Major League Baseball enters the final weekend before taking a pause for the All-Star break. This is also a good time for fantasy players to take a break as well as it’s been a grind since March and it will be a sprint to the finish line as the season has already passed the midpoint. Fantasy football draft season is here as well so remaining focused will be the number one priority.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Tampa Bay Rays Infielder Vidal Brujan — It must be nice if you’re a Rays fan. Tampa Bay is one of the best teams in baseball and yet has no problem promoting its top talent, which also happens to be some of the best prospects in the game. The Rays have done it again with Brujan. The 23-year-old was added as the 27th man for a doubleheader, but the expectation is he returns for good prior to the team’s July 9 game. Brujan played both games of the doubleheader and showed his defensive talent and what will also make him a fantasy asset — his speed. The infielder had 15 steals in the minors and stole a base in his first big league game. The playing time should be consistent and the stolen base threat is legit, which makes the talented youngster a viable target for fantasy owners.

Chicago White Sox Outfielder Eloy Jimenez — Fantasy owners have to do some forward thinking, leading us to Jimenez. For whatever reason, Jimenez was under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues earlier this week, but the fantasy community is catching on as he is now right at the threshold I consider when recommending players. I’m still going to mention Jimenez since he may be available. The outfielder suffered a pectoral injury trying to rob a home run back in spring training and has been sidelined since. The 24-year-old has scary power — he has hit 45 home runs in his first 177 games and could be a huge boost for fantasy owners in the final two months of the season.

New York Yankees Reliever Chad Green — One of the best closers in recent memory in Aroldis Chapman is a mess and was spotlighted in our weekly “Three Down” after a rough stretch. This has led the Yankees to look elsewhere for saves. Green received the first crack on July 7 and did the job. I still fully expect Chapman to be the closer for the Yankees, but they are in the business of winning games so Green could be used in this role again. The right-hander has pitched well this season (2.23 ERA). Even if Green doesn’t overtake Chapman as the closer, he can still help fantasy owners with his pitching ratios.

Detroit Tigers Catcher Eric Haase — As has been the theme this season, when there’s a chance to add a catcher with power, fantasy owners must take advantage. Haase is that target this week. The catcher has hit four home runs in the past week and has 13 this season. Haase is also finding himself in the middle of the order, an added bonus.

Colorado Rockies Infielder Brendan Rodgers — The 24-year-old was a player I wanted to recommend in March, but as has been the case for most of his career, the youngster suffered an injury. However, the bat has the ability to produce power and he can steal a few bases as well. We always love targeting hitters that play for the Rockies and now that Rodgers is healthy, I think he can be a nice add for fantasy owners. For the season, the infielder is batting .263 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 40 games.

Phil Backert

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