Pick Up Pasquantino

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MIXED LEAGUES

(Players rostered in under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Note: Percentages are from the morning of Thursday, June 30

Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Royals (Yahoo: 34 percent rostered)

The cries for the Royals to promote Pasquantino were finally answered this week after the Royals cleared a spot for him by trading Carlos Santana to the Mariners. Although he had trailed off in June, Pasquantino has put together a marvelous season at Triple-A Omaha, sporting a .276/.367/.567 batting line with 18 home runs and a 36/37 K/BB ratio. That’s after he put up a .957 OPS with 24 long balls in his first full pro season in 2021 between High- and Double-A. The 24-year-old is hitless in his first two big league games, although he did draw a couple walks Wednesday. Pasquantino has an elite batting eye and makes a ton of contact for a power hitter. It’s the kind of profile which sets up well for success right away in the majors.

Lou Trivino, RP, Athletics (Yahoo: 25 percent rostered)

When Dany Jiménez went down with a shoulder injury, most – including yours truly – looked at A.J. Puk and Zach Jackson as the most likely options to slide into the Athletics’ closer role. Instead, it was Trivino who grabbed back-to-back saves for Oakland over the weekend. He has plenty of experience in the role, of course, grabbing 22 saves last season and a couple in April this year before going on the COVID-19 injured list. It’s mostly been a struggle for Trivino, though, as he’s still sitting on a ghastly 7.17 ERA even after four straight scoreless appearances. He is missing bats, having fanned 33 over 21 1/3 frames. Saves are saves, ya’ll.

Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals (Yahoo: 47 percent rostered)

Carlson had a little late buzz in fantasy drafts this spring after we learned that he would start the season as the Cardinals’ leadoff hitter. He crashed and burned, though, putting up a .247/.291/.363 batting line with just two home runs over his first 39 games before landing on the IL with a strained hamstring last month. Carlson was starting to come around just before the injury, however, and he’s been much better since returning with an OPS over .900, two dingers, 11 RBI and three steals in 20 contests. The hot stretch has earned him two straight starts in the No. 2 spot in St. Louis’ lineup.

Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, Cubs (Yahoo: 29 percent rostered)

Hoerner is swinging a red-hot stick, with a run of five straight multi-hit games coming to an end Wednesday (and he had a two-run double and a walk in that game). The former first-round pick has his average on the season up to .304, and because he’s been so elite at making contact with just a 10 percent strikeout rate, his xBA of .318 says that he’s actually been a tad unlucky. Hoerner doesn’t hit the ball terribly hard and he hits it on the ground a lot, so any power you get out of him should probably be considered a bonus. He’s a great bet for average, though, and also for steals, having gone 6-for-7 in stolen base attempts while boasting a sprint speed in the 92nd percentile.

Luis Patiño, SP, Rays (Yahoo: 6 percent rostered)

Patiño lasted just one start and not even a full inning before going on the injured list with a severe oblique strain back in mid-April. He’s on the comeback trail now, though, having made five rehab appearances and posted an 18/1 K/BB ratio over 14 2/3 innings. That includes seven strikeouts and two runs allowed over five innings in his last outing on Sunday with Triple-A Durham. It’s not clear how many more appearances the Rays will ask Patiño to make, but he’s close. The 22-year-old’s results at the major league level so far have just been so-so, but he’s extremely talented.

Steven Matz, SP, Cardinals (Yahoo: 20 percent rostered)

Matz has missed more than a month of action with a shoulder injury and had a setback at one point. He also has an ugly 6.03 ERA across his first nine starts with the Cardinals. So why am I recommending him? Well, Matz has also put up a nice 44/8 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings for a fantastic 5.5 K/BB ratio. And, he also has the Cardinals’ elite defense behind him. Better days figure to be ahead for Matz, and he has begun his rehab assignment with three strikeouts over two innings for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday. The veteran left-hander will need a couple more before being activated, but he’s a worthy stash now in deeper formats.

Deeper Dandies:

(Players rostered in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Josh Smith, 3B/SS, Rangers (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

Ezequiel Duran is back in the minors, which has freed up the Rangers’ third base job for Smith. The 24-year-old has even been in the leadoff spot each of the last three times his team has faced a right-hander, and for good reason since he’s sporting a robust .439 on-base percentage in his brief major league career. Smith boasts a .416 OBP during his minor league career, too, so getting on base at a good clip is nothing new for the former second-round pick. He can also run, with 10 steals in 2022 between the majors and minors after going 26-for-31 on stolen base attempts in 2021 in the minors.

