Fantasy Baseball Free Agent Pickups 2014: Justin Smoak, James Paxton, Emilio Bonifacio, Brad Miller Best Waiver Players

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Apr 03, 2014 11:09 AM EDT
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Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak
Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) watches his 3-run ninth inning homer against the Los Angeles Angels during an opening day baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim."

The fantasy baseball season is here and through Week 1 of MLB games, some of the top waiver free agent pickups include Justin Smoak, James Paxton, Brad Miller, Emilio Bonifacio and Aaron Harang, as all those players have had a great start to the season and could be excellent options to snag in deeper leagues as sleeper players for this season.  

The Seattle Mariners are coming into 2014 with some high expectations and through three games the team has lived up to that and that is why names in Justin Smoak, James Paxton, Brad Miller and Dustin Ackley should be looked at by fantasy owners as potential pickups. Miller showed some power last season as a rookie, while Paxton is a highly touted pitcher from the organization and Smoak has been called a breakout candidate for years and has yet to live up to that potential. Smoak has the job of protecting Robinson Cano, as he hits after the newly signed second baseman and the Mariners feel that this is the season he can turn around and after having just six RBIs all of last April, Smoak has bested that number in three games and also had two home runs already against the Angels.

Smoak was part of the Cliff Lee trade with the Rangers and after having a couple of disappointing years with flashes of talent, it looks like this could be his Alex Gordon breakout season. Gordon broke through two years ago after being a top prospect and now Smoak looks to be doing the same, hitting a three run double in the second game of the season and that came after a three run home run in the season opener against the Angels and that have him as many RBIs now as he had through a month last season and he has continued after a strong spring. Last season Smoak didn't hit his first home run until the 23rd game of the year and now he has shattered that pace.

James Paxton is another name to watch, as he had a strong debut at the end of the season last year and he went 3-0 and now he is 1-0 in 2014 after pitching seven scoreless innings against the Angels and getting a win with nine strikeouts. Paxton was considered the third man with Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen and now he is the first to strike in 2014 and he could be an anchor for the Mariners rotation this season. Paxton will play the Angels again next week when the Mariners open at home and the fans are hoping for more of the same.

Bonifacio has started the season hot and the speedy player now has gone 4-for-5 and 5 for 7 over the first two games of the season and he should continue that as the Cubs leadoff man,. He can steal bases and now he could be the steal of the free agent market. Bonifacio is hitting .750 this season already and has three stolen bases, while Miller is another option, as he hit two home runs in the second game of the season for the Mariners and in that game he went 2 for 5 with two home runs and three RBI. Miller had a great spring and that won him the starting SS job and now he has the chance to continue raking.

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