We're almost halfway through the season, with the All-Star Break just two weeks away! Here are a few players to consider if you're taking stock of your fantasy squad.
1B Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers
Tellez has made this list before, and he is prone to run hot and cold, but lately, he has been on a hot stretch. Tellez has had two multiple-home run games in his last three contests for the Brew Crew. His max exit velocity is in the top 5% of the league, and his expected slugging is in the top 9%. Tellez makes good contact, too, with an expected batting average of .276.
2B/SS Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs
Hoerner may not be a power play, but he has a batting average of .304 in a year where the league batting average is .242. He also has sprint speed in the top 8% of the league and six stolen bases this season. Hoerner has been seeing the ball especially well of late, with a .400 batting average and six runs scored across the past two weeks of play.
3B Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants
Evan Longoria still plays baseball? Yep. And he can still play it well, too. Longoria is clicking as of late with a .324 batting average and three homers across the past two weeks for the Giants.
OF/1B Alex Kirilloff, St Louis Cardinals
If only Alex Kirilloff could stay healthy! We could expect more weeks like we've seen in the 12 games since his recall. In these last 12 contests, Kirilloff is hitting .333 with six-extra base hits, including one home run Wednesday vs. Cleveland. We have been waiting for this Kirilloff to deliver.
OF Juan Yepez, St. Louis Cardinals
Yepez made this list before, and he's back as he's been pouring on the power as of late. The rookie outfielder is now batting .333 with four homers and four doubles across the last eleven games. His max exit velocity is in the top 5% of the league, and on the season, Yepez has nine home runs and a .284 batting average. If you need some pop that won't kill your batting average, Yepez could be your guy.
OF Andrew McCutchen, Milwaukee Brewers
Speaking of old guys (sorry, Evan), I still love Cutch. The 35-year-old has been on a tear lately, hitting .302 with 13 hits, nine runs scored, and three homers across the past two weeks.
OF Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians
Remember the hottest waiver claim the first week of the season? After an awful May and being cut from plenty of fantasy squads, Steven Kwan is back- and he's batting leadoff for a surprisingly successful Cleveland ball club that finds itself only one game back in the AL Central as of Friday morning. Kwan has elite contact skills, with a .285 average and five stolen bases on the season. For June, Kwan hit .354. He's worth a pickup.
OF Oscar Gonzalez, Cleveland Guardians
Oscar Gonzales is another Guardian getting in on the action. The rookie hits the ball hard with a max exit velocity in the top 9% of the league, and he's speedy, too- though it has yet to translate into any stolen bases. Since his call-up one month ago, Gonzales has hit well, with a .285 batting average and both of his home runs coming in the last week.
OF Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies
Connor Joe had a down month in May with no home runs, but he’s a solid player that seems to be flying under the radar. His five home runs on the season aren’t flashy, but his .277 batting average and flour stolen bases are solid. For June, Joe hit .287 with one long ball, and let’s not forget: his home ballpark is Coors.
Joe is especially good vs. left-handed pitching with a .326 batting average vs. southpaws. if you're in a daily league, he's worth streaming when he is at home or facing a lefty!
SP Taijuan Walker, New York Mets
Taijuan Walker shut out the Houston Astros for 7.1 innings on Wednesday while striking out three and walking two. The outing brought Walker's season ERA down to 2.72 across 13 starts. It's not 100% clear how Walker is getting it done, but he is. His K rate was down vs. the Astros, and he generated only nine whiffs, but he could generate weak contact vs. one of the best teams in the league.
SP Jon Gray, Texas Rangers
Gray made this list last week but is still available in many leagues, so he makes it again this week. A popular sleeper pick before the season started, Gray has finally settled in for the Rangers with a 3-1 record. 2.39 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in June. He's also striking batters out at a rate of 10.5 per nine across his last six starts.
RP Paul Sewald, Seattle Mariners
Has Scott Servais finally landed on a closer? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but this week, Sewald got three of four save opportunities for the M's. He has seven saves in his nine opportunities this season, and his ERA sits at 2.60 with a sparkly 0.72 WHIP. Ken Giles, who we must assume the Mariner's signed for his closing ability, looms, but if you're cobbling together saves, it looks like Sewald is the guy for right now.
RP Lou Trivino, Oakland A’s
Trivino now has two consecutive saves and has totaled four on the season. It's not thrilling to roster a closer for a team that won't have many save opportunities, but Trivino has pitched 4.2 shutout innings with seven strikeouts. If you need saves, Trivino is worth an add.
RP AJ Minter, Atlanta Braves
Kenley Jansen has been added to the IL with an irregular heartbeat, and though the Braves don't think he will be gone for long, this issue could recur at any time. Will Smith and AJ Minter have been given an opportunity in his absence, but Minter has the better ratios. The leftie sports a 1.34 ERA with a walk rate in the top 5% of the league and a strikeout rate in the top 2%.
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