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Top fantasy baseball middle infield waiver pickups for Week 9

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball middle infielders to target on the waiver wire going into the week of May 21, including Matt McLain and Orlando Arcia.

Matt McLain of the Cincinnati Reds bats during the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 16, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

We’re reaching the two-month mark of the 2023 MLB season, as hard as that is to believe, and “it’s still early!” is becoming a less and less convincing crutch for fantasy managers wondering whether to stick with a draft pick or start scouring the waiver wire. This is especially true at the middle infield spots, where injuries have felled top picks like Jazz Chisholm, Oneil Cruz and more. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a big year.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 9 middle infield targets

Orlando Arcia, 2B/SS, Atlanta Braves

Roster percentage: 25.6%

Not even a wrist fracture in late April could slow Arcia’s breakout down, as the Atlanta shortstop has three multi-hit games and two homers since returning on May 7. Arcia isn’t going to provide you with much of any speed, but he’s got a stranglehold on an everyday job in one of the best lineups in baseball and looks to be a plus source of average and counting stats — with just enough power to reach, say, 15 homers to boot. He should be scooped up in just about every league.

CJ Abrams, SS, Washington Nationals

Roster percentage: 11.3%

Abrams got off to a brutal start amid questions about whether the top prospect would ever be able to hit at the Major League level, but he’s shown signs of life recently, with five multi-hit games so far in May and a bit more power than expected. If he can keep his average respectable and crack double-digit homers — both of which seem very reasonable at this point — his athleticism (81st-percentile sprint speed) will allow him to run wild and make a run at 25-30 steals. The floor here is low, but you can always drop him if he starts slumping again.

Matt McLain, SS, Cincinnati Reds

Roster percentage: 9.3%

We’ve been on McLain for weeks now as the infielder tore up Triple-A to the tune of a .348/.474/.710 slash line with 12 homers and 10 steals over just 38 games. That earned him a call up to the Majors this week, and he seems locked into the shortstop job (and the second spot in the batting order) for the foreseeable future. McLain has tapped into substantial game power without sacrificing the hit tool that made him a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, and he’ll get to play his home games at the launching pad that is Great American Ballpark. A .270-280 average with double digit homers and steals is in play here.

Michael Massey, 2B, Kansas City Royals

Roster percentage: 0.6%

Massey looked like quite possibly the worst position player in the Majors after the first month of the season, slashing a scarcely believable .167/.173/.179 through the end of April. But the go-nowhere Royals kept giving him playing time, and eventually the bat started to wake up — Massey has tallied hits in 10 of 15 games in May, including two homers. The Royals have no choice but to keep starting him, and he posted 16 homers and 13 steals in just 87 games across two levels of the Minors last year. It’s worth the chance to see if that power/speed production can translate to the Majors; if he’d gotten off to this sort of start a month earlier, he’d have been on everyone’s add lists a while ago.