Welcome back to another edition of the wire, where we check in on guys swinging hot bats who should be free to pick up. Hopefully, your team is off to a blazing start, crushing the competition and setting the weekly high score. But if it isn’t, fret not for there are some hot hitters out there to turn the ship around. Plus even the best teams can always get better. It’s still too early in the season for ratios to stabilize but we can use these early season performances as a guide to try and gauge a hitter’s value and what they can do for your team. So sit back, relax and heed my wisdom. Then run to the wire and upgrade your team.
Jonah Heim– Crazy that a part time catcher is leading the position in scoring. He’s only got 33 ABs but he’s turned that into 47 points in standard leagues. I’d love nothing more than to tell you to run to the wire, your catching woes are over. I love the hot hand approach, especially behind the plate but he just doesn’t have the consistent playing time to be a reliable option. For now, he’s a guy to throw on your watch list. If his bat stays hot, he’ll force the Rangers to give him more at bats.
Elias Diaz– Admittedly, the Coors factor is a big reason I’m interested in him. That alone can make anyone look like a solid hitter and at catcher, that may be exactly what you need. I really like the five doubles and even more than that, I like that he has logged 64 at bats. So far Diaz looks to have a firm grasp on primary catching duties. That moves him from a guy to watch to a guy to grab.
Wilmer Flores– The universal DH has been good for him and he’s bounced back and forth with the hot corner. For our purposes, it doesn’t really matter what position he plays in the field as long as his bat is in the lineup and he hits. So far that’s been the case and he sports a .269 average. The power has been a little light, with only two bombs so far but he does have some decent pop. He also comes with positional flexibility, both in real life and for fantasy. That will serve him well because we all know that Platoon is clearly Gabe Kapler’s favorite movie.
Yandy Diaz– Raise your hand if you had a Yandy breakout on your bingo card. He was a career .311 hitter in the minors, so his .306 batting average this season may not simply be a mirage. He never flashed a power bat in the minors and at age 30 it seems safe to assume that is not going to dramatically improve. Despite that limitation, he’s managed to rack up a big chunk of points with 21 hits in 66 ABs. He has the makings of whose value is far greater in points leagues and can slot in at either corner infield spot. The type of guy who should not be available in as many leagues as he is.
Juan Yepez– With 9 bombs in 22 games in the minors this season, the power potential with Yepez is very real. Did I mention that also came with a .279 average and 5 doubles? That’s some sweet music right there. That is real but the issue could be playing time. I hope he wasn’t called up just for depth, and that he got his first start in the outfield is encouraging. The bigger worry would be that he gets sent back down once the Cards recover from their Covid outbreak. However, his potential makes him well worth the flyer. He’ll have a chance to show what he can do against major league pitching in the meantime and if he sticks he could be a waiver wire gem.
Thairo Estrada– The hot start has cooled with a .211 average over the past week. I still like him in deeper leagues because he plays almost every day, a rarity among Giants hitters. He was a stud in the early going and should continue to see regular at bats, at least until some other guys get healthy. He can still be just the guy you need to reinforce your middle infield.
Sheldon Neuse– His .329 average is high (he’s around .250 for his career), but he batted just under .300 in the minors so I’m saying there’s a chance. I am a little concerned about the 25 strikeouts, that’s a real drag. Fortunately, that hasn’t stopped him from scoring points. Take a chance while he’s hot.
Jeremy Pena– You can forgive the .229 average because he’s swatted 5 home runs. His power numbers increased each year in the minors, culminating with 10 in 30 AAA games. He’s still only 24 years old so it wouldn’t be a shock if the power continues to rise. You also have to like that he’s got a lock on the number 2 spot in the order.
Adolis Garcia– He’s on a few more rosters than the other guys on this list so he may not be available but his roster percentage is still on the low side for a guy with this type of power. Yes he’s only batting .200 and yes he’s struck out 26 times in 24 games but that actually puts him on pace for less than last season. Also, he almost batted .250 last year so we could see his average rise. Add it all together and there’s value to be had.
Yadiel Hernandez– If it’s a deep outfield target you need, take a look at Yadiel. He’s hot right now with 5 doubles in the past week and 7 on the season. Sweet, beautiful doubles. Strike while the bat is hot, enjoy the points and drop him for the newest flavor of the week when he comes back to earth.
Harrison Bader– You may know him from his work in SAGNOF and he is tied for 3rd in the league with 6 steals. Speed may be his calling card but he brings some pop to the table as well. He’s got a nice little hot streak going, scoring over half his season points this past week. Maybe we should change it from Steals to Points Ain’t Got No Face. Doesn’t matter how they score em, they all count the same.
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