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Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Domingo German, Anthony Santander, Brandon Belt

May 14, 2021

How many injured players across the league are we up to now? Has it reached 200 yet? It sure seems that way. With players going down with a variety of injuries almost hourly, fantasy managers find themselves scrambling for replacements. With so many managers desperate for waiver-wire adds, it’s quite surprising to see more than a few quality names still available in the majority of leagues.

I’ve put together a list that will help support your depleted squad in at least one specific category. Many of these studs will help you in more ways than one, with their primary contributions coming in the category under which they are listed.

Continuing with my weekly series, here are 11 players that are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues who can help your team right now. They’re likely to be unavailable by next week, so claim them ASAP!

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Home Runs

Anthony Santander (OF – BAL): 44%
Santander is a player who will hit home runs in bunches and produce a healthy number of RBIs. Last season, he knocked out 11 homers in only 37 games. The year before, he crushed 20 in 93 games. He’ll bat anywhere from second to fourth in the lineup after his return, surrounded by the hot-hitting Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins. Santander is currently on a rehab assignment after tweaking his ankle just over three weeks ago. If he was dropped in your league, pick up the slugging right fielder before his return.

RBI

Brandon Belt (1B/OF – SF): 44%
I was one of Belt’s biggest supporters entering the season, and he is finally living up to my lofty expectations. After re-tooling his swing and approach under the guidance of the new coaching staff last year, the first baseman broke out with a 1.015 OPS and 30 RBI. Over his last 21 games, Belt has knocked in 19 runs. He has boosted his average by nearly 40 points in that span, which should continue to climb as the weather heats up. He is batting fourth regularly and is now up to eight home runs and 19 walks in less than 100 at-bats. I like him to reach 30 home runs this season and total at least 165 in the run scoring categories.

Runs

Miguel Rojas (SS – MIA): 42%
Rojas is a player who quietly does it all. He is a leader in the clubhouse, takes quality at-bats, doesn’t strike out much, drives the ball from foul pole to foul pole, runs the bases well, and is even a solid defender. Last year, he constructed a robust .304/.392/.496 stat-line, and so far he is off to a fairly similar start. Batting leadoff for the Fish, Rojas is 13 for his last 33 (.394 BA) with 11 runs scored (24 for the season). If you need help with your middle infield, look no further.

Stolen Bases

Niko Goodrum (1B/2B/SS/OF – DET): 31%
I don’t like listing the same player in consecutive weeks, but when it comes to this week’s undervalued stolen base threat, I need to re-highlight Niko Goodrum. Goodrum has been on a tear lately, playing like a man with his hair on fire. Since May 1st (10 games), the versatile veteran has produced 13 hits (.361 BA), seven walks, eight runs, five RBI, and an impressive five stolen bags on seven attempts! He was only rostered in six percent of leagues last week when I featured him, and now the speedy infielder is up to 31. Detroit has nothing to lose by giving him free reign on the base paths, where he has gone six for nine in stolen base attempts so far. Goodrum is playing every day and deserves a roster spot right now.

Batting Average

Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B – DET): 29%
Let’s stick with the Tigers because you can never have too many of them. All kidding aside, Candelario has been a standout for the Tigers since the start of last season. In 2020, the switch-hitting third baseman hit .297. This year, he is sitting at .290. He regularly hits third in the lineup and should continue to rack up hits all season long. He is 12 for 34 (.353 BA) in the month of May and is worth an add if your batting average is dismally low.

ERA

Rich Hill (SP – TB): 10%
It’s time to pick up Mr. Old Reliable, AKA Rich Hill. After a rough beginning to 2021, Hill has ripped off three scoreless outings, including Thursday’s victory over the Yankees. His ERA is down to 4.26, which is still inflated a bit due to his bad starts earlier in the year. His ERA has hovered around 2.75 over the last eight years and 2.68 over the last two. The 41-year-old lefty often takes a trip to the IL, but for now, Hill is pitching like an ace and is worth adding.

Wins

Garrett Richards (SP – BOS): 20%
Garrett Richards is another comeback story of sorts. After opening the 2021 season with a shellacking against Baltimore, Richards has steadily put up quality numbers. In his words, “it was just one game,” and fantasy managers would do well to remember the same. Since his opener, Richards has thrown 39.2 innings and allowed 12 earned runs — a 2.72 ERA. With the offense firing on all cylinders and Richards pitching well into the late innings (25 innings over his last four starts), you have to figure the wins will start piling up. A trip to Toronto is on the books for next week, where I’m choosing to keep him on the bench, but for the long haul, Richards is deserving of a roster spot.

Strikeouts

Luis Garcia (SP/RP – HOU): 15%
I’ve been harping on Garcia for weeks now, and today is no different. After striking out seven batters against the Angels, Garcia is up to 35 strikeouts over 30 innings, with an impressive 28.5 K%. He has struck out 21 hitters over his last 15 innings, featuring a set of well-controlled breaking balls and a mid-90’s fastball. His K% was nearly 40 percent his final year in the minor leagues, so the whiffs should come as no surprise. Garcia currently sports a 3.60 ERA with a cool 1.07 WHIP. He may not reach 2020 Cristian Javier numbers, but he’ll come close. Add him now.

Saves

Jake Diekman (RP – OAK): 49%
The A’s are currently playing matchups with Lou Trivino and Diekman, with the last two save opportunities going to Diekman. There’s no telling who is going to be handed the ball on any given night, but Diekman will provide excellent strikeout numbers even when he pitches the eighth.

Jordan Romano (RP – TOR): 48%
Jordan Romano is another solid candidate to add for saves. The Jays are also mixing and matching, but with so many injuries to the back end of the bullpen, look for Romano to get the bulk of the save opportunities. Both are worth a roster spot right now.

WHIP

Domingo German (SP – NYY): 47%
We finally got Taijuan Walker off this list (he’s up to 60% rostered), so now we have to get Domingo German off of it. German has done nothing but pitch well since his return from the alternate site. Through four games since his return, he has thrown 24.1 innings and allowed 19 hits and four walks (0.94 WHIP). Even with the two bad starts at the beginning of the year, German’s WHIP for the season sits at a paltry 1.18. His ratios were nearly identical when he won 18 games for the Bombers two years ago. One more quality start, and he’ll surely rise over 60% ownership. Claim him before it’s too late.

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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.

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