Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Don't sleep on these three recent call-ups

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The prospect parade continues, as the Cincinnati Reds promoted one of their top youngsters for the beginning of their three-game series at Colorado's Coors Field, and plenty of other highly regarded rookies remain out there in a majority of ESPN leagues. Make sure to get the following into your lineups for fantasy's Week 7:

Matt McLain, SS, Reds: The team's first-round pick in the 2021 amateur draft, McLain has broken through in a big way while with Triple-A Louisville this season. In 38 games for the Bats, McLain has batted .348/.474/.710 with 12 home runs, 40 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, along with 16.8% walk and 75.4% contact rates. It's a huge improvement upon what was a disappointing 2022 with Double-A Chattanooga last season and an even more forgettable Arizona Fall League performance that followed. The 23-year-old has shown why scouts grade him above average in nearly every facet of the game.

You might be asking: So why McLain and not Elly De La Cruz or Christian Encarnacion-Strand, both of whom were more heralded prospects at the onset of spring training? Simply put, both had the starts to their seasons delayed by injury, and while both have been comparably excellent since returning to action, McLain is the one who has been doing this all season. It shouldn't be long before we have an Encarnacion-Strand/India/McLain/De La Cruz infield going from first to third (and that's before considering where Noelvi Marte, Cam Collier or Edwin Arroyo eventually fits into the infield puzzle). McLain will probably handle shortstop for now, and beyond the benefits of an early-week, three-game series at Coors potentially boosting his initial numbers, he has a skill set that nicely fits points-based scoring.

Christopher Morel, OF/2B, Chicago Cubs: One of the most egregious last-minute spring training cuts, Morel deserved an everyday spot for this Cubs team from day one. Today, thankfully, he's back on the roster and seemingly shaping up as a candidate for the leadoff spot while Nico Hoerner nurses a hamstring injury. Morel tore up Triple-A ball during his five weeks with Iowa, batting .330/.425/.730 with 11 home runs in 29 games, which came on the heels of a .269/.333/.577, four-homer spring in 57 trips to the plate. Now, he should get near-everyday at-bats across four different positions -- second base, designated hitter, center field and third base -- with underrated, potentially 90th-percentile Statcast numbers in terms of both barrel rate and sprint speed. That's the kind of player who can deliver both points-based and rotisserie value, not to mention his prospects of adding third base to his position mix (he's already 2B/3B/OF in 15-game eligibility leagues and adds shortstop to that in those that use 10 games from 2022). It's not the easiest of schedules for Morel and the Cubs over the next three weeks (@HOU-3, @PHI-3, NYM-3, CIN-3, TB-3, @SD-4), but he's a handy player to have to plug in at those multiple spots.

Nick Pratto, 1B, Kansas City Royals: When the Royals demoted DH Franmil Reyes to Triple-A Omaha on May 2, ultimately outrighting him off the 40-man roster 10 days later, that locked Pratto into an everyday role for the team, joining what has been effectively a four-man rotation between catcher, first base, DH and right field along with MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez. It's about time, considering Pratto reached the majors last season as one of the more heralded power-hitting prospects, but until recently he had struggled mightily in his first taste of the majors as well as his 2023 start back at Omaha. Among the changes we've seen so far are a 7% decline in his chase rate (percentage of swings at pitches outside the rulebook strike zone) and 7% uptick in his Statcast hard-hit rate, though it's unlikely he'll maintain anything close to his current .350 batting average considering his greater-than-30% strikeout rate. The Royals do, however, face six right-handed starting pitchers during fantasy's Week 7, and they'll face below-average Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals pitching the week after that. Perhaps this is only a short-term add -- keep tabs on the sustainability of those two rate improvements here -- but Pratto is worth slotting into your lineups for these next two weeks.

All-in on Arizona

The Diamondbacks have one of Week 7's most favorable schedules on both sides of the ball, with three games scheduled at the dreadful Oakland Athletics and three at a Pittsburgh Pirates team that has lost 11 of its past 13 games. That means a dream pair of matchups for the team's two-start pitcher, Merrill Kelly, somehow still available in roughly 20% of ESPN leagues. He has mostly maintained the velocity bumps he exhibited in 2022, his swinging-strike rate is even greater this season (12.0%) than last (11.5%), when he set a personal best in the category, and now he'll work in two of the most pitching-friendly environments in baseball.

The lineup is aligned for big things as well, and that extends beyond Week 7. Following this, the Diamondbacks will face the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers through Sunday, June 11, with five of those pitching staffs ranking in the bottom half of the league in terms of ERA. It's a good time to invest in this better-than-you-think lineup, which ranks sixth in the majors in runs per game (5.10) thus far and which the Forecaster grades as a top-10 offense. Make sure to add the following two hitters:

Dominic Fletcher and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF: Since Fletcher's major league debut on April 30, his 42 fantasy points rank 23rd best among hitters, while Gurriel's 53 are tied for fourth most. The brother of Los Angeles Angels infielder David, Dominic Fletcher brings a similar, contact-oriented game, though he brings a bit more hard contact to the plate, as Statcast computes him with a 43% hard-hit rate through his first 46 career plate appearances. Though it's possible he'll maintain enough of a contact-and-decent-pop game long term, Fletcher is much more of a short-term, matchups-driven add.

Gurriel is the one whose improvements this season are more interesting, looking beyond mid-June. He has what would be a career-best 15.8% strikeout rate thus far yet hasn't sacrificed much in the way of contact quality while doing it, his 48% hard-hit rate representing his second best in any season. That's the kind of boost points-based managers like to see, and it's coming at a good time in the schedule.