Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

2B and SS Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 16


After what seemed like an eternity without regular season play, we have finally returned to business as usual from a memorable All-Star break that saw Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Peter Alonso capture the attention of millions around the world and the American League come out on top for the seventh year in a row (and the first game called by a robot umpire in the Atlantic League, if you're into those types of innovations). It's time to forget about all of the fanfare, festivities, and good vibes, because the (unofficial) second half of the 2019 MLB season is upon us, and that means that rosters will be rotating and rearranging at a chaotic pace through trades of all scales and sizes, cunning minor league contracts, and prospect call-ups. With so many changes of considerable impact looming across the league, getting the jump on your competition (who may have lulled themselves to sleep over the past week) could be the difference-maker in your postseason push.

As always, the second base and shortstop positions are notoriously lacking in waiver wire depth and are therefore quite fickle to navigate. Each week of the season, we are going to be taking a look at a slew middle infielders who are worthy of acquisition (or strong consideration at the very least) and are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo Leagues. Staying on top of the injury, roster, and statistical trends regarding the middle infield positions will ensure that your team has robust year-long depth and is ready if a crisis were to arise.

With that, let's have at it and take a look at a fresh batch of second base and shortstop waiver-wire targets for Week 16.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!

 

Pickups for Most Leagues

Rougned Odor (2B, TEX)

42% Owned

Rougned Odor has had the privilege of playing for the offensively robust Texas Rangers once again for the 2019 season, but he himself has only recently gotten his act together at the plate. Despite a solid power/speed mix of 13 home runs and seven stolen bases (on an inefficient 13 attempts), Odor has managed an unsightly slash over his 279 total AB this year of .194/.259/.398. That is all in the past though, because he has hit three bombs with a .242/.257/.606 slash over the last two weeks (33 AB). Although "El Tipo" already has a few seasons of serious power-hitting under his belt, he is still just 25 years old, and the numbers suggest that he is worth buying stock in moving forward for the owners that still have the opportunity.

As is blatantly apparent from his recent performance, Odor hasn't been taking many free trips to first base, and he continues to strikeout at a stratospheric clip (32.4% over the first half). The good news is that this hasn't detracted too heavily, because he has improved his hitting for average while sustaining his power-stroke through some fantastic contact on batted balls. He doesn't have a line drive rate ideal for reaching base frequently, but he held an air-heavy GB/FB ratio of 0.78 over the first half of the season, and he has been turning pitches back at a 16.8-degree launch angle.

His hard contact rate has also been on the rise steadily as the season trudges on while keeping soft contact controllable, and he ended the first half with a 41.5% hard contact rate and 14.8% soft contact rate, culminating in a 90.6 MPH exit velocity and 412-foot average home run distance. Even if he doesn't convert on a high percentage of stolen base attempts, he still racks them up with noticeable volume. That, along with an improved BA and his trusty ability to hit for power are solid cornerstones for a successful conclusion to 2019.

 

Freddy Galvis (2B/SS, TOR)

41% Owned

Over the past three seasons with the Phillies, Padres, and now Toronto Blue Jays, Freddy Galvis has been an absolute iron man in the infield, playing in a combined 412 games and taking 1,547 AB since the start of 2017 despite varying results on offense. He has always been pretty good in terms of power for a middle infielder, but he must've taken a liking to the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, as he has already sent 15 pitches into the stands, stolen four bases in five tries, and hit for a slash of .267/.307/.460 in a team-leading 337 AB. He has kept the spark alive too, going for three home runs, a swiped bag, and a .353/.395/.765 slash over the last 34 AB.

Though he has walked at a better rate in his most recent hot-streak, Galvis has made his living this season despite a relatively low walk rate (5.6%) and high strikeout rate of 22.9%. His soft contact rate reached a peak in the month of June at 18.7%, but he has brought it down to a nearly nonexistent 3.6% so far in July, while his hard contact rate has gone up every month all the way from 32% in April to a concrete 39.3% this month.

