Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was suspended 80 games Tuesday for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, which left many fantasy baseball managers scrambling for a replacement.
If you were one of the many that used an early-round pick on Marte in hopes he would replicate his 47 stolen bases from last year, you are probably scouring your league’s waiver wire searching for answers.
Best fantasy baseball replacements for Starling Marte
Aaron Judge — The Yankees slugger has four home runs and 11 RBIs already this month, as he starts his first full season in MLB. Known as a power hitter with a propensity to strikeout, Judge is a risk-reward option who could lessen the blow of Marte’s startling suspension.
Judge is only owned in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues, so there is still a chance to pounce on him. Playing in the AL East, where the ballparks are small, Judge could flirt with 35 home runs this season.
Steven Souza Jr. — Formerly a top prospect, Souza has struggled with the Rays more than people had anticipated. Despite his high strikeout rate, Souza is a gamble worth taking because he is currently batting .320 with two home runs and 10 RBIs this season.
Souza, who is available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues, has struck out 11 times in his last seven games after striking out just two times in his first seven games. He is worth a speculative add, though.
Mitch Haniger — There is a chance the Mariners outfielder has already been scooped up (he is 72 percent owned) but it’s worth checking because Haniger has the chance to even surpass Marte’s regular production.
Haniger is currently batting .291 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and two stolen bases. He won’t swipe as many bags as Marte was projected to, but he will hit more home runs, and might hang around his current average.
Domingo Santana — The young Brewers outfielder is sort of a poor man’s version of Marte in regard to his projected stats. Santana, who normally bats fourth or fifth for Milwaukee, is batting .244 with two home runs and two stolen bases so far this season.
Owned in just 27 percent of Yahoo leagues, Santana won’t hit for a high average, but his hot streaks could leave fantasy owners satisfied with his secondary stats.