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2B and SS Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 22

Six weeks remain in the 2021 season. That's a short runway, but it's still a significant chunk of games, both in amount and importance. Most leagues' trade deadlines have already passed as well, leaving the waiver wire as fantasy managers' only recourse to improve their rosters.

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 22 - August 23 through August 29.

 

Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Amed Rosario, SS/OF, Cleveland Guardians (44% rostered)

Rosario went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored on Saturday. He's got an eight-game hitting streak going, with multiple base knocks in five of the last six contests. You'd like to see some more activity once he's on base - he hasn't attempted a steal since August 4 - but with his average up to .285 and the run production solid (101 R+BI in 112 games) he can provide value even without thievery.

Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, New York Mets (38% rostered)

Like Rosario, Villar isn't running as often as we might prefer or are used to seeing from him, but he's still already notched double-digits in both homers and steals for the fifth time in the last six years. That's despite not always having an everyday role in the lineup. With both Francisco Lindor (oblique) and Javier Baez (back) nearing returns to action, Villar's piece of pie will undoubtedly shrink, but he'll be productive when he plays.

Luis Urias, 2B/3B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers (36% rostered)

Urias has been quiet the last few games, but still ranks among the game's best middle infielders in August. Since the calendar flipped, he owns a gaudy .341/.372/.659 line with three homers and 18 R+BI in 14 games. Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that he's struck out just three times in 41 at-bats.

 

Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, Oakland Athletics (26% rostered)

Harrison doubled, scored a run, and stole a base on Saturday. As a result, he is now hitting .292/.366/.430 in what can only be described as a remarkable comeback season. In the three years prior to this one, the versatile veteran had produced a middling .630 OPS and bounced around between Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Washington. Now getting regular playing time with a contender, Harrison doesn't leap off the page in any one category but offers solid production across the board.

Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals (12% rostered)

Lopez collected three hits and stole two bases in a win over the Cubs on Saturday. This was the third time in less than a week that he'd stolen multiple bases in a game - he has seven in his last five contests and nine in his last 12. Managers with a need for speed should look no further. Even if Adalberto Mondesi (oblique) is able to stay on the field in his latest attempt to return to action, Lopez could continue to draw regular starts at second base.

 

The Watch List

Willi Castro, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Detroit Tigers (7% rostered)

Castro predictably hasn't been able to live up to his 2020 breakout, but he does have two homers and two steals in his last seven games.



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