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2B/SS Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball Week 5

Fantasy baseball is a marathon. Case in point, this article. Two weeks ago, Brendan Rodgers was recommended as a pickup. Last week, when he was hitting .087 with no homers and one RBI, I hinted he was droppable if need be. One eight-RBI week later and he's the cover boy again. The Colorado shortstop is a reminder that we're still dealing with a relatively small sample size in 2022. If you believe in a players ability, there's still plenty of time for him to make an impact.

I make the case for Rodgers and four other players below for Week 5 fantasy baseball needs at the middle infield positions.

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 5 - May 9th through May 15th.

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies (36% rostered)

Rodgers is still batting just .173, but that number is more of an indication of just how bad he was to start the season. He's got nine hits and eight RBI in his last five games including two doubles and his first homer. April was a rough month for offense around the league, but as the weather heats up, we should expect to see more runs league-wide. Rodgers plays half his games in the most hitter-friendly venue in baseball and, as the weather warms up, expect Rodgers to continue to put his poor April in the rear-view mirror. Toss the stats out the window, Rodgers should put up big numbers from this point forward. If he's available, pick him up.

Sheldon Neuse, 2B/3B, Oakland Athletics (54% rostered)

There hasn't been much to cheer about in Oakland this season, but Sheldon Neuse has been a bright spot for the rebuilding A's. The 27-year-old is slashing .313/.375/.438 with 14 RBI and three stolen bases batting out of the two-spot in the lineup. Thanks to two doubleheaders, the A's will play nine games next week. He may not last all season, but those looking for a Week 5 streamer won't find a waiver-wire hitter who will get more chances to put up fantasy points than Neuse.

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins (21% rostered)

Welcome to The Show, Royce. The 2017 first-overall pick in the draft has been ravaged by injuries during his minor league career, but thanks to a Carlos Correa (finger) injury, Lewis will get his shot in the Majors. The 22-year-old Lewis was tearing up Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .310/.430/.563 slash line with 21 runs scored and eight steals in just 24 games. He boasts great plate discipline as evidenced by a 16 percent walk rate with a strikeout rate of just 18.7 percent. Will he maintain that pace versus Big League pitching? Not likely. But Lewis has monstrous upside and is worth a pickup in most fantasy leagues, especially those that value stolen bases.

Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, Baltimore Orioles (23% rostered)

Mateo has always boasted elite speed, the question has always been, "Can he hit enough to stay in the lineup?" This year we've got the answer, "Depends which lineup." He's not tearing the cover off the ball, but Mateo has done enough to get regular at-bats for the lowly Orioles and it's resulted in seven steals through 25 games. He's still striking out over 30 percent of the time, but Mateo has a respectable .241 batting average and is a threat to run every time he gets on base. If he can just raise his on-base percentage to the .300 range, then we'd really be cooking with gas. As he stands now, however, Mateo is a solid steals source for those in leagues that feature a MI spot or leagues deeper than 12 teams.

 

Waiver Wire Watch List

Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (29% rostered)

This spot is usually reserved for a player in the sign-digits roster percentage, but this week we're going to change things up as no one in that range is overly enticing. Instead, we'll feature the top prospect for the Pirates as its a shame Cruz is still in the minors. Cruz stands a towering six-feet seven-inches tall and is one of the best pure-athletes in baseball. In a cup-of-coffee in the Majors last season, Cruz barreled-up two balls. Both left the bat at over 118 MPH which ranked him seventh in baseball in max exit velocity. Very few players can impact the baseball like Cruz and its only a matter of time before Pittsburgh has no choice but to call him up. He's available in 71 percent of fantasy leagues, that number should be much lower.



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