2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Hitters To Target On The Waiver Wire (Week 5)
Snooping around for some hitters?
With fantasy baseball season in full swing, it’s time to take a look at which readily available free agents are trending upwards in 2023. Now that we are into the month of May, let’s take a look at five MLB hitters that are worth a look at this stage of the year.
Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Pitchers To Target On The Waiver Wire
If you missed out on the Josh Jung train in April, there might be a seat available on the one for Mets infielder Brett Baty. Since Baty was called up in the middle of April, the top prospect is hitting .333 (10-30) with a home run and three runs batted in on the young season. Baty hasn’t received much of the way in terms of RBI opportunities, but more of those should come over time. And so far, the bat speed and contact skills that he owns have played up well at the MLB level.
While the Mets third baseman might not be in the starting lineup every day, the 23-year-old will get regular playing time and has cemented himself as a name to watch in fantasy.
It’s fair to say that many people didn’t project Rockies catcher Elias Diaz would have a higher OPS (.845) than C.J. Cron (.747) and Ryan McMahon (.734) on May 1. Yet, that’s exactly the case. The 32-year-old has been arguably the Rockies’ most valuable hitter over the first five weeks of the season, and his 27 hits is tied with Tyler Stephenson for second-most among all eligible catchers.
Diaz hit .228 in 2022, so it’s expected that the Rockies catcher will regress at some point. However, he’s worth a grab to see if you can ride out the hot streak.
Our target list for Week 4 included A’s outfielder Brent Rooker, who batted .417 with five home runs and 11 runs batted in over the last week. The former MSU star is likely gone in most leagues, but Jarren Duran of the Red Sox could be the next young outfielder to break out. Duran, like Rooker, recorded ten hits from April 24-30 and added one home run and four runs batted in to his resume.
Duran was a highly-regarded prospect for years in the Red Sox farm system, thanks to strong bat-to-ball skills and excellent speed. Expect a bit of regression from the .396 average he has as of May 1, but he should be a reliable source for both hits and steals provided he sticks in the Boston lineup.
Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno returns to this list for the third time season. Moreno currently sits in the top ten among eligible catchers in total hits (22) and runs batted in (14). The young D-Backs catcher’s ability to make solid contact was a calling card of his in the Minors, and it’s been on full display so far in 2023. Moreno hasn’t hit for much power, but that should change given his strength.
If you’re still in need of a catcher after the injury to Logan O’Hoppe, or beginning to get impatient with Daulton Varsho and MJ Melendez, Moreno is a nice option.
A’s outfielder Esteury Ruiz may not have the same value of a Cedric Mullins or Jazz Chisholm Jr., but a league leader in steals needed to be owned. Entering play on May 1, Ruiz led all AL players in stolen bases (11) and only Ronald Acuna Jr. had more steals than him in all of MLB. Yes, there’s concern with someone like Ruiz. The young outfielder doesn’t hit for power, and one does need to be worried about his ability to get on base. Thus far, though, he’s done a solid job of getting on the base paths. From April 18-30, Ruiz notched at least one hit in eight of the twelve games he played in.
Owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues and just a tad over 10% in ESPN ones, Ruiz should be a high-prized figure for those in need of steals.
Note: Stats are as of May 1. In order for a player to eligible for this list, he must be available in at least 50% of both Yahoo! & ESPN leagues.