Garbage Picking

When I was growing up all the kids in the neighborhood couldn’t wait until bulk garbage day.  We would jump on Garbageour bikes and circle the streets looking for a find.  There were streets that didn’t even get a first look either because of the enormous effort it took to pedal up the hill or because of trash that even the dump was embarrassed to have.  Other streets were treasure troves that you literally had to be the first to scope out.  Weight sets, Bicycles, crossbows, (that’s right I know someone that got a cross-bow from the trash) and even entire baseball card collections would be put to the curb.

I was a big collector even at an early age and would search for old pennants, baseball cards, and any and all sports memorabilia. I once got an entire Ebbets field collection from a neighbor who’s wife decided to clean out the garage while he went fishing.  She tossed score books from both the 47 and 55 world series and even a Duke Snider signed Brooklyn Dodgers hat.  I couldn’t wait to of course ruin it by playing actual baseball in it. I can still remember wondering how these people could throw out such useful stuff.  Some of these things like the exercise equipment still had the price-tags on them.

My mind still works the same way when I stare at the waiver wire in my leagues.  Owners hate to be reminded of their bad decisions and having one burn a hole in your bench is tough thing to deal with.  Its the same as seeing your clean laundry hanging off of that Body By Jake workout contraption.  I look at Rickie Weeks and think of how proud the owner was on draft day thinking he had a 20/20 second-baseman who he could pencil in week in and week out.  Mike Moustakas catches the corner of my eye as I scan over the names on the waiver wire and I think of how that GM took the strategy of waiting on a third-baseman and thinking he got 25-30 homers with nice RBI potential way late int he draft.  Then there is the young duo of Eric Hosmer and Brandon Belt.  Owners thought they were going to get some sneaky steals along with power that eventually had to break out.  It had to be this year didn’t it.  I mean Hosmer was a top draft pick with big time power prospects and Belt tore up Spring training pitching this year.

Well it’s June 26th and most if not all of these guys are on the waiver wire.  I can still see the price-tags, just like on the exercise equipment I used to see on bulk day.  Their price tags may read mid round draft pick, but now they are sitting there for free.  If you are in a league that starts a middle-infield position or corner-infield position I would really look to pick up all these guys.   Just because they were someone else’s trash doesn’t mean they cant be your treasure.

Rickie WeeksWeeks has put in a ton of time just working on his hitting mechanics and it is paying off.  Rickie Weeks over the last 30 days is hitting .393 with a .1228 OPS and 5 homers.  That’s in only 56 AB’s as he is in a short term platoon with Scooter Gennett at the moment.  Do you really think Scooter and his .220 BA is going to keep Weeks on the bench going forward?  I thought not.  I would even play Weeks in my utility slot while this hot streak is going.  He may not be stealing bases like he has in the past, but with Hart out indefinitely, A-Ram possibly on the move, and Braun’s status very much unclear, Weeks could be a huge part of the middle of this line-up.

All I heard the first month is” Moustakas is going to hit.”  It sounded like Herman Edwards giving his support to a shaky kicker.  I was still buying in on Moustakas in my deeper leagues until it felt like I was buying a stock of a company that was being looted.  The 0 fors piled up and the homers all but disappeared.  Well here we are in late June and Moustakas has begun to show signs he may come out of it.  Over the last two weeks he is hitting .343 and even starting to get his doubles.  The doubles always come first, and then the homers should start to flow.(at least I hope)  I noticed this early in the year when Kyle Seager was battling to get out of his early season slump.  He had some multi-hit games with a bunch of doubles and before you knew it he was back at respectability.  Moustakas is a guy I would jump on if I was hurting at a corner infield spot.

Brandon Belt obviously has a love/hate relationship with Bruce Bochy.  One night he looks to be back to being a big part of the line-up batting sixth and the next he is batting eighth behind Andres Torres.  Belt has hit .340 over the last two weeks and even contributed a stolen base.  The only problem is he is being jerked around constantly and that can be a huge headache for any owner.  I like Belt a lot, but until Bochy actually recommits to him.  Prop 8 has been shot down as I write this so maybe Bochy can finally step up to the plate.  I am steering clear for the time being unless its an NL only league and in those he is already owned.

Eric HosmerEric Hosmer is really turning a corner.  I wasn’t a believer when his batting average started to tick up because the power was just not there.  Well his stroke is now producing extra base hits and his legs are stealing bases.  Over the last two weeks Hosmer is hitting .294 with a .927 OPS and 3 HR’s and 3 SB’s.  The power and speed combo is what attracted everyone to Hosmer in the first place, so with it finally showing up its time to think about him again.  I’m buying Hosmer in almost all deeper formats.  I don’t think he deserves a roster spot yet in 10 team leagues that don’t start a corner infielder or utility, but another week of this and I’m buying there as well.

Grab your bikes (or smart phones) and go scour your neighborhood (waiver-wire) for your trash treasure.