With the tenth full week of the 2023 MLB regular season upon us, it’s time to take a look at fantasy hitter targets to keep an eye out for. If you’re in need of some reinforcements, here’s five interesting names to watch for Week 10.
Bryan De La Cruz
Traditionally a single-digit home run hitter in the Minors, Marlins outfielder Bryan De La Cruz‘s power numbers spiked in 2021 before being dealt to Miami. That surge continued in 2022, when he smacked 13 home runs and 33 extra base hits across 115 games for the Marlins Thus far in 2023, De La Cruz continues to be a sneaky source power, as he’s crushed seven home runs and sported a .299 average across his first 56 games of the season.
The 6’2” outfielder might not be a household name, but it’s time to start taking De La Cruz seriously. The 26-year-old has a very smooth swing and a penchant for good, hard contact. We should note that De La Cruz’s 0.6% Weak contact rate is tied with Josh Bell for sixth-best in the Majors.
Padres 2B/SS Ha-Seong Kim may be more known for his stellar defensive play, but the 27-year-old can also make an impact offensively. That was on full display this past week, when Kim batted .385 with two extra base hits and five stolen bases Kim’s five steals was tied for the most in the Majors from May 28-June 3 alongside Diamondbacks outfielder Jake McCarthy, who was one of our outfield targets a few days ago. And, Kim also tied Steven Kwan and Ryan McMahon for first in the league in that span in runs scored (8)
Kim may not provide much pop, but the Padres infielder should be a high-valued stolen base target thanks to his speed and ability to get on-base. The 27-year-old’s 12.6 BB% rate put him in the top 30 of the league as of June 3.
Orioles infielder Jorge Mateo‘s May was rough. The 27-year-old hit just .128 with two extra base hits in May, the second-worst batting average among hitters with at least 75 plate appearances last month — Kyle Schwarber clocked in with the lowest average at .115. It was a sharp contrast from Mateo’s April, when the shortstop batted .333 with five home runs and 12 RBI, and sprinkled in eight steals. However, Mateo did start June off with three hits over his first nine at-bats.
At this point, it’s obvious what Mateo is as a player. He’ll get you plenty of steals, add in some power, but will also chase a lot and make poor contact. Still, Mateo is one of the few players in baseball that can rack up the steals in bunches. He’s worth a stash, but utilize him carefully. We should note that in 2023, Mateo’s average against left-handers (.279) is much better than against righties (.208).
The Reds offense has put together strong performances over the past week, and part of that is thanks to Matt McLain. From May 28-June 3, the former first-round pick recorded ten hits, tied for fourth in the Majors. The 23-year-old’s already shown a keen ability to barrel up pitches and use his impressive bat speed efficiently.
McLain is a top prospect who showed a good feel for driving the ball in the Minors and to start his MLB career. That, coupled with friendly confines in Cincinnati, give us a good feeling about what the 23-year-old can do for fantasy owners.
We’ve told you in each of the last two weeks to pick Ryan McMahon — but after an eleven run week, he’s probably gone in most leagues by now. However, you might be able to strike lightning in a bottle with Jorge Polanco. Now off the IL, Polanco tallied a hit in his first three games back and belted his fifth home run of the season on June 3 against the Guardians.
If his 33 home run campaign from two years is any indication, Polanco can provide a real punch for those in need of a second baseman. However, health will ultimately determine how much value Polanco can provide to owners.