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Top Fantasy Baseball Stories of the Week - Aaron Civale, Will Smith, Jose Miranda, James Wood, Brooks Lee

Jose Miranda - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Hello, RotoBallers, and welcome to another look back at the biggest news in the baseball world over the last week. With waivers run and lineups locked, now is a great time to catch up on stories you may have missed while focusing on your own players. Hopefully, this weekly column helps steer you out of the tunnel vision that can come with the grind of micromanaging your fantasy baseball team(s).

With the trade deadline approaching at the end of the month, we can expect to see an increasing amount of exchanges among teams. The Rays and Brewers got peak trade season started with a deal involving Aaron Civale and minor leaguer Gregory Barrios. Will Smith of the Dodgers and Jose Miranda exploded and enjoyed historic streaks. And a pair of heralded prospects, James Wood for the Nationals and Brooks Lee for the Twins, made their debuts. We’ll look at what they accomplished in their first week as major leaguers.

Fantasy baseball revolves around an expansive league with a six-month-long season. It can be easy for news to get lost in the shuffle, especially if it doesn’t directly relate to players we roster or actively follow. To stay on top of the latest action, bookmark our fantasy baseball news feed, download our mobile app, and check back for the next installment of the Stories of the Week every Monday.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:


Aaron Civale To Milwaukee

On Wednesday, July 3, the Rays dealt pitcher Aaron Civale to the Brewers in exchange for 20-year-old prospect Gregory Barrios, who had been playing at High-A Wisconsin. The Rays acquired Civale from the Guardians at last season’s deadline at the cost of Kyle Manzardo. Civale’s time with Tampa ends after 27 starts, resulting in a 4-9 record with a 5.17 ERA. Barrios was hitting .325 and had 18 steals before the trade and has since joined Tampa’s own High-A affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Fantasy impact: Pre-trade, Civale offered fantasy managers 84 strikeouts over his 87 innings pitched. Anyone rolling with him long enough to collect all was also stuck with his 5.07 ERA and 1.38 WHIP to go along with just two wins. A move to Milwaukee to shore up their injury-depleted rotation gives him more innings, but I don't see the point in wrecking ratios in the hopes a change in scenery will turn Civale's season around.

The move opened up a rotation spot in Tampa for Shane Baz, who finally returned from the injured list on July 5 to his first start in nearly two full years. Facing the Rangers, the 25-year-old righty turned in six innings of work, striking out six but also allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. His next start is scheduled for July 11 against the Yankees.


We’re Going Streaking!

Two separate but similarly impressive hitting streaks delighted baseball fans last week as catcher Will Smith and infielder Jose Miranda both turned in performances for the history books. Smith tied an MLB record by hitting a home run in four consecutive at-bats. On Friday, July 5, Smith had a three-homer game (becoming the fourth Dodgers catcher ever to do so) and followed that performance with a home run in his first at-bat in Saturday’s game.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Jose Miranda went on a tear of his own, getting a hit in 12 consecutive at-bats. The feat matches the MLB record held by three other players. Miranda’s streak started on July 3 and continued with a 5-for-5 effort against the Tigers on Independence Day. On Friday, he opened the Twins’ series against the Astros by going 4-for-4. Miranda was plunked in his first plate appearance in Saturday’s game and then singled in the second and fourth innings before finally recording an out in the sixth.

Fantasy impact: Smith is rostered in 99% of leagues, so there really is no action to take here. There’s just the sweet joy of managers lucky enough to have him for that sudden jolt to the HR column and the agony of those who ran into him in head-to-head matchups last week. Miranda is still available in about 37% of leagues. Even before the streak he was a worthy play in the 3B or CI slot, hitting .297 with 37 RBI.


Getting The Call

On July 1, the Nationals called up their top prospect (and MLB Pipeline’s second-ranked overall), outfielder James Wood. In 52 games at Triple-A Rochester, Wood hit .353 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases. The 21-year-old has started all seven of the Nats’ games since his promotion, and in that time, he has gone 8-for-25 with a homer, a steal, four runs, and six RBI.

Two days later, the Twins promoted infielder Brooks Lee after Royce Lewis was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right adductor strain. Lee has drawn a start in every Twins game since joining his big-league club, four times as their third baseman and once as designated hitter. Hitting .329 for Triple-A St. Paul before the call, Lee has not lost a step in his first week as a major leaguer, going 9-for-19 with one home run and six RBI.

Fantasy impact: Wood is still available in about 30% of leagues. His power and speed grades are excellent though his hit tool is average at best. Wood can be added in most leagues and should be rostered in five-outfielder leagues. Lee can be found in almost two-thirds of leagues. His hit tool is the highest-graded aspect of his game. Hitting at the bottom of the order as he has been will limit his production of runs and RBI, but he can help with average. Interested managers should keep an eye on his playing time, as Minnesota’s infield is a bit crowded, and keep tabs on Royce Lewis’s recovery, as his return may force Lee back to the minors.

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