After a dizzying few days, we’re finally starting to recover from the chaos of the 2023 trade deadline. The landscape of the league has shifted dramatically over the last few days: Justin Verlander is an Astro; Max Scherzer (and Jordan Montgomery) is a Ranger; the Dodgers, Rays and Orioles all found themselves a starting pitcher, while the Reds didn’t. The Angels (and Cubs) are all the way in, the Mets are all the way out, and the Twins and Yankees ... apparently did not have cell reception on Tuesday afternoon.
Of course, the real-life game isn’t the only thing that’s been flipped upside down. As it does every year, the trade deadline will have fantasy baseball ramifications that will be felt for the rest of the season, leaving managers with plenty to keep track of as they get their rosters ready for the stretch run. Luckily, our weekly waiver wire recommendations are here to help, with position-by-position looks are players you should consider snagging off the waiver wire as the deadline dust settles. Next up: middle infielders.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 20 middle infield targets
Brice Turang, 2B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Roster percentage: 2.1%
We highlighted Turang in this space at the very beginning of the year, when the former top prospect seemed like he’d have a path to everyday playing time in Milwaukee. It’s been a bumpy ride in the months since, but right now, the arrow is pointing as up as his Statcast page:
Turang is hitting .407/.484/.556 with a homer and a steal over his last nine games, striking out just twice over that span. He’s locked into playing time at second base right now, sitting only against the occasional lefty, and his speed is a true difference-maker when he can manage to get on base (96th-percentile sprint speed). He’s driving the ball with much more authority lately, and while it could be just a flash in the pan, his upside is immense if he actually puts it together.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Seattle Mariners
Roster percentage: 13.4%
Crawford isn’t the sexiest name, but he’s been ensconced in the leadoff spot in Seattle for a while now — even against most lefties — and he doesn’t show any signs of giving up. The former first-round pick is slashing .330/.444/.514 with a homer and 19 runs scored in 29 games since the start of July, numbers that are backed up by career-high exit velocities and a 14.2 launch angle (up from single-digits over the last two seasons). Crawford is making better contact than he ever has before, and he’s done it over an extended period of time now; he won’t be a huge source of power and speed, but he’ll play every day and contribute across the board — especially in batting average and runs.
Brayan Rocchio, 2B/SS, Cleveland Guardians
Roster percentage: 0.3%
With the Guardians engaging in a soft sell at the trade deadline and Amed Rosario now out of town, it seems like the time is finally here for Rocchio, one of Cleveland’s top prospects, to get a long look at the Major League level. He’s shown he can do it in Triple-A, with an .800 OPS and 19 steals across 89 games in Columbus this season, and he’s started each of his team’s first three games since being called up to the Show this week. Think of him as sort of a Steven Kwan type: not much power, but good speed and great contact skills.
Liover Peguero, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
Roster percentage: 0.2%
After showing an intriguing power/speed combo in the Minors — he posted double-digit homers and steals at every level in each of the last three years — Peguero finally got the call up as part of Pittsburgh’s youth movement last month and has flashed some real skills. The 22-year-old is slugging .531 so far in the Majors, with three homers across 34 plate appearances and a 97th-percentile sprint speed. The plate approach is still raw, but with Rodolfo Castro and Tucupita Marcano out of the picture, he’ll have all the at-bats he can handle — and the upside is immense.