Weakly pickup samples (2016)
Week ending July 31 ~~
Dellin Betances, New York Yankees – He will be the closer with Andrew Miller traded to be the closer in Cleveland.
Raul Mondesi Kansas City Royals – Mondesi, 21, is a good prospect but missed time after serving a 50-game PED suspension. He is batting .268-7-30-24 at three minor league stops this year but still need work on his plate discipline (60/17 k/bb ratio). He plays mostly shortstop, but has played some second base, which is where he will likely play in KC for now. He is worth a pickup for the speed but beware low batting average. But GM Dayton Moore disagrees on the batting average, maintaining that Mondesi will hit better in the majors than he did in the minors. "He's ready," Ned Yost said. "Dayton has always said about him that he plays 'up.'" Playing up means playing up to the level of competition. Grade B for the steals.
Melvin Upton, Toronto Blue Jays – Upton, 31, was acquired to add depth to the outfield but will play a lot. He is batting .256 with 16 home runs and 20 steals in a comeback season after three down years. He is not a high average hitter but should be grabbed for his power/speed combo. Grade B
Aaron Altherr, Philadelphia Phillies – Altherr, 25, was finally activated and should be considered if still available. He tore a tendon in his left wrist in March, which required surgery, and missed the first half. "I just want to see him play," Pete Mackanin said. "I'm going to keep running him out there. He is potentially an important part, so we want to see what he does." He batted .247-6-24-6 in 146 at bats after a recall last year. Grade B-
Aroldis Chapman, Chicago Cubs – Chapman, 28, was obtained from the Yankees for four minor leaguers and will likely close moving Hector Rondon to a setup role. Grade A
Alex Dickerson, San Diego Padres – Dickerson, 26, has four home runs this week and should be picked up as long as he stays hot. He batted .382-10-51 at AAA El Paso earlier in the year but that’s in a hitter’s park in a hitter’s league. He had a nice k/bb ratio though. He will get regular playing time with Upton gone. Grade B
Eduardo Nunez, San Francisco – Nunez, 29, was acquired from the Twins and will play third base until Matt Duffy returns. He is batting .296 with 12 home runs and 26 steals and is well worth a pickup. Grade B
Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates – Watson becomes the closer with Mark Melancon traded. He has a 2.08 ERA and 0.97 WHIP since 2013.
Week ending July 24 ~~
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros – Bregman, 22, is a top prospect and will be called up on Monday. He has played SS-3B-LF in the minors and is hitting.306 with 20 homers and seven steals at AA and AAA. "We're rolling along pretty well and he doesn't have to come up here and be anything but himself and contribute at a couple of different positions," AJ Hinch said. He should be picked up in all formats. Grade A
David Dahl, Colorado Rockies – Dahl, 22, will be recalled from AAA Albuquerque on Monday. The team gets to use the DH in Baltimore this week, so they'll get a brief look at him. If Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon are traded, he could stay with the team. Dahl is hitting a combined .314 with 18 homers and 17 stolen bases at AA Hartford and Albuquerque. But he already has a 96/45 k/bb ratio. He can play all three outfield positions. “He’s hitting the ball with authority and power,” farm director Zach Wilson said. “He has the potential to impact both sides of the ball multiple times in a nine-inning game.” He should be considered in most formats. Grade B+
Week ending July 17 ~~
Yulieski Gurriel, Houston Astros – Gurriel, 32, was signed and was sent to the team’s spring training facility in Florida. GM Jeff Luhnow expects him to be ready in about three weeks. He was an impact power hitter in Cuba but we’re not sure where he will play in the majors. He is worth a pickup in most formats though. Grade B
Ryon Healy, Oakland Athletics – Healy, 24, was batting .326-14-64 with a 75/31 k/bb ratio at AA Midland and AAA Nashville and will get regular playing time at the corners. Deeper leagues might want to take a flier but he is not on our top prospect list. He was a third-round pick in the 2013 draft. If Danny Valencia were traded, Healy would step in at third base. Grade B
Jim Johnson, Atlanta Braves – Johnson could take over as the closer with Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list.
~~ Week ending July 10 ~~
Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals – Wade Davis (forearm) was placed on the disabled list so Herrera will likely take over as closer. Joakim Soria would also be in the mix.
Aaron Hill, Boston Red Sox – Hill was acquired to play third base vs. lefties. He is batting .283-8-29-4 in 254 at-bats but won’t play as much for the Sox. Grade C+
Koji Uehara, Brad Ziegler, Boston Red Sox – Ziegler was acquired from Arizona and will help close with Craig Kimbrel on the DL. The sidearmer is better suited to setup work but has had success as a closer as well. Koji Uehara will get most ot the save chances. "Koji's our closer," John Farrell said. "On days when he isn't available, we've got Brad to turn to."
Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates – Bell, 23, was called from AAA Indianapolis. The switch-hitter was batting .324/.407/.535 with 13 home runs as the power is finally developing. Now they want to see if that translates to the big leagues (it should with 20-30 HR potential eventually). He had solid strike-zone judgment and should become an average defensive player if he watches his weight. [Bell could be sent back down this week unless Gregory Polanco is placed on the DL with a nagging left leg injury.}
Jose Reyes, New York Mets – Reyes, 33, is expected to bat leadoff while playing multiple positions. He batted just .176 (6-for-34) in 11 rehab games, but hit .274 and stole 24 bases for Colorado last year. Grade B for the steals.
Trea Turner, Washington Nationals – Turner, 23, will be recalled again and could see time at 2B-SS-CF. Dusty Baker says he wants more depth on the bench and doesn’t like playing prospects. He is batting .302-6-33-25 at AAA Syracuse. “He’s getting on base and creating havoc and stealing bases and puts a lot of pressure on the defense. It gives us a lot of energy, and we feed off that,” manager Billy Gardner said. “He’s really worked hard defensively. He’s really gotten better in his angles, his reads off the bag at shortstop, accuracy with his throws.” Grade B+ for the future.