Jose Iglesias and Jordy Mercer: Waiver Wire Shortstops

With the news that Jose Reyes is being activated from the disabled list here on Wednesday, there’s a fairly good chance that whoever owns him in your league might have a shortstop  to send back to the player pool. Of course, if your Reyes owner is like me and landed Jean Segura early on, then chances are, you won’t be seeing the extra help on your waiver wire. If that’s the case, then perhaps there’s someone else out there whom you haven’t investigated just yet, so here are a couple of suggestions.

Jose Iglesias, BOS |SS, 3B|  Ownership: ESPN – 66.3%  Yahoo – 21.0%  CBS – 41.0%

Based on some of the ownership percentages and the obvious hype coming out of a major market like Boston, Iglesias is probably more of a choice for those playing in more shallow leagues. With the news of Will Middlebrooks’ demotion to Triple-A, it appears that the Red Sox are content going with less power at the hot corner in favor of the better glove and the fact that Iglesias is batting .434 through 126 plate appearances doesn’t hurt either. Most will be happy to point out his ridiculously unsustainable .490 BABIP, but  you also have to look at his outstanding plate discipline numbers — 41.5-percent swing rate, 88.9-percent contact rate, 4.4-percent swinging strike rate — as well. Iglesias is still walking 7.1-percent of the time and has a strikeout rate under 12-percent, well below (as in better than) the league average. While some of the holes that the luck dragons have opened for him may close, he’s still being selective enough at the plate to continue finding the ones that won’t. A full-time gig at third only adds to his original shortstop eligibility and he should be able to provide you with some help in average and runs scored the rest of the way.

Jordy Mercer, PIT  |2B, SS|  Ownership: ESPN – 4.9% Yahoo – 3.0% CBS – 7.0%

Now here’s one for those playing in deeper leagues. With Clint Barmes pulling his usual “I haven’t been good since Todd Helton made me carry some deer meat,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has finally wised-up and moved forward with a reasonably permanent substitution. After performing admirably (mostly with his glove) as a replacement for Neil Walker at second, Mercer earned a few starts at shortstop to give the struggling Barmes some time off. But instead of being a temporary replacement, Hurdle announced that Mercer would receive the bulk of the work at shortstop for the the Pirates moving forward. He’s responded with a .313 average, one home run, four RBI, seven runs scored and one stolen base over the last two weeks. His 5.3-percent walk rate is a little low and he’s striking out 20.3-percent of the time, but given his minor league history and the fact that he doesn’t have some outlandish swinging strike rate, both of those numbers should start to improve with more experience. He’s got a little bit of pop and a little bit of speed so even if his .279 average drops a little with some BABIP regression, he’ll still be able to provide you with some help in the counting stats. Nothing huge, but better than most of your available alternatives.


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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

5 Responses to “Jose Iglesias and Jordy Mercer: Waiver Wire Shortstops”

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  1. GT says:

    Loving Mercer at the top of that (underrated) lineup. Think he puts up Neil Walker-ish #s for the rest of the season. Slump is always possible but a great band aid for the time being.

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  2. Giovani says:

    Kudos for not telling us to grab Iglesias while he’s “hot” or suggesting we can somehow know, even if the hot streak were real, when it will end. Just about every other person covering this guy has fallen prey to that loser’s thinking.

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  3. pft says:

    Iglesias goes 0-4 and has traded himself in his fantasy league. LOL. Regression will be painful to those who foresake the BABIP gods.

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  4. Weasel says:

    Thoughts on Dozier vs. Iglesias in an OBP league?

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  5. Klattsy says:

    MI dilemma. Went to get Mercer but he was gone. Izturis, Walker, Bonifacio, Profar, Crawford, Johnson? I’m thinking Izturis while Jays are hot. H2H Points league. Unlimited pickups so can play matchups?

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