It’s now the proverbial midpoint of May, and our fantasy baseball rosters need to constantly be churned.
Here are our five must-adds for the coming week.
Note: All stats through action on May 12.
5. Brandon Woodruff, SP/RP, Milwaukee Brewers
Over his last three starts, Woodruff is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA, 22 strikeouts and three walks. He’s got a 4.25 ERA over eight starts this season, but peripherals (2.85 FIP, 11.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9) point to upside. Six of his eight outings have come at home, at hitter-tilted Miller Park, so once he starts mixing in some road starts his surface stats and peripherals should come closer to each other.
Woodruff has a two-start week coming, both on the road, Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies and next Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. Those outings should show if he’s really got something sustainable.
But Woodruff is worth adding in mixed leagues, with SP/RP eligibility to add to his utility.
Yahoo! Ownership: 51%
ESPN Ownership: 31.1%
4. Hunter Pence, OF/DH, Texas Rangers
Checking the calendar…nope this is not 2011. But Pence has found some of that past form early this season, with a .316/.389/.658 slash-line, seven home runs and 25 RBI. Spurred by a three-game streak with a home run last week, the former Giant is hitting .381 with four home runs, three doubles and 12 RBI over his last seven games.
Pence may not keep this going, and some regression has to be coming. But a regular spot in the lineup, even as a DH occasionally, should allow him to be healthy and fairly productive.
While he’s hot, Pence is a very strong add in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues. But owners in typical size mixed leagues can justify a move to add him too.
Yahoo! Ownership: 37%
ESPN Ownership: 22.8%
3. Jerad Eickhoff, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Last Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, Eickhoff pitched eight shutout innings while allowing just three hits. He has a 0.45 ERA over his last three starts, with a 17:7 K/BB ratio and just eight hits allowed over 20 innings. In three of his four starts thiss season, he has pitched at least six innings.
Eickhoff’s next start is against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night, so that might be a matchup to avoid if possible. But otherwise, he’s in line to be an asset in mixed leagues until further notice.
Yahoo! Ownership: 60%
ESPN Ownership: 36.9%
2. Didi Gregorius, SS, New York Yankees
Gregorius is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, with Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman suggesting he could start playing extended spring training games next week.
In each of the last three seasons, Gregorius has hit at least 20 home runs and drove in at least 70. Last year’s 27 homers were a career-high, with 86 RBI, 89 runs scored and 10 stolen bases.
If you have the ability to stash Gregorius in a bench or IL slot, he has to be on the radar to add this week. He seems on track for a June season debut, but waiting that long to grab him in shallower leagues may prove foolish.
Yahoo! Ownership: 29%
ESPN Ownership: 19.7%
1. Mitch Garver, C, Minnesota Twins
After hitting seven home runs in 102 games for the Twins last year, Garver has eight homers in 23 games so far this season with a .352/.439/.775 slash-line. That 1.214 OPS is not sustainable, but in a broader sense Garver showed power in the minors (.291, 17 home runs in 88 Triple-A games in 2017) and even with regression he’s in line to be a top offensive catcher all season.
Garver’s improvement defensively behind the plate under a new coaching staff should be noted, as it solidifies his spot in the lineup.
Garver’s ownership rates are on the upswing. But he should be owned far more than he is
Yahoo! Ownership: 58%
ESPN Ownership: 37.7%