Old names, new values

When surfing through the waiver wire, people tend to skip over stale, unappealing names despite good numbers accompanying them or recent upticks in value due to injuries or trades.  Guys like Magglio Ordonez, Vernon Wells, Jose Guillen and Scott
Podsednik
are names that possessed similar unattractiveness heading into 2010, but now have fantasy teams riding high.  While it may feel unpleasant, there’s a few oldies but goodies still out there who can help you out. 

carlos guillen.jpg

Carlos Guillen
of the Tigers now has a five-game hitting streak after going 2-for-4
with a run scored Tuesday night, bringing his average up to .291. While
his one homer, five RBIs and eight runs scored won’t exactly jump out
at you, it’s time to start keeping an eye on the once-prolific
offensive threat.  The 34-year-old outfielder/designated
hitter was a forgotten man heading into 2010 after struggling through
two straight injury-plagued seasons.  He did, however,
quietly stroke 11 dingers while driving home 34 in just 52 games from
July-September last season, showing there’s still a little pop left in
his bat.  Guillen is currently batting fifth in the Tigers
lineup with four guys hitting a combined .326 ahead of him, so he
should have ample RBI opportunities.  At the very least, Guillen is currently worth a flier in AL-only leagues.

After going 2-for-4 with a solo homer yesterday, Andruw Jones is now batting .323 with four homers and seven RBIs in 31 at-bats with the White Sox.  Attempting to revive his career after compiling a mindboggling .190 average in 490 at-bats over the past two seasons, the 33-year-old is looking good so far.  He showed some life in 2009 when he socked 17 long balls in 82 games with the Rangers, but a .214 average rendered him somewhat of an afterthought in the offseason, and he quietly settled with a DH role in Chicago.  The one thing holding him back is a crowded outfield and manager Ozzie Gullien’s soft spot for Omar Vizquel, all of which take away starts from Jones.  With Vizquel hitting .125, and fellow outfielders Juan Pierre and Carlos Quentin hitting a combined .192, it’ll be hard for Gullien to keep Jones out of a struggling lineup going forward, as he currently holds the team lead in average by 54 points.

christian-guzman-is-fat.jpg

This one is painful to even write about, but you can’t really ignore Cristian Guzman much longer.  A 4-for-5 performance Tuesday night put him at a .362 clip with nine runs scored and six RBis in just 10 starts.   After rendering Guzman a backup to Ian Desmond and Adam Kennedy, Nats manager Jim Riggleman came to his senses and has started Guzman for nine straight games around the keystone.  Guzman’s responded with six multi-hit games, and has eight hits and four runs scored over his last three.  The 32-year-old (how is he possibly only 32???) batted .301 from 2008-2009 with solid run totals, and his value is boosted by eligibility at second base and shortstop.  If you need some help at the thin middle-infield positions, give the underappreciated Guzman a chance. 

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With the news coming down Tuesday that Angels catcher Jeff Mathis will be out at least 6-8 weeks with a fractured right wrist, it appears Mike Napoli will finally, FINALLY get his chance to be the everyday backstop for an extended period of time.  After two years of frustrating the fantasy world with tantalizingly strong power numbers, but exasperatingly sporadic playing time, Napoli had seemed to hit rock bottom in 2010.  Mathis had started 10 of the team’s 14 games, hit safely in all of them, and sported a .324 average which all but buried Napoli and his 3-for-19 clip to begin the year.  Napoli was dropped like a bad habit in fantasy leagues everywhere. However after Mathis’ injury, manager Mike Scioscia will have no choice but to play the guy who crushed 40 homers with 105 RBIs and 99 runs scored in just 609 at-bats from 2008-2009.  Now Napoli will get two months to show what he’s capable of, and you can bet he goes deep around 10 times over that span.  If you’re stuck with a guy like Ryan Doumit or Geovanny Soto as your fantasy backstop, now’s the time to pick up Big Naps. 

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