As the All-Star break signals the beginning of the second half, it is time to fill the gaps in our roster for the stretch run. Before we do, let’s revisit some bold hitter predictions for the month of June. For my first prediction, I postured that Giancarlo Stanton would come back from the injured list blasting homers with thirteen in the month. For this one, he did come back but was barely worth a roster spot with his three homers, so that is a fail. My other prediction was Ronald Acuna leading the league with eleven steals. He in fact did lead the league with thirteen steals, so I am claiming a win even though this looks less than bold in hindsight. With that assessment out of the way, let’s jump into this week’s hitter profiles looking for second half targets hiding deep in free agency.
Tony Kemp (11% Yahoo Rostered)
Kemp has long been viewed as a fantasy plug and play for his speed. Unfortunately the last few years have seen less speed and overall declining numbers. However, he has found a spot on a faltering Oakland team sitting in the leadoff spot in six of the last ten games. In that span, he has delivered four steals and seven runs. Since the middle of June, he has hit over .300 with reasonable contact measures. With second base and outfield eligibility, Kemp can plug a hole in the middle infield or for an injury while limiting damage to your counting stats. The upside is limited, but the floor is known and that counts for something.
Zach Remillard (2% Yahoo Rostered)
The White Sox rookie has found a spot in the starting lineup over the last few weeks. He has a profile that mixes middling power with slightly better than middling speed. On Friday night, he did his best to continue carving out a role over Elvis Andrus and Tim Anderson. With a multi-hit performance including three runs batted in and a stolen base, Remillard is hoping to establish a starting role for the rest of the season. It is expected that the White Sox will sell at the deadline giving young players like him a chance to contribute. With that chance, he could deliver single digit power and double digit speed before season end. There is certainly risk with Remy, but the price is right.
Jorge Polanco (37% Yahoo Rostered)
Polanco went on the injured list with a hamstring strain about a month ago. He recently began more intense activities and a rehab assignment is on the horizon. Only being able to put in 30 games this season has let Polanco slip out of fantasy owners’ focus. He should be back in a few weeks and could add power to the lineup being only two seasons removed from swatting 30+ homers. With the number of injuries throughout the league, there is a high likelihood that Jorge has found himself on the waiver wire. He might be the starter you need in the second half to really make an impact.
Dane Myers (0% Yahoo Rostered)
Myers is off to a quick start after getting called up this past week. He started with multi-hit games in his first two starts. In the minors this year, Myers has been putting up impressive numbers. In just twenty games at AAA, Myers has hit .440 with six homers and 21 runs batted in. While he is old (27) for a rookie, he was a pitcher in the minors until he transitioned to being a position player on a full-time basis in 2021. He currently has outfield eligibility but can play the corner infield positions as well. If you are in a deep league, Myers is worth a gamble to see how he plays while the Marlins have a number of guys like Jazz Chisholm and Jonathan Davis on the injured list.