Fantasy Baseball Pickups: Players to add post-MLB Trade Deadline

Derek Fisher, Toronto Blue Jays

He owns a career .649 OPS, but Fisher was once viewed as a top prospect and that performance has come in just 278 ABs with inconsistent playing time. He added 10 homers and nine steals over that limited span, which reveals his fantasy upside given that’s been accompanied by a lowly .201 BA that looks extra unlucky when digging into his Statcast data. Fisher’s expected batting average (.276) is 50 points higher than his actual BA this season, and his Hard Hit percent (52.6) would be the fourth-best among all hitters if he qualified. Making that small sample bigger, Fisher’s career exit velocity (90.5 mph) is in the top quarter percentile, and he’s now looking at an opportunity for more playing time after getting traded to Toronto, which happens to also be the most favorable park for homers in 2019. Fisher is more of a deep league add, but there’s some hidden upside here.

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Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers

He’s set to make his major league debut Friday, and May is well worth grabbing just in case it’s not a spot start. Ranked as MLB’s 35th prospect, May is a third-round pick who possesses high spin rates and strong minor league numbers this season, including a 2.30 ERA in the hitter-friendly PCL over 27.1 innings after getting promoted to Triple-A. The Dodgers provide a nice landing spot as well, so the rookie is a popular add for good reason. Moreover, if teammate Will Smith is somehow available in your league, he has the upside to be a top-five fantasy catcher down the stretch and is a must-add in all formats.

Trent Grisham, Milwaukee Brewers

A former 15th-overall pick, Grisham was called up by Milwaukee on Thursday and is an intriguing add in deeper leagues after batting .300 with 26 homers and 12 steals over 370 at-bats across the minors this season, recording a 193 wRC+ in Triple-A. He was drafted out of high school, so Grisham is still just 22 years old and has some nice power/speed potential if the Brewers give him the playing time. Over the last three seasons, Miller Park has increased home runs for left-handed batters by 24%, which is the third-highest in MLB over that span, so Grisham is in the right environment as well.

Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers

He’s had a disappointing season, posting a 4.93 ERA while watching Shane Greene rack up 22 saves on a last-place team, but Greene has been traded to Atlanta, and Jimenez has a good shot of taking over as Detroit’s new closer. His 15.4 SwStr% ranks top-25 among relievers, while his 32.6 K% is in the top 8% of the league, and Jimenez posted a 2.91 FIP last season, so he’s plenty capable of performing well in the role too. He’s still available in more than 75% of leagues.

Josh VanMeter, Cincinnati Reds

He has a .950 OPS with four homers and two steals (with two other attempts) over 77 at-bats during his rookie campaign this year after raking in Triple-A (172 wRC+). It’s been a small sample, but the walk rate is high, and Great American Ballpark is one of the best venues for lefty power in all of baseball. VanMeter is multi-eligible (2B,3B,OF), has been hitting toward the middle of the Reds’ lineup and should now be a regular with Yasiel Puig traded. He remains available in more than 60% of leagues.

J.D. Davis, New York Mets

He’s popped 10 homers in fewer than 250 at-bats while sporting a .301 expected batting average that’s in the top 4% of the league. Davis’ exit velocity (91.7 mph) and Hard Hit% (48.1) are also both impressive, and the multi-eligible (1B,3B,OF) Met is looking at regular playing time in left field with Dominic Smith set to be in a walking boot for the next three weeks. Davis is freely available in more than 95% of leagues.

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Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

He didn’t have a great outing Tuesday night, but that came in Coors Field when he wasn’t expected to pitch deep into the game after working in relief most of the season anyway. He was starting for Ross Stripling, who’s already been ruled out for his next outing with a neck issue, and Urias would be a must-add in all fantasy leagues if he were to become a permanent member of LA’s rotation. After undergoing serious shoulder surgery that threatened his career, Urias has returned throwing harder than ever this season, and his average exit velocity and Hard Hit% both rank first among all pitchers. It’s an added bonus for fantasy gamers that he throws for an NL team that provides a bunch of run support and plays good defense in a pitcher’s park. Urias has the upside to be a real difference-maker down the stretch if given more starts, and he’s still available in 65% of leagues.

Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angles

He tossed six scoreless innings in a win Tuesday, and while it came against a weak Detroit lineup, the rookie’s 1.20 WHIP is much more indicative of how he’s pitched than his inflated ERA. Canning is up to 86 strikeouts over 79.1 innings, sporting a SwStr% that would rank top-15 among starters if he qualified, and his Hard Hit% is in the top 9% of the league. Canning may not have the ceiling of some of the other young pitching prospects in the game today, but his stuff is plenty good, and he’s going to hold a bunch of fantasy value down the stretch. He should be rostered in all leagues, but he’s available in nearly 75% of them.

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

After pitching well against a tough Minnesota lineup Tuesday, Gallen has been shipped to Arizona, where the rookie will bring his impressive 1.18 WHIP on the year despite a difficult recent schedule. He posted some video game-like numbers in Triple-A this season and should now have a much better chance of winning games with an average offense supporting him opposed to the league’s worst in Miami. And while he’ll no doubt be leaving a terrific pitcher’s park, whether it be the humidor or small sample noise, his new home in Chase Field has actually decreased run scoring more than Marlins Park this season. Gallen’s SwStr% and FIP would both rank top-25 among starters if he qualified, yet he’s somehow available in more than 60% of leagues right now.

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