New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is set to return June 21 after leaving his last start with shoulder discomfort. Another fantasy star who has dealt with injuries has been San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. The talented youngster had to exit the game June 19 due to a shoulder injury, but is expected to return to the lineup June 21.

These are two of the best fantasy performers this season, but both have dealt with numerous injuries through the first three months. It’s nearly impossible to make a fair trade involving these players, so fantasy owners just have to continue hoping for the best when it comes to the health of these two studs.

Three Up:

1. Washington Nationals Outfielder Kyle Schwarber — It would be hard to find a player who had a better week than Schwarber. The outfielder slugged six home runs while collecting 10 hits, 11 RBIs and seven runs scored. The impressive week raised Schwarber’s average from .216 to .241. The slugger has 18 home runs this season to go along with 42 RBIs and has given fantasy owners a nice boost in the power department.

2. Baltimore Orioles Outfielder Cedric Mullins — The outfielder has appeared on this list a couple of times this season and for good reason. Mullins continues to produce and help in all five categories for fantasy owners. This past week, the outfielder collected eight hits, four of which were home runs, scored six runs, drove in six and chipped in with two stolen bases. Mullins is now batting .319 with 13 home runs, 40 runs scored, 25 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. The 26-year-old is on pace for 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and approach 90 runs scored. The Orioles may not be a good team, but they do have a few fantasy assets like Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle, with Mullins leading the bunch.

3. Los Angeles Angels Starting Pitcher/Designated Hitter Shohei Ohtani — Another week of Ohtani just dominating the fantasy baseball world. As a hitter, Ohtani hit six home runs while driving in nine and stealing a base. As a pitcher, Ohtani threw six innings, allowing only one earned run while striking out five. For the season, Ohtani is averaging 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings while pitching to a 2.70 ERA … and he has hit 23 home runs with 54 RBIs.

Three Down:

1. New York Yankees Outfielder Aaron Judge — It’s been a rough month of June for the slugger, as Judge has only hit two home runs while batting .222. This past week was particularly bad, as Judge struck out 14 times and only collected five hits. The outfielder entered the month batting .297 and it has dipped to .280 during the last few weeks. Judge can get hot at any point, but fantasy owners are hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

2. Chicago Cubs Shortstop Javier Baez — The good news for Baez is he hit two home runs this past week. The bad news is he only collected three hits all week while striking out 10 times. Like Judge, Baez has had a June to forget. The shortstop is batting .115 this month while hitting just three home runs. Baez was one of my bounce-back candidates in March and through two months it looked like that could happen. However, a bad three weeks has dipped his batting average to .227. Baez is trending toward another sluggish season.

3. Chicago White Sox First Baseman Jose Abreu — The reigning American League Most Valuable Player had a forgettable week, as he collected three hits while striking out seven times. A bad month of June is the common theme between this week’s hitters. Abreu is only batting .186 with one home run this month. Abreu has never had a season in which he has had a lower batting average then .265, but he is currently batting .246. Abreu is in the midst of the worst season of his career, but the talent is too good so I’m not overly concerned yet. However, we need to see him break out of this slump quickly.

Phil Backert

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