Every week here on Sundays, I focus on the top players to add to your Fantasy Baseball team on waivers, and we've got plenty of options for you to consider coming up shortly. But before we get to that, I want to talk about the virtues of patience, and why you shouldn't necessarily be too quick to drop some of your struggling players.

Especially your young players. The transition to the majors seems to have gotten much tougher for top prospects, and we've seen some pretty notable names like Jackson ChourioJackson Merrill, and Wyatt Langford struggle with their first taste of the majors. There are plenty of hypotheses for why these young players are struggling so much – the contraction of the minor leagues as a whole has probably harmed the overall talent level at the highest levels more than anywhere else, while the usage of the automated ball/strike system in Triple-A but not in the majors leading to a bigger transition are my top two working theories – but the point is, the days of being able to count on top prospect call-ups to make an immediate impact for Fantasy may be over.

But what that means is that you just might need to be more patient with them, not that we should just give up on their upside entirely. You may not be able to count on the next Fernando Tatis or Ronald Acuna to step on the field and immediately dominate, but there's still plenty of merit in buying into these players if you can stomach the learning curve. 

Take Langford, who was hitting just .224/.295/.293 in his first 31 career games before going on the IL with a hamstring in early May. He came back in late May and is hitting .299/.342/.481 in 21 games since his return, including three straight games with multiple hits and multiple RBI entering action Sunday. That's a lot more like what we hoped to see from him, and he's even chipped in six steals in those 21 games – a 46-steal pace!

Merrill has been even more impactful, homering seven times in his past seven times, after hitting just three in his first 67. He's had excellent quality of contact metrics all season, and is finally starting to optimize that contact for power, and it might just be making him a must-start Fantasy option, given his already strong contact skills and speed. 

These are incredibly talented young players who might just need a bit more time than they used to to adjust to the major-league level. But there's still a reason we want to chase prospect call-ups, even if maybe for 2025 drafts we need to be a little more skeptical about the idea of investing a top-100 pick in these guys, something many did with Langford, if not Merrill. It's unlikely he'll make up for lost time enough to justify that kind of cost, but I still strongly believe Langford is going to continue to make everyone who didn't drop him feel good about that decision.

The equilibrium might have shifted back to prospects needing a little bit of time to figure things out again, but we're still going to recommend adding them whenever they get called up. We've got a few prospects listed in today's waiver-wire rundown, and a couple others who might just fit into the "post-hype breakout" category, too. 


Tyler SoderstromAthletics* (53%) – If you play in a league where Soderstrom is eligible at catcher, he should be the top priority right now. He's playing pretty much everyday for the A's, primarily at first base, and is hitting .250/.353/.480 with a 25-plus homer pace for a full season. He's a recent top prospect who has remained very productive in the minors, and he might just be figuring it out at the big-league level, in keeping with the theme. 

Ben RiceYankees (30%) – The Yankees are dealing with an onslaught of injuries in recent days, as they'll be without Anthony Rizzo (forearm) and Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) for a while moving forward. That bodes well for Rice's chances of playing pretty regularly, and while he hasn't done much so far (three hits in five games entering Sunday), he is a career .284/.397/.523 hitter in the minors with the potential to swipe a few bases. He isn't playing catcher for the Yankees much either, but that only helps his case as far as I'm concerned. 

Deep-league target: Hunter GoodmanRockies (10%) – All of a sudden Goodman is both an everyday player and catcher eligible as the Rockies have dealt with a bunch of injuries of their own. The 24-year-old has been quite productive throughout his minor-league career, and with catcher eligibility added to his profile and five homers in his past eight games, he should matter in two-catcher leagues.

First Base

Andrew VaughnWhite Sox (60%) – I've pretty much given up on Vaughn being a consistently impactful Fantasy option at this point, but he's proving over the past few weeks that he can still be very useful when he gets hot. He's hitting .360 with five homers in 18 June games entering Sunday, but his turnaround started before that, at least according to the underlying numbers; after sporting a .273 expected wOBA in April, he was at a .345 mark in May, and is up to a .376 mark in June. This might not be a fluke, in other words. 

