Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Lucas Giolito has nothing on Nicky Delmonico (not to mention Rhys Hoskins)
Lucas Giolito will make his 2017 debut Tuesday, but Scott White says he's not the prospect he used to be and recommends several pickups ahead of the young right-hander, including two of his White Sox teammates.
I'm not going to tell you not to pick up Lucas Giolito.
The guy went into last season as the top pitching prospect in baseball, and you never want to bet against talent. Who knows? Maybe he'll dominate the Twins in his White Sox debut Tuesday.
But I doubt it.
After his production at Triple-A Charlotte this year hardly portends greatness:
And while optimists will point to his 1.71 ERA over his last five starts, his 3.1 walks per nine innings compared to 8.0 strikeouts per nine show he wasn't exactly dominating during that stretch.
The talent itself is also in question. His average fastball velocity has slipped for a second straight season, settling in the low-to-mid-90s. Yes, there's a reason the Nationals included Giolito in their three-pitcher package for Adam Eaton this offseason, and it hasn't taken the rest of us long to catch up to their thinking.
So no, I'm not going to tell you not to add Giolito. But I'll tell you I didn't do it myself. He clearly has something to prove first.
Here are some of the players I've been adding instead.
If Rhys Hoskins had come up in mid-May, when it first became apparent he was ready for the next level, he might be pushing Cody Bellinger for NL Rookie of the Year honors now. The minor-league runner-up in home runs last year, who also set a Triple-A Lehigh Valley record for home runs prior to his promotion this year, has shown off his power with five home runs over the past week.
The most impressive part to me, though, is that he has eight walks to seven strikeouts, showing uncommon bat control and plate discipline in his first look at major-league pitching. He has so far given me no reason to back down from my right-handed Anthony Rizzo or in-his-prime Edwin Encarnacion comps, and he needs to be owned in more than 64 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
If you're hoping to corner the next hot thing at start pitcher, Luke Weaver is the way to go. Unlike Giolito, he has dominated the upper minors to the tune of a 1.90 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings over the past two seasons. He delivered a quality start, striking out eight, in his last big-league opportunity Aug. 2 and delivered three quality starts with at least a strikeout per inning in an extended look as a starter last August and September. Once Weaver is off and running, who knows how motivated the Cardinals will be to bring Adam Wainwright back from his latest elbow issue?
Nicky Delmonico's minor-league numbers won't blow you away -- he hit .262 with 12 home runs and a .768 OPS in 99 games at Triple-A Charlotte this year -- but with his sixth home run in just 19 games as a big-leaguer Monday (a stint that includes two two-homer games), it's time to take him seriously. The clincher for me is his 11 walks to 13 strikeouts -- a ratio every bit as impressive as Hoskins' -- and he did walk at an above-average rate throughout his minor-league career. Owned in just 29 percent of CBS Sports leagues, Delmonico isn't an across-the-board add as a first baseman/outfielder, but I'm willing to acknowledge he may be more than just a hot-hand play.
This edition of Waiver Wire is like the predicament I faced every time I had to dress up for something in high school: nothing but White Sox. But look, they've done the thing I thought they wouldn't do after trading Tyler Clippard to the Astros last week, and that's settle on one option for the ninth inning. Juan Minaya has gotten every opportunity since then and converted three saves in four days. He did allow a home run in one of those outings and, judging by his major-league numbers and minor-league track record, looks plenty vulnerable in the role. But saves are saves, and I trust him for them more than I trust whatever the Angels and Twins are doing.
Carlos Gomez is hoping to return Saturday from surgery to remove a shoulder cyst, and Joey Gallo may not need much longer than that to return from his concussion and broken nose. So it may be just a short-term stay atop the Rangers lineup for Delino DeShields, but for the need he's capable of filling, that's enough. Despite inconsistent playing time, he's one of just eight players with at least 25 stolen bases this year and one of 14 with at least 20. And since moving into the starting lineup Aug. 13, he has six. If just a handful of steals could you up 5-6 spots in that category, well, here they are.
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