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2B/SS Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball Week 1

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We made it! After a long offseason which included a lockout that delayed Opening Day, we finally got through draft season and baseball graced our lives once again. That can mean only one thing, time to hit the waiver wire and replace some of those bums we drafted!

I kid, of course, we don't want to react too much to a tiny sample size, but we also don't want to miss the boat on potential impact players when the wire is at its deepest. The first few games always reveal hidden gems we may not have seen coming during Spring Training, and early-season pickups have a chance to help our teams for months to come. Thus is the balancing act of the waiver wire in April.

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 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups for Week 1 - April 11 through April 17.

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

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Gavin Lux, 2B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (54% rostered)

I'll cheat a little bit here and include Lux even though he's just above the roster percentage threshold stated above. Lux has been a top prospect for a very long time and while he's had problems staying in the lineup, that was mostly due to the incredible depth of talent in Los Angeles. This season, the Dodgers have Lux penciled in as their starting second baseman and if he's available in your league he should be added.

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (37% rostered)

What can we deduce from a sample size of just five batted balls? Usually, not much. However, in the case of Cruz, we can see he possesses an elite skill that few Major Leaguers have. In five batted balls last season, Cruz hit two balls over 118 MPH. That maximum exit velocity ranked seventh in baseball among the likes of Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso. Cruz is the third-ranked prospect in a loaded Pirates farm system and there will be a mad scramble to pick him up when he gets the call to Pittsburgh. Beat the rush, stash Cruz before that happens.

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Bryson Stott, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (17% rostered)

The top-ranked prospect for the Phillies made the Opening Day roster and promptly launched his first career homer off of Frankie Montas. As you'd expect, Philadelphia fans are ready to send him to the Hall of Fame. Stott batted .303 in Triple-A last season and posted an elite 1:1 strikeout-to-walk rate. He can play all over the infield and got the start over fellow prospect Alec Bohm on Friday.

Nicky Lopez, SS, Kansas City Royals (18% rostered)

This is a pickup for category-based leagues only as the light-hitting shortstop is a non-factor in the power department. He only hit two homers in 151 games last season and was one of just 25 players to slug under .400. However, if its stolen bases you seek, Lopez should provide plenty as part of a Kansas City lineup that runs wild. Lopez swiped 22 bags in 2021 and should be a good bet to reach that total again this season.

 

The Waiver Wire Watch List

Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, Baltimore Orioles (3% rostered)

Personal story time. Early in my tenure at Rotoballer, I was writing Spring Training updates for the Oakland Athletics. A young, speedy shortstop caught my eye. Jorge Mateo was swiping bags left and right in Cactus League play. Scouts tabbed him as an 80-grade speed player. He had 82 steals in the Yankees minor league system in 2015. I was ready to use my last-round pick on him in every roto league. Then the world shut down because of something called COVID.

Mateo has bounced around since then and it's still a mystery if he can hit enough for that elite sped to matter. But he's getting his shot to play everyday for the Orioles. Keep an eye on Mateo.



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