Congratulations readers, if you’re still here and not thinking about football season starting up soon, I can only assume that means you’re still in the running for a fantasy baseball championship. By this point in the season, most of the hot waiver names have long since been scooped up so we have to dig a little deeper. Time to turn over a few rocks, shake a few trees, and see who we can find to help you for the season’s home stretch.

Vinnie Pasquantino – He’s been picking up steam, although ESPN leagues have been slower to warm to him than CBS. A top prospect with a big time power bat is just the sort of guy you’re looking for.  His points have been earned and there’s room for more. You can’t always grab a guy with this type of pop at this stage of the season. I’d move while you can.

Luis Rengifo – The lower back tightness isn’t ideal but early reports are it doesn’t seem serious. Assuming there are no lingering effects he should be back to his recent point scoring ways shortly. He’s been a surprisingly good option for a guy who doesn’t hit a ton of bombs. That actually has been part of his game recently with 3 of his 9 on the season coming in the past week so it’s nice to know he can go on a bit of a run. Consider that dessert rather than the main course. I don’t quite see stardom in his future, but I do see a very useful fantasy player.

Nico Hoerner – Quietly been a very solid points league hitter. Other than batting average his stats don’t pop off the page and grab ya. Fortunately, batting average means lots of hits and that adds up to points. The downside is that a slump could tank his value. But while he’s hot he can find a place on your roster.

Joey Meneses – It’s a small sample size but the early returns have been very promising. Hard to argue with 5 dongs in only 45 at bats. Did I mention that he also has a batting average over .350? Well, now I have. Obviously, that’s unsustainable but there’s no denying that the career minor leaguer is taking full advantage of his opportunity. Barely anyone seems to be paying attention with a roster percentage under 15 on ESPN and 30 on CBS but I can’t imagine it will remain that low. Playing time should be an obstacle because who else do the Nats have? They’re rebuilding and Meneses was swinging well in the minors so there’s not much reason they don’t give trot him out and see what they’ve got.

Jake Fraley –  In need of a deep league target? It can be slim pickings but he’s hot right now batting .400 with a pair of home runs over his past 7 games. He has a shot at regular playing time for the season’s stretch run and there’s value in that alone. His batting average looks legit and that gives me hope he can turn consistent at bats into points.

Harold Castro – Another deep league target, Castro has been productive at the plate with a .282 average. If that came with some power he would be much more interesting but then he wouldn’t be available for deep leagues. There’s not much upside but beggars can’t be choosers.

Ben Gamel – The Pirates may be a “hodgepodge of nothingness” but that doesn’t mean they are completely devoid of fantasy value. So what can Gamel do for your team? Well, I’ll be honest, the numbers aren’t pretty. He doesn’t hit for average, he doesn’t hit for power, and he doesn’t bring much speed. A real glowing endorsement. He does have a solid couple week stretch going and makes for a desperation flier if you’re in need of such a thing.

LaMonte Wade Jr –  Late Night LaMonte has battled injury and raised expectations from his surprising performance last season. His batting average isn’t pretty but he’s flashing his power with 3 in his last 4 games. It’s the Giants so it is highly likely there will be some platoon action. As hot as he’s been that’s something you can live with. Even if he doesn’t get back to 2021 levels, he can still make moves in that direction.

JJ Bleday –  The power potential is so enticing, intoxicating even. The obvious downsides are the .200ish average and the almost comical lack of RBIs so far. Seriously, how does a guy hit 3 home runs and only have 4 RBIs? Buy in on the upside, those numbers are sure to come up. Well, maybe not the batting average since he only hit .228 in the minors, but if he keeps blasting bombs you won’t really mind too much.


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