Fantasy baseball Waiver Wire: Pick up Evan Gattis, Shelby Miller
Occasionally an unknown player will get off to a hot start and become everyone's favorite pickup. Then, after a few days or weeks, he'll completely flame out. This virus, known as Chris Sheltonitis, usually afflicts a handful of guys every season. While fantasy owners need to be wary, they can also feel safe about adding Evan Gattis (available in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues, 34 percent of CBS leagues, 38 percent of ESPN leagues) of the Braves right now. The 26-year-old, who was a truck driver just two years ago, is hitting .333/.412/.767 with four homers and eight RBI thus far. The home runs are obviously the big draw here, but Gattis has shown a discerning eye at the plate, walking four times in 34 plate appearances. He'll continue to start as long as Brian McCann is out, and after the numbers he has already put up this year, the Braves will likely find at-bats for him even when McCann returns.
Let's get to the rest of this week's waiver wire additions:
• Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals (Yahoo: 42 percent, CBS: 15 percent, ESPN: 24 percent) -- Miller dominated the Brewers his last time out, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing just one hit while striking out eight. Miller gets by with a three-pitch repertoire, throwing a curveball and changeup to go along with his fastball that sits at 92-93 MPH. There's plenty of reason to believe his gem against Milwaukee is the start of a breakout 2013 season. Miller was the 19th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, and has seemingly been on the fast track to MLB stardom ever since. He actually entered spring training as a favorite to lock down a spot in the rotation, and he earned Mike Matheny's trust with a strong spring. He's a strikeout pitcher, and it definitely helps a bit that he's on a good team that figures to put him in a position to win plenty of games.
• Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers (Yahoo: 54 percent, CBS: 29 percent, ESPN: 30 percent) -- All you Jose Reyes owners looking for a replacement for the next three months should look no further than Segura. Just 23 years old, Segura is off to a torrid start, hitting .417/.462/.625 with one homer on the young season. He has yet to get going on the basepaths, but he did flash stolen-base ability in the minors, stealing 50 bases back in 2010 and 37 in 2012. In 45 games in the majors last season, he swiped seven bags and was only caught once. The rates appear legit, as well, as he posted a career .313/.367/.439 slash line in the minors. Don't expect him to be available much longer.
• Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds (Yahoo: 24 percent, CBS: 61 percent, ESPN: 2.9 percent) -- With Johnny Cueto set to miss at least one start with an injured right triceps, top prospect Cingrani will make his major league debut in his stead. The 23-year-old has been electric in two starts with Triple-A Louisville this year. In 12.1 innings, he hasn't allowed a run, has struck out 21 batters while walking just two and has surrendered just three hits. That translates to a cool 0.41 WHIP and 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Should Cueto require a DL stint, Cingrani would provide even more fantasy value. There's also a chance he pitches well enough to earn a permanent spot in the majors. Grab him now.
• Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics (Yahoo: 55 percent, CBS: 42 percent, ESPN: 13 percent) -- Moss' early-season power surge should not come as a surprise to fantasy owners. In 296 plate appearances last year, he hit .291/.358/.596 with 21 homers and 52 RBI. He bounced around from the Red Sox to the Pirates to the Phillies before landing with the A's, but the power has always been there. He hit 22 homers in 556 plate appearances at the Triple-A level in 2010, and 23 more in 506 plate apperances in 2011. He benefited from a .359 BABIP last year, so he may not be a huge help in batting average, but he had an 8.8 percent walk rate last year, and that number is up to 11.1 percent thus far this season. He's easily capable of 20-25 homers with an OBP north of .350.
On the flip side, you can safely cut the following players:
• Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants -- Belt is 6-for-45 this year with zero homers. He has walked just once while striking out nine times. Despite hitting the middle of the Giants order, he has managed to drive in just two runs. It's early, but it's already time to give up on him.
• Tommy Hanson, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- Hanson has started two games this year, allowing eight runs in 11 innings. He has kept the walks down, issuing just two free passes, but he has also only fanned six batters. That likely has a lot to do with his plummeting velocity -- his average fastball is clocking in at 88.2 MPH this year. It appears he'll never realize the potential he showed as a youngster in Atlanta.