Callup season is upon us, friends. If you aren’t adding and dropping *this week*, then why did you even sign up for the game? The real fun in this enterprise is in the pickups. Everyone knows this.
We gave you a preview of the Jarred Kelenic experience earlier in the week, but he’s not the only Seattle prospect worthy of our attention …
Logan Gilbert, RHP, Seattle Mariners (44 percent rostered)
One of the better pitching prospects in baseball is getting the call for a Thursday start against Cleveland, and, given the state of the Mariners’ rotation, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll stick. Gilbert is a gigantic (6-foot-6) right-hander, a former first-round selection who’s dominated over 140.0 career minor league innings (170 Ks, 33 BB, 0.94 WHIP). He has the requisite heat with quality breaking stuff and he definitely impressed in the spring:
Gilbert is expected to be a rotation fixture for Seattle, so his promotion is an actionable event.
Vidal Bruján, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays (11 percent)
No, Bruján hasn’t yet arrived in the majors, but you’ll want to file away the name. He’s opened his Triple-A season with a binge, going 11-for-27 with four homers, nine RBIs and six walks. Power is a welcome addition to Bruján’s fantasy profile …
… as he was previously prized for speed and average. He swiped 48 bags in the minors in just 99 games in 2019 and he stole 55 bases the season before. In keeping with Rays tradition, Bruján has played all over the diamond while coming up in the minors, so he can slide into almost any spot in the big leagues. If your fantasy roster is light on speed, he’s a smart stash.
It’s kinda crazy that Vaughn just delivered his first career big league homer on Wednesday …
… because he’s been making loud contact throughout the season. His hard-hit rate at the moment is 50.9 percent and his average exit velocity is 93.1 mph. We like those numbers, folks. Vaughn offers on-base skills and 20-plus homer potential, if you’re into those things. He’s been hitting 5-7 in the lineup lately, so it’s not as if he’s buried in the batting order. Add if you can use a boost in the power stats.
Robbie Grossman, OF, Detroit Tigers (23 percent)
In all but the most shallow mixed fantasy leagues, every MLB team’s leadoff hitter probably needs to be rostered. Even the worst clubs can still produce a player who scores 85-90 runs. And this brings us to Grossman, who happens to be leading off for the Tigers, a verifiably bad team. He’s been getting on base with impunity (.377 OBP) and he’s already stolen seven bases. He swiped eight bases last year in the mini-season, so the speed is real. Grossman won’t hit for average and his power is modest, so we’re not talking about an every-category fantasy asset. But if your league uses OBP in place of AVG, he can definitely help.
Nick Senzel, 2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds (33 percent)
By now, everyone should pretty much understand Senzel’s appeal along with his weaknesses for fantasy purposes. When he plays, he can really rake. He’s a career .312/.388/.508 hitter in the minors and he has enough pop and speed to help us. Senzel’s issue is health — which is to say, he’s only occasionally healthy. But he’s playing right now, leading off for Cincinnati, and his team is beginning a series at Colorado on Thursday. Anyone needing middle-infield assistance should give him a test drive.
Yusei Kikuchi, LHP, Seattle Mariners (41 percent)
Let’s bookend this thing with Mariners pitchers. It’s a bit surprising that Kikuchi is so widely available, considering the way he’s opened the season. He’s struck out 45 batters over 44.0 innings while delivering a 1.09 WHIP and he whiffed 11 Dodgers in his most recent turn. Kikuchi also brings a little flair to the mound …
… which is a nice fantasy intangible. He’ll get Detroit on Monday to open a two-start week, so you’ve got a few days to scoop him up ahead of that friendly spot.