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2B and SS Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 15

The All-Star Break isn't for another week, but we've reached the halfway point in terms of games played for most teams. For fantasy managers in head-to-head formats, the runway is even shorter. Still, there's plenty of time to improve your roster.

Most of the players who will be written up in this feature won't be the next breakout star. Some may only be useful for a brief period. A few might not provide any value at all. It's the nature of the beast; if these players were slam dunks, they wouldn't be widely available for free. We're looking for plausible upside with naught but opportunity cost. By considering a wide swath of factors including but not limited to evidence of a change in approach, favorable upcoming schedules, and plain ol' potential, the goal is simply to find as much marginal value as possible.

As a reminder, we'll be looking at pickups for shallow leagues (30-49% rostered) and deeper formats (10-29%), as well as highlighting players in the single-digits who deserve a spot on your watch list at the very least. These are your second base and shortstop waiver wire pickups for Week 15 - July 5 through July 11.

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Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Didi Gregorius, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (46% rostered)

Gregorius returned from a lengthy stint on the injured list on Friday and promptly hit his fifth home run of the year. The veteran's .664 OPS this year is mediocre, but it has come in only 34 games, and he's still managed five homers and 23 RBI. In the five seasons prior to 2021, he averaged a .272-80-25-89-6 line per 600 plate appearances, a track record that suggests much better results in the second half.

Willy Adames, SS, Milwaukee Brewers (39% rostered)

Adames has gone yard in three of his last six games while also scoring nine runs, driving in eight, and stealing a base in that time. The barrage pushed his OPS since joining the Brewers to .916 and led to his rostered rate doubling since last weekend, but he's still available in well over half of Yahoo! leagues. If one of them is yours, you'd do well to remedy that.

 

Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Kike Hernandez, 2B/SS/OF, Boston Red Sox (21% rostered)

Hernandez homered, singled and walked twice in six plate appearances on Saturday. The home run was his fourth in the past week and 10th on the year. While he's had an up-and-down season, the 29-year-old remains entrenched in the leadoff spot for the second-highest scoring team in baseball. That's helped him rack up 40 runs in just 68 contests.

Jon Berti, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Miami Marlins (21% rostered)

Berti has three multi-hit efforts and three stolen bases in his last six games. Across 112 games in 2019-20, the Marlins' Swiss Army Knife swiped 26 bags and scored 71 runs. He's unlikely to be much help in the latter department as he's mostly been buried in the lineup this year, but managers with a need for speed should consider him - particularly since his .227 batting average is a good 25 points lower than his expected mark.

Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies (18% rostered)

It's a bit baffling to see Rodgers still so widely available, given how well he's performed since the Rockies finally decided to give him an extended look. After an initially rough adjustment period, the rookie has hit .342/.420/.605 with five homers and 24 R+BI over the past month. His plate discipline metrics during that time are especially encouraging - 10.2 BB% and just a 15.9 K%.

Jace Peterson, 1B/2B/3B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers (11% rostered)

Hang on, what year is it? Peterson had intermittent periods of utility to deep and NL-only league managers way back in 2015 and 2016 while with Atlanta, but to be honest, I'd forgotten he was still in the majors. He's on his fourth team since then, but the 31-year-old is on a nice little run of later with the red-hot Brewers. With Kolten Wong (calf) on the shelf for the third time already this year, Peterson looks like the guy at second base, and he's swinging like it lately (.432 AVG, 11 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB in the last 14 days). Not likely a long-term play, but adding a scorching bat that can be plugged in at four positions is plenty useful even as a temporary measure.

 

The Watch List

Starlin Castro, 2B/3B, Washington Nationals (8% rostered)

The full-season numbers are unimpressive, but Castro is usually good for at least one extended hot streak per year, and it looks like we're in the midst of it. He's been held without a hit just twice in his last 14 games, hitting .354/.422/.523 with 17 R+BI during that time.



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