His recent approach has been tailored for production across the board, as he has produced a GB/FB ratio of 0.69 so far in July (with 21.4% line drives), and on the year he has produced ideal figures for life in Toronto with a 44.5% pull rate and 14.6-degree launch angle. The Blue Jays have gotten way more than they expected from Freddy Galvis and fellow veteran Eric Sogard in 2019, and they may be looking to flip these two assets in further pursuit of a rebuild at the trade deadline to a squad searching for infield depth. His playing time could take a hit if that happens, but in his current role, don't let a hypothetical future make you miss out on the real results of his current work.

 

Kevin Newman (2B/SS, PIT)

40% Owned

After an uneventful April, Kevin Newman burst onto the scene with a home run, stolen base, and .894 OPS in 74 May AB, and followed it up with an excellent showing in 114 June AB with four homers, four steals, and a .316/.352/.491 slash. In the 33 AB since July kicked off, the pleasantly surprising rookie has slowed down a tad, posting one dinger, one steal, and a power-depleted slash of .303/.324/.394. There is however, a silver lining: Newman has the offensive and defensive characteristics to remain valuable even at times (like the present) of power outages.

Even for a guy who already struggles with hitting for extra bases and is swinging for a lackluster 25.8% hard contact on batted balls this month, Newman still holds a BABIP of .300 through this point in July (which is well below his first-half BABIP of .354). How is this possible, and more importantly, how is it sustainable? For one, his sprinting speed of 28.3 feet per second has allowed him to build up quite a track record of base-path thievery over his professional career (he has six steals in eight attempts this year), and has also assisted him in reaching base safely on batted balls.

In this month of July, he has given himself plenty of opportunities to turn and burn with a 25.8% line drive rate with just 9.8% soft contact being applied to liners on the year. His walk rate has been on the steady decline since the start of the year, but so has his strikeout rate, going from 16% in May to a meager 5.9% so far in July. Even with a high rate of grounders, this level of focus in the strike zone gives Kevin Newman the open window he needs to consistently reach base on hits, and accumulate steals in the process. There may be moving pieces in the Pittsburgh Pirates batting order, but with Newman seeing time at four different positions this season, he reads as a logical investment for the remainder of 2019.

 

Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT)

21% Owned

With four home runs, three stolen bases (in five attempts), and a .283/.337/.411 slash in 314 AB this season, Adam Frazier may appear to be balanced, but lacking too greatly in the overall power (31.8% hard contact and .127 ISO) and speed (27.1 feet per second in sprinting speed) departments to be worthy of a meaningful acquisition. That read may warrant another combing over, as Frazier has been absolutely unconscious at the plate since the start of July (34 AB) with eight XBH (one HR, seven doubles), a stolen base, and a dialed-in slash of .529/.556/.824 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has a very similar, and arguably better formula for consistent base-hitting than teammate Kevin Newman despite the differences in speed, and he has a great foundation for maintaining his current rate of doubles produced.

The former Mississippi State Bulldog has given himself a great scope of opportunity to continue and rake with a solid strikeout rate of 11.5% for the season, and though he often finds dirt as evidenced by his high grounder rate of 49.1%, he is finding the open outfield often with a 27.5% line drive rate and a 42.7% hard contact/6.7% soft contact split on liners for 2019.

He may not have an eyebrow-raising level of natural power or speed, but that isn't much to lose sleep over when he is able to avoid walking away from the plate empty handed and routinely blast the ball into the gaps for singles and doubles. There remains some competition for playing time in Pittsburgh, namely Colin Moran and Jung Ho Kang, but Adam Frazier's reliability and propensity for hard-hit line drives makes him a peace of mind asset moving closer to August.

 

For the Sneaky and Savvy

Luis Urias (2B, SD)

13% Owned

There was a minute scare this week when Luis Urias had to exit an AB for Triple-A El Paso due to an apparent injury, but a large breathe of relief can be breathed now that he has returned to the Chihuahuas lineup as of Sunday. Urias came into 2019 generally regarded as a top-30 prospect, and he has backed those accolades up this season by clobbering opposing pitchers at Triple-A to the tune of 18 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine attempts), and a slash of .316/.400/.595 across 291 AB.

He has definitely struggled in his super brief stint for San Diego, and Ian Kinsler did all that he could to hold on to second base this season, but this call-up borders on inevitable. With the dominance that he is displaying at the highest level of minor league baseball, unless the Padres want to be aggressive deadline buyers, Luis Urias will get the chance to break through over the course of the second half.