Deep-league target: JD Davis, Yankees (4%) – Generally when a player is waived twice in the same season, it's not a good sign for their Fantasy appeal. However, Davis landed with the Yankees and could figure into their plans at either corner infield spot or DH, with a much better lineup and ballpark than he had in Oakland. Let's see if that can spark him after a miserable start to the season.

Second base

Zack Gelof, Athletics (54%) – Given the hype he came into the season, Gelof has been one of the bigger disappointments of the mid-round class of players. But he's looked a lot more like we hoped he would lately, hitting .234/.358/.531 since the start of June. I think his plate discipline is probably always going to hold him back from much points-league relevance, but Gelof has five homers and three steals since the start of June, so he should be pretty useful in categories leagues. 

Deep-league target: Brendan Rodgers, Rockies (17%) – Rodgers made his return from the IL this weekend after Adael Amador (oblique) was placed on the IL, and he should be back to being a useful MI option for deeper leagues. He might not provide much beyond solid batting averages, but he was hitting .274 before the injury and has a .274 xBA, and that should play in those formats.

Third base

Jose MirandaTwins (23%) – Miranda has been such a pleasant surprise that he seemingly forced his way back into the Twins plans this season after being a pretty huge letdown in 2023. He's hitting .289/.330/.488 for the season, and while his underlying stats don't quite back it up, it really hasn't slowed him down; in fact, with a .318/.375/.576 line since the start of June, he's been better than ever while making a ton of contact. 

Deep-league target: Yoan Moncada, White Sox (10%) – It had been a while since we got any updates on Moncada (adductor), but we recently learned he is expected to return around the July All-Star break, which isn't about three weeks away at this point. As a CI, he's worth a stash if you have the roster flexibility.


Masyn WinnCardinals (60%) – Winn was starting to slow down a bit since his move to the leadoff spot for the Cardinals but he went 7 for 19 over his previous four games entering Sunday and has his averaging back up to .286 in the month of June. He remains a decent bet for 15-20 homers and a few more steals, and is now on a 126-run pace this month. He won't quite get to that level, but as long as he remains at the top of the lineup, he should be a solid starting option in pretty much all formats. 

Deep-league target: Daniel Schneeman, Guardian (4%) – The Guardians seem to have about a dozen guys like this – older non-prospects with great minor-league numbers and seemingly endless position flexibility. Schneeman has hit very well in the majors and has started six of seven games entering Sunday and has enough power and speed (23 homers, 21 steals in 169 Triple-A games for his career) to matter in categories leagues.


Eloy Jimenez, White Sox* (64%) – Jimenez is only U/DH-eligible in CBS Fantasy leagues, but I figure I'd write about him here since I don't typically do a section for DH-only types. He returned from the IL Sunday and was back in the lineup for the White Sox, and the hope is he can get hot quickly in what has been a slightly better White Sox lineup of late. He's likely never to be the superstar we once hoped he could be, but Jimenez is a career .271/.321/.479 hitter with 30-homer upside if he can ever stay healthy. 

Wilyer AbreuRed Sox (56%) – Abreu returned from the IL himself Saturday, though he was back out of the lineup Sunday against a lefty. That'll likely remain the case moving forward, which limits his counting stats potential, but it also helps protect his batting average, and Abreu's power/speed combo is still viable in categories leagues; he's hitting .286 with eight homers and 10 steals in 82 career games entering Sunday. 

Alec Burleson, Cardinals (53%) – Burleson posted much better underlying numbers than surface level numbers last season, and now he's starting to catch up to what might be a better skill set than he's gotten credit for. He went 7 for 11 with two homers and seven RBI this weekend and is already up to 12 homers for the season after homering seven times in June – he hit just eight times in 107 games last season. Burleson also has a career-high in steals and might just be a solid starting option in all formats. 

