Royce Lewis is back and it didn't take long for the No.1 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft to make an impact and send fantasy baseball players scrambling to the waiver wire. Lewis made his season debut on Monday for the Minnesota Twins and it looks like he'll be rising up fantasy baseball rankings and 2023 MLB projections soon. It's rare to find a five-category contributor like Lewis available on the fantasy baseball waiver wire and he should be a priority add this week. He's still available in some leagues and in most National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC) leagues, he won't be available for bidding until Sunday. Lewis will surely see some big FAAB bids to roster him on fantasy baseball lineups for the rest of the 2023 MLB season. There have already been many fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups that have made big impacts on our fantasy rosters and MLB lineups, like Josh Lowe, Christopher Morel, Matt McLain, Nolan Gorman, Taylor Walls, Eduardo Rodriguez, Bryce Elder, Bryce Miller, and Tanner Bibee. Lewis could be the best among them, so make sure he's not available in your league. The next MLB top prospect to stash is Cincinnati Reds shortstop/third baseman Elly De La Cruz, who should be called up soon. If you need to replace players on the MLB injury report, continue to hit the waiver wire and consider adding some of the fantasy baseball sleepers below.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins (50% – Yahoo, 7.4% – ESPN)
Hopefully, you read this article two weeks ago and made the add when he was mentioned as a player to stash. Lewis made his season debut on Monday, batting fifth and playing third base. He hit a three-run home run and hit a game-tying single in the top of the ninth inning. Lewis is coming off his second torn ACL and has missed most of the last four years, but he can be a five-category contributor and be a difference-maker. He went 11-for-33 with four home runs, 10 RBI, and two steals in his rehab assignment over eight games. Lewis is eligible at shortstop now, but the plan is for him to play third base. He should be rostered in all leagues and should have been stashed a few weeks ago once he began his rehab assignment.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta Braves (44% – Yahoo, 12.5% – ESPN)
Ozuna is finally starting to land on more rosters, but he should be on more teams. After a slow start, Ozuna has been one of the best hitters in May and will get plenty of chances to drive in runs in one of the best lineups. He is slashing .338/.404/.713 with 17 runs, nine home runs, and 20 RBI in May.
Jake McCarthy, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (35% – Yahoo, 15.4% – ESPN)
I didn't like McCarthy in draft season because he was often going in the Top 100. McCarthy started slowly and was sent to Triple-A. He was called up Friday and went 1-for-8 over the weekend with a stolen base. On Monday, he went 2-for-3 with a walk, one run, two RBI, and a stolen base. McCarthy crushed in the minors, in the hitter-friendly PCL league, slashing .333/.419/.533 with 17 runs, four home runs, 17 RBI, and four stolen bases in 90 at-bats. He batted .283 with 53 runs, eight home runs, 43 RBI, and 23 stolen bases in 321 at-bats with Arizona last season. McCarthy can help a team in need of stolen bases.
Luis Urias, 2B/SS/3B, Milwaukee Brewers (18% – Yahoo, 10.3% – ESPN)
Urias has been on the Injured List with a hamstring injury he sustained on Opening Day and he began his rehab assignment recently. After starting 0-for-13, Urias had three hits on Sunday and is expected to be activated this week. Urias his 23 home runs in 490 at-bats two years ago and had 16 home runs in 406 at-bats last season.
Zach McKinstry, 2B/3B/OF, Detroit Tigers (38% – Yahoo, 5.6% – ESPN)
McKinstry has been a surprise and helped across the board in addition to being eligible at multiple positions. He is batting .291 with 22 runs, four home runs, 10 RBI, and eight stolen bases. McKinstry is swinging less at bad pitches and making more hard contact. He has a 15.3% walk rate.
Seth Brown, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (22% – Yahoo, 5.8% – ESPN)
Brown recently returned from the injured list and is 5-for-27 with three runs, two home runs, five RBIs, and one stolen base. While the A's are an awful team, Brown has power and can chip in some stolen bases. He had 25 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 150 games last season.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
Brayan Bello, SP, Boston Red Sox (28% – Yahoo, 8.8% ESPN)
Bello keeps getting mentioned in this article, yet he's still available. Bello is coming off his best game of the season against the Angels, pitching seven innings, and allowing six hits, two runs, no walks, and struck out six. Bello got off to a bad start but is settling in over his last five starts. In that span, he has a 2.57 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and a 29:9 K:BB ratio in 28 innings. Bello has a 59% ground ball rate and a 12% swinging strike rate. He has a two-start week with home games against the Reds and Rays.
Jared Shuster, SP, Atlanta Braves (12% – Yahoo, 4.3% – ESPN)
After beginning the season with the Braves, Shuster was awful in his first two starts and was sent to Triple-A. He was called up on May 16th with Max Fried and Kyle Wright injured. Shuster has made three starts since being brought back to Atlanta and has looked better. He has pitched 16.2 innings and allowed seven hits, seven earned runs, walked six, and struck out 15. Shuster gets the A's in Oakland in his next start.
Kyle Bradish, SP, Baltimore Orioles (16% – Yahoo, 6.4% ESPN)
Bradish has pitched better recently, allowing one earned run or fewer in three of his last four starts. Over those 24.1 innings, he has allowed 18 hits, six earned runs, five walks, and struck out 18. In May over 29.1 innings, he has a 2.76 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 19.3% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate.
Michael Soroka, SP, Atlanta Braves, (47% – Yahoo, 15.4% – ESPN)
On Monday, Soroka made his first appearance in the majors since 2020 after tearing his Achilles tendon twice. As a rookie, he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a 20.3% strikeout rate. Considering it was against the A's, some might have expected a good first outing for Soroka. He pitched six innings and allowed five hits, four runs, two walks, and three strikeouts. He allowed a three-run homer and had 11 swinging strikes.
Mark Leiter Jr. Jr., RP, Chicago Cubs (28% – Yahoo, 5.9% – ESPN)
The Cubs haven't presented a lot of save opportunities over the last few weeks. When they did get one last week, Leiter was given the chance and he converted with a scoreless inning. Leiter has converted both of his save chances and has pitched 21.1 innings and allowed 12 hits, four earned runs, walked six, and struck out 32. He has a 1.69 ERA and 0.84 WHIP with a 15.5% swinging strike rate.
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