Edward Olivares, OF, Royals (Yahoo: 8 percent rostered)

Olivares was just starting to get going at the plate back in early May when he landed on the injured list with a strained quad. He returned last week, though, and picked up right where he left off when he popped two home runs in his first game back. Olivares has hit .301/.390/.536 with 16 homers and 12 steals over 331 plate appearances at the Triple-A level and has popped 18 home runs while swiping 35 bags in 551 plate appearances at Double-A. The 26-year-old has a nice power/speed blend and should finally have a grasp on everyday playing time.

Mitch White, SP, Dodgers (Yahoo: 6 percent rostered)

The Dodgers’ rotation has been hit hard by injury, which has created an opportunity for guys like White. He’s taken advantage with some solid work to this point, posting a 3.98 ERA and 19/7 K/BB ratio over 20 1/3 frames. White holds a 3.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 81/28 K/BB ratio over 79 1/3 innings at the major league level while splitting time between starting and relieving. The 27-year-old has also put up a 1.30 ERA and 63/15 K/BB ratio over 55 1/3 frames the last two years in the minors. With the Dodgers’ offense backing him, White could be a sneaky deep league option.

Weekend Warriors:

Patrick Corbin vs. MIA (Yahoo: 8 percent rostered)

Corbin turned back the clock Tuesday, striking out 12 over eight innings of one-run ball against the Pirates. The 12 punchouts tied a career high and represented his first double-digit strikeout game since 2019. Corbin’s velocity was up significantly, as well. The veteran left-hander certainly needed something to go his way given that he came into the outing with a 6.60 ERA. However, he is coming off his best start in a long time and this weekend will face a Marlins team that’s arguably the worst in baseball against lefties with a .274 wOBA and 28.6 percent strikeout rate entering Wednesday.

Marco Gonzales vs. OAK (Yahoo: 31 percent rostered)

Gonzales has been on a nice run over the last month with a 2.82 ERA and 1.10 WHIP covering his previous six starts. One of those outings came against the Athletics last week when he went seven innings and gave up just two runs. Yes, Gonzales has struck out only 20 during the aforementioned six-start stretch. If you’re looking for punchouts from the southpaw, you’re barking up the wrong tree. However, while some regression will probably come at some point especially if Gonzales can’t get his walks under control, odds are it won’t start happening this weekend versus the A’s.

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AL ONLY

Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/SS/OF, White Sox (Yahoo: 6 percent rostered)

It seemed a couple weeks ago like Harrison might be close to getting designated for assignment. Perhaps it would’ve happened if Danny Mendick (knee) hadn’t gotten hurt. Harrison, though, is still around and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon now since he entered Wednesday with a .395/.465/.553 batting line, two home runs and eight RBI over his last 11 contests. The soon-to-be 35-year-old did have a decent 2021 campaign with a .741 OPS and eight homers and nine steals for the Nationals and A’s. His positional versatility can certainly come in handy in deep formats.

DL Hall, SP, Orioles (Yahoo: 3 percent rostered)

Hall possesses arguably the best raw stuff of anyone in the Orioles’ farm system, which is really saying something when they also have Grayson Rodriguez. The left-hander touched 100 mph regularly on the radar gun while also showing a plus changeup at times and a couple different breaking balls. The impressive repertoire has allowed Hall to rack up a whopping 355 strikeouts over 263 innings in the minors, including 71 over 46 frames this year across three levels. Walks are a major issue for Hall, which could keep him from debuting in 2022. It’s not out of the question, though, for a guy who has spent most of the year at Triple-A and often dominated.

NL ONLY

Darick Hall, 1B, Phillies (Yahoo: 0 percent rostered)

Truth be told, Hall isn’t even actually in the Yahoo system yet as I write this, so, yeah, his rostership rate kind of has to be at zero. The Phillies have summoned the burly first baseman to the big leagues, though, following a .894 OPS and 20 home runs this year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The big club then threw Hall right into the cleanup spot on Wednesday in his major league debut. Hall will turn 27 soon and wasn’t considered a prospect coming into 2022, but he’s had a nice season and it looks like he’ll be given an opportunity.

Yerry De Los Santos, RP, Pirates (Yahoo: 0 percent rostered)

De Los Santos was promoted just a month ago but has quickly worked his way into high-leverage situations with a 2.92 ERA and 13/4 K/BB ratio over 12 1/3 innings in his first 12 major league appearances. He was even entrusted with a save chance Wednesday with David Bednar (back) unavailable and converted it with a 1-2-3 frame. De Los Santos has posted fantastic numbers in the minors since being moved to relief full-time, including a 1.72 ERA and 20/2 K/BB ratio over 15 2/3 innings this year at Triple-A. He could really have some value if Bednar’s injury is worse than expected or Bednar gets traded. Even if neither of those things happen, De Los Santos appears capable of some good ratios.