Week 6 Waiver Wire - Second Base (2B) and Shortstop (SS)

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Welcome to week 6 of the fantasy baseball season. We’re continuing our mission to find you the best and brightest players on the Week 6 waiver wire with second base and shortstop eligibility. As is always the case, we will say hello to three new names, while we bid three old players adieu (two by demotion and one by graduation).

As noted last week, the own percentage of players are beginning to settle in, but we were able to shave off three names this week thanks to a few players struggling. We’ll focus primarily on the three new names with updates on the returning eight.

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

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Week 6 Middle Infield (MI) Waiver Wire Targets

Tim Beckham (TB, 1B/2B/SS): 35% owned

Beckham is an interesting case. A former number one overall pick, Beckham is finally making what looks to be a long-overdue breakout. The 27-year-old was the number one pick nearly nine years ago and has been worth just 2.1 fWAR in his career (and even less fantasy value above replacement). This season, Beckham is hitting the snot out of the ball, with a 50.7 percent hard hit ball rate that ranks fifth in all of baseball. He has six home runs for all that hard hitting and is beginning to get more regular playing time. That’s all the good news. He also has just five walks compared to 40 strikeouts on the season, and he will be pushed out of at bats once Matt Duffy returns. (Duffy just officially began his rehab Monday.) Ride Beckham’s bat while it’s hot, but don’t be afraid to cut bait when things inevitably turn a bit south in the upcoming months.

Christian Arroyo (SF, 3B/SS): 10% owned

The 21-year-old Giants’ rookie had himself a nice last week, hitting .318 with an .875 OPS, and he is now getting regular starts at shortstop for San Francisco. Arroyo was tearing the cover off the ball at Triple-A, slashing .446/.478/.692 in 69 plate appearances. Now it needs to be noted that Arroyo was feasting with the Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific League, a league in which Coors Field would qualify as a pitcher’s park. Offensive numbers are through the roof around the league, but even still, Arroyo stood out. Arroyo hasn’t been quite as impressive in his rookie debut with the Giants, but he’s got three home runs and carries some nice pop for a middle infielder (even in 2017). His 17 strikeouts to just two walks is slightly troubling, but he has been the type of hitter who has had success throughout his career with drawing many walks. Arroyo is a nice piece in keeper leagues, and certainly should be owned in NL-only leagues already. He’s making a case for slightly deeper mixed leagues as well, and is the type of player you want to pick up early and see him struggle a bit rather than fail to pick up until it is too late.

Steve Pearce (Tor, 1B/2B/OF): 6% owned

Pearce may simply be benefitting from a two-game series in Yankee Stadium when he went deep a combined three times, and put in most of his fantasy value for the entirety of 2017 in those two games. Sometimes it can take a series like that to wake up a solid hitter, and as a sneaky owner of a career 110 wRC+, Pearce is a hitter who should be doing better than the results have been in 2017 (wRC+ of 62). Pearce is also getting into the lineup more frequently for the Blue Jays of late, and given his career wRC+ of 127 against lefties, he’s a solid platoon partner for deeper leagues. He’s got plenty of positional flexibility to boot and is worth a flier in leagues where you’d be thinking about adding a player with just six percent ownership.

 

Graduated

Josh Harrison (Pit, 2B/3B): 44% owned

Three homers in the past week, plus a bit of name familiarity sprinkled in (this is Harrison’s seventh year in the majors) meant Harrison was our fastest riser of last week. He may not be able to keep up the power, but he should have value regardless while Starling Marte serves his suspension.

 

Keep Adding

Kolten Wong (StL, 2B): 11% owned

Wong seems entrenched as the Cardinals’ starting second baseman for now, and he’s my pick as the biggest riser in ownership in the next week. He is currently rocking a 13-game hit streak and has recently moved to the top of the lineup for St. Louis. Pick him up sooner than later.

Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM, SS): 33% owned

Cabrera has been out of the lineup the past two nights with a thumb injury, but when he has played of late, he has been solid, hitting .357 with eight runs over the past week. He isn’t expected to be put on the DL, either.

Didi Gregorius (NYY, SS): 31% owned

Gregorius didn’t have the most dominant of weeks (five hits, five RuBIns, one steal), but he's got a full-time role in a stacked Yankee lineup and should continue produce for the leagues deep enough to demand his ownership.

Ryan Schimpf (SD, 2B): 22% owned

Last week: five hits; three homers. More of the same from Schimpf. He’s really only an option in NL-only leagues or for the most thirsty home run seekers, but he’s definitely valuable for those two groups.

Joe Panik (SF, 2B): 18% owned

Panik had a rather pedestrian past week (hits but not much else), but he still is getting playing time for San Francisco and is a great option for the oft-needed batting average category. His plate discipline is impressive as ever.

Taylor Motter (Sea, SS/OF): 13% owned

We touched on this in the Waiver Wire Watch list yesterday, but the shine has worn off a bit on Motter thanks in large part to vanishing plate appearances. He had just seven at bats last week, and although he’s still mashing the ball when he’s in the lineup, you have to play to have value.

Jed Lowrie (Oak, 2B): 4% owned

Easily the most consistent player to be owned in only four percent of leagues. His low ownership continues to amaze me.

 

Last Chance

Andrelton Simmons (LAA, SS): 12% owned

Simmons doesn’t have a multi-hit game since April 23 and he doesn’t have a home run since the game before that. He still has value in AL-only leagues thanks to his defense which guarantees him a spot in the lineup, but that’s about it for now.

 

Cut Bait

Jorge Polanco (Min, 2B/3B/SS): 9% owned

The elite line drive rate is no longer there, and as a result, neither am I.

Orlando Arcia (Mil, SS): 5% owned

Arcia wasn’t long for this list, as he made his debut after a two-homer week last week, but a 1-for-16 week - and a few strong performances from the players above him - mean we have to remove him for now.

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

 

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