We’re officially hit the All-Star break, which means it’s long past time to hold on to any illusions that you’re going to win your league with all of your brilliant draft picks intact. It’s time to throw out what you thought you knew around draft time and make adjustments. Time to decide whether you’re in it to win it this year, and what you might need to make that happen. Time to check narrative and sentiment at the door.
This is especially true at the middle infield spots, where top picks have been felled by injury (Jazz Chisholm) or underperformance (Trea Turner). 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 16 top middle infield pickups
Maikel Garcia, SS/3B, Kansas City Royals
Roster percentage: 9.2%
We’ve been on Garcia ever since he broke into the Majors back in May, and he’s made good on that promise, hitting .323 over the last month — including a tidy .400/.500/.560 line with a homer and a steal over the last week. At just 145 pounds (no, seriously) you shouldn’t expect a ton of power, but the 23-year-old has been shifted up to the leadoff spot as K.C. searches desperately for an offensive spark. Given his quality of contact — he’s got a 90th-percentile hard-hit rate and an above-average line-drive rate — if he can stay at the top of the order, something like a 5/20/.280 second half is within reach.
Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Roster percentage: 4.3%
We were also on Gonzales when he got the call for his Major League debut a couple of weeks ago, and all he’s done since is go 10-for-24 with a homer and four doubles. The infielder will always have some swing-and-miss to his game, but that comes with surprising pop for a 5’9 second baseman. The former top-10 pick should be an every-day player from here on out in Pittsburgh, and he’s capable of doing damage when he makes contact.
Zach Remillard, 2B/SS, Chicago White Sox
Roster percentage: 1.0%
Tim Anderson’s shift over to second base has turned Remillard into Chicago’s go-to shortstop, with the 29-year-old even hitting leadoff every now and then. It’s not hard to see why, as he has a 12.1% walk rate and 30.8% line-drive rate with good speed — and he’s hitting .406/.513/.531 over his last 13 games. The contact and stolen-base potential appear to be real and he’s regularly hitting in front of Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez; if you need average and/or speed help, you could do worse.
Donovan Solano, 1B/2B, Minnesota Twins
Roster percentage: 0.5%
All hail the return of Donny Barrels. The 35-year-old has been thrust into an every-day role in Minnesota due to the injuries and ineffectiveness that have plagued the Twins lineup this year, and he’s made the most of the opportunity, slashing .292/.418/.539 over his last 23 games. When he’s right, Solano is something of a poor man’s Luis Arraez: more a line-drive hitter than a power hitter, and not a factor in the running game, but someone who’s going to keep your average afloat while chipping in counting stats. Solano and his 93rd-percentile expected batting average are locked in at the plate and locked into regular playing time.