Recommended pickups to address every fantasy baseball need
Last week, we managed to nudge Cedric Mullins, Jonathan India, Carlos Rodón, and various other breakout players above the 50 percent rostered threshold. So good work, everyone. This week, we present a fresh group of (hopefully) equally useful fantasy pickups, beginning with a newly minted closer ...
Lou Trivino, RP, Oakland Athletics (35% rostered)
Trivino earned a painless save for the A's on Tuesday, which should have made him an auto-add in most competitive fantasy leagues (if he wasn't already stashed). He's definitely skilled enough to run away with the closing gig. He has a four-pitch arsenal with upper-90s heat, and he's allowed just two hits while striking out nine in 8.2 innings so far. Trivino has also allowed very little hard contact to this point in the season (27.8%).
In pretty much all mixed fantasy leagues, every closer needs to be on a roster somewhere. Go get him.
Tejay Antone, SP/RP, Cincinnati Reds (21%)
Antone has made three relief appearances as of this writing and he's been nearly perfect: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 9 Ks. Just look at this filth he's capable of serving up:
Tejay Antone: Captain Hook. 🪝 pic.twitter.com/z34RNXsLqm
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 4, 2021
Ridiculous. He was a well-hyped player throughout the spring and deservedly so. Antone's fastball is averaging 97 mph and that curve is weapons-grade. It's hard to believe he won't be moving to the starting rotation eventually, at which point he'll be a must-add fantasy option. Get in now, before the rush. Even in a non-closing relief role, his K-rate and low ratios will have significant value.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets (34%)
Nimmo is an on-base machine (.395 career OBP) who's been leading off for the Mets, so he's well-positioned to score 90-plus runs over the full season. He's also slashing an absurd .464/.583/.571 at the moment, thanks to back-to-back 3-hit games this week. Back in 2018, the one season in which Nimmo received at least 400 MLB at-bats, he hit 17 homers, swiped nine bags, and reached base at a .404 clip. He clearly has a shot at a 20/10 season with triple-digit run-scoring. Seems like that would play in most fantasy formats. Nimmo is kinda quirky, but he's certainly useful.
Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2B/SS, Miami Marlins (27%)
Chisholm has homered twice this season, hitting the first against Jacob deGrom and the second off Charlie Morton. So that's decently impressive. The home run against deGrom, in particular, was absolutely destroyed:
Jazz Chisholm Jr. obliterates this 100 MPH pitch from Jacob deGrom 🚀pic.twitter.com/SfMcZLL8pw
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 10, 2021
In postgame comments following that moonshot, Chisholm mentioned that he was looking for something off-speed and able to adjust to the heat, which is ... um ... huh? How? He's a legit talent, only 23, and he's eligible at a pair of premium positions. Chisholm wasn't a high-average hitter in the minors, but he was a serious power/speed threat. He went 25/17 three seasons ago, then 21/16 at Double-A in 2019.
Add and enjoy the ride.
Tim Locastro, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (10%)
If you're light on speed, this is your add. Locastro is leading off for Arizona, he's hit safely in six straight games and he's an incredible 29-for-29 on stolen base attempts in his career. Ketel Marte is on the injured list with a hamstring strain (that sure looked troublesome when it occurred), so Locastro has a clear runway at the moment. He's a locked-in starter with speed in abundance and just enough power that he's not a zero in any category.
Renato Núñez, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers (4%)
Miguel Cabrera hit the IL with a biceps strain earlier this week, resulting in a clear path to everyday playing time for Núñez. The early results have been promising, as Núñez hit bombs in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday — the first off Zack Greinke, the next off Jake Odorizzi. We shouldn't need to give you a hard sell on Núñez's power potential, because he gave us a 31-homer, 90-RBI campaign back in 2019 with the O's. If you need a short-term power boost at the corners, he merits consideration.
J.T. Brubaker, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (4%)
Brubaker emerged as a sneaky-fun streaming option last year, striking out a batter per inning for the Pirates (48 Ks in 47.1 IP). So far, so good in 2021, as he's allowed only seven hits and two runs over his first two starts while piling up 10 Ks. The arsenal is deep and effective ...
When @enosarris listed JT Brubaker as a sleeper, I dug a bit deeper into the pitch mix (then took him in a draft-and-hold) pic.twitter.com/PRgKLej56n
— Eric Samulski (@SamskiNYC) February 25, 2021
... so keep him in your streaming plans. In deeper formats, he's a nice flier.