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“Z-Man’s Thoughts” Wavier Wire Hitters Week 19

This past week there were many injuries and set backs for the major league teams. Some could be short term like Austin Riley or Aaron Hicks among others, then there were some long term injuries including Robinson Cano. There are countless players and stars that are stuck on the IL right now and owners are just chomping at the bit to get them back. In the mean time, if you suffered a big injury loss recently, we will take a look at the replacements to see if they are worthy of an add or not. It should be noted that the stats below are from the past two weeks.

Hot Hitters Owned Under 50%

Bo Bichette- TOR (SS)

H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OPS
17/41
6
3
4
1
0.415
1.259

I won’t lie, I cheated my system of who to highlight a little bit to get Bichette on this list. Normally I only select hitters that are owned under 50% in both ESPN and Yahoo. Currently Bichette is owned in more than 50% of leagues on Yahoo which technically would make him ineligible. Though the fact that he is owned in less than 50% on ESPN amazes me. Bichette has elite hitting tools and showcased that ability at every level. While he may have under 50 PA in his major league career, he has hit for a .415 AVG while hitting 3 home runs. The power will not be a major part in his long term game, but you can expect a high average with home runs around 12-15 at peak with about 10 stolen bases. Shortstop has developed into a deep position and Bichette should play as a top 10 Shortstop long term. If you play in a redraft league and need a shortstop or help with your teams average then Bichette may be the answer for you.

Jason Kipnis- CLE (2B)

H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OPS
14/46
8
4
14
1
0.304
0.993

It has been a few years since Jason Kipnis has been fantasy relevant. As you can see above, Kipnis has found a way to contribute over the past two weeks in average and some power. Now some of you may call it a hot streak, but to help convince you that it may be real, he has hit over .300 over the past month. 3 of the past four homers have come from the past week, so if you need help at second base and can use a hot hand if you lost Cano, then Kipnis may be your guy. I do not expect this to be a long term solution for your team, you may have to keep and eye on him and the wire for the next hot hand.

Jose Osuna- PIT (1B, 3B)

H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OPS
12/33
6
3
9
0
0.364
1.220

Jose Osuna is a newer name to come around the block. He has just over 100 plate appearances for the season and 50 of them have come from the past month. Even in a short playing time, he has shown the ability to hit for power and average. I like the position versatility for Osuna. The right hander should continue to receive plenty of at bats and every opportunity to continue hitting for this Pirates team. Osuna may not be producing at this level for a long time, but we should enjoy it while it lasts. In most leagues I would use him as a corner infielder, or a bench bat. If the power continues it will help increase his value and the reliability to play him every day, though it should be known that Osuna is not a major power threat, he has never hit more than 13 home runs in a year. One can hope they found a key to tap into more power for the 6’3″ 240lbs outfielder.

Hitters Taking Advantage of Injuries

Gio Urshela- NYY (3B)

H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OPS
16/40
8
2
5
0
0.400
1.154

 

Urshela is having an incredible season and definitely not one to the level that anyone expected. The Miguel Andujar injury turned into an opportunity for Urshela and he ran with it. Over the whole season, he has been hitting over .300 with 14 home runs. He may not be a fantasy stud, but if you play in a league with 12 teams or more then it’s time to take a look at him. Injuries have been half of the story for the Yankees season and the other half is how unexpected players have stepped up to the plate and outplayed anyone’s expectations. The average is the biggest tool for fantasy owners, but I find it to be important to have guys like this on your team that will only help your average and let others produce in other categories. Even when Luke Voit comes back and DJ LeMahieu plays more third base, I think the Yankees will find a way to get him in the lineup for multiple games a week to give others a rest day.

Mike Tauchman- NYY (OF)

H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OPS
18/45
11
4
14
2
0.400
1.248

Another Yankee we have talked about in the past and who has taken advantage of opportunities due to others injuries. Tauchman was not on anyone’s radar coming into the season and was not even supposed to see the major leagues, and yet in 175 PA he is hitting above .290 AVG with 10 HR and is playing near every day. Every week it seems like we are talking about a handful of outfielders, but even as the weeks go one people have not bought into Tauchman at least for this year. Even with Brett Gardner returning as Hicks went down, he has played every day and produced. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tauchman found his way to get regular at bats towards the end of the season until Stanton and Hicks are both back and healthy. Even after that point I think he will get more at bats than Gardner. If your fantasy team needs a good OF bench spot or OF 5 then Tauchman needs to be your guy. If I were to go on the wavier wire in a redraft league and all the names on this list were available, Tauchman would be my first add; otherwise it would be Bichette for the long term outlook.

Joe Panik- NYM (2B)

H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OPS
4/16
0
0
0
0
0.250
0.646

I was going to talk about Adeiny Hechavarria due to the Mets losing Cano for most if not the rest of the season, but the Mets actually went and signed Joe Panik. Fantasy owners and Mets fans should be very excited about this signing because he is a much better option than Hechavarria. As for fantasy, if you are in a very deep league and in desperate need of a second basemen, then I would give Panik a chance. He may never blow you away with any particular category, but he could at least contribute. Panik used to have some fantasy appeal, and he could gain some in a decent Mets lineup.

Grew up playing baseball since I could hold a bat. Played baseball through high school and college. Somehow became a Yankee fan even though I grew up in a Boston based family. From Connecticut, attended Western Connecticut State University and studied Financial Management. Also self proclaimed: Biggest Casual Curling (sport not workout) fan, so hit me up all your burning curling questions, because I know you have them

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