Last week featured the second basemen who are good additions to make right now in your drive toward the fantasy postseason. This week it is the shortstops’ turn. There are a number of players available on the waiver wire who will make great additions down the stretch on your fantasy team.
You can never have too much depth at the position. Owners of Francisco Lindor know all too well about injuries. Javier Baez is now in that same situation with back spasms. Or you can have two outstanding shortstops who are now falling “short” of expectations.
Example No. 1 is Carlos Correa. In his last season before hitting free agency, the Astros shortstop made a strong case to earn a huge contract in the offseason, slashing .288-.385-.510 in 82 games with 61 runs scored, 16 homers, and 52 RBI. But the second half of the season has not been kind. In 23 games, he is slashing .212-.292-.353 with 14 runs scored, two homers, and nine RBI.
Those are not the kind of numbers fantasy owners need from Correa. After having a whiff rate of 18 percent in the first half, it has jumped to 26 percent over the second half of the season, while his walked rate has dropped from 15 percent to 10 percent. Correa has been streaky this season, slashing .303-.352-.495 in April and .330-.451-.637 in June. But the fact that he has disappeared in May and July and so far the first half of August has to be concerning to fantasy owners.
Example No. 2 is Xander Bogaerts. Over the first 85 games of the season, Bogaerts was a beast at the plate for the Red Sox, slashing .321-.385-.545 with 57 runs scored, 15 home runs, and 51 RBI. But since the start of the second half of the season, he has been a mess at the plate. In his last 24 games, he is slashing .238-.316-.393 with 13 runs scored, three home runs, and 10 RBI. Like Correa, you can’t right Bogaerts off. He hit no lower than .311 the first three months of the season. But since the start of July (a span of 33 games), he is hitting .242 with only five homers and 13 RBI.
Perhaps Correa and Bogaerts will turn it around at the plate. But if you are not sure or you simply need some additional help up the middle, here are some players you should be targeting.
But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the current rankings, taking into account the entirety of the season.
|1||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SD||1|
Now that you have look at the rankings, let’s talk about players you should target if they are available or if you can swing a late trade. First is Willy Adames, who is ranked seventh. Why highlight a player who is ranked so high? Well, because for some reason, he is only rostered in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues and 79 percent of ESPN leagues.
In 71 games since joining the Brewers, he slashing .297-.379-.556 with 47 runs scored, 16 homers, and 48 RBI. Adames should be rostered across the board. So if you can grab him, do so.
Another Brewer you should target is Luis Urias. Owned in only 41 percent of ESPN leagues and 35 percent of Yahoo leagues, Urias has been outstanding the last month. His slash line is .303-.403-.606 (for the math impaired, that is a 1.009 OPS) while he has scored 15 runs, slugged four homers, and driven in 13 in 22 games.
Need Some Speed?
If you need some steals to put you over the top in your league, then Myles Straw or Tyler Wade are two people to target. In Yahoo leagues, Straw is listed as a shortstop and is rostered in only 50 percent of leagues. For the season he has 19 steals, and since joining Cleveland in a trade from Houston, he is slashing .309-.367-.436.
Meanwhile, Tyler Wade has been burning up the base paths for the Yankees. Over the last month, he has swiped seven bases while slashing .343-.439-.429 with eight runs scored and two RBI. No, you aren’t going to get power from Wade. But that speed is a great asset to have on your team and he is available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues and more than 94 percent of ESPN leagues. Gleyber Torres is likely out for at least another week, but even when he returns, there still could be plenty of at-bats for Wade as Torres hasn’t been doing that great for the Yanks.
Last But Not Least
The final two players to discuss are Wander Franco and Ahmed Rosario.
Everyone knows about Franco, but after hitting a home run in his MLB debut, he struggled at the plate for the Rays, finishing June with a .194-.306-.323 slash line with that lone homer and five RBI. But the highly-touted prospect appears to be adjusting to major league pitching. In the last month, he has a slash line of .272-.333-.457 with three homers and 15 RBI. If you are playing in leagues with prospect rosters, he is probably not available. However, he is rostered on only 75 percent of Yahoo and ESPN rosters, so if he’s out there, go get him.
At the start of the season, I ranked Rosario and teammate Andres Gimenez together as I was not sure which one would become the breakout player. It is now clear who did the breaking out as Rosario has been red-hot the last month with a .324-.351-.467 slash line to go with one homer, nine RBI, and four steals to give him 12 for the year. He is rostered in only 43 percent of Yahoo leagues and 46 percent of ESPN leagues, and as an added bonus he can play CF/OF for you as well.