Middle infield is where fantasy stats go to die. If you have Robinson Cano and Troy Tulowitzki you can stop reading and start looking for a good OF or IB, because you probably sacrificed those positions. More likely, you find yourself with an average SS or 2B who will require you to continually to monitor the waiver wire in hopes of finding a better replacement. Today, we have a list of four players who might provide a spark:
1) Jhonny Peralta: SS (Yahoo owned: 31%, CBS owned: 54%): He’s been around forever, yet he’s still only 30 years old and plays on the defending AL champion. He’s a 15-HR, 60-RBI player with not much more potential. You should take a look at him if you were a Jose Reyes or Erick Aybar owner. Peralta makes a great fill-in who can stabilize your team for a short while. Thus far this year he’s benefitting from an elevated.350+ BABIP – don’t expect that to stay that high.
2) Jedd Gyorko 2B/3B (Yahoo owned: 27%, CBS owned: 71%): The Padres 2B projects as a future middle-of-the-lineup hitter, but for now he’s having some growing pains. A good sign so far is that he’s walking nearly as often as he strikes out, which shows good place discipline. Last year he combined for 30 HR in AAA and AA ball, so take a chance and wait on the power. Think of a younger version of Dan Uggla when you hear the name Gyorko.
3) Brandon Crawford: SS (Yahoo owned: 9%, CBS owned: 36%): Definitely not top of mind yet, but has come out swinging this year, with an average above .300 through April 16. Last season he only had 4 HR and now he’s already reached 50% of that total (2 HR). In a small sample size, Crawford is swinging at significantly fewer pitches outside of the zone and making contact with more pitches in the zone. His walk rate is nearly double it was last year. If he continues along this path, he will be a solid waiver-wire fill in at a thin position.
4) Jordany Valdespin: 2B/OF (Yahoo owned: 4%, CBS owned: 13%): If he only had a position and everyday at-bats, he’d be owned in more than 50% of leagues. He has legitimate power for a 2B and enough speed to go for 15-20 SB with 400 or so AB. With Daniel Murphy entrenched at 2B, Valdespin’s ABs will come playing CF, where he is currently sharing playing time with Colin Cowgill. There’s a good shot that by May 1st, Valdespin will be the Mets starting CF. Once that happens pick him up and plug him in your MI position.