Rotoworld’s Pickups of the Day column is a valuable resource for fantasy managers looking for widely-available players throughout the season. They provide insight into various scenarios, such as breakout candidates, top prospects, injury replacements, pitchers with favorable matchups, players due for improvement, and more. Today’s edition highlights a returning shortstop in Los Angeles and the imminent arrival of a star pitcher in Cleveland.
Zach Neto, SS, Angels, is currently available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues. While he may not hold the title of the fastest-moving player drafted recently (that honor goes to teammate Nolan Schanuel), Neto has had a strong performance since his debut earlier this season. The 22-year-old has a batting average of .241, with eight home runs and five stolen bases in 252 major league plate appearances. His productivity might have been even better if he hadn’t missed over a month due to lower back inflammation. However, after playing four games with Triple-A Salt Lake and performing well with a .308 batting average, two home runs, and a .846 slugging percentage, it appears that Neto is ready to make an impact. He was activated off the injured list recently and, although he didn’t start in the game against the Guardians, he is expected to reclaim his spot in the leadoff or second spot in the Angels lineup. Despite the injuries plaguing the team, Neto’s skills in power and speed make him an essential player to roster. Given his decreased roster rate during his time on the injured list, it is worth checking if he is still available on the waiver wire.
Triston McKenzie, SP, Guardians, is currently available in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues. McKenzie experienced a shoulder strain during Spring Training, causing him to miss the start of the season. After returning in June and starting two games, he landed on the injured list again, this time due to a forearm strain. The Guardians have been cautious with the 26-year-old’s recovery, but he recently had a successful bullpen session, indicating progress. It is expected that McKenzie will begin a rehab assignment this week. Finding starting pitchers on the waiver wire at this point in the season can be difficult, as many breakout players have already been picked up. If his progress continues, McKenzie may have the opportunity to make two starts before the end of the season. Cleveland has a favorable schedule ahead, including matchups against Kansas City, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Detroit. With the exception of the Orioles, this schedule provides a great opportunity for success. McKenzie has been rostered for most of the season, especially in leagues with multiple injured list spots. However, it is worth checking if he is available in your league.