Last week we told you to pick up Elly De La Cruz, and he did not disappoint! The 6’5” rookie has made his presence known with a .364 batting average and 1.371 OPS through his first three major-league games -- including a monster 485-foot jack on Wednesday night and a stolen base on Thursday.
In case you missed it, here is that home run in all its glory:
Elly De La Cruz casually goes 458 feet for his first MLB career home run... pic.twitter.com/diImkK58YP— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 7, 2023
Oh, and we bet on it, too. So, congratulations to those who had some fun with us!
Obviously, if Cruz is still available, he’s the priority again this week, but there are a couple of other Reds that should be on your list this week, too. I’ve listed them below -- including a pitcher that should be a priority for those trying to replace Alek Manoah or Noah Syndergaard.
For those needing to replace Aaron Judge during his time in the IL, consider LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mitch Haniger, players who have made our previous waiver wire columns but could still be available. I’ve also provided a deeper-league option below.
Here are five players worth adding right now to your fantasy baseball team.
Mitch Garver, C/DH (TEX)
Who doesn’t need more production at catcher? Garver has eligibility at backstop and he’s started five games in a row since returning from his sprained knee. Garver is hitting .306 with three home runs across only 11 games played this year, and he plays for the team with the most runs scored this season. Use him while you can.
Ezequiel Duran, SS/3B/OF (TEX)
Speaking of the team with the most offense in baseball, Duran filled in admirably in the absence of Corey Seager before he hit the IL himself with an oblique strain. He has a hit in each of the three games he’s played in his return, and on the season he now owns a .322 batting average with seven home runs and a .905 OPS. What’s even better? He qualifies all over the diamond.
Matt McClain, SS/2B (CIN)
Elly De La Cruz has garnered all of the attention for the Reds, but don’t overlook McClain who has quietly been putting together an impressive rookie season. The former first-round pick is hitting .354 with a .935 OPS since his call-up in May. The Reds are hot right now, and McClain has some speed, too.
Corey Julks, OF (HOU)
If you’re looking for an outfielder in deeper leagues, consider Houston’s Corey Julks. Julks has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros, and he even logged his first career grand slam on Monday vs. the Blue Jays. Julks is batting .260 for the season with five homers and 22 RBIs across 45 games played. He’s also a sneaky source of speed, with eight stolen bases this season.
Andrew Abbott, SP (CIN)
Another Red makes the list, but this time it’s an arm. Abbott was excellent in his first career start, allowing only one hit and four walks while striking out six over six shutout innings. The Reds edged the Brewers 2-0, as the Brewers continued to struggle vs. left-handed pitching. Abbott should remain in the rotation as the replacement for lefty Nick Lodolo who could be out for much longer than originally anticipated.