Third Base (3B) & First Base (1B) Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 19

Brian Polking analyzes fantasy baseball waiver wire sleepers at the first base (1B) and third base (3B) positions for Week 19. These MLB sleeper hitters can have an impact.

Brian Polking - RotoBaller

It’s hard to believe that we are already in the final couple of months of the 2014 MLB regular season. It is now or never for those fantasy owners looking to make a move up the standings and into contention for a title, and while many of the season’s top waiver wire pickups have been snatched up long ago, the good news is that you don’t necessarily need a player that can produce solid numbers for an entire season. A player that finishes the year on a high note can be just as useful, if not more so. With that in mind, I have included some players that have been on a tear in recent weeks in this week’s list of corner infield waiver wire pickups.

 

Third Base Waiver Wire Sleepers

Jedd Gyorko (2B/3B, SD)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

Jedd Gyorko San Diego Padres MLB NewsANALYSIS: He was having a miserable year prior to being sidelined for a couple months with a foot issue, but Gyorko has finally been living up to expectations. Since returning to the lineup, he is hitting .348 with two home runs and seven RBIs in seven games.

Gyorko was a popular breakout candidate into the season, but after disappointing or missing most of the year, he is currently available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.

He is doing his best to make up for lost time, and in deeper leagues, consider scooping him up for the home stretch of the season. He didn’t become one of the top prospects without some legit talent after all.

 

Josh Harrison (2B/3B/OF, PIT)

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues

Josh Harrison Pittsburgh Pirates MLB NewsANALYSIS: His ownership is up to 72 percent in Yahoo! leagues so it’s now or never if you want to have a shot at bolstering your lineup with this multi-category contributor.

Harrison has been on an absolute tear of the last two weeks, hitting .385 with 12 runs, five homers, nine RBIs and two steals.

During the stretch, he ranks fifth among all players on the Yahoo! player rater. For the year, he is hitting .304 with 10 home runs and 13 steals, and his combination of power and speed to go along with his multi-positional eligibility makes him a must-own in all formats.

 

Emlio Bonifacio (2B/3B/OF, ATL)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

ANALYSIS: An injury and a slump at the plate had Bonifacio’s value on the decline and his ownership down to 33 percent in Yahoo! leagues, but he has bounced back in a big way the last couple of weeks. He is hitting .385 with six runs scored and two steals over the last 14 days, and on top of that, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves at the deadline.

While it may take a while for the Braves to figure out how they want to use Bonifacio, the end result is that his at-bats will be coming for a better team the rest of the way, which means more opportunities to score runs and steal bases. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bonifacio ends up taking over the leadoff spot since current leadoff man, B.J. Upton, has a .211 batting average and a .279 on-base percentage. Either way, Bonifacio’s speed makes him worth a look in deeper leagues, and his long-term value could be even better.

 

First Base Waiver Wire Sleepers

Chris Carter (1B/OF, HOU)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / AL-Only Leagues

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:EricEnfermeroANALYSIS: He has been locked in at the plate for the last two weeks, hitting ~.310 with five home runs, 16 RBIs and 11 runs scored. For the year, he is up to 24 home runs, and while his average is only .219, his power is his biggest asset.

Carter bashed 29 homers last season, and he looks like he is going to top that total in 2014. His .219 career average suggests the consistency he has shown the last week or two is a fluke, but the home runs and RBIs could keep on coming.

Carter is owned in 53 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and if you need power, he is worth snatching up, especially in AL-only leagues where power can be at a premium.

 

Lucas Duda (1B/OF, NYM)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

rotoballer-fantasy-baseball-advice-lucas-dudaANALYSIS: Over the past two weeks, Duda has been the second-best first baseman and eighth-best player at any position, according to the Yahoo! player rater. During the stretch, he is hitting .289 with six home runs, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

For the year, he has 20 home runs and 61 RBIs with 19 homers and 55 RBIs coming against right-handed pitching. He is currently owned in 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and fantasy owners in deeper leagues in need of a boost in the power categories should definitely scoop up Duda.

If you take the time to play him solely against righties, his value is enhanced to the point where he can be an asset even in standard formats. He crushes right-handed pitching that well.

 

Mark Reynolds (1B/3B, MIL)

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues

ANALYSIS: He is one of the biggest boom-or-bust hitters in baseball, but for the last week, Reynolds has been in one of his homer-happy zones. He has five home runs in his last 10 games, pushing his total to 19 for the year.

His batting average remains an ugly .208, but if you are looking for a cheap source of power in NL-only leagues, Reynolds can help while he has his power stroke going. Plus, he is only owned in 17 percent of Yahoo! leagues so you can pick him up, ride out the hot streak and then cut him loose when he starts to slump again.

 

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Article by Brian Polking - RotoBaller

I graduated from Ohio State with a BA in journalism in 2003, and I have been writing professionally about sports for a variety of print and online publications ever since. My focus shifted mainly to fantasy sports in 2007, and I have written extensively on the NFL, NBA, MLB and NASCAR. As far as my professional highlights are concerned, I was a finalist for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Racing Writer of the Year Award in 2009 and 2011, and was chosen to write an article for USA Today's Indy at 100 magazine, honoring the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. When I'm not writing, I am usually spending time with my wife and two children. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio where I was born and raised and grew up following and rooting for the Cincinnati Reds. One of my earliest and greatest memories about the team was being allowed to stay up late to watch Jose Rijo and company win the 1990 World Series, and one of my more painful memories was buying playoff tickets in 1995, only to watch the Atlanta Braves completely dismantle my Reds. Today, I'm fully convinced that Joey Votto and Jay Bruce will take the Reds back the top, and I'm still in denial that the San Francisco Giants won three straight games in Cincinnati two years ago to knock the Reds out of the playoffs.

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