The month of June is here and it’s officially time to start making a jump in categories we’re struggling in. I expect offensive numbers to increase this month as the weather heats up, hitters accumulate more at-bats and a shortened spring training becomes more in the rearview mirror.

Also, as evidenced by the waiver-wire targets below, teams will begin promoting their young players to the big leagues. There’s a lot of range of outcomes with rookies, but if we can survive some of their struggles, the talented ones can lead us to a championship.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Detroit Tigers Outfielder Riley Greene — The Tigers are one of the more disappointing teams this season, but they are trying to climb out of their slow start. The Tigers have a ton of young talent, but as we continue to see, development is not a straight line and injuries can stall a rebuild. Greene was poised to make the big league team out of spring training but fractured his foot. He has been sidelined for the first two months.

The 21-year-old is a consensus top-10 prospect in baseball and has the combination of speed and power we crave in fantasy baseball. Greene hit .301 with 24 home runs and 16 stolen bases last year. There will be struggles, but the Tigers are in a position to let him play through it. The outfielder has played five games in his rehab so he still may be a week away, but his time is coming. Greene is a perfect stash for when he gets promoted.

Miami Marlins Starting Pitcher Edward Cabrera — The quickest way to becoming competitive is having a strong pitching staff. The Marlins have two pitchers in the top five in ERA in all of baseball (Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez) and are now adding a consensus top-40 prospect in Cabrera. The 24-year-old made his season debut on June 1 and dazzled as he pitched six shutout innings while striking out nine. Cabrera does struggle with command at times, which is the quickest way to get demoted. However, he has legit strikeout upside and there may be some bumps, but Cabrera is worth adding to your roster.

Atlanta Braves Outfielder Michael Harris — Another young, speedy outfielder is available for fantasy owners if they choose to go that route. In six games, Harris is hitting .286 with three RBIs and four runs scored. The 21-year-old is a consensus top-70 prospect and was batting .305 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases prior to his promotion. Harris has been hitting at the bottom of the order, but that could change if he continues to hit. He should at least provide run-scoring ability and swipe a few bases as well.

Phil Backert

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