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.
It was reported last week that Conforto’s return from the minors wasn’t imminent, but the Mets brought him back on Monday after he batted .344 (21-for-61) with three home runs, four doubles, two triples, and a 1.043 OPS over 16 games during his time with Triple-A Las Vegas. The 23-year-old was in the middle of a miserable slump prior to his demotion last month, but hopefully the stint in the minors got him back on track with his approach and helped to boost his confidence. He clearly has the talent to make an impact during the second half, but the big question is how he’ll be used. Yoenis Cespedes prefers to play left field, so Mets manager Terry Collins mentioned Monday that Conforto could see time in center field. That might not be a pretty sight, but he appears likely to get regular at-bats against right-handed pitching and it might not be long before he finds himself back in the middle of the order. For someone who is available in 66 percent of Yahoo leagues, he’s well worth a flier.