Fantasy Baseball Week 4 1B/3B Waiver Wire Pickups
Welcome back to another edition of first base and third base fancy baseball waiver wire pickups. We’re driving here, it’s crazy to think that baseball season is already a month old.
For those unfamiliar, every week at RotoBaller we post a waiver thread article for every position. This article will look at inside corner options, both in 1B and 3B. You can also read our other articles on the middle infield (2B and SS), outfield, starting pitchers, and more.
Here are some names to consider on the waiver wire for this upcoming week of MLB and fantasy baseball season — May 2 through May 8. Let’s get straight to the point!
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Wendle was a guy I approached two weeks ago as a potential waiver thread addition. Since then, he has continued his stellar start to the season with the Marlins. Wendle ripped up his first home runs of the season last week and went for eight runs.
His on-hit percentage, speed out, and barrel-out percentage are all below average, but Wendle has elite bat-to-ball skills. He was great at getting the ball in play and getting on base all over the Marlins lineup.
Wendle hits .304 and has a .371 OBP and .817 OPS in the first month of the season. He only has nine plate appearances against lefties, but he’s performed well enough to be a valuable fantasy asset. Wendle is also already halfway through his stolen base total in 2021, slipping four sacks.
Wendle was a truly underrated addition for the Marlins this offseason, and is definitely someone fantasy owners should sign up in the future.
Wilmer Flores has always been a relatively underrated bat at the big league level. Since joining the Giants in 2020, he’s actually carved out a nice role for himself in the middle of their roster. Heading into 2022, Flores seemed to be heading more towards a platoon role until Evan Longoria ended up on the injured list.
Flores has been propelled into a starting position, and so far he has enjoyed the opportunity. In 17 games played, he had 12 runs and hit a pair of homers while posting a 122 OPS+ and .757 OPS. Flores has also seen an increase in his barrel, hard-hit and sweep point percentages so far this season.
Although he could potentially lose playing time to Longoria, the veteran third baseman still doesn’t have a timeline for his return. Flores should continue to play almost every day for the time being and is a solid option for fantasy owners to consider.
Neuse has enjoyed his first shot at daily game time so far this season. He signed with the rebuilding A’s this offseason, and then Kevin Smith ended up on the injured reserve, pushing him into a full-time role in the hot corner.
Neuse has two homers while adding 13 RBIs and stealing three bases. On top of that, he is hitting .328 and has an OBP of .394 and an OPS of .863 in 17 games played. Although this is a small sample, it is certainly possible that the breakout is legitimate.
Neuse hasn’t been able to find consistent success so far at the big league level, but he has a relatively strong record in the minor leagues. In five minor league seasons, Neuse hit .294 and posted an .815 OPS.
He hasn’t shown much of that power so far this season, but maybe that could change if he starts hitting the ball more in the air. Neuse has produced a 60% ground ball rate and 15% fly ball rate so far this season.
Either way, playtime is here and he’s taking full advantage of it, so fantasy owners should definitely take a look at the potential late bloomer.
Espinal has put together a strong 2021 season for the Blue Jays, but heading into this season he was expected to be part of the pack with Cavan Biggio in second. However, so far the utilitarian infielder has held on to his success and taken on the role full-time.
Espinal has played 22 games this season and has two homers and three stolen bases. In a very small sample size, it recorded career highs in hardest hit (48.9%), barrel (10.6%) and sweet spot percentage (53.2%).
Espinal quickly ran away with the job and made a nice little chunk out of the Blue Jays roster. As long as that is the case, there’s no reason to believe Espinal won’t have a breakout campaign on one of baseball’s top rosters.
Others to consider: Josh Rojas (19% registered), LaMonte Wade Jr (4% enrolled), Yandy Diaz (4% enrolled), Pavin Smith (4% enrolled), Franchy Cordero (1% enrolled)
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