 

Bo Bichette (SS, TOR)

12% Owned

As far as up and coming talent is concerned, Bo Bichette is the cream of the crop, and the Toronto Blue Jays seem to be quite eager to test his metal at the big league level. It may seem like a bit of a tight squeeze in the Jays batting order with different young-guns and veterans alike putting up solid offensive figures, but even if they weren't excited and determined to see Bichette in the Rogers Centre soon, they may also be clearing room in the infield with the deadline approaching (as teams have expressed interest in thriving vets Galvis and Sogard).

With his line of five home runs, 12 stolen bases (in 15 tries), and a .302/.364/.491 slash in his first 159 AB for Triple-A Buffalo, Toronto would consider parting the Red Sea for Bo Bichette with not a whole lot to lose or gain in proceeding forward with regular season play. He has had an absolutely golden touch with the bat since entering the professional ranks, and the ability to learn quickly and adapt to his environment could be a nice virtue once he does receive the call.

 

Nick Ahmed (SS, ARI)

6% Owned

With a 2018 Gold Glove distinction and combined defensive WAR of 4.9 over the past two seasons for Arizona, Nick Ahmed has well established himself as one of the top men around the league at the shortstop position. "Slick Nick" is well on his way to the best offensive campaign of his career as well with nine home runs, six stolen bases (in six tries thanks to more careful selection and his sprinting speed of 28 feet per second), and a balanced slash of .265/.315/.429 in 324 AB for the D-Backs.

Though he has produced varying (yet tolerable) figures in the categories of batted ball contact and plate discipline for the year, he has taken it up a notch this far into July with 50% hard contact, a meager 5.6% soft contact rate, a line drive frequency of 22.2%, and a 44.4% pull rate in hitter-friendly Chase Field. This formula has netted a superb .970 OPS with two homers and a steal across the last seven games, and with his glove making him a sure fixture on the field, Nick Ahmed is an astutely reliable and effective (not to mention widely available) option at shortstop proceeding into the final months of the season.

 

Just Checking In...

  • Owners throughout the ecosystem have bought in to what Chris Taylor is selling this season, as he is available in less than half of all leagues, and he has rewarded them for the most part with a consistent power/speed skill set applied in a top-tier batting order. He has however, been mediocre over the past two weeks, and the Dodgers are always strong candidates to bring in late-season help throughout the field. If he is at risk of losing AB, his value could wane down the stretch.
  • If you're still trying to buy stock in Cavan Biggio for the remainder of 2019, the time is running short, with his ownership rate hovering near the 50% point. While his batting average from week to week spans a wide range and the Blue Jays are by no means an elite offense, Biggio has kept the fire stoked with a healthy dose of homers and steals. It is unclear how Toronto is planning on managing the roster moving forward (though Galvis and Sogard are largely considered to be trade deadline commodities), but it is certainly a situation worth keeping an eye on.
  • As disappointed as fantasy baseball managers might be at Jed Lowrie's most recent setback (which means he is far removed from any sort of rehab effort), it probably doesn't touch how disappointed the New York Mets are at all the coin they wasted. Even so, with Lowrie missing the majority of 2019 with no comeback in clear sight, it at least makes the playing time situation less murky for the likely selling squad (although Amed Rosario, Todd Frazier, and especially Jeff McNeil would've erased all of those "difficult decisions" the Mets thought they would face early in the year).

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers


Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!




More Recent Articles

 

ADP Cost Analysis - Gleyber Torres vs. Corey Seager

Fantasy baseball players acquire draft position through osmosis. The more drafts that take place, the larger sample we gain of how owners of all experience levels feel about someone. Granted, inexperienced players often rely on rankings from experts, which goes to form ADP into something resembling common rankings, but the outcome is unimpeachable, collected data... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis – Aaron Nola vs Lance Lynn

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More


2020 Regression Candidates: Breakout Outfielders

Every season in MLB you can count on the fact that you will have breakout performances from players. Sometimes these breakout performances can be seen coming a mile away and sometimes they catch you entirely by surprise. Regardless of which type of breakout we see, you will almost always have to pay up for that... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - Quality Start Episode 1

