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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 22

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 22
Jean Segura has started to offer more than just stolen bases

Jean Segura has started to offer more than just stolen bases

A few surprising bounce-back players can help fantasy owners get the most out of the final month of the season.

Ownership totals are in ESPN Leagues as of Saturday

Franklin Gutierrez – OF – Seattle Mariners – 20.7 percent

In 2009, Gutierrez was one of the most valuable players in all of baseball, totaling 6 WAR. Since then, he’s been unable to regain his previous form due to an intestinal health issue, as well as a number of freak on-field injuries.

Against all odds, Gutierrez is not only back in the Majors this season, he’s thriving. In 142 plate appearances, Gutierrez is hitting .315/. 366/.646, which makes him worth taking a look at in all formats.

The bulk of Gutierrez’s fantasy value comes from his power, as 21 of his 41 hits this season have gone for extra-bases, including 11 home runs. Expecting Gutierrez to keep up a .646 slugging percentage might be a little much, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down and appears to be in good health.

While the Mariners have played Gutierrez more regularly recently than when he was called up in June, fantasy owners can use him better as a platoon outfielder. Gutierrez has posted a 194 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season and has a large platoon split for his career.

Jean Segura – SS – Milwaukee Brewers – 41.7 percent

Ever since his strong 2013 season, fantasy owners have been waiting for the talented Segura to break out even more. That’s reflected by the fact that Segura generated fantasy interest before the season despite a miserable campaign at the plate in 2014 and continues to be held in many leagues even with a .268/.291/.336 line this year.

That overall line shouldn’t interest any fantasy owners, but Segura is showing signs that a hot streak may be coming to close out the season. Segura is batting .375 over his past 10 contests with three doubles, a triple and four RBI.

If Segura can start to get on base more and hit for the high averages he did in 2013 and in the minors, he can utilize his speed more. Despite the poor campaign, Segura has 20 stolen bases this season, matching his total from last season.

Expecting much from Segura has let fantasy owners down the past two years, but he’s still just 25 years old and could be a nice low-risk pickup for September.

Josh Tomlin – SP – Cleveland Indians – 26.9 percent

Tomlin was the odd man out of Cleveland’s strong rotation before the season started. Multiple injuries have forced Tomlin to make a handful of spot starts in recent weeks, and he’s pitched well enough to hold on to a back-end rotation spot for the rest of the season.

In four starts this season, Tomlin has recorded three victories while posting a 3.08 ERA and career-high strikeout rate of 26.5 percent. Even with the small sample size of 26.1 innings, Tomlin has looked more impressive over the last few weeks than at any other point in his career.

The big key has been Tomlin’s command, as he’s allowed just two walks in those 26.1 innings. While that number may go up, Tomlin’s 2.39 HR/9 rate is likely to go down more towards his career mark of 1.46

Tomlin doesn’t have overpowing stuff by any stretch, so he needs that excellent command to continue. If it does, he will be a perfectly viable streamer for a few stretch-run starts.

Kevin Jepsen – RP – Minnesota Twins – 32.6 percent owned

After being acquired from the Tampa Bays Rays at the deadline, Jepsen looked to be more of an eighth-inning guy with outstanding closer Glen Perkins around. However, Perkins has been dealing with back spasms for the past few days and will not travel with Minnesota on it’s upcoming 10-game road trip.

That makes Jepsen a logical replacement for Perkins owners or anybody who needs relief help for a couple of weeks. A readily available closer on a winning ballclub is interesting enough, but Jepsen has been lights out since coming to the Twins, increasing his value.

In 15.2 innings with Minnesota, Jepsen has a 1.15 ERA with 14 strikeouts and just seven hits allowed. Jepsen has not allowed a run since his first appearance with the Twins on August 2, and has been spotless in all five of his save opportunities over the past two weeks.

Nathaniel Reeves is a correspondent at FantasyPros. Follow him @njr3701.

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