We’re nearing the end of April, which means the dust is starting to settle on the 2023 fantasy baseball season. Who’s hot starts are for real, and who’ll prove to be a flash in the pan? Who should you add and who should you drop? Our weekly waiver wire reports are here to help — starting with some options at the corner infield spots.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 5 corner infield targets
Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B/OF, Chicago Cubs
Roster percentage: 41%
Wisdom was at it again Friday, adding a ninth homer to his early-season binge. We’ve seen this sort of power from the Cubs’ corner man before, but the difference this time is it’s coming with an average in the .260s — which would be easily a career high.
Is it sustainable? It might be. Wisdom has slashed his strikeout rate, swinging and missing far less by being aggressive at attacking pitches in the zone. He’ll obviously come back to Earth a little bit, but he’s in a good spot to accrue counting stats in the Cubs’ dangerous offense and Wrigley can be a very nice place to hit during the summer.
Brett Baty, 3B, New York Mets
Roster percentage: 17%
Buck Showalter has yet to really cut Baty loose, much to Mets’ fans dismay, but there’s no way the husk of Eduardo Escobar can hold off New York’s top prospect for long. Baty hits a few too many ground balls to really get all of his raw power into games, but he had among the purest hit tools in the Minors and should be a very solid source for average — and counting stats — as the Mets’ (soon-to-be) everyday third baseman.
Jake Burger, 3B, Chicago White Sox
Roster percentage: 3%
Burger took over as Chicago’s third baseman after Yoan Moncada’s back injury, but at this rate he might never give the job back. Burger has always been able to hit the ball hard; the difference now is he’s being far more selective with which pitches he hunts, cutting his chase and whiff rates — and, as a result, his strikeout rate. His walk rate is in double-digits right now, suggesting he’s seeing the ball well, and he’s barreling the ball consistently with lots of line drives and very few ground balls. The White Sox are in need of all the offensive help they can get, so he’ll get regular playing time even when Moncada eventually makes it back.
Matt Mervis, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Roster percentage: 1%
Okay, technically Mervis isn’t a Cub yet — the 25-year-old is currently biding his time in Triple-A after mashing the ball at that level last year. But with Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini currently offering next-to-nothing at first for the suddenly contending Cubs, it won’t be long before he gets the call. And when he does, Waveland better watch out:
Matt. Mervis. CRUSHED. The first baseman keeps the bats hot for the I-Cubs with this 410-foot bomb! pic.twitter.com/IFw2jAJs8W— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) April 20, 2023
It’s easy, easy power for Mervis, who pairs it with a willingness to take walks that should help make up for a batting average that will probably hover around .230-.240 at the Major League level. It won’t be long before he finds himself in the middle of a very good Cubs lineup.