As this week’s pinch-hitter for providing waiver wire gems, I’ll try to keep the picks plentiful and the explanations expedited. Let’s get down to business.
Since returning from the IL, Jansen has gone deep three times in six games. The power surge shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the backstop produced a 1.165 OPS in the second half of 2021 and an .855 mark last season. Jansen deals with more injuries than the average player, but he is a quality slugger when healthy, which is the case right now.
The Naylor era appears to be underway in Cleveland, as the youngster was promoted from Triple-A shortly after Mike Zunino was designated for assignment. The career .241 hitter in the minors is unlikely to help fantasy managers in the batting average category but he hit 13 homers in 217 at-bats in Triple-A this year after going deep 21 times in 2022.
The No. 1 overall pick from the 2021 draft, Davis became the latest elite prospect to join a big league roster when the Pirates announced his promotion Sunday. The 23-year-old will spend time behind the plate and in the outfield, and has the complete offensive skill set that is rarely seen from fantasy catchers. Assuming that he has completed his minor league career, Davis finishes with 24 homers, 19 steals and a .404 OBP in 118 games played.
After disappointing fantasy managers in his rookie season and at the outset of 2023, Torkelson is showing signs that he is starting to figure out MLB hurlers. The 23-year-old posted a .783 OPS in May, and his .798 mark so far this month would be the highest of any full month in his brief career. Torkelson isn’t in this article as an emphatic recommendation, but he has too much prospect pedigree to ignore in 12-team leagues.
The speedy Taveras has swung a red-hot bat of late, batting .319 with seven homers across the past 30 days. And of course, his membership in a Texas lineup that leads baseball in runs scored only adds to his fantasy appeal. This is the perfect time to give Taveras an opportunity, as he starts a series Monday against a White Sox squad that has struggled to stop would-be base stealers.
A strict platoon role has led to success for the lefty-swinging Raley, who has batted .268 with 12 homers and eight steals across 164 at-bats. This is the ideal time to give the 28-year-old an opportunity, as the Rays face five right-handed starters from Tuesday to Saturday this week.
Jack Suwinski (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, 47%)
Suwinksi was one of the best hitters in baseball during April (1.069 OPS) before having a mediocre May (.730 OPS) and then getting back on track this month (.907 OPS). His April steals prowess has yet to return, but those who need power should check the waiver wire to see if Suwinski was dropped during his brief cold spell.
A long-term injury to Mitch Haniger opened the door for the Giants to promote Matos, who was hitting .350 with 10 homers and 15 steals in 55 Minor League games this year. The 21-year-old has the elite contact skills to hit for average in the majors right away, and there is no doubting his superior speed. With regular playing time and a few long balls, Matos could be an immediate five-category contributor.
Six no-hit innings in a Major League debut? Yes, that’ll play. Sheehan made the leap straight from Double-A, but the 23-year-old is clearly capable, having fanned 88 batters in 53.1 innings this season. I can’t guarantee that Sheehan will make all of his summer starts with the Dodgers, but this is a situation where the talent level is so high that managers who wait to determine the player’s long-term role will have already missed out.
Aaron Civale (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 31%)
Civale has been fortunate to post a 2.67 ERA over five starts since returning to the IL, and he will eventually see that mark trend towards his 4.16 FIP. But the regression is unlikely to begin when he works at home against the A’s Tuesday, and he should be started in every league for that matchup.
Jason Foley (RP, Detroit Tigers, 6%)
Foley could be on the verge of securing the Tigers closer role, after he bailed out the team on Sunday. Alex Lange was effective during April and May, but he has fared poorly in June (18.00 ERA, 2.80 WHIP), which has opened the door for Foley, who struck out four batters across two scoreless innings in a 6-4 win over the Twins yesterday. At the very least, Foley is worth monitoring in 12-team leagues.