Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
If you had the opportunity to obtain the sixth-best offensive player over the last month, without having to give up a player in trade, you'd be crazy not to make the move wouldn't you?
So it's hard for me to believe that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Juan Rivera is still available for pickup in almost 40% of all fantasy leagues. What are you guys waiting for?
It's certainly understandable that Rivera wasn't drafted (Average Draft Position of 324), after all he got just 256 at-bats last season and hit .246. He did show a little pop, hitting 12 home runs or one home run every 21.3 at-bats, but he just didn't get enough playing time to be have much fantasy value.
That all changed in 2009 with Garret Anderson taking his 557 at-bats to Atlanta.
Rivera got the opportunity to shine early in the season and after hitting .297 in April really got it going in May - hitting .319 with four HRs and 13 RBIs. With outfielder Vladimir Guerrero sidelined for most of May and slow to return to form in June, it was Rivera and Torii Hunter who carried the offense for the Angels. Rivera hit .290 with eight homers and 24 RBIs in June. Rivera has still gotten plenty of at-bats in July and has rewarded manager Mike Scioscia by hitting .394 so far this month.
History says Rivera's best production is still ahead of him. For his career, he has batted .269 with an OPS before the All-Star break of .773 and .307 with an OPS of .849 after it.
If you're struggling for outfield production or just looking for a strong DH, you should quickly move to put Rivera on your roster.
2009 Juan Rivera Batting Statistics by Month