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1B and 3B Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 22

Teams are making runs, and it is changing the landscape of the playoffs. The New York Yankees have won nine in a row, leapfrogging the Red Sox into most comfortable position for an AL wildcard spot. The Atlanta Braves have won seven straight, all but securing the playoff spot associated with winning the worst division in baseball. As teams like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and the Dodgers continue to win in the NL as well, San Diego's losing streak makes it likely the Padres miss the playoffs entirely.

Earlier in the season, it would have been hard to believe that San Diego would be on the outside of the postseason. Fantasy teams don't fall victim to such impactful swings because there are too few matchups to begin with. Nevertheless, if you see your competitors making runs as you struggle through a losing streak, go out and look for a waiver add that could swing momentum back.

For our purposes in this column, we are looking at Yahoo!'s rostered percentages, as well as its positional eligibility. We are searching for useful players rostered in fewer than 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues. With that being said, below are my first base and third base waiver wire pickups to consider for Week 22 - August 23 through August 29.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Nick Solak, Texas Rangers

22% Rostered

The return call-up has come. Solak was called back up to the majors this weekend. He collected multiple hits in that first outing Saturday. Solak's numbers are bad, but we know he has the skills to succeed. It is just a matter of fixing what previously ailed him. The former top prospect was supposed to be a big-time bat, with plate discipline, contact, power, and speed. His first chance in the bigs in 2019 showcased much of his scouting profile. Later outcomes have been less positive, but it isn't time to give up yet.

When Solak was sent down this year, he played 22 games in Triple-A, crushing the ball. It led to his eventual return. If the picture reminds you of Keston Hiura, you are not alone. Hiura caught me a few times until I was finally able to quit him. Fool me three times, shame on me again. Solak will get that same second and third chance with me until he proves he can no longer draw walks at a high clip, and won't be putting quality contact on the ball. Maybe that will be the case, but it's worth the risk that it won't be.

 

Tyler Wade, New York Yankees

17% Rostered

Thanks to two factors, Wade keeps finding himself in the Yankee lineup. For one, New York is still without a slew of regulars, including Gleyber Torres (thumb), Gio Urshela (hamstring), and Clint Frazier (head). Secondly, Wade's flexibility allows him to cover for nearly any and all open slots in the lineup and on the field. The only positions he is not eligible for are catcher and first base.

When Wade does get into the lineup, he is providing real, three-category production. In August, he is hitting .433, with eight runs scored, and six steals. With the exception of Starling Marte, no one in the league has been on a tear like that, providing such high production in steals and batting average specifically.

The days off hurt lineup planning, but if a fantasy roster has its own flexibility to fill the spot when Wade sits, his production has been worth having him around.

 

Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies

16% Rostered

Connor Joe is a 29-year-old rookie with just eight previous games of MLB experience prior to 2021. He suddenly finds himself as the everyday leadoff hitter for Colorado. Such are the benefits of playing for a struggling club. Joe was a first-round pick when he was drafted in 2014, but you'd be forgiven for not knowing his pedigree.

Instead of an afterthought, Joe is raking. He is making high-level contact and has reached an exit velocity of 113.3 mph. His 10.9 percent walk rate and 11.2 percent barrel rate speak to staying power. All the samples are still small, but there is nothing to scare us away other than his lack of past opportunities.

 

The Repeats

Andrew Vaughn (37% rostered) can't crack the 40 percent threshold. He's been hitting in the middle third of the Chicago order quite often and is playing nearly every day. The more chances he gets, the more those home run and power numbers are going to creep up.

Even Brandon Belt (30%) has fallen into the San Francisco platoon and roster crunch. The Giants simply have too many guys playing well. Luckily, Belt is on the favorable side of the platoon, playing against righties, and is batting in the middle of the order whenever he gets a start.

Back healthy after a brief injury, Josh Harrison (26%) is going to continue to play and continue to hit. Overcome the general malaise that comes with adding him and pull the trigger.

Who is unhappily dropping Patrick Wisdom? His rostered percentage has come down to 25 percent. We know what he is and what he does: socks dingers. And they keep coming.

Carter Kieboom continues to play well. At six percent rostered, few are giving him a chance, but he deserves it. We know he's going to be in the lineup the rest of the way, and his August numbers have been very good. With a better than 1-to-2 walk-to-strikeout rate this month, his plate discipline alone has been impressive.



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