Jarred Kelenic, OF, Braves (51%) – The Braves didn't magically fix Kelenic overnight like some hoped they might when they traded for him this offseason – it's still not clear he can hit anything but fastballs, for example – but that doesn't mean he can't be a useful option for Fantasy. He's been hot in June, hitting .297/.343/.547, and he's riding a 10-game hitting streak after he went 4 for 10 with a homer this weekend against the Yankees. He probably still doesn't matter much in three-outfielder points leagues, but Kelenic should be rostered in all other formats at this point.  

Deep-league target: Jesus SanchezMarlins (6%) – Sanchez has had much better underlying numbers than his actual production all season, but he's starting to make up for that lately, as he homered for the third time in his past five games Sunday. Before that he hadn't homered since the end of May, so I think skepticism about him becoming a viable starting outfielder in shallower leagues makes sense. But in five-outfielder leagues, he's at least worth using when the schedule has a bunch of righties coming up. 

Starting pitcher

Shane BazRays (57%) – The Rays have been predictably cautious with Baz's usage, but it sure looks like he's ready to come back and contribute to the big-league rotation, with 28 strikeouts over 18 innings in his past four starts. As Scott White wrote in his Prospects Report column this week, Baz might be the top pitching prospect to stash in the minors at this point. Now it's just a question of when an opportunity will open up, and with Aaron CivaleZack Littell, and Ryan Pepiot all struggling of late, it might not be long. 

Spencer TurnbullPhillies (25%) – It's been a frustratingly long wait, but it looks like Turnbull is going to get another opportunity to pitch in the Phillies rotation after Taijaun Walker was placed on the 15-day IL Saturday with right index finger inflammation. Turnbull is probably just the better pitcher at this point in their careers thanks to the sweeper he added this season, and he has a 26.4% strikeout rate and 3.86 xERA so far. With that lineup backing him up, Turnbull should be pretty useful as long as he's in the rotation. 

Davidjohn HerzNationals (39%) – Hertz didn't get great results on Friday against the Rockies, but it's hard to hold that too much against him, given that he was pitching at Coors Field. The most important detail there might have been the zero walks in 3.2 innings, giving him consecutive starts without a walk issued. Hertz's biggest issue in the minors was control, so if he's made improvements there, it makes the whole profile look suddenly playable. It's a tiny sample size, but it's one worth watching in most leagues, and worth buying into in deeper leagues, given the strikeout upside. 

Spencer Schwellenbach, Braves (48%) – Schwellenbach has held his own since a tough couple of starts to his MLB career, and while it's still fair to wonder how much upside is in his profile, he's worth an add for this week, at least, with a beatable two-start set against the Cardinals Pirates. Whether he's a long-term answer or not, Schwellenbach should be pretty useful in the near future. 

Max Meyer, Marlins (40%) – At some point, the Marlins have to call him back up, right? They have six starters on the IL right now after Jesus Luzardo (back) and Braxton Garrett (forearm) going down this weekend, and Meyer is still down at Triple-A, throwing 50-70 pitchers once a week to limit his innings. With little to play for the rest of the way, the Marlins will surely remain careful with Meyer's workload, but they've also got to get him back up in the bigs to see how big a part of their future rotation he can be. I'm guessing we'll see him back soon, and there's solid upside here after he allowed four runs with 14 strikeouts in 16 innings at the beginning of the season.

Relief pitcher

Aroldis Chapman, Pirates (12%) – Chapman is by no means the shut-down relief ace he once was, but with David Bednar placed on the IL with a strained left oblique, he should be the Pirates closer for at least the next few weeks. Chapman has the highest walk rate of his career at 21.1%, and his 4.00 ERA is nothing special, but he'll rack up strikeouts and should at least be good enough to get a few saves for you. 

Chad GreenBlue Jays (19%) – With Jordan Romano shut down with elbow soreness yet again over the weekend, Green seems to have a clear runway as the Blue Jays closer for the time being. He isn't a dominant reliever, but he should be good enough to matter at an RP position that has had surprisingly little turnover of late.