This week turned out to be pretty easy! There are some pretty obvious candidates to add or to move on from (in some way). Let’s get into it.
OF Franmil Reyes, Padres (35% owned)
The beast has been unleashed. Reyes had a double-digit home run day against Julio Teheran on Tuesday evening, bringing his total to eight homers in 2019. He’ll never be mistaken for a defensive maven, but if it’s fantasy baseball stats (and power) you’re looking for, he’s your guy to add. He’s a Joey Gallo type—lots of power but a lot strikeouts. If he can hit in the .250 range, you’ll take it. A current BABIP of .196 is destined to rise, and with it the .232 batting average.
3B Nick Senzel, Reds (57% owned)
Third base, shortstop, second base, outfield...there are plenty of avenues for Senzel to crack the starting lineup on any given day in Cincinnati. But look for the 23-year-old to wrestle the lion’s share of center field duties away from Scott Schebler. Better add him quick, as it sounds like he’ll make his MLB debut this Friday.
3B/SS Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks (60% owned)
He’s too low-owned for his batting order slot and for the production he has offered so far. He has back-to-back seasons of 20+ homers and is well on his way to his third straight year of attaining said threshold. Five homers and a robust .303/.379/.541 slash line should be owned in your league—especially if you have a corner infield slot or if you can utilize Escobar as a shortstop.
Other lower-owned candidates to be moved up your proverbial lists: Jeff McNeil, Mike Soroka, Michael Chavis, Aaron Sanchez, Andrelton Simmons, Jose Peraza, Tyler Skaggs, Hansel Robles, Griffin Canning, Elias Diaz
RP Jose Leclerc, Rangers (78% owned)
Shawn Kelley is looming, and Leclerc is really struggling. Yours truly passed on Leclerc for Josh Hader in TGFBI, one of the only good decisions I made in that draft. However, Kelley seems like merely a stopgap. This organization should be committed to the guy they signed to a long-term extension this spring, but right now you can’t have Leclerc in your fantasy baseball lineups. Put him on your bench and pray for a week with a string of quality appearances—at which point he should grab his closing role back.
RP A.J. Minter, Braves (53% owned)
How the mighty have fallen. This isn’t just a shot at Minter. This is an acknowledgement that the Braves bullpen needs major help, and not just because of Minter’s slow recovery from a sore shoulder this year. Besides not using Minter for saves, you can’t even hold him for quality ratios. I expect Atlanta to put the full-court press on signing Craig Kimbrel after the MLB draft (so they don’t lose their 60th overall pick and the slot money). I’m the Braves fan telling you to cut bait...you should listen!
SP Vince Velasquez, Phillies (41% owned)
Sometimes these things just write themselves. If you played Vince in DFS last night, then I know how you feel—because I played him too! Just when you think this guy is on a roll, he goes out and has a horrible outing against one of the worst teams in the MLB. Three runs and six hits over 3 2⁄3 innings against the Tigers? We don’t call that an implosion, but the lack of dominance and the consistently high pitch counts (to barely get through five or six innings) just isn’t appealing to me.
Other guys on the downswing: Mallex Smith, Jordan Lyles, Michael Pineda, Sandy Alcantara.
Who are you guys adding and dropping (or benching)?