We’ve entered the last full week of July. With two months left in both the 2023 MLB and fantasy baseball seasons, crunch time has commenced. If your fantasy team needs a mid-summer jolt, here’s a look at five names that are worth a look.
We were quite high on Josh Bell heading into the 2023 campaign, but this season has not gone to plan for him. While Bell’s done a good job at getting on base in his first season in Cleveland, the 30-year-old’s most notable tool — his power — has not shown up much on the stat sheet this season. That’s changed a bit this month, as Bell belted three home runs — all of which came from July 7-19 — and five extra base hits in July thus far.
Bell accrued a hit in ten of twelve games between July 6-23. While his overall numbers are not strong, his numbers over the last months are much improved.
Former first-round pick Sal Frelick got his first chance in the Majors this past weekend, after the Brewers summoned the outfielder from Nashville (AAA). In his MLB debut, Frelick made an immediate impact and racked up three hits to help propel the Brewers to a win against the Braves. The 23-year-old snared another hit on July 23 to give him four in his first two games as a Major Leaguer.
The 23-year-old possesses incredible bat control and projects to be at the very least an above-average hitter. His hit tool, coupled with above-average speed, makes him an appealing fantasy target.
Twins 2B Edouard Julien’s power and ability to get on base turned him into a top prospect in the Minnesota system. Now, he’s had the chance to show Twins fans what he’s capable of at the big league level. From July 1-22, Julien hit .452 with five home runs, seven RBI, and 12 runs scored. The 24-year-old should remain a great source of runs scored, as he regularly slots at the top of the Twins lineup thanks in large part to his plus plate discipline. His .521 OBP in the aforementioned time span was second-best in the Majors, behind only Cardinals C Willson Contreras (min. 30 PA).
The former Auburn star has been up and down the organization ladder this season, but that should stop now. The Twins are set to give 2B Jorge Polanco reps at third during his rehab assignment, a good sign that Julien — who doesn’t profile at third well due to below-average arm strength — has a very good chance to stay for the long haul.
Julien isn’t the only Twin on this list. 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff has been on a tear since the All-Star break. Between July 14-22, Kirilloff tied with Juan Soto for third in the Majors in total RBI (13), and tied for third in home runs (4).
The former first-round pick has thrashed right-handers this season, as he owns a .323/.409/.515 slash line against pitchers from the opposite side. It’s a sharp contrast from his numbers against lefties (.119/.229/.262), but nonetheless, Kirilloff has the power to be a valuable fantasy asset. In his third MLB season, the Pennsylvania native has started to break out.
Red Sox shortstop Trevor Story missed all of the first half after the 30-year-old underwent elbow surgery this past winter. It was unclear at the time as to when Story could return, but the star infielder’s officially began his rehab this past week and will have it transferred to Worcester (AAA).
It’s very rare to find an impact player available on the waiver wire. But that is the case with Story, who is still available in more than 50% of Yahoo! 12-team leagues. Story possesses a unique blend of speed and power, which helped propel him to two NL Silver Slugger awards with Colorado and three 20-20 seasons.