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1B and 3B Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 6

As the calendar flips into May, you might find yourself struggling to remain patient with underperforming players on your fantasy teams. Some of those players may not deserve the benefit of the doubt, but many do.

There's always room for improvement, and if you've determined that a player falls into the former category RE: doubts and their attendant benefits, this column is designed to help you choose the next man up. Whether you're patching up leaks on the boat or just looking to make gains on the margins, you've come to the right place.

As a reminder, our focus here is on players who are below 50% owned in Yahoo leagues, and standard 5x5 scoring. Your mileage may vary, in terms of availability or league settings. Using that cutoff point for ownership rate, however, these are your corner infield waiver wire targets and adds for Week 6 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

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Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Danny Santana (1B/2B/OF, TEX) — 35% Owned

Remember this guy? Way back in 2014, a then 23-year-old Santana hit .319/.353/.472 with seven home runs and 20 stolen bases in just 430 plate appearances. He hasn't had more than 277 MLB plate appearances or an OPS above .606 since, and has spent significant time in the minor leagues as a result. He's worked his way into the rotation with the Rangers, though, and while his current .333/.366/.576 line is absolutely propped up by a .422 BABIP, he does have five steals in just 17 games, along with three homers. The latter is unlikely to continue, but he is hitting more fly balls than usual, so there might be some stealthy pop in here to boot.

Ryan McMahon (1B/2B/3B, COL) — 30% Owned

May is only just beginning, but so far my tepid spring enthusiasm for McMahon has borne out to the dismay of many fantasy owners. Here's the thing, though - a chunk of that reticence was over playing time concerns. This being the Rockies, those may never really go away, but McMahon has definitely taken the bulk of the opportunities from a scuffling Garrett Hampson. And while he has been fairly blah in terms of results, he's drawing lots of walks and making a good amount of hard contact. With Coors to assist, the latter should lead to improved results eventually. While you wait, McMahon is a nice bench piece to have given his positional flexibility.

Jay Bruce (1B/OF, SEA) — 27% Owned

If you can stomach the putrid .186 batting average, the current American League home run leader is free to add in nearly three-quarters of Yahoo leagues right now. Despite that low average (and a correspondingly gross .259 on-base percentage) Bruce has tallied 39 R+BI in 29 games as well. If and when he stops hitting this many bombs, things can and probably will get ugly. But in the interim, free counting stats folks!


Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Jake Bauers (1B/OF, CLE) — 20% Owned

The results may be underwhelming, but Bauers still running a walk rate in the double digits and has cut his swinging strike rate by over 30 percent from a year ago. That's helped him add a few dozen points to his batting average, bringing it into the tolerable range. He has also chipped in three homers and two steals, with respectable run production given that he's primarily featured in the bottom third of the Cleveland batting order. Bauers is still just 23 years old and has realistic 20/15 potential, so some patience is merited.

Nathaniel Lowe (1B, TB) — 19% Owned

Speaking of patience, the Rays are known to bring their prospects along at a pace a glacier might find too gradual. That made Lowe's call-up last week something of a surprise, particularly since both Ji-Man Choi and Avisail Garcia are performing respectably at the moment. The Rays are in command of the AL East at the moment, though, so perhaps a bit of urgency is prudent. Lowe didn't have a great first week - just four hits in 23 at-bats, only one of which went for extra bases - but he slashed .300/.444/.543 in a limited Triple-A sample to begin the year. That follows a Double-A performance in 2018 wherein he posted a 1.051 OPS and homered once every four games while concurrently walking more than he struck out.


For Your Radar

Eric Thames (1B/OF, MIL) — 13% Owned

Thames' momentum toward re-taking the Brewers' first base job has stalled a bit in the wake of signs of life from Jesus Aguilar. However, he's still hitting .246/.361/.478 with five homers and 30 R+BI in just 83 trips to the plate. Keep a close eye on this situation in the coming weeks, and be ready to grab Thames if and when Milwaukee makes the move.

Brandon Drury (2B/3B, TOR) — 5% Owned

Entering Sunday's action, Drury was hitting .327/.353/.714 with five home runs over the prior two weeks' worth of games. That his overall line remains ugly is a testament to how lousy he was prior to the hot streak, but he managed to hang around in the lineup anyway even after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. came up to take the starting job at third base. That's paid off for Toronto, and while this is almost certainly a hot streak, Drury at least merits a spot on the watch list just in case.

Rowdy Tellez (1B, TOR) — 4% Owned

Staying north of the border to close things out. Tellez should never see a left-handed pitcher bearing down on him, but he's acquitted himself well as the Jays' primary DH since they traded Kendrys Morales. The rookie is hitting .258/.318/.485 with six homers and 31 R+BI in 29 games. There will be strikeouts, and a lot of them, but when he connects, it's typically loud.

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