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Pickup of the Day

PUD 8/5: Javier Baez

by D.J. Short
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 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.

I mean, who else could it be, really? While it's happening a bit sooner than I expected, the Cubs announced Monday that Baez will be promoted from Triple-A Iowa and make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Rockies. Known for his immense power and quick wrists, the 21-year-old earned the call-up after batting .260/.323/.510 with 23 home runs, 80 RBI, and 16 stolen bases over 104 games this season in Triple-A. After getting off to a slow start, he has been an absolute monster of late, collecting 12 home runs in 33 games since the start of July. Strikeouts have been an issue for him in the minors, so don't expect much help in the batting average department, but he could provide a nice power boost to fantasy owners down the stretch. While he qualifies at shortstop in most leagues, the Cubs figure to use him at second base, pushing Arismendy Alcantara out to center field. Baez is flying off the shelves quickly in most leagues, so just consider this last call.