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Pickup of the Day

PUD 6/16: Jake Smolinski

by Drew Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.

 

Jake Smolinski was called up to the majors by the A's on May 20 to provide outfield depth while right fielder Josh Reddick recovered from a fractured left thumb, but he's been more than just a right-handed bat off the bench. Smolinski homered, drew a walk, scored two runs, and drove in two runs on Wednesday night against the Rangers and is now batting .319/.346/.574 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 47 at-bats since his promotion to the big leagues. The original design called for him to start against most left-handers and operate as a reserve versus most righties, but the 27-year-old has suddenly carved himself a bigger chunk of playing time. A former second-round pick of the Nationals, he's worth a look in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues. Reddick is still probably two weeks away, and Smolinski can work in at other spots (LF, DH) when Reddick does finally return.

Drew Silva

Drew Silva is a longtime baseball writer and editor for NBC Sports Edge. He can be found on Twitter.