As we head into week two of the fantasy baseball season there are certainly movers and shakers on the waiver wire. Today I'm taking a look at Week 2 second base/shortstop waiver wire options to consider. Whether the result of open rosters spots from DL moves, or owners who were already planning on churning those final roster spots, there are plenty of names who have moved way up and down in ownership despite only being a week into the season.
While we wouldn’t recommend cutting anyone you took in the first 20 rounds just yet, those final picks can certainly be flipped if there is enough reason to do so.
From here on out we'll look at the names mentioned in last week’s post (eight in the debut article), noting which players have graduated off of the waiver wire (ownership higher than 50% in Yahoo leagues), which are still recommended pickups, and which we are dropping off the list entirely.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Week 2 Middle Infield (MI) Waiver Wire Targets
Chris Owings (2B/SS/OF, ARI) - 39% owned
Owings is the Hansel of fantasy baseball right now. Owings, so hot right now. Owings.
He’s on the positive side of a timeshare at shortstop in Arizona, and if he keeps hitting like he is right now (.345 BA, .517 SLG, 4 SB), his playing time will only increase. Owings has always had nice speed, but the pop he has shown to start this season is what makes him more intriguing to mixed league owners. Owings has both pulled the ball more and hit it harder to start 2017 than at any other time in his career, a good sign that while it may not be sustainable, his fast start has at least has been legitimate. I still wouldn’t call Owings more than a 10-HR guy, but if he can hit those 10 HR with 25 SB and a near-.300 BA (he owns a career 24.8 percent line drive rate), that certainly has mixed league value, especially as a middle infielder.
Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, PHI) - 30% owned
Of the names on this list, Kendrick was the one I was most hesitant to include, as I am the most skeptical of Kendrick’s start. That said, Kendrick is slashing .417/.481/.625 right now, and he’s available in more than two-thirds of Yahoo leagues, so if you’re in an NL-only and want to ride out this hot streak, go for it.
It should be noted that Kendrick is 33 years old, and the last time he reached double-digit home runs was 2013. He has, however, reached double-digit steals in two of the last three years, and already has one swipe this season. He is also legitimately hitting the ball hard right now, as he is sporting a 31.3 percent line drive rate, and an impressive 43.6 percent hard hit ball rate compared to just a 6.3 percent soft hit ball rate. It may not last long, but enjoy the ride for the time being.
Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) - 4% owned
I’m going to keep going back to the well with Lowrie as long as he is healthy. Through seven games, Lowrie is slashing .286/.375/.464, showing off both his strong batting eye and plus-pop that he has shown flashes of throughout his somewhat disappointing career. Lowrie is getting regularly at bats for Oakland, and, similar to Kendrick, is truly hitting the ball harder than in previous seasons so far this year. He has a 31.6 percent line drive rate, a 42.1 percent hard hit ball rate, and just a 10.5 percent soft hit ball rate. He should be on nearly the exact same tier as Kendrick, but he’s owned in just a fifth of the same leagues. He might even be available in AL-only leagues, where he is a must add.
Week 1 Recap
Hold for Now
Jose Reyes (3B/SS, NYM) - 33% owned
It’s tough to demand tempered expectations after just a week, but Reyes is doing so. Reyes is just 1-for-27 to start 2017, and his batted ball profile has slipped as well. For one, Reyes is striking out over 30 percent of the time, well above his career rate (10.8%) and even above his rate from last season (17.6%). He has only one walk, and as we all know, strikeouts and then walks are the first two statistics to stabilize in an MLB season. Reyes is swinging at a significantly higher percentage of pitches outside the zone (39.0 O-Swing%) than ever before in his career (previous career high: 34.6 O-Swing%), so it’s not just a fluke either.
When he is making contact, Reyes isn’t doing much better, as his 53.3 percent ground ball rate is ten percent higher than his career rate, and easily a career high as well. He’s only made hard contact on 6.3 percent of his balls in play, and his line drive rate isn’t much better (6.7%). Obviously all of these dings come with the tiny sample size caveat, but I’d hold off on adding Reyes at this point, while not totally removing him from this list just yet.
Marcus Semien (SS, OAK) - 47% owned
Semien has seen a slight drop in ownership with a 5-for-26 start, but he’ll be fine. An all-or-nothing player like Semien is bound to have a few cold streaks here and there.
Yangervis Solarte (2B/3B, SD) - 46% owned
Solarte is the biggest riser from week one, and I’m glad to see we were all aboard this train last week. Solarte is hitting well over .300 with a pair of bombs already, and while he won’t keep that up, he’s still a recommended pick up.
Ryan Schimpf (2B/3B, SD) - 32% owned
Schimpf only has three hits on the season, but one is a homer. That’s pretty much what you’re getting here. Keep for the power if you can compensate for a lower average.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS, NYM) - 32% owned
Cabrera is hitting .286, but he is slugging just .321. With four runs, two RBI, and a steal, the slugging percentage isn’t too much of a worry just yet.
Cesar Hernandez (2B, PHI) - 10% owned
The OBP is a bit lower than expected (.344), but the slugging is a bit higher (.517). Also, we’re a week into the season. Hernandez is a super steady low-risk option.
Jorge Polanco (2B/3B/SS, MIN) - 8% owned
All aboard! I loved Polanco last week, and after a 7-for-18 (with a long ball) start, it seems like the rest of fantasy baseball is starting to as well, as his ownership doubled in the first week.
Jurickson Profar (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, TEX) - 11% owned
The number one - and basically only - way to fall off the recommend list after just one week: lack of playing time. Profar had just eight at bats in the first week, and it’s not as though he made the most of them. Profar went 0-for-8 in two starts (and one late-game substitution), striking out four times and scoring one run (on a walk). Although Profar is able to play nearly any position on the diamond, the Rangers simply have better options at each spot. The infield is pretty set, with Adrian Beltre (who will return soon), Elvis Andrus, and Rougned Odor all studs at their positions. Profar is in a timeshare in left field, but it is a three-man timeshare with Ryan Rua and Delino DeShields, meaning no player really has much value. Even when he is getting playing time, Profar really hasn’t flashed as much power as was once hoped so his ceiling is rather limited for a supposed young talent. I have no issue moving him into “watch list” territory for the time being.