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Fantasy Baseball Category Pickups: Mickey Moniak, Corey Julks, Bryan Woo

Fantasy Baseball Category Pickups: Mickey Moniak, Corey Julks, Bryan Woo

The All-Star break has arrived, and so have the prospects. With the majority of teams still in the playoff hunt, many have turned to their top youngsters to help light a spark. In fact, 25 out of the top 50 ranked preseason prospects have already made their debut. Countless others have made a splash as well, so fantasy managers need to stay alert because tomorrow’s call-up could be a league winner.

In this week’s edition of Category Pickups, we not only have a few top prospects featured but have included two former number-one picks overall. The top pick in the draft always comes with a lot of scrutiny and pressure, but so far, these guys have lived up to the hype.

All players listed are rostered in less than 50% (or very close to it) of Yahoo Leagues and are broken down into categories where they’re most likely to help you. Many will contribute across multiple categories, but their primary contributions should come under the title in which they are listed.

Without further ado, here is this week’s waiver wire adds based on category. Enjoy the All-Star festivities, everyone, and don’t forget to set your weekly lineups for Friday!

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Fantasy Baseball Category Pickups

Stolen Bases

Jarren Duran (OF – BOS): 39%

Duran re-claimed a starting role in June and has been on fire ever since. The 26-year-old outfielder has led off for the Sox in five of their last six games, where he’s been an excellent catalyst. Duran scored eight times over his last six starts while collecting 13 hits over 23 at-bats. He rarely strikes out (just twice since June 28) and is now up to a .313 average with 16 steals in 68 games. While he’s playing regularly atop the Boston lineup, he can help boost your steals, average, and runs scored.

Batting Average

Corey Julks (OF – HOU): 17%

Julks helped pick up the slack in Houston following the Yordan Alvarez injury. Since mid-June, the Texas native has gone 21 for 50 (.420 BA) with five steals and 10 runs scored. He’s up to a .285 average on the year and has 15 swipes to his credit. It’s a little surprising he didn’t have more hype entering the year after putting together a 31 homer 22 stolen base campaign in Triple-A last year, but while everyone else sleeps on him, you’ll be collecting the hits. Add Julks and his 26.1 line drive rate in deeper leagues to help raise your average while snagging some steals as well.

Dane Myers (OF – MIA): 0%

And for those in 16+ leagues, it’s not a bad idea to check out the former Triple-A Rule-5 pick, Dane Myers. Myers is currently rostered in zero percent of leagues, but that will change soon. After putting together an outrageous .440/.494/.707 slash line in Jacksonville (Triple-A), Myers is off to a similar start in the Big Leagues, going seven for 18 (.388 BA) with five RBIs and three runs scored. He’s a line-drive-hitting machine, so if your batting average stinks, go ahead and add Mr. Myers. Just remember who recommended him when he wasn’t rostered, and no one was talking about him.

Home Runs

Mickey Moniak (OF – LAA): 15%

Mike Trout is back on the IL, but the good news is Moniak now has a regular spot in the lineup. Jo Adell will likely start against lefties, but the former 1.1 pick will now have a shot to start nearly every day against righties. With a log jam in the outfield and Ohtani at DH, Moniak was earning sporadic playing time but still managed to club 10 homers in just 37 games. He even hit for a .310 average to go along with his impressive .651 SLG.

You won’t find another near 1.000 OPS batter with a 168 wRC+ just sitting on the waiver wire, so now is the time to pounce. The 25-year-old does strike out a lot and rarely walks, but he is batting third in the Angels lineup and consistently hits the ball hard (15.5 Barrel %). Moniak should be rostered everywhere, especially for those searching for power.

Runs

Henry Davis (C, OF – PIT): 52%

Davis has been leading off for the Pirates since Ke’Bryan Hayes hit the IL. While his average has dipped from his initial barrage, he’s still connecting with authority and is scoring runs. Davis has scored at least one run in eight of the last ten contests. Now hitting atop the order, the former first-overall pick in the draft should have multiple run-scoring opportunities on a nightly basis. He qualifies at catcher despite starting every game in the outfield, so he rarely gets a day off. Davis is worth rostering in nearly all leagues.

