Potential help to one of fantasy’s weakest positions

As this week’s pinch-hitter for providing waiver thread gems, I’ll try to keep the choices plentiful and the explanations expedited. We’re going to get down to business.

Since returning from IL, Jansen has gone deep three times in six games. The surge should come as no surprise, as the Safety Net produced a 1.165 OPS in the second half of 2021 and a 0.855 mark last season. Jansen deals with more injuries than the average player, but he’s a quality puncher when he’s healthy, which he is right now.

The Naylor era appears to be underway in Cleveland as the youngster was promoted from Triple-A shortly after Mike Zunino was slated for a posting. The career .241 underage hitter is unlikely to help fantasy managers in the batting average category, but he’s hit 13 homers in 217 at-bats in Triple-A this year after diving 21 times in 2022.

The first overall pick in the 2021 draft, Davis became the latest elite prospect to join a big league roster when the Pirates announced his promotion on Sunday. The 23-year-old will spend time behind home plate and in the outfield, and has the full set of offensive skills that are rarely seen in fantasy catchers. Assuming he finished his career in the minor leagues, Davis finishes with 24 homers, 19 interceptions and a .404 OBP in 118 games played.

After disappointing fantasy managers in his rookie season and into 2023, Torkelson is showing signs he’s beginning to understand MLB pitchers. The 23-year-old posted a .783 OPS in May, and his mark of .798 so far this month would be the highest for any month in his brief career. Torkelson isn’t in this article as an outright recommendation, but he has too much prospect pedigree to ignore in 12-team leagues.

The speedy Taveras has been swinging a searing bat lately, batting .319 with seven homers over the past 30 days. And of course, being part of a Texas roster that leads baseball in runs scored only adds to his fantastic appeal. It’s the perfect time to give Taveras an opportunity, as he starts a series on Monday against a White Sox team that has struggled to stop would-be base stealers.

A strict squad role led to success for southpaw Raley, who hit .268 with 12 home runs and eight interceptions on 164 at-bats. It’s the perfect time to give the 28-year-old a chance, as the Rays face five right-handed starters Tuesday through Saturday this week.

Jack Suwinski (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, 47%)

Suwinksi was one of the best hitters in baseball in April (1,069 OPS) before having a mediocre May (.730 OPS) and then getting back on track this month (.907 OPS). His flying prowess from April has yet to return, but those in need of power should check the waiver wire to see if Suwinski was jettisoned 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 interceptions in 55 Minor League games this year. The 21-year-old has the elite contact skills to immediately reach average in the majors, and his superior speed is unmistakable. With regular playing time and some long balls, Matos could be an immediate contributor in five categories.

Six no-hitter innings in a Major League opener? Yes, it will play. Sheehan made the jump straight from Double-A, but the 23-year-old is clearly capable, having whipped up 88 batters in 53.1 innings this season. I can’t guarantee Sheehan will make all of his summer debuts with the Dodgers, but it’s a situation where the talent level is so high that managers waiting to figure out the player’s long-term role will have already missed it.

Aaron Civale (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 31%)

Civale has been blessed with posting a 2.67 ERA in five starts since returning to IL, and he will eventually see that trend towards his 4.16 FIP. But the regression is unlikely to start when he works at home against the A’s on Tuesday, and he should start in every league for this game.

Jason Foley (PR, Detroit Tigers, 6%)

Foley could be on the verge of securing the closer role for the Tigers, after bailing out the team on Sunday. Alex Lange was effective in April and May, but he did poorly in June (18.00 ERA, 2.80 WHIP), which opened the door for Foley, who struck out four batters in two scoreless innings in a 6-4 win over the Twins. yesterday. At the very least, Foley is worth watching in the 12-team leagues.

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