Blake’s Fantasy Free Agent Finds – 8-14 June

Back again for a second week, it’s Blake Finney

Hopefully after a few of you were able to grab some of the players I mentioned last week (even if two of them are now Day-to-Day *facepalm*), After another week of staring at my lineups far longer than I should, I’m back again with a fresh set of players for your Fantasy players to scour your waiver wire for that could make a big difference to your teams.

Whit Merrifield, 2B, Kansas City Royals

So readers, it’s the start of June, and the longest hitting streak in the Majors this season belongs too…erm…Whit Merrifield? After the Royals confirmed Raul Mondeisi (I promise I’m not making these names up as I go along..) as their starting 2B this season, I thought that’d be it for Merrifield’s slim fantasy value. But since May 13, the second baseman is 27-for-71 (.380) with three home runs, nine RBI, 10 runs and four stolen bases. The RBIs and the Runs are probably a little low, but that’s what you get playing in KC these days with their tragic offence. He is practically a must-add at this point, at the very least until he cools down from this absurd run.

Sean Manaea, SP, Oakland Athletics

Manaea I had drafted on a few of my teams at the start of the season, with his high upside for Ks and playing in a favourable ballpark for half his starts. However things initially didn’t pan out as expected and ended up on the DL before April was over. Now, in his last 3 starts against the Indians, Yankees and the Blue Jays (hardly slouches of offences), he has given up only 3 Earned Runs on 11 Hits and 5 Walks, in 14 innings; and those Ks I mentioned, he has 24 in those 20 innings. Pretty remarkable right? And coming up is a trip to Tampa Bay, so now is the time to pick him up before he keeps his roll going.

Domingo Santana, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

I’ve long been a fan of Santana’s, even back in his Astros prospect days; he’s always shown a good combination Power and Speed, with a so-so batting average. A recent bump in the batting order, where he’s now hitting 2nd has made a big difference on his Runs and RBIs of late with a powerful Brewers lineup, that profiles to get even better with the return of Ryan Braun, plus top prospects Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson potentially joining the mix at some point. One thing I’ve learned with Santana in the past is that he has a tendency to be very streaky, so if you can pick him up, then the sooner the better here.

Deeper League Finds

Once again, we look at some of the deeper league players for the Fantasy die-hards that have a much slimmer Free Agent Pool to pick from.

Matt Adams, 1B, Atlanta Braves

When Adams was first traded to the Braves, he was a player I wanted to keep an eye on. He lost a whole lot of weight in the off-season in an effort to win back his 1B job in St Louis. Unfortunately it was just a numbers game with so many good infielders there. But with Freddie Freeman out for an extended period, the Braves were a perfect, if only short-term fit; and has repaid them, hitting to the tune of .267 (and a remarkable .936 OPS) with 5 HRs, 12 RBIs in the 13 games he’s played for them. If you’re hurting at Corner Infield or Util then Adams would be a fine add.

Dinelson Lamet, SP, San Diego Padres

If you’ve made it this far in the article, kudos, and this really where the hard core fans will love it; raise your hand if you had genuinely heard of Dinelson Lamet before this season? All those who raised their hands are liars. He was buried on the Padres prospect rankings (10 on mlb.com), and seemed destined for the bullpen, where his stuff would’ve played much better. But Lamet appears to have cracked it, developing a changeup this off-season to give him a 3rd good Major League pitch. In his first two starts in the Bigs he’s allowed 3 Earned Runs, in 10 Innings and, 16 Ks. Those strikeouts really jump off the page, and they’re legit too as he had an 11.54 K/9 in his 8 Minor League starts this season.

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