We can sometimes be too quick to judge as fantasy baseball owners. We rush to the waiver wire for the next big thing, only to move on the moment it seems like they’re not performing like the star we were promised. But sometimes it just takes a little while for things to click, and there can be real opportunity for profit in once-ballyhooed prospects that get another crack at the Majors.
Look no further than the corner infielders on the waiver wire this week, including two former first-round picks that were all but written off after initial struggles. They still carry the upside we thought they did just a year or two ago, and they might be realizing it in front of our eyes. Here are four names to target if you find yourself in need of a corner bat this week.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 8 corner infield targets
Casey Schmitt, 3B, San Francisco Giants
Roster percentage: 12.0%
A fringe top-100 prospect, Schmitt got the call up to the Majors this week and has immediately begun crushing the ball: The infielder has posted multi-hit efforts in four of his first five MLB games, including two homers and three doubles. Obviously he’s due to regress a little bit, but the hit tool was never in question in the Minors — and if his recent swing changes have allowed him to access a bit more power, he could be a four-category contributor. Plus, his defensive versatility should give him dual eligibility in short order.
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins
Roster percentage: 3.4%
A former top prospect himself, Kirilloff had his first two seasons in the Majors derailed by wrist issues. He underwent yet another surgery in 2022 and took his time rehabbing, wanting to make sure that when he finally returned it would be at 100 percent. It’s safe to say that’s the case: After a two-homer game on Saturday, Kirilloff is now hitting .438/.591/.875 on the year. He’s not all that far remove from the guy who earned a reputation as one of the purest hitters in the Minors, and if his wrist issues are truly behind him, watch out.
Joey Meneses, 1B/OF, Washington Nationals
Roster percentage: 19.3%
If you dropped Meneses in frustration after a brutally cold start to 2023, it may be time to revisit: The slugger is looking more and more like last year’s breakout star, hitting almost .500 over the last week while finally tapping into a bit more power. At worst, Meneses remains a batting-average boon and will hit in the middle of Washington’s lineup to rack up RBIs.
Nick Pratto, 1B, Kansas City Royals
Roster percentage: 3.9%
The last in our trio of post-hype prospects, Pratto looked lost at the plate in his first taste of MLB action last year. Something has clicked recently though, as the former No. 14 overall pick has put up five multi-hit games in the month of May already. Statcast largely believes in this performance, and while his strikeout rate is still north of 30 percent, it’s come down considerably from where it was to start his career.