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Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Michael Busch could be the Dodgers’ next Max Muncy

With Max Muncy on the paternity list, the versatile Michael Busch will make his MLB debut for the Dodgers after lighting up Triple-A.

Michael Busch of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits an infield single during the third inning of a spring training game against the Cleveland Guardians at Goodyear Ballpark on March 21, 2023 in Goodyear, Arizona. Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

With the Los Angeles Dodgers so desperate for middle-infield production that they’d resorted to playing Mookie Betts at shortstop, L.A.’s fans had begun clamoring for the team to promote Michael Busch — the No. 48 prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline, who also happened to be annihilating Triple-A pitching this season.

Monday afternoon those fans finally got their wish:

Granted, it’s not quite in the way they’d hoped, as Busch will be replacing Max Muncy — among the only Dodgers hitters to get off to a strong start in 2023 — as the infielder goes onto the paternity list. Still, it’s an exciting move, both for the team and for fantasy baseball owners who may be looking for some power on the waiver wire.

Michael Busch fantasy impact

It’s ironic that Busch is taking Muncy’s place on the Dodgers’ active roster, because in a lot of ways that’s exactly who he resembles. Like Muncy, Busch is prone to striking out, running a less-than-ideal 26% K-rate between Double-A and Triple-A last season. Also like Muncy, though, Busch can play several positions around the diamond and is more than willing to work a walk — and when he does make contact, that contact tends to be loud:

The 25-year-old posted a vintage Muncy slash line — .266/.343/.480 — in Triple-A last year and followed that up with a monster couple of weeks so far this season. He has the ability to drive the ball to all fields, and his defensive versatility could mean triple eligibility at first, second and outfield. It’s unclear whether Busch will stick around in the Majors once Muncy returns in a few days, but fantasy owners in all but the shallowest leagues will want to take a flier in case he does — 20-25 homers with a .250 average and solid counting stats from an infield-eligible guy will play just fine.