Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re now into the dog days of summer, so your chances for a final push will soon be over. Milk that wire!
This week, the Trevor Bauer drama continued as he’s being countersued; Julio Rodriguez (wrist) is back and ready to resume his All-Star rookie season; and the Braves lost ace Max Fried to the concussion IL.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Vaughn Grissom, SS, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 11.6 per cent; CBS: 43 per cent): With Orlando Arcia (hamstring) out for the next four weeks, the Braves recalled prospect Grissom, who made an immediate impact (two hits in his MLB debut, the first of which was a mammoth shot that flew right out of Fenway — see video below) and then broke the Internet as everyone and his brother went crazy. For good measure, Grissom doubled and scored on Friday. He skipped Triple-A, but so what? The Braves’ top prospect tore through High-A, showing amazing on-base skills through 74 games before earning a promotion to Double-A (where he posted an OPS of 924 in 22 games), and now onto the bigs. While we await the return of Ozzie Albies and/or Arcia, Grissom looks like a very intriguing bat to add. An 11th round pick in 2019, Grissom’s best skills are his hit tool and arm, but his fielding could use improvement, so perhaps playing second base will work to his advantage for now.
Austin Voth, SP, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 1.6 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Just over two years ago we last pimped Voth, and that call didn’t work out so well, although he was less awful down the stretch than he was in August that season. Converted to relief last year and to begin this season, he experienced slightly better results (well, he did last year; this year was a shitshow, so he was waived by the Nats). Now in B-More, Voth is back in the rotation and has managed to strike out better than a batter per frame over the last three starts, continuing a roll that has seen him improve his ERA in 13 straight appearances (including nine starts). Just think about that for a moment. Voth put up a 2.75 ERA in four starts and one relief outing in July, and has been decent in his two August appearances. This dude has never looked better since joining the Orioles, and for the year, he’s in the 95th percentile for limiting hard contact. Maybe Voth deserves some AL-only love?
Matt Reynolds, SS/2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Utility man Reynolds has been seeing a bit more PT since trade deadline and could get even more with Jonathan India (leg) out day-to-day. Reynolds certainly took advantage of his chance on Thursday, delivering two hits, including this two-run double to shake off an August slump. Despite waning PT is recent months, he was quite good in July (757 OPS), so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do if he can carve out a bigger role. Reynolds’ multi-position eligibility adds to his intrigue as a deep NL-only option, even if it may only be for the short term.
Cavan Biggio, 3B/1B/2B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 5.8 per cent; CBS: 14 per cent): Biggio looked like an emerging power threat after his rookie season in 2019, even pushing some Jay mainstays to the sidelines. And although he built on that effort in 2020, to an extent it has been Biggio that has been pushed aside since then — with multiple injuries playing a huge role in his departure as an everyday player. He’s been slightly better this season after bottoming out in 2021, but he’s mostly been relegated to a utility role. However, with George Springer (elbow) currently out, Biggio could be a decent short-term addition as he’s playing regularly of late, and has been better (.263 BA, 844 OPS in August). Still, Biggio will need to improve his contact rates if he’s ever going to deliver on his potential, so we’re not expecting miracles.
- The Rays have a Joey Gallo type (without the walks, that is) at Triple-A in 3B Tristan Gray. A 13th round pick of Pittsburgh in 2017, Gray is having a major power breakout, spanking his IL-leading 27th homer on Friday. Unfortunately, he’s also hitting a career-worst .205. Still, that kind of productivity deserves a look in the bigs.
- Michael Harris II, No. 74 on our 2022 Top 100 Prospects list, came up huge Friday, delivering two hits, including a tie-breaking two-run jack in the eighth inning. He now has multi-hit efforts in two of his last three games, and his power is really beginning to show itself (.645 slugging in August). In about a half-season’s worth of at-bats, Harris has compiled a very impressive rookie season, perhaps worthy of some hardware (though teammate Spencer Strider may have something to say about that).
- Triston McKenzie, who has a very tough matchup Saturday in Toronto, looked amazing on Sunday, tossing eight goose eggs to snap a mini slump. He’s had a couple of those slumps this season, but other than June, he’s been superb this season. This month, McKenzie is averaging over a K per frame for the first time this season, and he should easily break his career high in games started in what’s been a breakout effort.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
In addition to being a songwriter and musician, Donovan has produced many records. In 1965, he released his debut album, What’s Bin Did and What’s Bin Hid. Side two of this effort kicks off with “Goldwatch Blues,” a song written by prominent English folk artist Michael Softley.
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