It was another tough week for position player hamstrings, most notably for Nick Madrigal, Lorenzo Cain and Adalberto Mondesi.
The short 2020 season and return to a full season in 2021 is seeing a lot of soft tissue injuries and that’s doing a number on fantasy rosters.
Pick Them Up
Tyler O’Neill – OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Yahoo: 76%, ESPN: 79%
O’Neill is the weekly “Should be rostered in 100% of leagues” player. He has been the second-best Cardinals hitter, combining power and speed and driving in 32 runs despite stints on the 10-day IL.
He has thrived with a high BABIP, a stat attached to his career, and is hitting as expected. His average and Weighted On Base Average (wOBA) are .002 points below his expected numbers. His .649 slugging percentage is .018 below his expected slugging.
Justin Upton – OF, Los Angeles Angels
Yahoo: 43%, ESPN: 42%
The veteran has a hit in each June start, including eight extra-base hits (four home runs). He has been better since taking over center field with Mike Trout out of action, and the at-bats are there as long as he can handle them.
Amed Rosario – OF/SS, Cleveland Indians
Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 25%
His strikeout rate is down and his walk rate is up. He only has six multi-strikeout games this season and his last occurred May 28. I would like to see more stolen bases, but considering his improvements at the plate, beggars cannot be choosers. It amazing to think he is only 25 because he has been a topic of discussion for what feels like nine seasons.
Omar Narvaez – C, Milwaukee Brewers
Yahoo: 43%, ESPN: 39%
I can almost guarantee he is a better option than what you have at catcher. He has the second-best batting average and third-best OBP among catchers with at least 100 at-bats.
Miguel Sano – 1B/3B, Minnesota Twins
Yahoo: 50%, ESPN: 52%
Sano’s BABIP is .085 lower than his next-lowest season total and .124 lower than his career average. The batting average is bad, the slugging is higher than expected, but the walk rate is up three percent and 12 home runs may be available on your waiver wire.
Worth A Look
Adam Duvall – OF, Miami Marlins
Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 22%
I would be doing a disservice if I talked about Sano without including Duvall. He launched his 11th homer of the season Thursday. His strikeouts are eye-popping (15 in June), but that comes with the territory of all-or-nothing hitters. He is producing despite having his worse slash line since 2018. I put Duvall as a lower priority than Sano because their respective offenses are on opposite ends of the spectrum: Minnesota has the fourth-best Offensive WAR, while Miami’s is 21st.
Nate Lowe – 1B, Texas Rangers
Yahoo: 59%, ESPN: 57%
The concern with Lowe entering 2021 was prolonged production droughts. He has four hits, three walks, and one RBI his past two weeks and has seen his batting average plummet. His power stroke has been absent and its return could be imminent. Lowe faces Houston and Minnesota coming up. Both are bottom half in baseball in Pitching WAR and Home Run-to-Flyball ratio.
Robbie Grossman – OF, Detroit Tigers
Yahoo: 42%, ESPN: 50%
The Tigers’ leadoff hitter has as many home runs as he has stolen bases (8). Despite dips in slugging and OPS, he is still having a top-three season in both categories for his career. The strikeout rate increase is a concern, but he is also walking at the highest rate of his career.
Yonathan Daza – OF, Colorado Rockies
Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 7%
Daza is a must-own in larger leagues and dynasty but must do more to be rostered in traditional leagues. His average is superb but is light in every other category. His .397 BABIP also screams regression and only seven of his 47 hits have gone for extra bases.
Yan Gomes – C, Washington Nationals
Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 8%
He had a horrific start to the season but is rebounding nicely. The veteran is hitting well below expectations. He is hitting at least 50 points below his Expected Batting Average, Expected Slugging, and Expected Weighted On Base Average.
D.J. Stewart – OF, Baltimore Orioles
Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 2%
He has three multi-hit games in his past five, with a homer, three RBI, and a 3:2 K/BB over that time. He should be on your radar, especially in home games where his is hitting almost 90 points better. His average has jumped each month of the season as well, going from .179, .220, and so far at .350 in June.
Colin Moran – 1B/2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 16%
Just three games back from a month on the IL, Moran took a pitch to the hand and missed Thursday’s game against Los Angeles. Depending on the severity, Moran is worth a flyer. He was Pittsburgh’s best hitter prior to his early May injury.
Paul DeJong – SS, St. Louis Cardinals
Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 41%
The Cardinals’ offense is bad, so DeJong’s return is a boon even if he is hitting .177. He has had awful luck hitting in 2021 and has a .176 BABIP that should rise with his career-high Barrel Percentage.
Harold Ramirez – OF, Cleveland Indians
Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 6%
Tell me if you have heard this before: Cleveland has issues finding outfielders. Ramirez has produced alongside Rosario squared and a 12% strikeout rate is worth rostering.
I Am Skeptical
Christian Arroyo – 2B/3B, Boston Red Sox
Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 2%
His success atop the Red Sox lineup is appealing, but his .386 BABIP and 380 career at-bats in five seasons gives me serious pause. His 14 RBI is tied for the most in a season. Injuries make it difficult to pass on Arroyo’s production, but he could easily be dropped in one week if he shows flaws that have made him a journeyman.
Miguel Andujar – 3B/OF, New York Yankees
Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 6%
He is still only 26-years-old and is hitting lights-out over the past few weeks, but he has two more walks than you and me. His .427 slugging is the second highest of his career.