In deeper fantasy baseball leagues, finding useful batters on the waiver wire can be a very difficult task. With most popular free agent choices already owned, owners in deeper or AL/NL-only leagues often have to dig at even less popular batters for fantasy production. Here's a look at five batters owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues* who are worth adding for Week 18.
C Michael McKenry, Pittsburgh Pirates (9% owned*)
Statistics*: 39/137 H/AB, 17 R, 11 HR, 28 RBI, 0 SB, .285 AVG
After backing up Rod Barajas at the start of the season, McKenry has seen many more starts for the Pirates after the All-Star break. While he's still not the full-time starting catcher, he is a much better hitter than Barajas, which has helped him get more time in the lineup. With 10 home runs in his last 29 starts, he has more power than most catchers and is a solid NL-only option.
2B/3B/SS Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels (7% owned)
Statistics: 54/219 H/AB, 26 R, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 14 SB, .247 AVG
More of a super-sub at the infield positions for the Angels, Izturis has received the bulk of the starts at shortstop with Erick Aybar on the disabled list. Racking up plenty of hits and runs over his last string of starts, he is a versatile short-term option with some added value as an occasional base stealer.
1B/OF Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners (7% owned)
Statistics: 26/120 H/AB, 14 R, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 1 SB, .217 AVG
Given an opportunity to start regularly at first base for the Mariners, Carp has been hot since gaining the role in late July. Since his first start on July 24, Carp has a .351 batting average with six runs scored and seven RBIs. In AL-only leagues, Carp will hold some value as long as he keeps up his hot streak.
OF Scott Hairston, New York Mets (4% owned)
Statistics: 8/26 H/AB, 6 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB, .308 AVG
Despite being a major trade piece available at the deadline, Hairston went nowhere and is still a member of the Mets. Exceptionally lethal against left-handed pitchers, he has started more as of late and was particularly good in the team's recent series against the San Francisco Giants. As a platoon player, he could be a situational starter in the outfield for teams in deeper leagues.
OF Jarrod Dyson, Kansas City Royals (2% owned)
Statistics: 65/240 H/AB, 39 R, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 21 SB, .271 AVG
According to the Kansas City Star, manager Ned Yost says Dyson will platoon with Jeff Francoeur in the outfield, meaning he'll have even more at bats to produce. Already a great provider in runs and stolen bases, this increased playing time will only improve his value in fantasy leagues more than just serving as a two-category provider. While he remains an AL-only option, he could be a major contributor over time.
*Percentage owned numbers for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues and player statistics accurate as of August 4, 2012. H/AB: Hits/At Bats, R: Runs Scored, HR: Home Runs, RBI: Runs Batted In, SB: Stolen Bases, AVG: Batting Average.
Michael McKenry News & Notes, Yahoo! Sports
Mike Carp Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
Jarrod Dyson News & Notes, Yahoo! Sports
Who's Hot, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball
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Austin Chang is a lifelong baseball fan, San Francisco Giants supporter, and fantasy baseball player since 2005 who has been a Top 3 finisher in 70% of the leagues he has played in. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.
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