As we get deeper and deeper into the 2023 MLB season, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road — for fantasy baseball teams to decide whether they’re in or out this year, and what they might need for the long summer ahead. This is especially true at the middle infield spots, where injuries have felled top picks like Jazz Chisholm, Oneil Cruz and more. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a strong finish.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 13 middle infield pickups
Trevor Story, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Roster percentage: 8.0%
It’s understandable that Story became something of an afterthought after struggling in his first season in Boston in 2022 and then undergoing elbow surgery over the winter. But the two-time All-Star is making great progress in his rehab, even rejoining the team at Fenway Park this week, telling reporters that he hoped to be able to return in a DH capacity by July:
Trevor Story says it’s still on the table that he could come back and DH at some point in July. His goal is to “play shortstop sometime in August.”— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 12, 2023
He no longer calls Coors Field home, but he still has elite power/speed potential that you won’t find elsewhere on the waiver wire. (And here’s your reminder that he hit .340/.389/.500 in the second half last season.)
Zach Neto, SS, Los Angeles Angels
Roster percentage: 3.7%
Admittedly, this isn’t the best timing: Neto was placed on the 10-day IL this week with an oblique strain. But if you happen to have a free injury slot on your roster, he would make a very good stash — because it seemed like he was finally starting to settle in after being fast-tracked to the Majors earlier this spring.
The team’s first-round pick just last year, Neto was expected to move quickly after starring in college at Campbell University. And sure enough, a desperate Angels team made the call way back in mid-April. Neto understandably struggled in his first taste of the Majors, but over the past few weeks he’d gotten hot, slashing .294/.388/.559 with four homers and four steals over the last month. Scouts have always raved about his hit tool, and with above-average line-drive and strikeout rates, that appears to be bearing out now. As long as this setback doesn’t derail his progress, he could be both a real-life and fantasy difference-maker down the stretch.
Edouard Julien, 2B, Minnesota Twins
Roster percentage: 1.6%
We meet again. Julien has been yo-yoed back and forth between Triple-A St. Paul and the Majors, filling in whenever Jorge Polanco (or any of the Twins’ myriad other injury-prone regulars) needed time on the IL. Well, Polanco is out once again with a hamstring strain, and this time the top-100 prospect could carve out a permanent role for himself. Julien has slowly but surely adjusted to Major League pitching, slashing .280/.393/.520 with two homers and a steal over his last 14 starts — and showing more power than he was alleged to have in the Minors.
I don't know what the French word for "home run" is, but Edouard Julien just hit one of those to start the game, the first leadoff homer and the first Target Field homer of his career.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) May 24, 2023
Two of his three homers have gone to the opposite field. Dude's got pop. pic.twitter.com/nMNy2a5OTL
He’ll likely sit some against lefties, but he’ll be an asset to your fantasy squads nonetheless, chipping in just about everywhere.
Coco Montes, SS, Colorado Rockies
Roster percentage: 0.1%
We’ve been spotlighting Montes in our prospect reports for a while now, and sure enough, the infielder was called up for his Major League debut last Sunday — and hit his first MLB homer.
In his Major League debut, Coco Montes goes deep to tie it up! pic.twitter.com/WV2oglscQF— MLB (@MLB) June 11, 2023
A 15th-round pick way back in 2018, the infielder wasn’t on really anyone’s radar to start the year. But when a prospect who’ll call Coors Field home starts putting up video-game numbers in the Minors, it’s best to pay attention. Montes had been on a heater all season prior to his promotion, slashing .317/.398/.551 with 11 homers and three steals across 55 games at Triple-A, while showing off surprising power. He’s made five starts already, slashing a tidy .273/.333/.545, and if he can carve out regular playing time in Colorado, he could be a very valuable piece.