As the Olympic games are finishing up this week and contestants go back to their home countries, we must remember the important past time of our home country.
The great game of baseball gives us reason to play fantasy. At this point in the season, some leagues are starting their playoffs (two week games) or fighting for the last couple positions in order to make the playoffs.
To still go with the same international flare, here are a few players around the world that could possibly help you in the home stretch.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets
Paulo Orlando, OF, Kansas City Royals (ESPN: 22.5% ownership)
It is very fitting that I chose this baseball player this week on my waiver wire pickups. Orlando is a native of the host nation of Brazil and born in Sao Paulo. He was introduced to baseball by a Japanese-Brazilian physician, as baseball is a sport not primarily played in Brazil. Growing up, he was also a good track athlete and began focusing on baseball in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Orlando has been on fire since August started. He has 23 hits in 55 at bats since the beginning of the month. In the last 15 days, he has 10 runs, two homeruns, five RBIs, three stolen bases and all of this with an OBP of .371. Last year was an average rookie year for Orlando and he may even have more to prove in 2017.
He is now an everyday option for those seeking outfield help. In the beginning of the year, Alcides Escobar held the leadoff position for the Royals. The Royals organization was stubborn all year in keeping him in that position until Orlando came along. Orlando now primarily starts in the outfield and bats leadoff for the Royals.
Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 20.8% ownership)
Originally from Havana, Cuba, Soler defected from Cuba in 2011 to begin playing in the majors. He now resides in Haiti. He became a free agent in June of 2012. There was a big bidding war on Soler’s services. In the middle of June 2012, he ended up signing a nine-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.
In one of the most famous football rants of all time, the late Dennis Green stated, “The Bears are who we thought they were. And we let them off the hook.” Well, Soler is now becoming what the Cubs thought he was and many teams let him off the hook without getting him.
The Cubs recent success can be accounted for by the type of numbers Soler is putting up right now. With Jason Heyward playing horribly and not every day, Soler is getting more and more opportunities in the very versatile Cubs lineup. Since coming off of the DL in the beginning of August, he has nine hits, scored five runs, smacked three homeruns and hit in seven RBIs. The 24-year-old is still young enough to make a big impact in any fantasy lineup.
Adam Ottavino, RP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 28.4% ownership)
Ottavino was born in Manhattan, New York and grew up in Brooklyn. He was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003, but decided to enroll at Northeastern University instead. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he pitched for Team Italy and threw three scoreless innings against Venezuela in his only appearance of the tournament.
While the Colorado Rockies closing role isn’t one of the greatest, Ottavino has taken over it. Carlos Estevez lost the job by blowing his second consecutive save last Monday night. The closing carousel continues this year and it lands on Ottavino. In the last two weeks, he has pitched 6.2 innings, gave up six hits, only one walk and struck out ten guys. All this adding up to two saves.
May your waiver wire pickups lead you to fantasy glory!