Now that we are a few weeks into the 2023 MLB regular season, you might be able to find some impatient fantasy owners and a few bargains on the trade market. If you’re looking for buy-low candidates in fantasy, here’s a look at five names worth a trade offer.
It’s been an auspicious start to the 2023 campaign for Astros third baseman Alex Bregman. Bregman came into play on April 12 tied for the fourth-most (57) plate appearances in the Majors, but just a .188 batting average and a .587 OPS. Strikeouts have not been the problem for the 29-year-old, who ranks as one of the league’s best thus far in terms of K% and Chase%. Rather, it’s been an inability to drive the ball and a propensity to get under on pitches.
The good news, though, is that Bregman looks like he’s finding his stroke at the plate. The Astros infielder went 4-11 with two home runs and five runs batted in during the Astros’ series against the Pirates, including a pivotal three-run shot against lefty Rich Hill on April 12. While he may not hit the 41 home run plateau like in 2018, he should be a 25-30 home run provided he stays healthy.
Not many pitchers in the Majors have gotten off to a worse start than Lance Lynn. Among pitchers that threw at least ten innings between March 30-April 11, only Miles Mikolas (16) gave up more earned runs in the regular season than Lynn (13). While he does have 21 strikeouts over 16 innings, he’s uncharacteristically walked seven and surrenders a league-high six home runs.
We’ve saw this movie play out in a sense with Lynn last season. The 35-year-old posted a rough first half last year, but was one of the league’s best pitchers during the second half. Even though it’s been a difficult start, it’s tough to give up on Lynn — ordinally one of the best command pitchers in the game — just yet. Grab him if you can.
Outfielder Teoscar Hernández has struggled out of the gate for his new team in 2023. So far with Seattle, the power-hitting right fielder hit just .192 with two home runs and six RBI over 51 PA from March 30-April 12. While’s been reliable defensively, he’s yet to make consistent contact in the Pacific Northwest.
The Hard Hit% rate is down from 2022 by about double digits, but it’s still very early in the season. A career .261 hitter, Hernández should figure it out in due time. And, his ability to drive the ball should give him plenty of runs batted in for the Mariners.
After a tough 2022 campaign, Juan Soto‘s start to 2023 hasn’t been ideal. Through his first 12 games, the Padres outfielder owned a .191 batting average and just two home runs, although he added a third on April 12 against the New York Mets. Dating back to 2022, the 2021 NL MVP runner-up is hitting just .239, a sharp contrast to what baseball fans have been accustomed to from Soto.
Soto’s plate discipline is still very much there, as the 24-year-old is tied with Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres for the third-most walks (11). However, questions about whether he’s pulling off the ball and doing too much at the plate have not gone away in 2023. But if he can fine-tune his approach, there’s no questioning his skills and fantasy potential.
The defending NL champion Phillies have not received ideal results from its top two arms in 2023. Aaron Nola owned an ERA over seven entering play on April 12, while Zack Wheeler posted a 5.59 ERA in his first two outings. While we think Nola will get back on track in short order, Wheeler’s a prime trade target if you can get him. Part of the reason why is his incredible track record as a Phillie.
Over the past three seasons, Wheeler’s been among the league’s best right-handers. Between 2020-22, the 32-year-old owned a 2.82 ERA and 463 strikeouts over 437. 1 innings pitched. With a strong record and elite stuff, the righty will figure it out.
Note: All stats are as of April 12.