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) and Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams) of the Turn Two Podcast come together for a new co-pod series called "Quality Start". This will be a joint effort and episodes will be found on Bases Loaded as well as the Turn Two Podcast. We are joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) as well for this one.... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Adrian Houser

In life, there seem to be two kinds of people, the flashy and the boring. “Flashy” people like high-end materialistic things such as nice clothing or an expensive car. "Boring” people prefer the simpler things in life like spending time with their loved ones. This seems to be true when it comes to fantasy baseball,... Read More


Taking Out the Trash: Pitchers Who Should Junk Their Worst Pitch

Pitch mix changes can make or break a player’s season. That obviously goes for fantasy value as well as real-life. We've already seen how throwing an effective pitch more often could make a huge improvement a la Patrick Corbin. Sometimes pitchers just need to eliminate a pitch to see their numbers improve. Consider the following: Mitch... Read More


ADP Showdown – Trevor Story vs. Trea Turner

Pitchers and catchers have officially reported and position player workouts are getting underway, which means baseball season is officially upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

Statcast metrics such as Barrels and Brls/BBE are great ways to evaluate a batter's performance, so it is only natural to assume that the metrics would be predictive for pitchers as well. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is evidence... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - All Things Fantasy Baseball w/ Nick Pollack (@PitcherList)

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is  joined by Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) and they discuss all things fantasy baseball! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More


Finding Combo-Player Values Using Z-Scores and ATC Projections

Towards the end of last season, I asked the question – “Draft Speed or Pound the Power?” Loaded in this seemingly simple query are two contradictory approaches – one for power and one for speed. Power Approach 1: Home run totals are dramatically up in baseball these days. Therefore, there are many power bats available... Read More


ADP Showdown - Whit Merrifield vs Austin Meadows

Spring training is officially underway, which means baseball season is upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already begun dealing with tough draft position decisions. The outfield position is deep as always, but... Read More


2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Third Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More


2020 Dynasty Leagues: Players to Sell (Premium Content)

As draft day approaches in dynasty leagues, the window to sell-high on a big name has never been better. The first days of spring training are a chance to cash in on players who may have hit their peak value before the 2020 season begins. Bartering is a matter of risk vs reward. You hate... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast: Early Round Values

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) and Zach Braff (@BraffZ) and they discuss early round values. They go through and highlight a few players that are going inside the top 150 in ADP that offer a great chance to return profit. Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

NFL Draft Combine Preview: Running Backs

What always seems to be the highlight for fantasy owners as preparations begin before the NFL Draft is the running back position. Owners clamor to get their hands on the new blood in the league as it has recently shown that it can pay off big time. We've seen the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Christian... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC East & North): 2019 Review

We wrap up with our coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Adam Thielen

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As... Read More


XFL DFS Lineup Picks For Week 3: The Checkdown

Check out this week's XFL fantasy football preview including game breakdowns, player analysis, DFS lineup picks and more for week three of the 2020 XFL season. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More


D.J. Chark - Dynasty Price Check

Are you ready for some football? If you are in a dynasty fantasy football league, you most certainly are! The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is a prime opportunity for hardcore owners to evaluate their current team and prepare for their upcoming rookie drafts. We've already looked at young players like Courtland... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Biggest ADP Surprises: Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano review the draft board from RotoBaller's 2020 Way Too Early Mock fantasy football draft. They look at early ADP, reaches, values, and surprises throughout the first 10 rounds. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Quarterback Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target and opportunity risers and fallers, based on the first two weeks of XFL data. Now, it's time to evaluate the quarterbacks, for better or worse. There are few known commodities, even among seasoned NFL fans, at the quarterback position in this league. Relative unknowns like Phillip Walker and Jordan Ta'amu... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Opportunity Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target risers and fallers based on the first two weeks of XFL data. The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are,... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Target Risers and Fallers

The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are, just mere days from Week 3 matchups! With two dates already in the rearview mirror and plenty... Read More


NFL Draft Combine Preview: Quarterbacks

With the Super Bowl now behind us, it is officially NFL Draft season! It's time to speculate on draft picks for teams, who should land where, and which players should be valued over others. This also marks the unofficial start to the 2020 fantasy football season. Getting in the early preparation can give owners a... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More