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The Wire Troll: Halfway Home

July 1, 2023 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Dominic Fletcher just keeps hitting for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Dominic Fletcher could be a surprising source of value. (Sports Illustrated)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. Most teams have reached or passed the halfway mark of the schedule, so be sure to keep your finger on the pulse and be ready to pounce on waiver wire worthy players.

This week, Aaron Judge‘s injury lingers but there’s hope he can return earlier if he just acts as DH; the Rangers have an MLB-high four All-Star Game starters (we wonder what the Fanduel Odds were for that); and Shohei Ohtani has set a new Angel record for homers in the month of June.

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Dominic Fletcher, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): With Corbin Carroll likely headed to the IL, Fletcher was recalled from Triple-A and managed a hit on Friday. You may recall that Fletcher looked pretty damned good in his first taste of the bigs a few weeks ago, putting up some impressive counting cats, flashing nice extra-base pop and drawing some walks, to boot. At Triple-A, he’s proved he’s too advanced for the level, batting .325 with tremendous productivity (see video below for a taste of his work down there). The 14th-ranked prospect in the D-Back system as per MLB, Fletcher is very small for an outfielder, but has an extremely good arm and is a strong fielder. While his offensive potential isn’t nearly as promising, it’s hard to argue with what he’s shown so far this season. Even if Fletcher’s ultimate ceiling is just a fourth outfielder in the bigs, he’s worth a short-term addition right now, especially if he can avoid having cats scare the bejesus out of his wife.

Quick Hits

  • Remember what a good start Noah Syndergaard got off to last year? Well, it’s been pretty much all downhill since, and his future seems more in doubt than ever while he’s off dealing with a blister issue (read: mental health break) for the Dodgers. Stranger things have happened, but we’re not penciling him into our second half rotation hopes.
  • Christopher Morel cooled off somewhat in June after his torrid May, but is hardly being unproductive, delivering two hits including a double on Thursday, and then mashing a two-run homer as part of a three-ribbie showing on Friday. Through 40 games played, he’s closing on his homer and RBI totals that he put up in 113 contests as a rookie last year.
  • Cleveland rookie catcher David Fry hasn’t seen much action this year, but he’s hit quite well in his limited PT. He delivered another hit and walk on Friday, giving him hits in three of his last four games as part of an 8-for-18 showing in June. Fry is fanning much more than he did at Triple-A, but is racking up the hits in his first taste of the Show.
  • Padre reliever Tim Hill has had a rough go lately, getting scored upon in three of his last four outings, but his ERA hasn’t taken too big a beating given that only three of the nine runs he surrendered were earned. He’d actually been fairly effective in June before this, and has been a real workhorse in recent years, racking up plenty of holds. Interestingly, Hill’s cutter has the second highest spin rate in the majors, yet he throws it very little and does not get good results with the pitch.
  • Jackson Holliday was just inside the top 20 in our Top 100 Prospects rankings heading into 2023, but man, has he ever soared up the list this season, now sitting at No. 1 as per MLB Pipeline. After launching his first walk-off homer as a pro on Friday, he’s now slashing .299/.440/.497 since being promoted to High-A a couple of months ago. An MLB debut late next year doesn’t seem outrageous.
  • Spencer Steer played the hero for the Reds on Friday with a walk-off two-run shot, part of a two-hit, two-walk game that gives him three hits in the last two and six walks in the last five. He wasn’t quite the extra-base machine he was in May, but man, what a productive June he had. Steer has probably already seen more PT than most expected he would all season.
  • Since taking a horrific beatdown on June 9, Rockie SP Austin Gomber has been much better, giving up 21 hits and 11 earned runs over his last four starts, covering 23 1/3 IP. He’s allowed three dingers, but they came in one start, and his command (21 K/3 BB) has been stellar. Slowly, but surely, Gomber is pitching better as the season progresses, but he has a big hole to dig his way out of before he’s actually delivering positive value for 2023.
  • Wow, has Ranger OF Adolis Garcia ever enjoyed a productive campaign. He doubled Friday to extend his current hit streak to five games, including a massive game on Wednesday that helped him move into third in the majors in RBI (66 through 81 games). Believe it or not, his counting cat numbers have gotten lower each month since his monster April, yet he’s on pace to flirt with 120 runs this year, despite never reaching 90 before.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

American singer Don McLean has been active since 1964, but has never been able to top his 1971 hit “American Pie.” Here’s Part I of the single version of this all-time classic.

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