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Corner Infielders: July 20th

With not enough content to write separate 1B and 3B articles, let’s combine them, shall we?

Gordon Beckham | White Sox | 44% owned

Eno talked about Beckham late last week, but I figured he deserves some more attention. Beckham is now owned in 10% more leagues since Eno last updated you, and for good reason. In 39 July plate appearances, Beckham is hitting .421 with an OPS over 1.000. While the sample is small, and the BABIP is fluky (.438), Beckham is hitting more line drives, striking out less, and hitting for power. Beckham’s dual 2B/3B eligibility makes him an attract option in leagues with MI and CI roster spots, and he can man either of them on any given day. He’s young, so keeper league owners want to be especially vigilant and pick him off the waiver wire.

Pedro Alvarez | Pirates | 9% owned

Like Beckham, Alvarez did not have a good start to his season, but is turning it around. When he came up to the bigs, Alvarez was trying way to hard to hit homers, and his performance suffered because of it. He’s significantly cut down on the strikeouts this month, and has started to flash the power we were all expecting. He won’t keep hitting .308 due to a BABIP and overall skill issue, and he won’t walk, but he’s a good option in keeper leagues. He’ll get plenty of playing time the rest of the year, so don’t be afraid to add him if you are in a NL-only league and get in a bind.

Matt LaPorta | Indians | 16% owned

While he was the prized piece of the C.C. Sabathia deal, LaPorta had been looking like a bust before his recent surge. He’s hit well since he was recalled after the Russell Branyan trade, flashing both power and batting average skills. He still strikes out too much, but I think he’ll prove his doubters wrong the rest of the season. As an added bonus, LaPorta has LF and RF eligibility in Yahoo! leagues.

With all of these players, it wouldn’t be right for me to tout them and convince you to (at the very least) pay attention to them if I didn’t have something on the line. So, full disclosure: I picked up LaPorta and Beckham in separate leagues this week, and have hung onto Alvarez since he was called up. I believe in these guys, and you should, too.

Ownership rates based on Yahoo! leagues.