Rotoworld's brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there's value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way.
In today's column, we're looking at a couple of really strong options that I was shocked are still hanging around on the waiver wire in such a high percentage of fantasy leagues.
PICKUPS OF THE DAY
Braxton Garrett, SP, Marlins
Available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues
Look, if we're being honest here, my jaw hit the floor when I saw that Garrett was only rostered in 12 percent of all Yahoo leagues. When considering recommendations for this article, I had Garrett in the back of my mind but assumed that he was well over 50 percent rostered and wouldn't be widely available. Stunned.
So here's the thing. If you just glance at his line for the entire season, it looks pretty mediocre. He's 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 44/8 K/BB ratio over 43 innings in nine appearances (eight starts). Sure, the K/BB ratio looks appealing, but the ratios aren't anything to write home about.
Keep in mind though, that the Marlins did him completely dirty in his start against the Braves on May 3 – leaving him out there to take 11 runs on 14 hits in his 4 1/3 innings of work. If you take that disaster away from his overall line – he registers a 2.78 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 38/6 K/BB ratio over 35 2/3 innings.
He has given up more than two earned runs just twice all season. He's also hot at the moment – having allowed just one run over 11 1/3 innings in his last two starts while compiling a 16/2 K/BB ratio. He'll take the mound on Thursday in a difficult spot – taking on the Rockies at Coors Field. He's not a streaming option for the risk averse, but he has all of the tools to have success in that matchup.
More importantly though, don't let how he performs at Coors Field on Thursday cloud your judgment. Braxton Garrett is a mixed-league viable starting pitcher and should be rostered in nearly all leagues with the way he has been throwing the baseball.
Michael Conforto, OF, Giants
Available in 64 percent of Yahoo leagues
Michael Conforto struggled out of the gate this season with his new ballclub – which is completely understandable given the fact that he sat out the entire 2022 season due to injury. Over the last few weeks though, he looks to have rounded back into the peak form that we saw during his glory days with the Mets and he's certainly worth a look in all formats at the moment.
On the season as a whole, Conforto is slashing an underwhelming .219/.320/.437 with 10 homers, 24 RBI and one stolen base in 44 games. The power production is alright, but nothing really to write home about, right? Let's narrow it down now. Since May 10, Conforto is hitting .333/.380/.778 with six homers and 14 RBI over 13 games. That'll certainly play.
He's in the 84th percentile for hard-hit percentage, and in the 75th percentile for barrel rate this season. He already has three seasons of 27 or more home runs on his resume and he looks to be well on his way to adding another one in 2023.
He may not be for everyone – in shallow formats that start only three outfielders, he's probably only viable as a streaming option against right-handed pitching while riding out this hot streak. In deeper leagues though – where he may have been dropped by someone just looking at his overall line on the season – he could develop into a reliable power source for the duration of the season.