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

It is week 15 and you have to be very selective these days. We've gotten to the part of the season where reality has set in. Replacement corner infielders who once were performing well beyond their skills have come back down to earth. With a basic junkyard of options on the waiver wire, it is vital that you know what you are looking for and have realistic expectations when making a selection.

Make an assessment of your roster. Find out if you actually need more power, as is usually expected from the corner infield spot. If not, that would open up more alternatives, which could lead to power, batting average, or just riding the hot hand. It all depends on what type of gambler you are. If you are a risk-taker, then you might lean towards that home run hitter with a mediocre batting average. If you like to play it safe, then you might be more comfortable getting a hitter with a higher average and the potential for other counting stats. In the end, the choice is yours. Be confident in what you do.

Key points - the primary focus of this list is on players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues. Below are some names that might be available as well as players that have recently graduated from the parameters. Check your leagues for availability. I've included the recent performance below as well, so you can compare and make a better selection.

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Week 15 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

Yuli Gurriel (1B/3B, HOU) 47% owned

Last 7 days: six runs, two HR, nine RBI, one SB, .462 AVG

Gurriel continues to be an under-appreciated asset on the waiver wire. As has been said in the past, he is a source of excellent AVG with the potential for more production based on his team and position in the lineup. He demonstrated this week the benefits of being apart of the Astros lineup as there have been ample RBI opportunities. Gurriel is securely slotted in the cleanup spot with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve batting ahead of him. On occasion, he will surprise you and give you a homer and even a stolen base. Albeit against weaker competition, Gurriel is coming alive and has raised his ISO to .136, which is still lower than his career average. With a .303 AVG, no one could complain about having Gurriel as their first basemen, especially since he also gives you eligibility at third base now. This week the favorable matchups continue with home games against the Athletics and Tigers.

Johan Camargo (2B/3B/SS, ATL) 23% owned

Last 7 days: four runs, two HR, five RBI, .364 AVG

Camargo deserves to be on the list but he might not be a boisterous nomination this week. His performance alone deserves more attention than he is receiving, not with a mere 23% ownership. The 24-year-old continues to represent players that come out of nowhere every year. Not known for his power, Camargo already has nine homers and it is not unreasonable for him to reach 20 HR by the end the season. The reason Camargo is a tentative recommendation is twofold. First, Atlanta is only scheduled to have five games this week, all of which are at home. Second, three of the five games are against the best pitchers for the Diamondbacks, Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke, and Patrick Corbin. The silver lining in this series is that two of these pitchers are left-handed. Camargo has a 56.5% hard hit rate and 52.2% fly ball rates at home against lefties. The other games, which include two against the Blue Jays, are against righties, when he becomes a pull hitter (52.7%). Despite an abbreviated schedule, Camargo should be owned in more leagues, particularly given his multi-position eligibility.

Maikel Franco (3B, PHI) 38% owned

Last 7 days: one runs, zero HR, two RBI, .462 AVG

Maikel Franco’s performance has made it difficult for fantasy managers to maintain their loyalty. The hope is that his production the last couple of weeks is indicative of the maturation that is more friendly and enticing to fantasy baseball managers. In the last two weeks, Franco is hitting .323 with five doubles and a homer. He continues to work on his plate discipline and has reduced his K% to 14.1. Franco has also improved his swinging strikes to a career best 10.3%. Unfortunately, he also has a 27.8% hard hit rate; however, that percentage is 38.5 over the last 14 days. While there does seem to be some improvements in Franco’s performance at the plate recently, he is more of a selection with focus on quantity in lieu of quality. Franco has a full slate of games this week, including a potential for a double-header on Monday. Despite the entire week on the road, he does have favorable matchups against the Mets, Marlins and a game against the Orioles. Sit him in his one game against a lefty, as he is only hitting .074 against left-handed pitchers on the road.

Brad Miller (1B/2B/SS, MIL) 4% owned

Last 7 days: three runs, one HR, three RBI, .333 AVG

Miller was acquired from the Rays roughly a month ago but he immediately spent two weeks in the minors before being recalled to resolve a troubling infield position for the Brewers. In the last two weeks, Miller has two homers, three doubles, and a .316 AVG. Miller has joined the fly ball revolution (43.5%) during that time and combined this new approach with a 65.2% hard-hit rate. Unfortunately, he is striking out way too much (35.7%), but his walks (9.5%) help overcome that a little bit. His swinging strikes (15.1%) and contact rate (69.2%) are well below average and generally would not warrant a recommendation to add a player from the waiver wire. However, he is on a new team and potentially is working hard to impress. So now might be the best time to play him while he is in the groove. The Brewers have a full schedule of games on the road against the Marlins and Pirates.

Jedd Gyorko (1B/2B/3B, STL) 12% owned

Last 7 days: four runs, two HR, eight RBI, .360 AVG

Gyorko continues to linger around and entice fantasy managers in hopes that he will regain his 30 HR power while maintaining a decent average. He does have his moments where everything syncs and now seems to be one of those times. With a career best 39.7% hard hit and 43.3% flyball rates, Gyorko is doing what he can to replicate his 2016 power output. However, his swinging strikes (13.1%) and contact rate (72.8%) will keep his average in check, which currently sits at .257. Gyorko’s schedule is enticing with road games against the White Sox and home games against the Reds. The big drawback, however, is that there are only five games on the slate this week for the Cardinals.


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