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As July kicks off, here are my five fantasy baseball waiver wire adds for a new week.
Note: All stats are through June 30, and ownership rates are as of the morning of July 1.
5. Kike Hernandez, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Hernandez ended June on a high note, with a home run Saturday against the Colorado Rockies. For the month as a whole he hit seven homers with a .918 OPS, while starting games in the outfield and at shortstop. He is eligible in the outfield (37 games), second base (17 games), shortstop (17 games) and perhaps third base (six games) in fantasy leagues, as the Dodgers have navigated injuries.
Hernandez has already set his career-high with 14 home runs, but he showed some power last year too with 11 home runs in 297 at-bats. Add in multi-position utility, and he's at least a worthy bench stash in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 41%
ESPN Ownership: 29.8%
4. Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs
Almora had a very nice month of June, with a .363/.375/.495 slash-line, 13 runs scored and 13 RBI. A .403 BABIP over that span screams regression, but Amora may be solidifying his spot as the Cub's leadoff hitter with an 8-for-13 run over his last three games.
Almora left Saturday's game against the Twins with leg cramps, as the scorching heat in Chicago hampered multiple players on both sides. He's not in the lineup for Sunday's game, but barring something unforeseen he should be able to return to action after an off-day for the Cubs on Monday.
Almora does not run much (1-for-3 on steal attempts this season). But otherwise he should continue to hit for average, and as long as he stays atop the Cubs' lineup he'll be in position to score plenty of runs.
Yahoo! Ownership: 13%
ESPN Ownership: 20.8%
3. Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
After missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, Eovaldi returned in late-May and has made six starts. Any pitch count restriction in his first outing or two is gone, with over 100 pitches in three of his last four starts and a 19:3 K/BB ratio over his last three (30:5 K/BB ratio overall thus far).
The long ball has hurt Eovaldi, with eight home runs allowed over his 35.1 innings, to push his ERA over 4.00 (4.08). But four of those homers came in one outing (on the road against the Astros, in a hitter-friendly park), and the total accounts for one-third of the hits Eovaldi has allowed since his return. If only marginally, in terms of HR/9 (2.0 this year, 1.7 when he last pitched in 2016), some correction is in order for Eovaldi.
Wins may be hard to come by pitching for the Rays. But otherwise Eovaldi's upside makes him worth adding in all applicable leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 14%
ESPN Ownership: 10%
2. Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins
Polanco's will return to the Twins from an 80-game PED suspension on Monday, and he's expected to step right in as the everyday shortstop. A finger injury derailed a portion of his minor league work as he got his legs back, but he ended up going 8-for-19 on his rehab assignment to keep himself on schedule to return when first eligible.
Polanco became the Twins' everyday shortstop last year. From the start of August on, he had a slash-line of .316./.377/.553 (.931 OPS) with 10 home runs, 42 RBI and seven steals. There's nothing on the rest of his resume to suggest that power surge will stick, but the increase in running looks more sustainable and Polanco is a high contact rate hitter who hit .282 over 69 games with the Twins in 2016.
Some hesitation to immediately put Polanco into a fantasy lineup is understandable. But he is a worthy stash right away, with the potential to pay off nicely down the stretch.
Yahoo! Ownership: 4%
ESPN Ownership: 1.5%
1. Jose Peraza, SS/2B, Cincinnati Reds
Through the end of May, the only saving grace for Peraza's fantasy value was nine stolen bases in 10 attempts. But he hit .309 in June, without an inflated BABIP (.329), and he's on a five-game hitting streak entering Sunday with a hit in 13 of his last 16 games.
Peraza has strictly played shortstop this year (79 games), but he carries eligibility at second base over from last year (77 games). He's not going to hit a lot of home runs, but with 13 doubles and two triples this season a hitter-friendly home park can still benefit him.
Fantasy owners jumping off Peraza's bandwagon now creates an opportunity to add him, at least for now as his ownership rates has started to climb back up.
Yahoo! Ownership: 55%
ESPN Ownership: 48.9%