Introducing the 2015 All-Waiver Wire Team
Below are a list of magnificent finds at each position that were taken well outside the range that most productive starters were selected. I give you both the pre-season ADP and where the player currently stands at their position on ESPN’s Player Rater as we draw near to the season’s midway point. If you own any of these players you have gotten quite a bit more out of them than you ever expected.
Catcher-Welington Castillo, ESPN PR Rank: 20th, Rank of last 30 Days: 4th
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 37th, Overall: 492
What a whirlwind season it has been for Castillo who started the season with the Cubs before being moved to the Mariners. Castillo found himself in Seattle for less than two weeks before he was flipped to Arizona where he has revitalized his career as the top option for the team. Since joining the Diamondbacks, Castillo has been deadly vs four-seam fastballs hitting .417 vs the pitch. This is great for him since he has been seeing 66.2% hard pitches. With five of his seven home runs coming in Arizona expect more production from Mr. Castillo.
First Base-Adam Lind, ESPN PR Rank: 12th, Rank of last 30 Days: 5th
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 47th, Overall: 337
Coming into the season we all knew what Lind’s strengths and weaknesses were. Lind is a career .213 hitter vs lefties with a .118 IS0 and bats a robust .294 with a .220 ISO vs righties. This year he has stayed healthy and mashed at an even more impressive rate than usual while slugging 15 home runs. Lind is entrenched as the everyday guy at first-base and should continue to put up huge numbers in Milwaukee.
Second Base-Cesar Hernandez, ESPN PR Rank: 16th, Rank of last 30 Days: 1st
ADP Pre-Season, Position: NA, Overall: NA
Where the hell did this guy come from? With the career death of Chase Utley the 25-year-old Hernandez has stepped up into the role of the everyday second baseman. Hernandez doesn’t strikeout much and has provided plenty of value in both runs and stolen bases. He was a fringe prospect coming up who won’t provide any power but batting second bodes well for his value.
Third Base-Justin Turner, ESPN PR Rank: 9th, Rank of last 30 Days: 8th
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 30th, Overall: 318
For the majority of the season Turner has filled in valiantly as the starting third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers after the trade of Juan Uribe. Turner has produced surprising power numbers with 11 home runs while batting .310. The only potential challenge to his playing time is Hector Olivera but even if he comes up its hard to imagine the Dodgers not finding a way to get Turner into this offense.
Shortstop-Wilmer Flores, ESPN PR Rank: 19th, Rank of last 30 Days: 28th
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 33rd, Overall: 377
Shortstop is a miserable position offensively this year and power has been near impossible to come by. The only players with more home runs at the position than Flores are Hanley Ramirez, Stephen Drew, Brandon Crawford, and Jhonny Peralta. Only Peralta and Crawford expect to qualify at the position next year so the 23-year-old Flores could find himself further rising in value over the next few seasons.
Outfield-Gerardo Parra, ESPN PR Rank: 26th, Rank of last 30 Days: 3rd
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 131, Overall: 508
With the blessing of manager Craig Counsell it seems the versatile Parra will continue to get every day at-bats even when Khris Davis comes back to the lineup. Parra has been electric contributing in all statistical categories and pacing himself for career best marks across the board. Grab this 28-year-old stud where you can because a .300, 15-15 season is well within his reach.
Outfield-Cameron Maybin, ESPN PR Rank: 20th, Rank of last 30 Days: 4th
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 167, Overall: 691
Fact: everything that John Hart has touched this year has turned to gold. Maybin was nabbed from the Padres as part of the great exodus of recognizable Braves and has finally showed the promise that made him a former top prospect. His slash line on the year is an impressive .295/.361/.428 and he is on pace for nearly 15 home runs and 30 steals. As long as the talented right handed bat stays healthy he will continue to produce.
Outfield-Kevin Pillar, ESPN PR Rank: 15th, Rank of last 30 Days: 15th
ADP Pre-Season, Position: 147, Overall: 600
Mr. SportCenter Top 10 play has earned himself the lion’s share of playing time in center field and has produced at a very high level. Pillar contributes not only with his plus defense but has chipped in seven home runs and 12 stolen bases while batting .279. I would like to see him walk more so he could further use his speed but it’s hard to complain about the production since he cost you nothing. Aside from shortstop, center field could be the weakest position in baseball and Pillar provides and adequate answer.