Paul DeJong
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The fantasy baseball season is less than a week old, but that hasn’t stopped owners from window shopping on the waiver wire.

Injuries to Salvador Perez, Madison Bumgardner, and Mark Melancon may have put some owners in a compromising position before Ian Happ smashed the first pitch thrown on Opening Day.

Perhaps Matt Davidson’s three-home-run effort mesmerized you into putting in a claim?

Maybe you’re one of those owners who automatically heads to the waiver wire every time you login to your team.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it’s never too early to look to the waiver wire for some reinforcements. Let’s take a look at the players you should be targeting this week.

Must adds


Paul DeJong, 2B/SS, St. Louis Cardinals

(Yahoo: 84 percent owned/ESPN: 81.3 percent owned)

Doesn’t it seem like the Cardinals manufacture young phenoms all over the diamond?

DeJong, who wasn’t called up to the majors until May last season, led St. Louis in home runs (25), hitting a solid .285 across 443 plate appearances.

During the offseason, the former fourth-round selection cashed in on a six-year, $26 million extension. On Sunday, DeJong logged his first career multi-homer game, propelling the Cardinals to a 5-1 victory over the New York Mets.

DeJong solidified his position in the Cardinals starting lineup, which comes with dual eligibility at shortstop and second base. It’s also worth mentioning that he will frequently encounter subpar NL Central rotations such as the Pirates, Brewers, and Reds.

Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

    • (Yahoo: 67 percent owned/ESPN: 58.5 percent owned)

 

Gabe Kapler’s head-scratching managerial decisions against the Atlanta Braves continue to be the topic of conversation for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rookie Scott Kingery, along with the team’s fountain of youth, serves as a helpful distraction. The 23-year-old captured the fans’ attention this spring, going 23-for-56 (.411) with five homers and four stolen bases. Before ever taking a big-league at-bat, he inked a six-year, $24 million extension that runs through the 2023 season.

Kingery recorded two multi-hit games against the Braves, which included a pair of two-baggers on Saturday night. He’s bouncing around the diamond, so it’s only a matter of time before he adds multi-positional eligibility.

If you can live with the uncertain amount of playing time early on, I strongly urge you to take a flyer on this rookie sensation.

MLB

Ride the wave

Kevin Pillar, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

(Yahoo: 20 percent owned/ESPN: 20.4 percent owned)

    • The number three sticks out in Pillar’s statistical output. During the four-game series against the New York Yankees he batted .333, scored three runs, and swiped three bases (including home).

 

Pillar began the 2017 campaign in similar fashion. His .301/.339/.505 slash line in March/April last season was his best in any month.

Jose Martinez, 1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals

(Yahoo: 65 percent owned/ESPN: 64.6 percent owned)

Whaddya know! Another Cardinal who many of us were unfamiliar with until this past weekend.

The career minor leaguer is making a strong case to become the Cardinals everyday first baseman. Over the weekend against the Mets, Martinez went 5-for-11 with a home run and three RBI.

The Venezuelan natives’ main competition is seven-year veteran Matt Carpenter. Manager Mike Matheny deploys Carpenter in various spots across the infield, aside from shortstop. The fact that Carpenter served as the second baseman all three games in New York is an encouraging sign.

The 29-year-old showed his potential last season slashing .309/.379/.518 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI in 307 plate appearances. If he can keep up this production he can be a difference-maker on your squad.

Pitchers

We need to see more from back-end starters before we can make any recommendations. One start simply isn’t a large enough sample size.

I will be monitoring how the following low-ownership pitchers below perform over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for their names in the weeks ahead.

Tyler Skaggs, SP, Los Angeles Angels

      • (Yahoo: 11 percent owned/ESPN: 10.7 percent owned)

 

Ivan Nova, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

(Yahoo: 20 percent owned/ESPN: 17.4 percent owned)

Marco Estrada, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

(Yahoo: 30 percent owned/ESPN: 26.5 percent owned)

Mike Foltynewicz, SP, Atlanta Braves

(Yahoo: 15 percent owned/ESPN: 15.5 percent owned)

Steven Matz, SP, New York Mets

(Yahoo: 48 percent owned/ESPN: 20.4 percent owned)

Miles Mikolas, SP, St Louis Cardinals

(Yahoo: 45 percent owned/ESPN: 18.3 percent owned)

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