We’re nearly done with the first half of the 2023 MLB season, and things are only getting wilder with each passing day. The Cincinnati Reds are now America’s team. The Los Angeles Angels are trying their hardest to spoil the Herculean efforts of Shohei Ohtani. For fantasy baseball players, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road — time to decide whether they’re in or out this year, and what they might need for the stretch run ahead. This is especially true at the corner infield spots, where injuries have felled top picks like Vinnie Pasquantino. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a strong finish.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 15 top corner infield pickups
Mike Moustakas, 1B, Los Angeles Angels
Roster percentage: 0.8%
The Angels’ trade for Moustakas initially looked like a depth play, but with Brandon Drury landing on the IL (plus Gio Urshela out for the year and Jared Walsh off to a miserable start) Moustakas now has a real path to everyday playing time — and a lineup spot behind Ohtani and Mike Trout. That’s valuable real estate, and Moustakas has actually been pretty good of late, slashing .320/.414/.540 over his last 19 games (12 starts) with hard-hit and line-drive rates approaching career highs. Don’t expect the 35-homer player Moose was at his peak, but he still has some pop in his bat, and he’ll get plenty of pitches to hit — and RBI opportunities — over the next few weeks.
Nick Madrigal, 2B/3B, Chicago Cubs
Roster percentage: 2.0%
Madrigal has also been given an opportunity to play every day due to injury, this time to Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom. The former first-round pick has warmed up after a slow start to the season, slashing .321/.406/.446 with five steals over his last 17 starts. Madrigal provides no power whatsoever, but he’ll be a boon to your average while also being a threat to run every time he gets on-base. Plus, he’s been batting at or near the top of the order of late, giving him a real run-scoring boost as he hits in front of Christopher Morel, Ian Happ and Co.
Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Washington Nationals
Roster percentage: 13.7%
The Candy Man has been on a tear of late, slashing .345/.397/.603 with two homers, nine doubles and three steals over his last 15 games — raising his OPS since May 1 to .866. Candelario is the sort of player who can fly under the radar in fantasy leagues sometimes, never flashy in any one particular category but helping (or at least not hurting) everywhere, and he’s swinging a very hot bat right now. The former top prospect does have some track record to support this performance, posting a 125 OPS+ across 201 games from 2020 to 2021, and he’s locked into the heart of the Nats’ lineup.
Corey Julks, 3B/OF, Houston Astros
Roster percentage: 1.6%
Julks went from bench bat to everyday player when Yordan Alvarez went down last month, and he’s made the most of it, slashing .344/.432/.500 with a homer and two steals over the last two weeks. He’s now up to six homers and 12 steals on the year, and with Alvarez’s return still a way’s away, he’ll continue to be a sneaky source of power and speed — plus, hitting behind Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman will give him plenty of RBI opportunities.