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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: 2B/SS Pickups for Week 4

Jose Caballero - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Another week of baseball is in the books which, this season, seems to mean a fresh crop of players hit the injured list. Of particular note, Brandon Lowe (oblique) was placed on the IL by the Rays after being the cover boy for this article just one week ago. Alas, that's how things go in the cutthroat world of fantasy baseball.

The great thing about baseball is when one player goes down that opens up a spot for someone else to shine and Lowe's injury will free up playing time in Tampa for other exciting players. We've got this situation and several other lineups covered in another exciting rendition of middle infield waiver wire pickups.

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 4 -- April 15 through April 21.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Jose Caballero, 2B/SS, Tampa Bay Rays (41% rostered)

The Rays have experienced several injuries early in the season and Jose Caballero took his opportunity to play and kicked down the door into fantasy baseball relevancy. The 27-year-old was never much of a prospect, he toiled in the minors for Arizona and Seattle since 2017, but he's started six straight games at shortstop for Tampa Bay and is off to a blistering start this season.

Through 12 games, Caballero is slashing .341/.364/.488 with seven runs, six RBI, and five stolen bases. The centerpiece of Caballero's game is his speed, as he swiped 26 bags in 104 games for the Mariners last season. The issue is, those thefts came with a .221 batting average and a sub-.400 slugging percentage. The sample size this season is still small, but Caballero swatted a homer last Thursday and has three doubles on the season. Toss in a .321 expected batting average, and Caballero is worth an add in fantasy to see if he can sustain his torrid pace.

Orlando Arcia, SS, Atlanta Braves (23% rostered)

Speaking of hot starts to the season, Orlando Arcia has six multi-hit games through Atlanta's first 11 games and is batting a cool .383 two weeks into the season. The 29-year-old is yet to homer, but he already has seven doubles on the season and he's hitting the ball well, as evidenced by his 37.5% hard-hit rate. As the weather warms up in Atlanta, expect some of those doubles to clear the outfield fence for home runs.

Arcia is limited a tad by batting at the bottom of the order, but what he lacks in at-bats he should make up for in runs scored and RBI as part of a loaded Braves lineup. He's a great contact hitter as he's struck out under 20% of the time going back to the start of last season. There are worse bets to make in fantasy than banking on an elite contact hitter in arguably the best lineup in the game.

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Blaze Alexander, 2B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (7% rostered)

Blaze Alexander remains one of the best-kept secrets in fantasy as the 24-year-old rookie is having one of the best Aprils of any middle infielder. Through 10 games, Alexander is slashing .345/.424/.552 with two homers and a stolen base. Of course, the sample size remains incredibly small, but Alexander's batted-ball metrics certainly prove his hot start is no fluke.

His first career homer left the bat at 110.6 mph, which already proves he can hit the ball harder than most middle infielders. Beyond his impressive max exit velocity, he's got two other batted balls over 105 mph, so when Alexander makes good contact, he hits the ball hard. With Jordan Lawlar (thumb) and Geraldo Perdomo (knee) still on the IL, Alexander will have an extended chance to prove he belongs in the Diamondbacks, and fantasy baseball, lineups.

Josh Smith, SS/3B/OF, Texas Rangers (6% rostered)

The Rangers are one of many teams dealing with injured starters and Josh Smith is one of several young players making the most of the playing time available. Smith has mostly filled in at third base, but he's also played shortstop and has a .433 on-base percentage in the eight games he's started since Josh Jung (wrist) landed on the 60-day IL.

Through 12 games, the 26-year-old Smith has a 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and he's scalding baseballs to the tune of a 91.6 mph average exit velocity. Elite plate discipline and the ability to make hard contact is a magical combo in fantasy baseball and, so far, Smith has shown the ability to do both. He tends to sit against left-handed pitching, so he's far from a must-add in all fantasy leagues, but those in a pinch should certainly consider Smith as a hot-hand play to see how long he can continue this impressive pace.

 

Waiver Wire Watch List

Masyn Winn, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (6% rostered)

Cardinals prospect Masyn Winn is known for his elite defense, but he's off to a nice start at the dish this season, making him worth keeping an eye on for fantasy. Through 12 games, the 22-year-old is batting .321 with three runs and three RBI while striking out under 18% of the time.

All of the small sample size caveats apply to Winn, but he did have a nice track record with the bat in his minor league career. His last season in Triple-A, Winn scored 99 runs in only 105 games while stealing 17 bases. There's a useful skill set here with Winn and he's worth a speculative add in deeper fantasy leagues.



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