1. Luis Arraez | 2B | Minnesota Twins
Through 533 career plate appearances, Luis Arraez has a career slash line of .326/.388/.424. His elite plate discipline and contact skills make it nearly impossible for him to not be an above average hitter in the majors. So far in his career, he has more walks (51) than strikeouts (46), and he’s making contact on an outrageous 92.2% of his swings. Batting at the top of an elite Twins lineup in front of the likes of Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz, and Byron Buxton, Luis Arraez’s should-be contributions in both average and runs makes him worth a roster spot. Keep in mind that he started in left field on opening day, and is back in left field on some days with the return of Josh Donaldson. At some point in the season, he might gain eligibility in the outfield to go along with second base.
2. Wilson Ramos | C | Detroit Tigers
Productive catchers are hard to come by. Unless you invested in a top-end offensive option, you’re likely willing to part ways with your current backstop. At the moment, Wilson Ramos is just a shade over 40% owned in ESPN leagues, despite leading all major league catchers with at least 30 plate appearances in home runs (6) and OPS (1.156), as well as sharing the lead in RBIs with eight. Despite his journeyman label, Ramos has been remarkably valuable offensively for the better part of the last ten years. In five of the past past six seasons, Ramos has played in at least 65% of his team’s games. Despite his older age for a catcher, at 33, Ramos is showing no signs of being held back, as he’s also just one plate appearance shy of leading the league in this category. One peak at his Baseball Savant page and all of that red should help convince you that he should be on your roster.
3. Avisaíl Garcia | OF | Milwaukee Brewers
While his peripherals might not be as ridiculous as Wilson Ramos’, Garcia’s are close. He is in the 90th-percentile or higher in Average Exit Velocity, Expected Slugging Percentage, and Barrel Percentage. In addition, Lorenzo Cain just hit the IL, solidifying Garcia in Milwaukee’s lineup nearly every day for the foreseeable future. While he may never put up elite numbers, his proven track record of consistency, mixed with his everyday usage, make him worth an add.
4. Evan Longoria | 3B | San Francisco Giants
It’s hard to believe Evan Longoria can keep this up, but you may want to consider adding the 35-year-old former superstar to ride out his hot start. Keep in mind, 2016 was the last season in which Longoria finished with an OPS above .800. However, through 42 plate appearances in 2021, Longoria has an OPS of 1.039 in addition to his four home runs and eight RBIs. To go along with his HardHit% and xSLG Percentiles north of 90, he continues to show good discipline at the plate, as his strikeout and walk rates are both better than half the league. The Giants aren’t expected to pile up a ton of runs, but he will continue to play more often than not, slotting in somewhere in the upper half of their lineup.
5. Jarred Kelenic | OF | Seattle Mariners
If you can afford to stash someone on your bench for (possibly) a few weeks, jump on Jarred Kelenic. The fact that Kelenic, who has yet to make an official plate appearance in the major leagues, is at nearly 50% ownership in ESPN leagues (47.6), should tell you something about the 21-year-old’s potential. He’s currently MLB Pipeline’s number four overall prospect, behind Wander Franco, Adley Rutschman, and Spencer Torkelson. While he didn’t play in 2020, in 2019 he slashed .291/.364/.540 across three minor league affiliates, belting 23 homers, stealing 20 bags, and showing solid discipline at the plate. In 25 spring training plate appearances, Kelenic finished with two doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, had an OPS of 1.140, and four walks to just one strikeout. One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself in fantasy baseball is adding a breakout star right before getting called up (see Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto, Mike Soroka in recent years), and Kelenic will not be available for long.