The past week of Major League Baseball has brought fresh faces to fantasy baseball, but also a number of notable injuries. If you were one such player affected by a fantasy injury, here’s a look at five hitters that could help fill that void.
Believe it or not, Francisco Alvarez is still available in a lot of fantasy leagues. The Mets catcher is tied for second alongside Francisco Lindor in home runs (12) and he’s been adept at taking pitches outside of the zone.
Alvarez failed to record a hit the week prior, but he tallied five hits — four of which were home runs — during the Mets’ recent six-game road trip. Alvarez also entered the day on June 11 tied for first among catchers in home runs, a figure rather impressive given that Salvador Perez (12 in 243 PA) and Sean Murphy (12 in 215 PA) accumulated more appearances at the plate.
Ji Hwan Bae
Two of the hottest infielders on the waiver wire this past week were Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz, the former of whom was profiled in our waiver wire target list a week ago. Both are gone in most leagues, but one value infielder that’s available in many leagues is Pirates 2B/OF Ji Hwan Bae. The 23-year-old hit .304 in the month of May and swiped four bases for the Bucs, and already added four more steals to his name in June.
Bae doesn’t offer much in the way in terms of home run and RBI potential, mainly because he’s a line drive hitter who looks to push the ball straight over the middle infield. Still, he gets on base and he entered play on June 11 fifth in Major League Baseball in stolen bases (19).
Guardians outfielder Will Brennan gave Cleveland a nice punch late last season, and he’s seemingly off and running after what was a slow start to the 2023 campaign. The former Kansas State star’s 15 hits between June 1-10 were tied for third in the Majors over that stretch, with Ke’Bryan Hayes and Luis Arraez (18) being the only two with more. Brennan also drove in eight for the Guardians over the past week.
Given that the Guardians typically slot Brennan in the bottom of the lineup, don’t expect the 25-year-old’s RBI opportunities to be particularly high. However, he does possess great bat-to-ball skills and makes good — but not hard — contact on a consistent basis.
Earlier in the season, Astros INF/OF Mauricio Dubón was a popular waiver wire name as he took over second base in Jose Altuve‘s absence. Now with Yordan Alvarez out, Dubón is set to get back into the fantasy picture. The 28-year-old went 13-34 (.382) from June 1-10 and recorded five multi-hit games between June 3-10.
Like with Bae and Brennan, Dubón is a contact-orientated hitter that won’t hit many home runs nor walk a whole lot. However, the Astros have slotted the 28-year-old at the top of the lineup and figures to get plenty of at-bats and opportunities to rack up hits and runs scored.
Braves OF Marcell Ozuna made this list two weeks ago, and he’s back again for Week 11. Ozuna continues to produce, as he hit .375 with two home runs and seven RBI over his first seven games of June. He followed that start up with two more hits on June 11 to raise his average on the month to .423.
Ozuna is prone to his mistakes, as indicated by Braves manager Brian Snitker’s decision to pull the 32-year-old from Atlanta’s game on June 4 for not hustling around the bases. On the other hand, Ozuna’s stroke has been his best in years.