There is a blend of youth and experience in this week's list of potential waiver wire pickups and sleepers at the corner infield spots, as both rookies and veterans that are widely available have been producing solid numbers so far in 2014. One of the beauties of fantasy baseball is that the player pool is so large, even in NL-Only and AL-Only formats, that it is almost always possible to find a player or two that can address a particular need. In fact, there is at least one player in this week's group of corner infield pickups that can help out in all five offensive categories of a typical 5x5 league. The key is to know which categories your team is lacking in and to target players that can help on those areas.
Third Base Waiver Wire Options
Yangervis Solarte (3B, NYY)
BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Formats, Deeper Mixed Leagues
ANALYSIS: Solarte continues to be one of the biggest surprises of 2014, and he is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak that has pushed his average up to .336. For the year, he has 3 home runs and 22 RBIs to go along with 15 runs scored, and he has been one of the most consistent hitters in the Yankees' lineup.
Despite the solid across-the-board production, Solarte is only owned in 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He has been a top-15 option at third base so far, and it certainly doesn't hurt his value that he is also eligible at second base and shortstop. Even if you are set at those positions, Solarte could make a solid utility option off the waiver wire in AL-Only leagues or deeper mixed leagues.
Mike Olt (3B, CHC)
BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting in Mixed Leagues, Add in NL-Only Formats
ANALYSIS: The 25-year-old is hitting just .187 with 32 strikeouts and only 7 walks this year so it's no surprise he is owned in just 4 percent of Yahoo! leagues. However, the rookie has flashed some power potential, belting 8 homers in just 91 ABs. He is also coming off the best week of his young career that saw him hit 4 homers and drive in 8 runs in his last six games. His batting average is still too low to be worth owning at this point, but Olt has slowly been approaching the Mendoza line, and any player that is hitting a home run every 12 at-bats is worth keeping an eye on. If you are hurting for power in an NL-Only league, keep an eye on Olt to see if his recent surge is a sign of things to come.
D.J. LeMahieu (3B, COL)
BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Formats
ANALYSIS: The Rockies are leading baseball in just about every offensive category, and LeMahieu has been one of the many beneficiaries. His .287 average is right in line with his career mark of .283, but thanks to regular at-bats and Colorado's entire lineup mashing the ball, LeMahieu is on pace to score 79 runs and drive in 56 RBIs. Those totals would more than double his previous career-highs, and he could also push 20 stolen bases. LeMahieu won't overwhelm in any particular category, but he can help out in the average department while providing some runs and steals. If you are in an NL-Only league and need a boost in any of those categories, LeMahieu is just 9 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
First Base Waiver Wire Options
Casey McGehee (1B, MIA)
BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Formats, Deeper Mixed Leagues
ANALYSIS: He finally got rid of the goose egg in the home run column, but despite just a single homer in 2014, McGehee ranks fourth among third basemen with 26 RBIs this year. He also ranks in the top 10 at the position with a .299 batting average, and he has been right around the .300 mark all year. McGehee is regularly being slotted right behind Giancarlo Stanton in Miami's lineup so it's not like the RBI opportunities should be going away any time soon. Granted, his lack of power hurts his value to a degree, but McGehee has been a solid two-category contributor and one of the best RBI guys at his position so far. He is only owned in 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and unless you are starving for power, he can help out in NL-Only leagues.
James Loney (1B, TAM)
BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues, Deeper Mixed Leagues
ANALYSIS: Loney keeps plugging away at the plate, and he is currently hitting .316 with 22 RBIs and 15 runs scored. The production doesn't seem to be helping his ownership any as he is rostered in just 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and while the fact that he has just one home run has likely played a role in him flying under the radar, Loney has been a steady contributor in three other offensive categories.
Perhaps more importantly, Loney is hitting .314 against lefties and .316 against righties so he is the type of player that can be left in your lineup regardless of the matchup. Scoop him up in AL-Only leagues, or deeper mixed leagues, and enjoy the steady numbers.
Adam LaRoche (1B, WAS)
BALLER MOVE: Add in All Formats
ANALYSIS: A recent trip to the DL has dropped his ownership to 53 percent in Yahoo! leagues, but his quad strain shouldn't keep him sidelined too long. Meanwhile, LaRoche has more than enough upside on offense to warrant taking a peek at the waiver wire in your league to see if he is available. For the year, he is hitting .319 with 5 homers, 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored to go along with a .925 OPS. Not to mention that we are talking about a guy that has hit at least 25 home runs and has driven in at least 100 runs twice in his last three full seasons. LaRoche is currently ranked 70th overall on the Yahoo! player rater, and even though he is on the DL right now, there is no reason he shouldn't be stashed in all formats until he returns.