Week 15 Waiver Wire - First Base (1B) and Third Base (3B)

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As we head to the All-Star break, fantasy managers have a couple of days to stop managing lineups and start scouring the waiver wire for ways to fix any holes in the roster. It could be a good time to take a chance on some young, unproven players that have a chance to contribute down the stretch.

The corner infield positions traditionally offer power with the potential for high averages, so you may want to target players that can offer an advantage in those categories to bolster your team. In this piece, I'll identify waiver wire targets for first base and third base in week 15 who should be able to contribute in multiple categories, either as replacements or bench depth. These players are owned in 50% or less of Yahoo! leagues.

We'll also look at the names mentioned in last week’s post, noting which players have graduated off of the waiver wire (ownership higher than 50%), which are still recommended pickups, and which we are dropping off the list entirely.

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Week 15 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

Yuli Gurriel (1B/3B, HOU) 50% owned

Gurriel barely makes the cutoff this week, as his ownership is about to crack the halfway mark. He's on another hot streak, although for him that doesn't always include much power. That hasn't been the case since July began, though. Gurriel is hitting .466 with three home runs and 11 RBI in the last 10 days. You may have noticed that the Astros are absolutely on fire offensively, so it would be advisable to add anybody on their roster that isn't already owned in your league. Gurriel finishes the first half hitting .295 with 10 HR and 43 RBI.

Josh Bell (1B, PIT) 29% owned

The averages are surprisingly low, with a .239/.322/.472 slash line, but he finished the first half strong. Bell picked up nine hits in his last 23 at-bats, plus six runs and six RBI in the last five games. While he had a rough May, the rookie has been making progress through the first half and could continue to bring his average up if he focuses more on making contact than trying to showcase his power. Bell has been one of the best minor league prospects at first base the last couple of years, so he presents more upside that nearly all the other waiver wire options out there.

Luke Voit (1B, STL) 2% owned

Voit isn't a top prospect and he didn't figure to be more than a stopgap in St. Louis, but if he keeps mashing then he could force his way into regular playing time down the stretch. That's especially true if the Cards fall out of contention, which is hard to believe but certainly possible. They are currently two games below .500. Voit has slugged three homers with eight RBI in the last seven games and holds a .324 average this season. This is a deep league streamer only for now, but his production shouldn't be completely dismissed.

Ji-Man Choi (1B, NYY) 1% owned

Admittedly, it would have to be a pretty deep league to take a shot on Choi, but there is potential here. Choi went deep in his first two games with two RBI in each as the Yankees starting first baseman before getting the day off. He will play against righties only, limiting his value in weekly leagues. The Yankees seem desperate to solve the dilemma at first, as Greg Bird isn't coming back soon, Tyler Austin joined him on the DL, and Chris Carter has been DFA'd. Until the team makes a trade for a veteran, Choi could give some short-term production. It might not be in the power category, however, as Choi only logged double-digits once in seven minor league seasons. Then again, playing in Yankee Stadium could throw that theory right out the window.

 

Hold For Now

Tommy Joseph (1B, PHI) 26% owned - Only a solo homer to show for the power categories, but Joseph did hit .320 in the past week. He will continue to register solid production at first base for a team that looks to continue the rebuilding process for the fifth straight season.

Mike Napoli (1B, TEX) 29% owned - His line this past week: .217, three HR, five RBI. Looks about right. Napoli had a four-game stretch with a homer in each, making him a great pickup last week as predicted. His season average still sits at a lowly .194, so make sure you can compensate in that category elsewhere.

Yunel Escobar (3B, LAA) 7% owned - It was a "meh" kind of week for Escobar in the triple-crown categories (.286/1/2), which neither helps or hurts his value. Assuming Mike Trout is ready to rejoin the team after the break, it could provide a slight boost to Escobar's fantasy stock.

Nicholas Castellanos (3B, DET) 33% owned - Castellanos drove in five runs this week and has been quietly consistent over the last few weeks. He is on pace to set career highs in HR and RBI, for what it's worth. The Tigers could (should) be better in the second half, but don't necessarily expect a breakthrough to happen in his fifth Major League season.

 

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