile add in all leagues right now.
Deeper League Finds
Alex Meyer, SP, Los Angeles Angels
Meyer comes with plenty of pedigree, as he was a 1st round selection of the Washington Nationals way back in 2011; before being traded to the Twins for Denard Span in 2012, whilst easing his way to Double A early on in his career and looked destined to make a serious impact on the Major Leagues. He had struggles in 2015 and never quite recovered whilst with the Twins, before being shipped to the Angels. He’s had some iffy results as a starter this season; but in his last 4 starts he’s gone 22 2/3 innings, striking out 27, with a 1.19 ERA. The main concern right now for Meyer is the walk total (in those 4 starts, he’s had outings with 5 and 4 walks) and if that stays high, he could be inline for regression. But in his last start he only walked 1 and allowed 2 hits; so I have faith that he can continue to finally live up to some of his previous potential.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland Indians
Zimmer has been in a few of my teams for a little while now, I can’t get enough of my highly rated prospects, but with his latest results he’s beginning to peak the interest of other fantasy owners. Called up just over a month ago, his debut had been highly anticipated with a good mix of power and speed available; but once again, holding him back are the Whiffs in his game. But so far, in a soft platoon (which he’s beginning to overturn for regular ABs) he has hit a cool .294 with 4 HRs and 6 SBs with an impressive 20 RBIs. Scale those to a full season and that’s about 23 HRs, 33 SBs and around 100 RBIs, which in fantasy terms is pretty damn valuable, especially so if he can keep hitting for a high average and wrestle away some playing time from Austin Jackson and Daniel Robertson.