From today until the end of the Major League Baseball season, Saturday is for looking at the various streaks and trends across the MLB, as well as those fantasy baseball players with rising or falling stock. Who should be your priority fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups? Who deserves some of your precious FAAB? Are there any potential fantasy baseball buy low trade candidates? As always, we’ll start by talking about some fantasy baseball risers and fallers, highlighted by a couple of prospects from the Cincinnati Reds farm system named Elly De La Cruz and Andrew Abbott. These are the gems on the waiver wire this week, and get ready to spend most, if not all of your FAAB if you want De La Cruz in particular. Unfortunate news for Jacob deGrom makes him droppable in all redraft formats, Alek Manoah is no longer in the Toronto rotation, and Louie Varland is losing some fantasy steam. Let’s take a look at some of the notable hit streaks and current trends across Major League Baseball, as well as fantasy baseball risers and fallers.
|1||Luis Arraez||.400||1||Luis Arraez||.449||1||Aaron Judge||.674|
|2||Freddie Freeman||.335||2||Juan Soto||.421||2||J.D. Martinez||.624|
|3||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.327||3||LaMonte Wade Jr. Jr.||.420||3||Yordan Alvarez||.589|
|4||Bo Bichette||.324||4||Ryan Noda||.410||4||Freddie Freeman||.576|
|5||Yandy Diaz||.315||T5||Yandy Diaz||.408||5||Corbin Carroll||.575|
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.343||1||Aaron Judge||.476||1||Aaron Judge||62.6%|
|2||Freddie Freeman||.339||2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.447||2||Matt Chapman||60.1%|
|3||Luis Arraez||.334||3||Freddie Freeman||.428||3||Joey Gallo||59.2%|
|4||Bo Bichette||.327||4||Yordan Alvarez||.420||4||Juan Soto||58.2%|
|5||Yandy Diaz||.313||5||Sean Murphy||.419||5||Yandy Diaz||55.8%|
Fantasy Baseball Risers
Come on, this has to be no surprise, right? Two of the top prospects in the Reds farm system come up within the same week and spark some life in this team! You love to see it! Abbott’s prolific strikeout numbers in the minors are going to warrant some serious FAAB budget, and he struck out six batters over six scoreless innings in his debut against the Brewers. From the sounds of it, he’s going to get a chance to stick in the rotation, which makes sense, given the current state of affairs.
Simply put, there isn’t much to say about Elly De La Cruz. He’s one of the “toolsiest” prospects in the game, and in four games since his promotion, he’s hitting .333 with a .733 SLG, four runs scored, one home run, one stolen base, a 99.1 mph average exit velocity and 83.3 percent hard hit rate. The strikeouts are a bit high right now, but cut the 21-year-old some slack. I’m not kidding when I say he’s worth every single dollar of your FAAB budget you have left. He may only need 75-80 games before he has double-digit home runs and stolen bases, and that may be too conservative.
I’ll be the first to admit that the wheels are going to come off the Teheran wagon sooner rather than later. He’s been great for Milwaukee, posting a 1.56 ERA and 90.9 LOB% through his first three starts, which have included matchups against the Giants, at Toronto, and at Cincinnati. He’s primarily a sinker and slider guy this season, and neither of those two pitches have generated many whiffs this season. His curveball and fastball have been great in that department, but he won’t use his curveball against left-handed hitters. I’m all for riding the hot hand, and I think you can get a couple of more starts out of Teheran. However, once his numbers start getting closer to those expected statistics, it’s time to drop the veteran righty.
Fantasy Baseball Fallers
Baez is a streaky guy, we all know that, so when these slumps come, it’s something we just have to stick out. The only problem with the slump is that he’s not doing anything to even help a bit. His hits that are few and far between aren’t home runs, he’s not driving guys in, and he has just two stolen base attempts in the last month! His plate discipline metrics are improved from past years, but he’s still leaving the zone too much, and in the early part of June, he has a 20.2 percent swinging strike rate with a putrid 61.8 percent contact rate. Outside of deeper formats, Baez should be dropped, as the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze with the 30-year-old infielder.
Lindor’s 12 home runs, 43 RBI, and five stolen bases aren’t bad, but his .222/.296/.431 hasn’t done fantasy managers any favors, and his walk and strikeout rates have gone the wrong direction. Currently, his 7.9 percent walk rate would be his lowest since 2019, and his 22.4 percent strikeout rate would be the highest of his career, breaking his previous career high of 18.8 percent, which he posted last season. His contact metrics and plate discipline metrics are slightly better than last season, outside of his swinging strike rate, so there’s some room for optimism there. However, the saving grace with Lindor is that he’s always been a second half player. As the season goes, he gets going. For his career, here are his first and second half numbers extrapolated over a full 162 games (or 650 PA):
It hasn’t been a start that fantasy managers had hoped for, but here’s to hoping you can buy just a bit more time until LIndor starts to turn things around for good.