a 2009 NL Pickups: A look at 5 game changing Players in the NL
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5 NL Waiver Wire Pickups



  • Ryan Franklin (Cardinals)

As it stands now Franklin is the closer. How long this gig will last is anyone’s guess, but for now he should be owned in every league because LaRussa is giving him the call late in games after the disastrous start by Jason Motte. Keep an eye on the situation though, because it is likely to fluctuate throughout the season. Don’t forget about Chris Perez, who could also close as well for the Cardinals. Franklin doesn’t necessarily have eye-popping stuff, but he gets the job done and so far has yet to give up a run.

  • Milton Bradley (Cubs)

This may seem like someone you wouldn’t find on the waiver wire, yet I see teams dropping Bradley after his bad start and latest slew of injuries. Look, Bradley has never been known for his durability, however, his production when on the field has been superb throughout his career and he mashed the ball in spring games for the Cubs. Don’t read too much into his slow start. Bradley can still hit with authority. If nothing else, stash him on your bench until he resumes playing, as he is too talented to not be owned in every league.

  • Michael Bourn (Astros)

The old saying “you can’t steal first base” has certainly applied to Bourn throughout his career. Bourn has shown much more patience at the plate this year, already having drawn 8 walks. While Bourn may still be a 1 category player, he is still extremely useful if he can continue to keep his batting average above .270. The Astros are a team that likes to run under Cecil Cooper, and Bourn being the speedster that he is will almost always get the sign to take 2 nd base when he’s sitting on 1 st. If you left the draft without any speed, take a flier on Bourn.

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  • Mat Gamel (Brewers)

Gamel will get called up sooner rather than later, and even though Bill Hall has been playing well, the Brewers will find some way to get his bat into the lineup. Luckily for us most fantasy leagues don’t include a players’ defense and fielding, as Gamel has hands of stone at third base. He might get moved to outfield, but his potential to make a huge big league impact at the plate is why you need to start considering him. He can make a Ryan Braun type impact at the plate, most likely with less power and a better average.


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  • Randy Wolf (Dodgers)

For this week only, I’m buying on Randy Wolf. He has the comfort of an excellent Dodgers lineup to give him run support, and he gets to pitch against the Giants and Padres. Both lineups lack fearsome hitters, save the Padres with Adrian Gonzalez, but even still both parks he will be pitching at are very pitcher friendly. Wolf isn’t flashy but he is serviceable, and you could most likely pickup 2 in the win column this week if you start him.


By Joseph Kelley
MLBcenter.com Staff Writer

> View all of the 2008 MLB team previews from Pro Baseball Fans