In the time it takes you to read this sentence, the home run that Elly De La Cruz hit for the first in his big league career will have just started its descent. With him being rostered on 61 percent of fantasy teams, it’s pretty clear that a great majority of fantasy managers have been paying attention to the prospect hype surrounding the multi-talented Reds infielder. So he’s anything but a Deep Sleeper.
It’s hard to remember a prospect who fits the profile of De La Cruz. He’s almost the same height with the lanky build as Darryl Strawberry and uses those long levers for prodigious power similar to Straw. But the 30.9-feet-per-second sprint speed is comparable to Deion Sanders. That just shows what kind of outlier we might be talking about. Just remember, there’s a reason many people say that baseball is the hardest game. De La Cruz will inevitably struggle, so you need to hold on to him unless you are in the shallowest of leagues.
Enjoy the amazing feats, even when the next ballyhooed prospect hits the Show. De La Cruz may be one we talk about for a long while. And the Reds are suddenly very interesting after the shot of adrenaline from their talented rookies.
Now it’s time to give your fantasy baseball teams a shot of adrenaline with some Deep Sleepers.
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Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups
LaMonte Wade Jr. (1B,OF – SF) Rostered: 27%
Wade started the season very important for teams with daily transactions, because he was the leadoff hitter for the Giants against right-handers. He’s stayed atop the order, hitting first in every game he’s started since being sixth on May 20. He’s been a force with a .428 OBP, .906 OPS and an impressive 41-43 BB:K ratio. He hasn’t had a lot of RBI opportunities – just 19 through 59 games – but with eight homers and 31 runs scored he’s not an empty .288 batting average.
Miguel Castro (RP – ARI) Rostered: 27%
Yes, that 1.2-inning, four-run blowup on June 4 was pretty painful, but that was the first time Castro had been scored upon after he’d fired zeroes in his previous 11 appearances. He also has five saves, two wins and two holds over those games. The saves are coming, even if Andrew Chafin might snipe a few himself on a good Arizona team.
Ha-Seong Kim (2B,3B,SS – SD) Rostered: 23%
The multi-positional Kim has moved around to help the Padres survive injuries around the infield. And he’s batted up and down the lineup, though that has not slowed down his production. He’s 9-for-31 in his last 10 games, and has five steals over that span. Players who can move around your lineup are valuable, so Kim is a worthwhile waiver wire pickup.
Michael Lorenzen (SP – DET) Rostered: 22%
Aside from a five-run outing on May 22, Lorenzen has given up one or fewer earned runs in his previous five games. With 22 strikeouts in his last 25.1 innings, the right-hander is helping in other pitching categories as well. That’s good, because he might not get many wins starting for a Detroit offense that doesn’t score much. He takes on the Diamondbacks and Merrill Kelly in a home start tonight, so he’s very much a streaming option.
Ben Lively (SP – CIN) Rostered: 21%
The righty was lit up by the Brewers for five runs on June 4, but otherwise has been very good in his starts. Lively preceded that rough game with three starts where he went at least six innings in each and struck out 22 in a 19.1-inning span. The Reds are very much letting the kids play of late, so Lively will get the ball plenty, starting with tonight against the Cardinals.
J.P. France (SP – HOU) Rostered: 18%
When in doubt, pick up a Houston starter. France has allowed no more than one run in four of his past six starts. And on June 10 he takes on the Guardians, who have scored more runs than only the Tigers this year – yes, the A’s and No. 28 in that category. France could get some wins with the Astros’ solid offense giving him support.
Gary Sanchez (C – SD) Rostered: 8%
Sanchez’s name is not one that was expected to be mentioned in this space when he was let go by the Mets after just three games. Well, the Padres needed help behind the plate and another bat in the lineup, and Sanchez has delivered with four home runs in his first nine games in San Diego. With Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts each battling injuries of late, Sanchez has batted as high as cleanup. Ride the hot streak as long as it goes.
Joey Wiemer (OF – MIL) Rostered: 5%
The outfielder was a top prospect in the Milwaukee system, but struggled to the tune of a .187 average as late as May 30. The next day he started an eight-game hitting streak, during which he is 13-for-27, with eight of those hits being for extra bases. His 4-for-4 game with two homers and five RBI were all left on many waiver wires. Snap him up for outfield depth or to start in deeper leagues.