RBI

Jordan Westburg (2B, SS – BAL): 40%

Westburg’s teammate Colton Cowser (31%) is also someone to consider, but I prefer Westburg because possesses a bit more power. Cowser also bats left-handed, so he may sit at times against lefties. While both former first-rounders are worth rostering, Westburg’s had the better start to his Major League career. Over his first 10 games, the Baltimore infielder has produced a .314/.400/.457 slash line with seven runs and six RBIs. His walk-to-strikeout ratio is 1:1, and he has four extra-base hits. Westburg can also hit the long ball, evident by his .567 SLG this year and his .508 SLG last season in Triple-A.

With Cedric Mullins and Cowser hitting directly in front of him, Westburg should continue to rack up the RBIs. He qualifies at two of the hardest positions to fill, so he’s worth adding in most leagues.

Wins

Michael Soroka (SP – ATL): 35%

It brings me joy to be able to list Soroka again after all his time away. He’s been rehabbing for what feels like a decade but finally looks ready to contribute again. Soroka’s outings haven’t been without flaw, but with Atlanta’s offense backing him up, the 6-foot-5 righty should be able to garner his fair share of wins.

He threw nearly 100 pitches in both of his recent starts, proving he can last deep enough into games to earn a victory. Soroka allowed just three runs over his last 10.2 innings and will likely improve as he settles back in. Soroka was one of the best at inducing weak contact and keeping the ball in the yard in pre-covid times, and now that he’s back, he deserves a spot on fantasy rosters that are desperate for wins.

ERA

Bryan Woo (SP – SEA): 43%

Woo should be added regardless of what category you’re searching for. He could easily fit under strikeouts with 39 in just 28.2 innings, but after allowing just three total runs over his last three games, we’ll put him here. Woo’s got nasty stuff, and if you take away his first outing, where nerves likely got the best of him, he has produced a 2.02 ERA across five starts. His WHIP would be well under 1.00 as well. With all the young rookie pitchers out there making noise, Woo deserves a spot among the elite and should be rostered in all fantasy leagues.

Saves

Adbert Alzolay (RP – CHC): 31%

Alzolay earned the Cubs’ latest two saves and looked extremely comfortable doing it. The 28-year-old out of Venezuela pairs 95 cheese with a nasty high velo slider that keeps offenses guessing. He gets a solid amount of ground balls (49%) while limiting barrels (3.2%), home runs (0.47/9), and walks (4.1 %).

Alzolay was likely the Cubs’ best candidate to close entering the season, but Chicago preferred to use him in a multi-inning/high-leverage role early on instead. Now with their other options failing, Chicago’s had no choice but to hand the ball to Alzolay in the ninth, where he’s six for seven in save opportunities. He should be their closer for the foreseeable future, so add him now if you’re near the bottom in saves. (If you’re at the very bottom and there’s a lot of ground to make up, then just punt!)

WHIP

Aaron Civale (SP – CLE): 46%

Civale isn’t the most reliable starter, but his WHIP is fairly consistent. The fifth-year starter keeps his free passes to a minimum and rarely allows solid contact – – he’s registered just a .207 batting average against. His WHIP is down to a pristine 1.07 after allowing just six baserunners over his last 13 innings. The Guardians have one of the easier schedules in the second half, so look for Civale to continue his above-average production. He’s worth rostering in all leagues.

Strikeouts

Josiah Gray (SP – WAS): 41%

Gray hasn’t been anything to write home about, but his strikeouts have been helpful. Over his last four starts (21.1 IP), the Nationals’ ace has 26 whiff’s to his credit, good for a 10.97 K/9 ratio. His ERA over that span is 4.22, which is pretty much where you’d expect him to be, but he did earn the victory in two of those outings, helping make up for the mediocre performance. His WHIP is also touch and go, but the strikeouts have remained fairly abundant. Gray’s a much better pitcher on the road, so seek out those matchups when cashing in on his swing-and-miss ability.

Fantasy Baseball In-Season Waiver Wire & Trade Advice


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

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