2015 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2015 Fantasy Baseball: Deep League Middle Infield Waiver Additions

Both of the soon-to-be-mentioned players are interesting targets for deep leagues players who are searching for middle infield help, as almost all fantasy owners right now could use a boost at shortstop or second.

The first is somewhat blocked by an aging veteran, but it seems as though he may be stealing playing time as the vet continues to struggle. The second is the incumbent but has a hot prospect behind him who was on all of the top 100 prospect lists this past winter.

Matt Duffy

Duffy is somewhat of a lesser known name as he was a round 18 pick and has never really appeared on any top prospect lists. Despite that fact, he has hit very well throughout his minor league career – topping out last year on the Giants’ double-A team with a .332/.398/.444 line with 20 steals in just over 400 plate appearances.

Due to his positional flexibility, Duffy earned a major league role out of the gate. As a right-handed option at second base and a backup to veteran free agent Casey McGehee, Duffy was a solid addition to the roster. Since McGehee has produced just a .178/.231/.260 line and offers little in terms of power, speed, or defense, the Giants may start looking at other options. Considering that Duffy has started each of the past two games at third base in favor of McGehee and recorded two hits in each game, it looks like they already have.

In terms of what to expect from Duffy should he continue to get regular play, a league average batting average along with speed seems reasonable. He is currently eligible at both second and third base and is a reasonable option to look at in very deep or NL-only leagues. Monitor how the Giants are utilizing him and scoop him up if you are in need of a middle infielder.

Jace Peterson

As a Braves follower, I was actually a bit surprised this morning when I looked at Peterson’s numbers and saw a .286 average with a .360 on base percentage. Those are darn good numbers for any position, nonetheless middle infield. Those numbers deserve somewhat of a caveat due to Peterson’s immense lack of power. So far this year he has one extra base hit in 90 plate appearances, so if your league factors in SLG or total bases, he is not as appealing an option as in a standard five category league.

The Braves have allowed Peterson to run a bit, as he has attempted four steals so far, though he has been successful in only two of those attempts. Last year across the minors and majors he stole 26 bags, and ZiPS projects 19 more steals over the next 100 games. Currently his BABIP looks a tad high, so I think it is fair to expect a drop in batting average in the near future, but with a solid walk rate and not-too-crazy strikeout rate, he should be able to be an asset in the batting average category.

Performing well in Triple-A Gwinnett, however, is Jose Peraza. Peraza is a speed demon and former shortstop who most think should be a top tier defender at second base. Peterson is just a placeholder for now in front of Peraza, but when the eventual call up does happen, Peterson may be able to stake a claim at third base if he continues to perform. Keep in mind that Chris Johnson will return at some point and assuredly will start against left-handed pitching, and Peterson will be competing for plate appearances with Kelly Johnson and Alberto Callaspo.

Despite the long term questions around Peterson’s playing time, for now he is a quality option if you are looking for a bit of speed and batting average from a second baseman. In an OBP league, Peterson is even more attractive and should be a target if you are looking for help on the waiver wire.

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