In many fantasy baseball leagues, the season is winding down. The difference between making the playoffs and sitting on the sideline is going to be between which players are hot and which players are not.
As I have been doing the past month with the second baseman and shortstop rankings, I am going to highlight the players you may have a chance of adding from the waiver wire. We all know Marcus Semien and Ozzie Albies are awesome. Chris Taylor, Max Muncy, and Jose Altuve are all having great seasons as well. But we all that, and all five of those players aren’t sitting around on the waiver wire.
Neither is Trea Turner. But at least with him, the good news is he now qualifies as a second baseman. So Turner now appears in these rankings and if you were deep at short and had a hole at second and you are an owner of Turner, then congratulations! You just added a top second baseman without having to trade for one.
However, I will talk about one player who is owned by nearly every fantasy owner. That player is Brandon Lowe. He tested the patience of every owner out there, but they are now be rewarded for that patience. Lowe has been crushing the ball for the Rays the past month, slashing .300-.393-.630 over the last 30 days with 23 runs scored, eight homers, 24 RBI and three steals.
Over the last 14 games, Lowe has been even better, slashing .360-.441-.800 with 15 runs scored, six homers, 17 RBI, and two steals. The power numbers are not surprising, but the batting average is what is impressive about Lowe. He was hitting .198 on June 22 with a .298 OBP. Now he is hitting .236 overall with an OBP of .344. Thanks to his surge at the plate, Lowe now ranks sixth overall in my rankings.
Who else has climbed the rankings? Which players have moved down or dropped out entirely? Let’s find out and then talk about some of the other red-hot second basemen who could be sitting on the waiver wire.
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The first player I want to talk about is Ty France, who has been in and out of these rankings throughout the season. He sits at No. 15 in my rankings, but since the All-Star break, he has been one of the best hitters in baseball as he leads the majors in hits. In the last month, France is slashing .312-.356-.477 with four homers and 12 RBI. Rostered in only 61 percent of Yahoo leagues and 65 percent of ESPN leagues, France is riding a hot streak that makes him worthy of adding to your team ASAP if he is available.
Like France, Josh Rojas has moved in and out of these rankings. Right now, he is back in as he is ranked 22nd. Rostered in only 47 percent of ESPN Leagues and 49 percent of Yahoo leagues, Rojas has been on a roll since returning from the IL, slashing .469-.514-.750 with a home run and five RBI. Rojas now has 11 homers and 33 RBI in 349 at-bats this season with a slash line of .287-.370-.467.
Some of you looking at the rankings and shaking your head at Nicky Lopez. The Royals’ second baseman comes in at No. 24 in the rankings this week, and there is one specific reason why he is there – speed. Steals are getting harder to come by in fantasy baseball, and Lopez is a great candidate to add if you need some steals. He has swiped 15 bags this season, with seven of those coming in the last month. And he has been decent at the plate, slashing .287-.311-.402 with 11 RBI. Considering he is available in 90 percent of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues, he is a good add if you need speed on your team.
But Wait, There’s More
There are a few more players I want to highlight who are not in the rankings this week. One of those players is Aledmys Diaz of Houston. Diaz suffered a broken hand on June 5 when he was hit by a pitch. Since returning from the IL, he has played a key role for the Astros filling in for the injured Alex Bregman at third base. In his last 21 games, Diaz is slashing .333-.364-.548 with four homers and 18 RBI. Even when Bregman returns, Diaz will get plenty of playing time as he can play every infield position as well as left and right field, allowing him to stay in the lineup when Dusty Baker wants to rest his starters.
Josh Harrison was a sneaky good add by the Athletics at the trade deadline. In the last month, Harrison is slashing .323-.405-.538 in 65 at-bats with two home runs, five RBI, and two steals. He is rostered in 45 percent of ESPN league and only 26 percent of Yahoo leagues. Finding good depth at middle infield can be a challenge, so Harrison could be a good addition right now.
Just missing the rankings as a second baseman but ranked 23rd as a shortstop last week is Tyler Wade of the Yankees. Like Lopez, Wade brings plenty of speed to any team that rosters him, though that is in only 18 percent of Yahoo leagues and 12 percent of ESPN leagues. Wade has 12 steals in 104 at-bats covering 77 games this year. Five of his steals have come in the last 14 days while he has also slashed .429-.500-500. Speed is a commodity in fantasy baseball, and Wade is basically sitting on the waiver wire waiting for someone to add him.