Here’s some bargain basements pickups for National League teams. These are guys that are likely available in deep NL-only leagues that show some promise (well at least a little) and might be worthy of a flyer on a free agent pickup.
Eric Young, Jr., OF, Colorado Rockies — All Eric Young Jr. will do for you is steal bases, but he’s actually quite good at it. He has 4 SB’s already this year and amassed 27 in just 77 games last year.
Chris Johnson, 3B, Houston Astros — Johnson is starting every day for the Astros at third. He doesn’t anything very well for fantasy, but he is hitting .273 on the year so he won’t hurt you at the plate if injury forces him into your lineup at the corner position.
Ruben Tejada, SS, New York Mets — With the emergence of Kirk Nieuwenheis, Ruben Tejada is likely destined for the difficult 8 hole in the lineup. That won’t help his production and he won’t help you a lot with power or steals, but he is playing every day for the Mets and can be a solid backup middle infield replacement.
Brian Bogusevic, OF, Houston Astros — Brian Bogusevic is hitting just .213 on the season, but we like his 3 SB’s. Bogusevic stole 20 last year in just 58 games in Triple-A. He’s going to have to do more to get value in mixed leagues, but for NL-only leagues, he has some backup potential and will likely remain in the Houston lineup.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, New York Mets — An injury replacement, Nieuwehuis is hitting leadoff and doing the job with a .323 average and 2 homers and 1 SB. With Andres Torres returning to the lineup, Nieuwehuis will likely just move over to LF and replace Jason Bay who is injured and continues to struggle. Torres has a history of injuries so we expect Nieuwehuis to pick up 400 AB’s this season.
Tyler Colvin, OF, Colorado Rockies — Tyler Colvin will kill your batting. He’s a .219 career hitter who hit .150 last year. But, he will help you with power; he clouted 20 for the Cubs two years ago. What better place for a power hitter than Colorado?
Rick Ankiel, OF, Washington Nationals — Rick Ankiel is getting the starts against right-handers while being platooned with Roger Bernardina. The Nationals, however, have got to be getting a little tired of Bernardina’s lack of production, although manager Davey Johnson has said that he has not lost confidence in Bernardina. Expect Ankiel to get increased playing time.
George Kottaras, C, Milwaukee Brewers — What do you look for in a backup catcher? Power. George Kottaras has popped 3 homeruns in just 19 AB’s this season.
Skip Schumacher, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals — Skip Schumacher started the season on the DL and came off of it on April 20. Since then, he has hit safely for four straight games. While he’s never been much of a power threat, his .346 career on-base percentage makes him potentially useful at second base in deeper NL leagues. He’s also versatile and can likely qualify at infield and outfield positions for you.
Lucas Harrell, SP, Houston Astros– Lucas Harrell had a 2.63 ERA last year in the minors and is slotted in the #2 starter position in Houston. While the Astros won’t get a lot of wins, Harrell could be used in a streaming situation for your rotation.
Barry Zito, SP, San Francisco Giants — Didn’t think I’d ever have Barry Zito on any pick up lists, but the most overpaid southpaw in baseball history is off to a great start. Zito is at 1.67/0.93 in his 4 starts this season and is holding opponents to a .186 batting average! Given how he’s burned so many fantasy owners in the past, he’s likely available in your league. Maybe it’s a tip of the cap to new hot wife Amber Seyer Zito)
James McDonald, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates — James McDonald lost a no-hit bid in the seventh against the Rockies this week and then picked up the tough luck loss after giving up just one earned run. McDonald makes for a fine start on April 30 in Atlanta, but wins will continue to be hard to come by as long as the Pittsburgh offense continues to struggle. He’s at 2.78/1.01 on the year and is holding opponents to a .184 average.
Anthony Bass, SP, San Diego Padres — With Dustin Moseley possibly out for the season, Anthony Bass will have a chance to stick in San Diego’s rotation. He strengthened his case by having the best start of his Major League career, blanking the Phillies and striking out more than a batter an inning. Bass needs to bring his walk total down, but he’s a solid 2.33/1.14 on the year and is holding opponents to a .179 average.
Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals — The 24-year-old rotation replacement for Chris Carpenter is 4-0 and has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his four starts. Lance Lynn now sports a microscopic 1.33 ERA and 0.81 WHIP on the season. The Cardinals are going to have a hard time moving him back to the pen if he keeps this up. Start him with confidence as he faces the Pirates next time out.
Randall Delgado, SP, Atlanta Braves — Jair Jurrjens was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett earlier this week, thus keeping Randall Delgado in the rotation, at least until Tim Hudson returns. Delgado has not got off to a great start, but showed potential last year (2.83/1.23 in 35 IP).
Kyle Kendrick, SP, Philadelphia Phillies — Kyle Kendrick (husband of Baseball Hot Wife nominee Stephenie Lagrossa) slots into the #5 starter role in Philadelphia while Cliff Lee recovers. Kendrick won’t help your WHIP numbers and his strikeout ratio is horrible, but he plays on a good team and has won 19 games over the past 2 seasons.