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 will be a brief audition, but the Cubs will get a look at youngster Arismendy Alcantara starting on Wednesday with Darwin Barney going on paternity leave. Alcantara has been a stud at Triple-A Iowa this season, batting .307/.353/.537 with 10 homers, 41 RBI and 21 stolen bases while seeing time at second base, shortstop and center field. The 22-year-old entered the year as a top-100 prospect and is showing plenty of power/speed upside for fantasy owners, making him a nice short-term pick-up for a couple days until Barney returns. And who knows? Maybe he makes a big impression and the Cubs decide to keep him around for the long haul.