We’ve officially hit the two-month mark of the 2023 MLB season, as hard as that is to believe, and “it’s still early!” is becoming a less and less convincing crutch for fantasy managers wondering whether to stick with a draft pick or start scouring the waiver wire. This is especially true at the middle infield spots, where injuries have felled top picks like Jazz Chisholm, Oneil Cruz and more. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a big year.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 10 middle infield targets
Paul DeJong, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
Roster percentage: 12.9%
DeJong made his season debut in late April after an injury derailed his start, and the veteran pretty much hasn’t stopped mashing since. He’s got a .281/.366/.596 slash line with eight homers and three steals across just 26 games, and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. It’s a frankly stunning turn of events for a guy whose strikeouts total (182) was as high as his batting average over the last two seasons, but it’s largely supported by his contact profile, with a 50% hard-hit rate and a .532 expected slugging percentage. He’s locked down the everyday shortstop job for a rapidly improving Cardinals offense, and while he’ll likely come back to Earth a bit eventually, this is also a guy with a 30-homer season in his past.
Edouard Julien, 2B, Minnesota Twins
Roster percentage: 0.9%
Julien got his first taste of the Majors back in April only to be sent back down after just eight games when Jorge Polanco returned fro minjury. Polanco now finds himself on the IL again, giving the team’s No. 4 prospect another chance to earn himself a permanent role. Like we said when he was first called up, Julien showed elite control of the strike zone in the Minors — he led all Minor Leaguers with at least 1,000 plate appearances in walks and on-base percentage across the past two seasons — and those skills helped him tear up Double-A to the tune of a .300/.441/.490 line with 17 homers and 19 steals in 2022. If he sticks, he has the potential to flirt with a .300 average while chipping in everywhere else.
Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins
Roster percentage: 5.3%
Of course, if Julien struggles, Minnesota has another top middle infield prospect waiting in the wings. Lewis has been comically snake-bitten in his brief career, tearing his ACL in February of 2021, working his way back to full health, looking like a star in the making over his first 12 games in the Majors last year and then ... tearing the same ACL again.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft has made it back on the field once again, and he’s once again crushing the ball, slashing .333/.375/.700 with three homers and four steals on his current rehab assignment. At this point, it’s just a matter of time before he finds his way back to the Majors, and if he can avoid a knee injury this time, he’s got legitimate 30/30 potential.
Jose Caballero, 2B/SS, Seattle Mariners
Roster percentage: 1.2%
Caballero has all but confined free-agent acquisition Kolten Wong to the bench in Seattle, hitting .279/.403/.426 with two homers and six steals over the first 26 games of his MLB career. His speed is top-of-the-scale (92nd-percentile sprint speed, per Statcast) and he has an elite 14.9% walk rate that shows he knows how to manage the strike zone. Don’t expect much power, but Caballero has posted elite OBPs and bundles of steals at every stop in the Minors, and he could do the same for your fantasy team.