Players to watch in mixed league waiver wire
Norris, Morales, Arrieta among potentially available fantasy options
Mixed league waiver wires have two main sources of value for fantasy owners in the coming week. First, there is a deep crop of two-start pitchers who can supply valuable wins and strikeouts. Second, there are a few former sleeper hitters, who started the season slowly but are now showing why they were touted in March.
Catcher, Derek Norris (A's): Norris is an explosive hitter, as he has recorded RBI totals of six, five and four in games this season. The powerful 25-year-old has greatly improved his strikeout-to-walk rate, and he is one of the few catchers who can help in multiple categories.
First baseman, Kendrys Morales (Twins): Perhaps it is because he has not yet homered, but fantasy owners have been slow to add Minnesota's in-season addition. Morales has been very consistent in recent seasons, and owners should be able to count on him to hit for average and supply power in the summer.
Second baseman, Omar Infante (Royals): Perhaps due to injuries and a new environment, Infante got off to a slow start this season. But the 32-year-old collected hits in nine straight games before seeing that streak snapped on Thursday. The career .278 hitter is never going to be a spectacular fantasy asset, but he is a solid injury replacement.
Shortstop, Eugenio Suarez (Tigers): Suarez cooled off during Detroit's recent series in Kansas City, but his overall numbers in 35 at-bats with the Tigers have been very good. The 22-year-old was a productive, patient hitter in the Minors, and he could solidify the bottom of Detroit's batting order.
Third base, Brock Holt (Red Sox): Holt has shown no sign of slowing down, as he has five multihit efforts in his past 10 contests. He has also swiped two bases in his past six games, and he could continue to run the bases aggressively if he can maintain a grip on the leadoff spot.
Outfield, Adam Eaton (White Sox): Because of his May struggles, Eaton fell to waivers in many leagues. He is hitting over .300 this month, but without much power or speed. Eaton has still logged less than 600 at-bats in the Majors, and his Minor League numbers indicate that the steals should come at some point soon.
Outfield, Kole Calhoun (Angels): The 26-year-old was a popular sleeper pick this season, but he has been cast aside in many leagues. It is time to give a second chance to Calhoun, who is hitting .353 with a pair of homers in June.
Outfield, Corey Dickerson (Rockies): Dickerson is taking advantage of his additional playing time by notching multiple hits in four of his past seven games. The 25-year-old can hit for power and average, and he could establish himself as an essential part of the team's lineup before Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer return from lengthy DL stints.
Starter, Jake Arrieta (Cubs): Over his past three starts, Arrieta has allowed one run over 20 innings, with a 27-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He could be a dominant fantasy performer in his two home starts next week.
Starter, Kyle Gibson (Twins): Gibson will have a tough week, with a pair of road starts against the Angels and Rangers. But it's hard for fantasy owners to ignore a starter who has thrown 21 scoreless innings in his past three starts. His strikeout rate is improving, and Gibson gets plenty of ground-ball outs.
Starter, Andrew Heaney (Marlins): The much-hyped prospect looked great in his Major League debut when he held the Mets to one run on four hits over six frames. Fantasy owners can add the rookie for his first two-start week, despite the fact that he faces a challenging road start in Philadelphia and then returns home to battle the heavy-hitting A's.
Starter, Chase Whitley (Yankees): The rookie has allowed just 11 runs in seven starts, and he is starting to work deeper into games. He has allowed just one homer and four walks in 38 2/3 innings, and he should be able to hold his own in starts against the Blue Jays and Rays next week.
Starter, Bartolo Colon (Mets): The 41-year-old has allowed just eight runs over his past six starts, and he has tossed at least seven innings in five of those games. Colon should be highly motivated for a home start against the A's next week, and then he hits the road to face the Pirates, who have not been a consistent offensive group.
Starter, Jeff Locke (Pirates): Locke has allowed just five runs in three straight quality starts, and smart fantasy owners will remember that he had a long stretch of mixed-league usefulness last season. If he can survive a road start against the unimposing Rays, he gets to return home to face the light-hitting Mets.
Starter, Jesse Hahn (Padres): His rotation spot is not secure, but he has pitched well enough that the Padres will likely give him more opportunities. Hahn's Major League and Minor League numbers suggest that he can continue to have success. He lines up for two starts next week, so this is a great time to take the plunge.
Reliever, Cody Allen (Indians): There is not much more that Allen can do to attract the attention of fantasy owners. He is nailing down saves, recording an elite strikeout rate and even pitching multiple innings when the team needs him. The 25-year-old could be one of the best closers in baseball from this point forward.
Reliever, Dellin Betances (Yankees): The 26-year-old old is on pace for a whopping 160 K's, which would be a serviceable total from a starter. Because Betances can supply so many strikeouts, along with an elite ERA and WHIP, he can be used in mixed leagues, even with the knowledge that he will offer no saves and only a few wins.
Fred Zinkie is a Fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.