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Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups: First Base (1B) & Third Base (3B)


The 2014 MLB season is just past the quarter point, and as the season wears on, injuries usually start to play a factor. This year has been no exception, and in the past couple of weeks several big names at the corner infield spots have gone down with injuries, thrusting some new players into more prominent roles and making them sleepers off the waiver wire. On that note, here is a closer look at some corner infielders that are widely available on the waiver wire, depending on your league format including NL-Only and AL-Only leagues, that could help your team.

 

Third Base Waiver Wire Options

Juan Francisco (3B / 1B, TOR)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

Juan-Francisco-MLB-fantasy-baseball-waiver-wireANALYSIS: The downside of owning Francisco was on full display over the past week as Toronto's schedule limited the platoon player to just four at-bats. On the plus side, his quiet week dropped his ownership in Yahoo! leagues to just 42 percent despite being the 12th-best first baseman, and if he has come available in your league, take advantage and scoop him up.

Yes, his bat is only in the lineup against right-handed pitchers, but he is hitting .338 with a 1.159 OPS against righties this year. More importantly, he has 7 home runs and 15 RBIs in just 71 at-bats against right-handed pitching. Granted, it is annoying to have to monitor the pitching matchups on a daily basis to figure out when Francisco is going to be in the lineup, but if your are willing to do the extra leg work, Francisco's production will pay off.

 

Lonnie Chisenhall (3B, CLE)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues

ANALYSIS: After not doing much his first three years in the majors, the former first-round pick has been a hitting machine in 2014. In fact, Chisenhall has pounded out 13 hits in his last nine games to raise his average to a robust .381. Granted, he usually doesn't play against left-handed pitchers, and with just 2 home runs and 10 RBIs, his power numbers are modest. That being said, we are talking about a guy that would be leading the majors in batting average if he had enough at-bats to qualify. Chisenhall is owned in just 29 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and while you can justify not picking up a platoon player in a standard-mixed league, the same cannot be said for deeper leagues.

 

Mark Reynolds (3B / 1B, MIL)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, NL-Only Leagues

ANALYSIS: He can be as streaky as any hitter in the league, but Reynolds' performance this past week is an example of why he still deserves consideration from fantasy owners. He smashed 3 home runs and drove in 9 RBIs, raising his season totals to 11 and 23, respectively. Yes, his batting average is still horrible, but his value is in his power. Reynolds is well on his way to another 30-plus homer campaign, and in the National League last year, only three players hit 30 or more home runs. He is owned in just 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and although his poor average limits his value to certain formats, he is a great add if you need some pop in your lineup.

 

First Base Waiver Wire Options

Mitch Moreland (1B, TEX)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

rotoballer-fantasy-baseball-advice-mitch-morelandANALYSIS: While he isn't going to replace Prince Fielder by any means, Moreland's fantasy value has already seen a huge boost since Fielder went down with a neck injury. He has moved up to the No. 3 spot in the Texas lineup, and Moreland responded with 6 RBIs over the weekend to raise his total to 21. Granted, he has just 2 home runs this season, but after belting 23 last year, the power should come around.

Meanwhile, he is currently hitting a career-high .285, and with his newly-acquired spot in a loaded lineup, his offensive numbers should only improve the rest of the way. He is currently owned in just 9 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but if this past weekend was a sign of things to come, he won't be widely available for very long.

 

Conor Gillaspie (1B / 3B, CWS)

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting

ANALYSIS: After struggling as a rookie in 2013, Gillaspie appears to be much more comfortable at the plate this season. He is currently hitting an impressive .352, and he has struck out just 19 times all year. Perhaps more importantly, his consistency at the plate has helped him secure the No. 3 spot in Chicago's lineup since Jose Abreu has been sidelined. On the flip side, Gillaspie has yet to homer this season and has just 16 RBIs and 16 runs scored. While he isn't going to suddenly develop a power stroke, it is a safe bet that his RBI and run totals will improve as long as he continues to bat in the heart of the Chicago lineup. Gillaspie is owned in just 8 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and if you need a lot of help in the average department, he could be the answer. At the very least, he is worth keeping an eye to see what type of numbers he puts up in his new spot in the order.

 

Garrett Jones (1B / OF, MIA)

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

ANALYSIS: He has alternated good years and bad years throughout his career, and after disappointing in 2013, Jones is enjoying a great 2014 season. He has been solid across the board, hitting .274 with 8 home runs, 25 RBIs and 26 runs scored. The totals are good enough to make him a top-15 first baseman in Yahoo! leagues, but his ownership currently sits at just 46 percent. Hitting a couple of spots behind Giancarlo Stanton should keep the RBI opportunities coming, and Jones could be headed for a repeat of his 2012 campaign when he hit .274 with 27 homers and 86 RBIs.

 




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