Week 11 Waiver Wire - Second Base (2B) and Shortstop (SS)

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Welcome to week 11 of the fantasy baseball season. We’re continuing our mission to find you the best and brightest players with second base and shortstop eligibility.

As noted last week, the own percentage of players are beginning to settle in, so this list may begin to have a bit less turnover, allowing us to go back and focus on a few of the names we wrote about in-depth earlier this season. This week we’ll focus primarily on two new names (two graduates and no cut bait this week), and we’re also going to highlight one name who has been on the list a while, while giving updates on the other eight.

Friendly reminder, we are using Yahoo ownership percentages and position eligibility. On to the middle of the infield!

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Week 11 Middle Infield (MI) Waiver Wire Targets

Brandon Drury (Ari, 2B/3B/OF): 38% owned

Drury has drifted below the 40 percent owned barrier, which means we can turn the spotlight on him this week. Drury’s peripherals look quite similar to last season when he hit .282 with 16 homers and had over 100 RuBIns (runs+RBI). Drury’s line drive rate is up over three percent, from 20.3 in 2016 to 23.7 percent in 2017, while his hard-hit rate is still over 30 percent (31.4 percent, to be exact). Drury is walking and striking out at nearly the exact same rates as last season. If his third of a season is multiplied out, he should end the season with around 20 home runs to go along with over 60 runs and over 70 RBI. Hitting in that stacked Diamondbacks lineup is nice, especially since he has a regular spot in the lineup.

Howie Kendrick (Phi, 1B/2B/3B/OF): 14% owned

Kendrick was on this list when healthy earlier in the season, and now that he’s back from an oblique injury that cost him six weeks, he’s back to right where he was before the injury. Kendrick is hitting over .350 and slugging well over .500 for the season, and he already has six multi-hit games since returning from the DL on May 29. Kendrick is using all those times on base to steal bases like he’s in his prime once again, with seven steals in just 22 games this season (including three on Monday). He has six steals in his 12 games since returning from the DL, and he has been caught only once in that stretch. He has been hitting near the top of the Phillies lineup, and the more he hits, the more likely he is to lock in an everyday spot in the lineup. Kendrick is sporting the best hard hit ball rate of his career, so the results are legitimate, even if it’s fair to ask if he’s bound for a bit of regression as a 33-year-old, 12-year veteran.

 

Graduated

Didi Gregorius (NYY, SS): 46% owned

With another multi-homer, .400+ batting average week, Gregorius has finally proven himself to enough skeptical owners to move out of our ownership range and into the ranks of the graduated.

Tim Beckham (TB, 1B/2B/SS): 40% owned

Beckham’s hard-hitting tendencies have taken him straight out of the sub-40 percent owned tier and into this week’s graduates. Beckham is hitting homers, stealing bases, and doing just about everything for the Rays and (hopefully) your fantasy team.

 

Keep Adding

Andrelton Simmons (LAA, SS): 24% owned

Simmons recent hot streak has continued, as he hit .375 with ten RuBIns and two steals in the past week. He’s producing in all five categories this season, and with his awesome defense he is guaranteed a spot in the lineup even if he goes into a slump with the bat.

Jed Lowrie (Oak, 2B): 21% owned

Lowrie continues to stay healthy and stay productive, with eight hits and five runs in the past week. He’s approaching “he’s been on this list so long you don’t need to hear about him anymore” status thanks to his week-in, week-out production.

Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM, SS): 17% owned

Cabrera shot up this list Monday night alone, as he took John Lackey deep twice, his fifth and sixth long balls of the season. Cabrera had been a bit cold since returning from the DL, but it appears as though he may be heating up, a good sign for a consistent commodity at the middle infield position.

Whit Merrifield (KC, 2B/OF): 29% owned

Merrifield slowed down a bit last week with a .167 average, but he still had five RBI, and again, it was one week. His plate discipline and batted ball profile improvements in 2017 are all legitimate and suggest a strong addition at the middle infield position.

Joe Panik (SF, 2B): 9% owned

Panik has been out of the lineup since Thursday with a thumb injury, but he should return Tuesday. The last time he was in the lineup he went 2-for-3 with a homer, and he is working on back-to-back two-hit games.

Kolten Wong (StL, 2B): 4% owned

Wong was in the Last Chance section last week, but as was noted then, that was due to his being out with injury rather than poor performance. Wong returned to the squad on Friday, and he went 5-for-10 with three runs and an RBI in a weekend series against the Phillies. Jhonny Peralta was also DFA’d in order to get Wong back on the MLB roster, eliminating one of the Cardinals fellow middle infield roadblocks for Wong. Production has never been an issue for Wong, it has been the Cardinals reluctance in giving him a full-time gig. Wong has an impressive .294/.393/.434 slash line this season, as his always-strong plate discipline is even better in 2017. He is walking 11.2 percent of the time and only striking out 13.0 percent of the time. He could use a bit more elevation in his swing, but for the price (or league availability), there’s a lot to like here.

Chase Utley (LAD, 1B/2B): 3% owned

Utley was out of the lineup a few times last week, but he ended the week with a flurry, going 4-for-6 with a home run, three runs, and three RBI on Saturday and Sunday combined. The at bats will not be there at a guaranteed daily level, but he is hitting the ball well enough to produce even in a slightly-limited role given the league size he’ll be available in.

Adam Frazier (Pit, 2B/OF): 13% owned/Jordy Mercer (Pit, SS): 6% owned

We’re combining Frazier and Mercer since they are quite similar and play on the same team. Both players have the plate discipline and line drive rates to maintain their solid batting averages. Frazier has the edge in that he is a bit younger and could potentially grow a bit more as a player, while Mercer has the edge of being a more proven commodity. Take your pick with these two, they’re quite close, with Frazier (correctly) being owned in slightly more leagues. Mercer’s base running struggles have continued.

 

 

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