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.
The wait is finally over, as the Astros are set to call up prospect first baseman A.J. Reed to make his major league debut Saturday. This is a name that fantasy owners have been excited about for a long time and it’s easy to understand why. The 23-year-old tore through High-A and Double-A last season by batting .340 with 34 home runs and a 1.044 OPS. His move up to Triple-A Fresno this season has been a struggle at times, including a stint on the disabled list. His .854 OPS through 59 games isn’t going to blow you away, but he has been red-hot of late while showing off his power and patience. Reed still has issues against southpaws, so the Astros could (and probably should) use him strategically, but his power potential makes him worth an add in most fantasy formats.