The calendar just flipped to April, so the baseball season is only, like, 2 percent in the books. Right now we’re supposed to be telling you to remain patient, to hold to your spring projections, to avoid peeking at your league standings. The MLB regular season is a half-year slog, loaded with slumps, streaks, injuries, suspensions and the occasional dance-off. Stuff happens. It rarely pays to be an impetuous fantasy manager.
But many of us exited drafts with glaring statistical or positional needs — particularly in deep leagues — and those needs are no less obvious right at this moment. So while it’s important to not radically reevaluate your team’s core players after three or four games, it’s also important to work to address team weaknesses whenever you can. With that goal in mind, today we’re offering a six-pack of potential fantasy adds, all available in at least 90 percent of Yahoo leagues. Please keep in mind that these are deep pickups, for those of you in leagues of unusual size and shape. Let’s dumpster dive…
Brian Anderson, 3B, Miami Marlins
Anderson hit safely in each of Miami’s first four games, scoring three runs and driving in five. He was batting cleanup on Sunday. You don’t have to love the team, but you should at least appreciate the opportunity in front of Anderson. He’s hitting behind guys like Starlin Castro and Justin Bour, so there’s little question he’ll have a chance to pile up RBIs. Anderson slashed .275/.361/.492 with 22 home runs and 46 XBHs. He can play.
Preston Tucker, OF, Atlanta Braves
Atlanta’s outfield will be a crowded place when Ronald Acuna arrives (soon), but, for now, Tucker has an everyday role. He opened the season with a 5-for-12 series against Philadelphia, and he travels to Coors Field this weekend. I’ve added him in a couple places as a one-week play. Tucker was a consistent 20-homer player in the minors, but he obviously has not hit for average in MLB. He had a huge spring, for whatever that’s worth, going 18-for-51 with seven XBHs and seven walks.
Darren O’Day, RP, Baltimore Orioles
Entering the season, the O’s bullpen was reportedly stuck in a committee arrangement involving Brad Brach, Mychal Givens and O’Day. Brach then blew a save chance in the opener, with O’Day pitching a clean eighth ahead of him. On Sunday, Brach and Givens each worked an inning in a blowout loss. Don’t be surprised if O’Day sees the next save opportunity; he’s a reasonable speculative add for saves chasers. Zach Britton (Achilles) won’t return until June, at the earliest.
Brad Miller, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays
Miller hit cleanup for the Rays over the weekend, homering on Sunday. He was mostly a disaster last season (.201/.327/.337, 9 HR) and he’s never hit for average, but he’s just a year removed from a 30-homer campaign. If you play in a format in which something like a 60-20-65-5-.240 season can help, consider him.
Matt Duffy, 2B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays
Another Ray, so you know we’re only discussing deep adds today. Duffy didn’t play a game in the majors last season after undergoing multiple heel surgeries, but you might recall that he produced a 12-homer, 12-steal, .295-season for the Giants as a rookie in 2015. Duffy is playing third for the Rays in the post-Longoria era, and he’s batting either leadoff or fifth in the order. He’s gone 6-for-16 so far with one steal. His positional flexibility is an added bonus.
Jon Jay, OF, Kansas City Royals
Jay is hitting leadoff for KC, well positioned to contribute in runs and batting average. Sure, he’s a boring vet with minimal power, but he’s a career .289 hitter who reached base at a .374 clip last season. No, you don’t need to mess with him in most 10 and 12-team mixed leagues. But if you’re playing in, say, a 14-team league with large active rosters, keep him in mind.
A few shallow league adds for the rest of you: 3B Matt Chapman, OAK (33% owned), RP Keynan Middleton, LAA (16%), OF Mitch Haniger, SEA (53%), RP Joakim Soria, CHW (30%), SP Miles Mikolas (47%), 3B Miguel Andujar (25%), 2B Brandon Drury (16%), OF Max Kepler, MIN (29%), OF Lewis Brinson, MIA (37%), SP Jack Flaherty, STL (31%).