Mike Minor (SP - KC) - Minor was very solid against the White Sox on Monday, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings, striking out 7 for his second straight QS. I've already seen a few pickups of Minor in my leagues right after the outing, but I'm not sold for a couple of reasons. First of all, the two QS came against a Brewers club that is below average against LHP and a White Sox team with Eloy Jimenez batting cleanup in his first game back (he had a 26% swinging strike rate at AAA during his rehab....he's rusty) and a lineup bottom 4 that read: Engle, Hamilton, Mendick, Zavala. Very AAAish on the whole. Secondly, 3 of his next 4 starts are scheduled against teams ranked in the top 6 against LHP (Jays, Yanks, Astros), and the Cards aren't pushovers either. Minor has been rather mediocre this season with some bad luck added in, and to expect that he'll suddenly be better than average against top-level competition seems rather optimistic to me. He remains a streamer for me, and likely on the bench for the next 2-3 weeks.
Andrew Vaughn (OF - CWS) - Vaughn singled in a pair of runs on Monday, continuing a hot July that saw him enter the game at 324/347/592 for the month. It's just in time too, because with Jimenez and Robert both just about back (Jimenez returned Monday), he needed this streak to keep his share of playing time. I've really been impressed with the rookie, as he only had 205 minor league ABs before starting this season with the White Sox, and he's hitting 258/318/455 with a roughly average swinging strike rate and an exit velocity that puts him in the top-30 in MLB. This kid is going to be a great hitter in my opinion, and is certainly someone I would target for the stretch run and beyond.
Andy Ibanez (2B/3B - TEX) - Chris Woodward is hesitant to call Ibanez his starting 2B even after the demotion of Nick Solak, but Ibanez has started 5 of the past 6 games (the past 3 at 2B), going 8-17 with 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 BB, and only 1 K. He hadn't done much at all at the big league level prior to this streak, but he's been in AAA since 2018 and is a 291/359/454 hitter at that level over 930 AB, and despite average plate discipline at best his contact skills are very good. He has a touch of power and speed both, approaching average without quite getting there, but the contact ability is the star here. I think he could be an average MLB hitter in time, although he's already 28....and an average hitter with eligibility at both 2B and 3B is a useful player. He could be a reasonable injury stopgap in many formats right now.
Nick Pivetta (SP - BOS) - Pivetta struggled again on Monday, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks to the Jays in 4 2/3 innings, striking out 3. I know the schedule has been difficult for him....he's faced the Blue Jays 3 times in his past 8 starts for one thing, but he has 6 poor outings in his past 8. Furthermore, the K rate seems a bit inflated given the overall average nature of the CSW (called and swinging strike rate combined), the control has been shaky, and he gives up a ton of hard contact with a low GB rate. Those are a lot of red flags, and the schedule doesn't get much easier with matchups against the Rays and Jays for 5 of his next 7! I'm hesitant to utilize him right now.....the floor seems pretty low, although the ceiling is decent. For me he looks like a low-end streamer for the next month, with matchups against the Yankees and Twins that might be a little softer in mid-August providing some potential value.
Mitch Garver (C - MIN) - Garver has come off of the IL hot (with a 4-day break to celebrate the birth of his first child), going 4-10 with 2 2B, 2 HR, and 2 BB in the past week. He's 4th in xwOBA among catchers, 3rd in wRC+, 2nd in ISO......suffice it to say he's absolutely a top-5 C for fantasy purposes and remains criminally underrated. The huge FB and pull numbers depress the AVG despite average to average-plus contact ability, but the power is legit. Big fan.
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