Every April there's a daily rush to the waiver wire.
Who got overlooked in the draft? Who got off to a cold start and was prematurely dropped by an impatient owner? Who started off hot, but didn't pique enough interest to get picked? Get 'em while can.
But as May approaches, impact players left on the waiver wire are at a minimum. But there's always help waiting in the minors.
The tricky part is how long you want to go to battle with a dead spot on your roster, waiting for your young stud to get his call to the starting gate. I went through it last year with the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo. I had him stashed on my bench for weeks and weeks, and those lost RBIs and runs I would have gotten from just having an average major-leaguer in that spot came back to haunt me.
You can't always predict when a team will call up a prospect. And the waiting game is no fun to play. But it's part of the game.
Whether you need to jump-start your struggling team or bolster an already-strong squad, here's a few minor leaguers worth securing over the coming days:
'¢ Wil Myers: The consensus best player in the minor leagues. Tampa Bay is in the bottom third in the majors in runs scored, and their spark plug is waiting down in Durham.
He's been hitting the ball well (.333 through Friday) and there's no roadblock for the outfielder in St. Petersburg. Yunel Escobar is scuffling at short and right fielder Ben Zobrist can easily slide in there. Matt Joyce is the left fielder and Shelley Duncan tops the depth chart at DH. In other words, whenever you're ready Rays.
'¢ Daniel Straily: I've picked him up in every league I could. He had a dominant first start of the season while keeping a rotation spot warm for the returning-from-suspension Bartolo Colon. He then went to the minors and made three more starts — three wins, two earned runs, 20 strikeouts and 11 hits allowed in 18â ¢ innings.
Colon has never been the picture of health (or even fit in the picture in the first place), Brett Anderson is a DL trip waiting to be booked and Jarrod Parker has an 8.10 ERA. Straily will find his way back to Oakland very soon.
'¢ Mike Zunino: The Seattle catching prospect has been targeting a mid-2013 call-up since the offseason, but the Mariners' weak bats only make it more inevitable.
'¢ Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales are the C-1B-DH triangle right now, but Montero is hitting .208 and Smoak is at .221, each with just a homer apiece. Morales is having a better offensive season so far, and is more established, so Zunino's arrival will send Smoak and Morales into a battle for one spot. The loser will find themselves on the bench, or back in the minors.
'¢ Nick Franklin: Another Mariner on the horizon. Brendan Ryan already got kicked out of the shortstop spot this week in favor of Robert Andino. Andino will be forced out by Franklin.
Franklin is hitting .388 with two homers and three steals in 49 at-bats this season, including a 5-for-5 performance on Thursday. He will be a part of the upcoming Mariners makeover. Move that bus.
'¢ Allen Webster: Webster came to Boston in the blockbuster trade last summer and already made one quality start for the Red Sox last weekend when they needed him for a doubleheader. When you're a John Lackey injury away from getting the call, make sure your bags are already packed.
'¢ Billy Hamilton: He stole one hundred and fifty-five bases last season. I know AP style dictates to use a numeral with any number over nine, but I want to be sure you don't think that's a typo. One hundred and fifty-five.
The current starting shortstop on the Reds is hitting .198.
Batting average and stolen-base numbers should never be that close. Make the move.
Mike Wollschlager can be reached at . Follow Mike on Twitter @.