The fantasy baseball world held its collective breath after Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout left a game due to groin tightness and New York Mets first baseman was removed after being hit by a pitch in the hand. Neither player is expected to land on the injured list, but it just shows how quickly things can change and why we always need to be prepared. Having depth on our fantasy team is critical if we hope to win a championship.
Toronto Blue Jays Catcher Gabriel Moreno — If fantasy baseball managers missed out on top catching prospect Adley Rutschman a couple of weeks ago, they have another chance to acquire a highly regarded hitter. Moreno is a consensus top-10 prospect in all of baseball, ranking second at the position behind Rutschman. Moreno will make his debut on June 10 and is an immediate fantasy option. The 22-year-old hit .324 in Triple-A prior to his promotion and joins a really good Blue Jays lineup. Moreno hasn’t hit for much power in the minors in terms of home runs, but he consistently hits over .300, which is near impossible to find at the position.
There are questions surrounding Moreno. Will the Blue Jays give him and fellow catcher Alejandro Kirk enough at-bats to keep both fantasy-relevant? Will Moreno be demoted when Danny Jansen returns from his fractured finger? If Moreno were not a catcher I would be more concerned, but it’s worth rolling the dice on a talented player like this off the waiver wire at his position.
Toronto Blue Jays Infielder Santiago Espinal — It’s been a strong month of June for the infielder, as he’s batting .424 with three home runs. The entire Blue Jays offense has stepped up, and it was impressive to see Espinal find himself in the cleanup spot for one game. Espinal is position eligible at second base and third base and can give fantasy owners a boost in the infield if needed. Overall, the 27-year-old is batting .290 with five home runs, 27 RBIs, 21 runs scored and three stolen bases.
Tampa Bay Rays Relievers Colin Poche and Jason Adam — The back end of the bullpen for the Rays is littered with injuries, as Andrew Kittredge and JP Feyereisen are both sidelined. This opens the door for Poche and Adam to become the main relievers for the Rays to close games. Poche already has three saves and is pitching to a 1.47 ERA. The strikeouts don’t jump off the page, but he’s been solid. Adam has had a strong season as well, as he’s pitching to a 0.72 ERA and picked up his second save of the season on June 9. I will give the lean to Poche if I need to decide between the two, but this could become a nightly rotation.
Seattle Mariners Reliever Diego Castillo — The issue with relievers is if they have one or two bad outings, it takes forever to turn their ERA around. Castillo currently has a 5.57 ERA which is terrible. However, he has not allowed an earned run in his last seven appearances. During this time, Castillo has racked up two saves and has four on the season. Teammate Paul Sewald is still in the mix, so Castillo may not get every save opportunity. Unlike Poche, Castillo will rack up strikeouts, as he is averaging 11.1 per nine innings. Castillo seems to have a clearer path for saves than any of the Rays’ options.
Miami Marlins Outfielder Garrett Cooper — The outfielder is sizzling to start June, as he is batting .484 with one home run, seven RBIs and four runs scored. For the season, Cooper is hitting .313 with four home runs, 26 RBIs and 19 runs scored. It would be awesome to see more power, but if you need help in the batting average category, Cooper could provide that.
Philadelphia Phillies Infielder Bryson Stott –– The Phillies fired manager Joe Girardi, which appears to have jumpstarted a team that was sleepwalking through the first two months. I was high on the Phillies entering the season, as I wagered on them to make the playoffs. Their recent play demonstrates the talent they have and with expanded playoffs, there is still plenty of time to make a run for October. Stott made the Opening Day roster but was never given a chance to play every day, one of the many mistakes Girardi made.
Teammate Jean Segura is expected to miss the next two to three months with a fractured finger, which should open the door for Stott to play every day. Stott is a consensus top-100 prospect and is batting .346 with three home runs in the month of June. The 24-year-old will hit near the bottom of the order, but with the amount of good hitters on the Phillies, that could lead to plenty of RBI chances.