Home News Plenty of proven middle infielders on waiver wire

Plenty of proven middle infielders on waiver wire

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One of the most important weapons you can have in your fantasy baseball arsenal is the ability to exploit the flaws and weaknesses of your opponents.

People get so caught up in the flavor of the week and chasing the shiny new toys on the free-agent market, they continuously overlook players who can actually help them both now and long term.

That’s not to say Orioles infielder Jordan Westburg isn’t going to be an outstanding ballplayer someday, but why are we emptying our FAAB wallets and wasting our top waiver priority on him today when there are stronger middle-infield options just wasting away on the waiver wire?

While it may have taken a little while for him to get fully adjusted to life in the big leagues, Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar is playing at such a level that he should be rostered in way more than 30 percent of leagues on Yahoo and 10 percent on ESPN.

His overall totals of just seven home runs, four stolen bases and a .265/.300/.429 slash line may not look great, but the fact he has steadily reduced his strikeout rate each month while improving his batting average and both his on-base and slugging percentages should tell you he is making the right adjustments to his approach at the plate with every at-bat.

Ezequiel Tovar
The Rockies’ Ezequiel Tovar

For the month of June, he has a slash line of .315/.326/.522 with four home runs, 14 RBIs and two stolen bases, pushing him into the top 10 of shortstops for the last 30 days.

Those improvements, along with the fact that he plays half his games at Coors Field, should be enough for you to take notice.

Another overlooked player who is tearing up big-league pitching is Rangers shortstop Ezequiel Duran.

The fantasy players at Yahoo have caught on, but he still remains unowned in 27 percent of their leagues. On ESPN, he remains available in 71 percent of leagues, a statistic that should numb your brain if you play in a competitive league.

Duran’s overall numbers, a .326 average with 12 home runs and four stolen bases, may not be enough to turn your head, but his five home runs, 15 runs scored and .367/.412/.658 slash line for the month of June should.

His performance while Corey Seager was on the injured list was so impressive the Rangers have locked him in as their starting left fielder, so tack on some added position eligibility to that tasty fantasy treat.

Prospect lists are a great guideline to follow which players may be called up as the MLB season continues, but before you start chasing the rookies along with the rest of your league, take the time to study who is already on your waiver wire. Don’t just look at overall numbers. Dig deeper. You should have a “what have you done for me lately” mentality when assessing a player’s current value. If you see marked improvement, that’s the player you want.

Howard Bender is the head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to Fantasy-Alarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.

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