The end of the world. No, I’m not talking about WWIII, the continued collapse of the US Dollar/economy, or the next predicted apocalypse conspiracy. I recently spent the weekend in Montauk, celebrating a dear friend’s wedding. Montauk is colloquially known by Long Island residents as the “End of the World” because it is the easternmost part of the island. Montauk has many beaches, great places to grab a lobster roll, and is home to Camp Hero, a decommissioned military base-turned State Park (the inspiration for Stranger Things).

We find ourselves in June, and if you’re reading Razzball,  you’re an attentive manager.   You are paying attention and are more or less aware of your team’s strengths and weaknesses at this point of the game. By no means is it the end of the world if you find yourself an owner of a mediocre team, as there is more than half of the season to play, but now is the time to get a bit more aggressive with patching team weaknesses depending on your place in the standings and format (roto/H2H, points, etc.).

As the weather is heating up, offense is heating up and many hitters seem to be finding themselves in a rhythm these past couple of weeks (Manfred hasn’t swapped the 2022 balls for the 2019 juiced balls as far as I know).

Here are some middle infielders to grab off of waivers or trade for if you’re looking to better your team in a particular category:

Runs:

Dansby SwansonBraves – Dansby has turned his season around, batting 19/5/17/.308/.368/2 this past month. More importantly, Braves management has rewarded his hot hitting by bumping him up to the #2 slot in the lineup. Look for Swanson to keep up his hot hitting in June as the lowly Athletics, Pirates, Angels, Nationals, and Diamondbacks take up the majority of the Braves schedule this month.

Home Runs:

Brendan RodgersRockies – Another popular preseason sleeper, Rodgers is another player who has enjoyed a strong May, batting 19/4/14/.327/.370. and cutting down his strikeout rate. What’s interesting is that Rodgers’ stats aren’t artificially padded by Coors Field, unlike many of his teammates. Look for Rodgers to take advantage of a Rocky Mountain summer as his home runs seem to be coming in bunches this year.

RBI:

Andres GimenezGuardians – Gimenez owns a 18/6/26/.308/.331/4 slash line this season. He’s in the top 10% of the league in wOBA and has made strides in his plate discipline, cutting his K% from ~25% to ~22%, and has been barreling the ball up significantly more. Grab Gimenez, as he’s owned in 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Batting Average:

Nico HoernerCubs

Luis ArraezTwins

Both Hoerner and Arraez will provide you with an empty batting average, but if you need a warm body to bolster your batting average, Hoerner and Arraez are your guys. Hoerner is more widely available (20% owned in Yahoo leagues) and is another player who has cut his strikeouts down and is barreling the ball up more. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hoerner finishes the season more valuable than say, Javier Baez or Carlos Correa.

Usually, a player that is leading his league in batting average isn’t as available via trade as Luis Arraez, but he shouldn’t cost too much in trade compared to previous batting title winners in recent years (Trea Turner, Tim Anderson, Mookie Betts) due to his 1-2 category contributions.

Stolen Bases:

Christopher MorelCubs – Morel has come out of nowhere as a rookie this year (especially to some diehard Cubs fans I’ve talked to recently), but finds himself consistently at the top of the Cubs lineup. The Cubs lineup is not too intimidating but batting leadoff provides Morel with some extra at-bats/opportunity to provide counting stats, and he’s taking advantage as a great source of runs while providing pop and stolen bases so far. A quick look at his underlying numbers backs up the strong start this far. Ride the wave.

Have a great week!

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Liam McNair
Liam McNair
2 months ago

Do you like Swanson or Wander more ros in a 5×5 ?

Great write up !

scar
Scar
Reply to  Liam McNair
2 months ago

Tough decision as we can’t deny Wander’s talent, but for now give me the healthy guy batting at the top of a good Braves lineup. There’s a chance Franco reaggravates his quad injury and is out for longer than expected, unfortunately.

Thanks for reading!

MapleCanuck
MapleCanuck
2 months ago

Great read, thanks for the info. Quick q…. What kind of underlying numbers supports the take that Morel can sustain this start he has had?!

scar
Scar
Reply to  MapleCanuck
2 months ago

Thanks for reading. Morel seems to be a toolsy guy, with power and speed looking at his line last year. He had a good year in the Minors last year and is showing an increased barrel rate and better plate discipline. I’m excited he’s still running at the MLB level and I’m glad the Cubs are showing faith in him putting him at the top of their lineup. If his increased plate discipline sticks ROS, Morel could be one of the better waiver pickups this year.

MapleCanuck
MapleCanuck
Reply to  Scar
2 months ago

Spot on.

This guy will keep the pace as his numbers suggest. Top 3 waiver wire pickup of the year award!

Well done!

scar
Scar
Reply to  MapleCanuck
2 months ago

I appreciate the kind words, good luck to us Morel owners!