Can we just take a moment to appreciate what Royce Lewis is doing? He homered yet again Wednesday, giving him five in nine games this season – and he's done that despite missing two months after suffering a significant quad injury in his first game of the season.

Overall in his MLB career, Lewis now has 22 homers in 79 games, a 45-homer pace over a full season, while hitting .309/.364/.575, and he's done that despite missing nearly 80% of the Twins games since making his debut. But even that doesn't tell the whole story, because Lewis' minor-league career was also full of significant roadblocks to overcome. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft and then mostly stayed healthy in his first three professional seasons without doing much of note, and then he lost the 2020 season – as all minor leagues did – to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Then he tore his ACL before the 2021 season, meaning he went into 2022 having missed two straight years of organized ball during the key point in his development. He still made his MLB debut early in May of 2022, after just 67 games across Double-A and Triple-A … and then tore his ACL again. He was dominant down the stretch in 2023 after coming back, only to end his regular season early yet again – though this time Lewis came back for the playoffs and had another incredible run, homering four times in six games. 

In total, Lewis has played just 132 games since his age-20 season and has somehow managed to establish himself as one of the game's best young players. Lewis has been unbelievable so far in his MLB career, but it's the degree of difficulty that makes me even more inclined to buy in. What he's had to overcome over the past half-decade speaks volumes about his skill set and makeup, and makes it a lot easier to believe in him as a superstar-caliber player moving forward if he can just stay healthy. 

Maybe he won't be able to. History suggests that's going to remain a problem. But I'll tell you one thing: There might not be a player in baseball I'm rooting for more right now. 

And now, let's get to the rest of what you need to know from Wednesday's action, starting with the top waiver-wire targets: 

Thursday's top waiver targets

Jake Irvin, SP, Nationals (65%) – I, of course, understand why Seth Lugo is considered a must-start Fantasy pitcher while Irvin is 65% rostered, but I'm not actually sure there's much difference between the two at this point. Irvin actually has a slightly higher strikeout rate (21.3% to 20.4% for Lugo) and slightly lower walk rate (4.6% to 5.5%), with similar batted-ball profiles. The biggest gaps right now are wins (Lugo has nine, Irvin has five) and innings (Lugo has thrown 10 more in the same number of starts), and I do think those could be a consistent edge for Lugo moving forward. But I'm not sure it's enough to justify the gap between how they are perceived these days. Lugo probably won't be a must-start pitcher moving forward, but Irvin is also probably just a little underrated right now, too. 

Cade Povich, SP, Orioles (20%) – Now that's more like it. Look, the Braves are not exactly striking fear in pitchers' hearts right now, but Wednesday was still a significant improvement from Povich's first start. He struck out six over six innings of work with 14 swinging strikes, and he showed off the entire arsenal, getting at least one whiff on all five of his pitches while throwing them all at least seven times. I'm still not sure Povich has a ton of upside, but at least he showed us some this time around. I would still be prioritizing Hurston Waldrep ahead of Povich on waivers, but I might be inclined to put Povich ahead of Drew Thorpe based on this start – Povich's team context is just so much better if he sticks around. You've gotta think he will after this one. 

Jackson Merrill, OF, Padres (80%) – For a guy who was 20 on Opening Day and had played just 46 games above High-A, Merrill is having a pretty strong rookie season, hitting at a roughly league-average level in an incredibly difficult offensive environment. But you don't get extra points for degree of difficulty in Fantasy, and on the whole, he's been a pretty mediocre Fantasy option. But his quality of contact has been a lot stronger than his actual numbers (.296 wOBA vs. .342 expected wOBA entering play Wednesday) and his plate discipline has been excellent, so it's not unreasonable to think there has been more upside here than he has shown. If Wednesday's two homers were the start of that, I wouldn't be at all surprised. 

Spencer Horwitz, 2B, Blue Jays (6%) – Horwitz didn't come to the majors with much fanfare, but it's been a pretty awesome start to his career. He has multiple hits in three straight games and has hit leadoff in three of five games overall since being called up. Horwitz's profile is kind of a strange one, I'll admit – he consistently posted huge batting averages in the minors, but without much in the way of over-the-fence pop or speed, and he's not exactly a Luis Arraez/Steven Kwan-level contact hitter (16.3% strikeout rate at Triple-A). Still, he's been super productive in the early going and has already earned a valuable role at the top of a Blue Jays lineup that is absolutely desperate 

Tobias Myers, SP, Brewers (8%) – That's two pretty excellent starts in a row for Myers, who limited the Blue Jays to just one run over six innings of work Wednesday, one start after he threw eight one-hit, shutout innings against the Tigers. Those aren't exactly the toughest matchups in the majors, and Myers has done it with just nine strikeouts in 14 innings, so I'm not sure how much upside there is here. But he's likely to stay in the Brewers rotation, and we'll see if he can keep it up. This one is for deeper leagues only.