I hope everyone enjoyed one of the bigger fantasy baseball waiver-wire weekends in recent memory. We spotlighted the numerous rookies who have been promoted during the last week in
our latest waiver-wire column
. The hope now is these rookies adjust quickly enough to make an impact throughout the final few months of the season.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates First Base Josh Bell -- The talented hitter struggled in 2018 after hitting 26 home runs in 2017. However, it looks like the 26-year-old is in the midst of a true breakout season, as he is currently batting .333 with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs before even reaching Memorial Day. Bell slugged four home runs this past week alone and even though this pace will be difficult to continue, Bell is a legit fantasy stud. Bell had an average draft position of 242 in March and is paying off that value big time.
2. Toronto Blue Jays Third Baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. -- During a week in which many top prospects were promoted, the one with the biggest hype in recent years decided to remind everyone how bright his future is. The 20-year-old hit .333 with four home runs and nine RBIs this past week to raise his batting average to .235. Guerrero started slowly after his promotion and was batting .146 May 10. This, again, goes back to what I have always said about prospects: We know they are talented, but it’s extremely difficult to gauge when they will actually make an impact. It appears Guerrero has adjusted, and the hope is he will now be the player we were hoping for when we drafted him in March.
3. Minnesota Twins Center Fielder Byron Buxton -- Another super-hyped prospect has taken longer than many to adjust to major league pitching. Buxton is one of the best defenders in baseball, which is why he has been able to stay in the big leagues, but the bat has lagged behind through his first four years. The Twins have a talented lineup and Buxton is hitting ninth, so there is no pressure on him and that has helped him be more successful. The center fielder is batting .275 with four home runs, 24 RBIs, 25 runs scored and eight stolen bases. Even with his offensive struggles, Buxton has hit 16 home runs and stolen 29 bases in a season. I can see him reaching similar totals but with a better batting average. That will be more than enough to be a solid fantasy asset in 2019.
1. Atlanta Braves Starting Pitcher Mike Foltynewicz -- The right-hander landed on the injured list to start the season due to an elbow injury and has been slow to get up to the speed in his return. Foltynewicz allowed eight earned runs May 14, but there could be signs he is finally turning his season around, as he allowed only two earned runs in six innings May 19. The right-hander was one of the best pitchers in 2018 as he finished with a 2.85 ERA. It will be a huge help for fantasy owners if he can turn things around, but the numbers look ugly right now.
2. San Diego Padres Outfielder Wil Myers -- It was a rough week for the outfielder, as Myers collected just one hit while striking out nine times. Myers is batting .232 with seven home runs and 15 RBIs this season which is disappointing. The question has always been about health in regards to Myers, not production. However, he has yet to find his groove this season despite being healthy.
3. Minnesota Twins Starting Pitcher Jose Berrios -- The right-hander has struggled in his last two starts, as he has allowed nine earned runs while striking out just nine. Berrios' ERA prior to those two starts was 2.53, but it has since risen to 3.39. Berrios will be fine, but it's never great when the anchor of your staff goes through these slumps.