Waiver-wire wisdom: 10 players worth adding
Correa joins hurlers slated for a two-start week as top pickups
The Week 11 schedule is the heaviest of the season to date, making it imperative that fantasy owners put their best foot forward for the high volume of action. Owning several two-start pitchers will be a necessity, and hot hitters should be added for the busy stanza. The 10 players listed below should be strongly considered as active-lineup additions.
Carlos Correa, shortstop, Astros: Correa -- who could be a perennial mixed-league first-round pick when he reaches his prime -- has the skills to hit the ground running after his promotion on Monday. The 20-year-old hit .335 with 10 homers and 18 steals in 246 plate appearances in the Minors this season, and his ability to help in all five categories could make him a top-five fantasy shortstop right away. Correa should be immediately snapped up in all leagues, as it is hard to project a more exciting talent emerging from the farm in 2015.
Chris Colabello, first base, Blue Jays: Mixed-league owners would be wise to add a red-hot Colabello, who has hit .341 with 20 RBIs in 129 at-bats since a May 5 recall. The slugger may slow down in the coming weeks, but his tremendous lineup support will help him to retain plenty of value. Toronto has scored 50 more runs than any other team in the Majors, and with its talented sluggers and offense-inducing home park, it could continue to pace the game in said category.
Jake Lamb, third base, D-backs: The third baseman has hit .333 in 42 at-bats this season, after raking at a .327 clip in the Minors last year. By trading Mark Trumbo and moving Yasmany Tomas to the outfield, Arizona showed that it has made Lamb a priority at the hot corner. If the talented 24-year-old continues to hit for average, he could compile plenty of counting stats with the support of the highest-scoring lineup in the National League.
Ender Inciarte, outfielder (D-backs): Despite emerging as the regular leadoff hitter on a high-scoring club, Inciarte has generated little buzz among fantasy owners. The outfielder is hitting .292 with 37 runs scored and eight steals in 255 plate appearances, and the skills he has shown this season are similar to those that he displayed as a rookie a year ago. The 24-year-old could combine a helpful batting average with more than 20 steals and 90 runs, which would make him a helpful asset in virtually all leagues.
Cameron Maybin, outfielder, Braves: Fantasy owners have been waiting for this multidimensional talent to break out for several seasons. The long-awaited emergence may have finally arrived, as Maybin has hit .379 with seven steals, 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored in 96 plate appearances since May 16. The 28-year-old could be teasing fantasy owners again, but his ceiling is high enough to warrant a mixed-league roster spot in hopes that he can maintain most of his recent improvements.
Vincent Velasquez, starter, Astros: The 23-year-old tossed five shutout innings while allowing just three hits and zero runs against the White Sox on Wednesday in his Major League debut. He possesses the dominant stuff to warrant mixed-league consideration despite having skipped the Triple-A level. Velasquez fanned 346 batters in 290 Minor League innings, and despite inconsistent control, he has produced a 3.26 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. The right-hander warrants a mixed-league bench spot while fantasy owners gauge his initial Major League effectiveness.
Trevor May, starter, Twins: The right-hander has been a major part of Minnesota's rise up the standings, having posted a 3.03 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in five starts since May 16. Because May registered a 31-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio during that stretch, fantasy owners have reason to believe that he can maintain most of his recent improvements. He could continue to thrive next week, when he takes on a pair of NL lineups -- the Cardinals and Cubs -- during Interleague Play.
Taijuan Walker, starter, Mariners: Stardom has been long expected for the 22-year-old, but he disappointed fantasy owners by posting a 7.33 ERA in his initial nine starts this season. Walker seems to have flipped the switch during his past three outings, however, allowing a total of four runs on 15 hits with three walks in 22 innings. Next week, the righty will visit pitcher-friendly AT&T Park before returning to his offense-suppressing home venue to face a strikeout-prone Astros lineup. Because of his immense upside and attractive upcoming matchups, Walker should be immediately added in most leagues.
Aaron Sanchez, starter, Blue Jays: Inconsistent control hampered the 22-year-old at the outset of this season, but he has surrendered just eight walks and eight earned runs in 28 innings during his past four starts. In possession of dominant stuff and a strong supporting cast, Sanchez could be a mixed-league difference-maker if he can maintain his recent control gains. With two starts scheduled for the coming week, the righty warrants consideration by mixed-league owners who need to spark their pitching staff.
Carson Smith, reliever, Mariners: Smith has picked up a pair of saves since being named in this space last week, and manager Lloyd McClendon has become more accepting of the idea of a Seattle bullpen without Fernando Rodney at the anchor. McClendon has left the door open for Rodney to regain the closer's gig at some point, but it is hard to project redemption for a reliever who has a 1.40 WHIP since the outset of the 2013 season. Smith -- who has registered a 1.38 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP this year -- possesses the dominant stuff to run away with the stopper's role and emerge as a second-tier closer.