Every week so far this season, the fantasy-baseball landscape has seemed to be continuously changing. Guys have been all over the place, shaking up depth charts left and right. It feels as though we could be approaching a new era of the sport, where if a young prospect is playing well in the minors, there is no more waiting around. We have already seen that in 2023 with the likes of Brett Baty, Bryce Miller, Edouard Julien, and the first man that will be up on this week’s list.
I feel the need to keep reiterating my support of the rule changes in baseball this season. The game is certainly on track to becoming “fun” again, and offensive production has continued to surge month over month. We haven’t even hit the hot summer months yet. Fantasy teams need to stay up to date on team changes as they continue, because there are sure to be more gems coming through the line as we move along. Let’s jump in.
- Weekly Waiver Wire Advice
- Weekly Fantasy Baseball Content
- Dynasty Fantasy Baseball Trade Value Chart
- MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Baseball Depth Chart Review
For the first time in the 2023 Depth Chart Review article series, we have a repeat name. I wrote about De La Cruz back in May, noting that the top MLB prospect would be likely to receive a callup late this summer. Boy, was I wrong- because here comes the 21-year-old, barely a week into June.
Insinuating that De La Cruz was tearing up the minor leagues may just be an understatement. The rookie slashed .297/.398/1.031 across 158 at-bats with 12 homers and 11 steals prior to this week’s promotion. He had numerous highlight-reel moonshots and hits of astronomical exit velocities during this reign.
De La Cruz has been ranked by MLB.com as the fourth-best prospect in all of baseball for good reason. Cincinnati clearly sees him as the future of their franchise, and, as of this writing, he is set to bat cleanup for the Reds on Tuesday night. This is the type of player that could singlehandedly fill up Great American Ball Park for the remainder of the year. Barring a continued struggle, it is unlikely De La Cruz returns to the minors for the rest of the campaign (in my opinion). In redraft fantasy leagues, he needs to be picked up (and started) immediately wherever he can be found. We could be talking about the next great generational talent here.
In another depth chart review first, we are now going to touch on a player negatively here. My oh my how it has been a fall from grace for the Blue Jays’ former ace. The same day that baseball fans are celebrating the callup of a top prospect, we have also been informed that Manoah has been sent down to the rookie-level Florida Complex League.
It has been a downright disaster for the 25-year-old in 2023. Prior to his demotion, he held a 1-7 record with a 6.36 ERA and abhorrent 48:42 K:BB ratio. The man that finished third in the AL Cy Young voting last year made it just 1/3 of an inning in his last start while allowing six runs on seven hits. Following that outing, he had given up a whopping 41 earned runs through his first 13 starts of the season. For context, he allowed only 49 earned runs throughout the entire 2022 campaign!
Manoah has a tough road ahead of him that will start by working on his mechanics and likely resetting his entire approach far away from Toronto. In the meantime, the Blue Jays will now rely even more heavily on SPs Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt, the latter of which was just reinstated from the paternity list, to lead the way for their pitching staff.
In the spirit of continuing on with an exciting, young talent theme, Perez has looked like the best pitcher on the Marlins’ roster over the past couple of weeks. The organization’s top prospect, the towering 6-foot-8 21-year-old has logged back-to-back wins, including a five-inning shutout against the Athletics to kick off the month of June.
Perez now holds a 3-1 record, just five starts into his MLB career, to go along with a 2.25 ERA and 24:11 K:BB ratio across 24.0 innings. One statistic of note for Perez is that he is averaging just 83 pitches per outing so far, insinuating that the Marlins’ brass wants to be cautious with both his health and confidence, and this has allowed him to avoid some threatening jams early on. I will be curious to see if the team is more willing to unleash him as June progresses and we hit the late summer months. For now, Perez looks like he could be a serviceable fantasy streaming option for pitcher-needy teams in plus matchups.
- Byron Buxton‘s injured ribs will end up costing him after all, as he was placed on the 10-day IL. OF Trevor Larnach was activated in a corresponding move.
- Red Sox OF Adam Duvall is nearing a return to the big-league level. He will be eligible to return from the 60-day IL later this week and should be activated at that time.
- Giants’ 2B Thairo Estrada was activated from the 10-day IL on Tuesday and will return to the San Francisco lineup right away. He is off to a great start this season, slashing .301/.345/.466 with six homers and 13 stolen bases.
- Twins’ SS Carlos Correa returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday night- this is a good sign for the veteran as there had been some wonder if he would end up requiring an IL stint with plantar fasciitis.
- Texas SP Jacob deGrom will miss the remainder of the season, as he is set to receive Tommy John surgery on a torn UCL. Absolutely brutal. SP Dane Dunning should retain a rotation spot for the remainder of the campaign.