I’m happy to serve as a pinch-hitter for this column this week. And since I’ve rarely had the opportunity to cover potential fantasy pickups this year, I’m going to keep the explanations brief and the recommendations plentiful. To the point.
Moreno should be fielded in twice as many leagues as he is part of a very small group of catchers who can help fantasy managers with both steals and batting average. Now is a good time to stream the career .309 batter, as the D-backs, who are seventh in baseball in runs scored, have games on 26 of the next 27 days.
Naylor has recovered from a slow start to the season (.761 OPS in May), but he belongs on the waiver wire as the Guardians face two left-handed starters over the next three days. I’m including the slugger in the article as a reminder to pick him up on Sunday night, as he thrives against right-handers, and Cleveland is scheduled to play seven of them next week.
I don’t expect DeJong to have staying power, but he is one of the best players in baseball, with six home runs and three steals since May 9. Managers should be willing to ride this hot streak until it comes to an end.
Jake McCarthy (OR, Arizona Diamondbacks, 31%)
McCarthy was awesome last year, hitting .283 with eight home runs and 23 steals in just 99 games. He had an ADP of choice 106 in 2023 Yahoo drafts before getting off to a dismal start (.467 OPS) and being sent to the minors on April 25. The 25-year-old returns to the majors today and still has the skill set that made him so desirable during draft season.
I’m making an exception to include Thomas, who is over 50% rostered, as he’s on fire (.987 OPS in May) and running out of the leadoff slot. Now is the perfect time to give the 27-year-old a shot as he should be part of a line-up that often scores against the lowly Royals this weekend.
Those in need of cheap speed can turn to Taveras, who has amassed 34 steals in 732 career at bats. He benefited from a .389 BABIP this year, but still deserves some credit for hitting .304 with a .775 OPS. And Taveras is getting extra attention in fantasy circles because his membership in a Rangers lineup is tied for first place in the majors in runs scored.
Jose Siri (OR, Tampa Bay Rays, 7%)
Simply put, I like Siri as an outfielder who fills stats in an elite lineup. The 27-year-old only needs 88 at bats this year to produce eight home runs and four steals. And in his career, Siri has racked up 19 home runs and 21 steals in 435 at bats.
Conforto brings a slugging component to the outfield group in this article, after regaining his power stroke by hitting seven home runs this month. Now is the perfect time to get a hold of the 30-year-old as he has long had the best against right-handers and is scheduled to face right-handed starters in eight of his next nine games.
Tanner Bibee (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 46%)
Bibee’s roster rate is perhaps my biggest complaint about Yahoo executives right now. The 24-year-old is a stellar pitcher, with a 3.18 ERA and a 25:8 K:BB ratio over his first five MLB starts. He should be seeded in just about any league.
Garrett is a skilled pitcher who took a few starts this year to find his groove, but has posted a 1.65 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and a 19:5 K:BB ratio in his last three appearances. His selection percentage should be at least 65% and he should be streamed next Tuesday for a home game against the Padres.
Is it too early to call Shuster a post-hype sleeper? Absolute. Still, the rookie has the same skills that caused quite a stir in early April, before falling flat on his face during his first two starts. Shuster struckout the last out of seven batters in seven innings with one run, and he faces the Phillies tonight before getting into a juicy game with the A’s early next week.
Miguel Castro (RP, Arizona Diamondbacks, 37%)
While Andrew Chafin will continue to have some saving chances, Castro has earned a significant share of the closing role. The right-hander has three saves to his credit since May 12, and he hasn’t allowed an earned run during that stretch.