Alec Mills threw a no-hitter Sunday, which is obviously a great accomplishment that no one can ever take away from him. But does it mean you need to take him away from that lonely place that is the waiver wire? I wouldn't be so sure.
What skills, might I ask, does he bring to the table? I'll tell you: He's a better-than-average ground-ball pitcher. Not great — not anyone who'll contend for the league lead — but better than average. He limits hard contact to some degree, but not so much that he can't get burned by the long ball, having allowed 1.4 per nine innings so far. His strikeout rate is bad. His walks merely OK. Even with Sunday's effort, he has a 4.85 FIP and a 4.80 xFIP, and lest you think the Statcast data paints a more favorable picture, he entered the day with a 4.93 xERA.
His ERA over his previous five starts was 7.66.
We discuss Mills and the weekend action on the Monday edition of the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast. Follow all our podcasts and subscribe here.
Sometimes no-hitters just happen, you know? There's a reason a typical baseball season is so long. Every event is subject to so much random chance that you can't accurately sort out who's good and who's bad without a supersized sample of events. Over the course of just one game, virtually anything can happen.
And that's how I view this Mills no-hitter. Once upon a time, Philip Humber threw a perfect game, you know.
Again, Mills is at least pretty good at putting the ball on the ground and might have some modest value with the right matchups. But with the Twins on the slate for next week, fair to say he's not huckleberry.
So who might be?
Deivi Garcia SP
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #83 • Age: 21
Deivi Garcia has performed so well through three starts, throwing 68 percent of his pitches for strikes even though control was his biggest shortcoming in the minors last year, that he's looking like a must-start for a two-start week against the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
Brad Miller DH
STL St. Louis • #15 • Age: 30
I could make the case for Ryan Mountcastle yet again, but instead I'll dip my bucket into another familiar well given how enthusiasm has faded for Brad Miller during his recent 4-for-31 skid. His expected stats, according to Statcast, still paint him as a .300 hitter who slugs near .600, and since the Cardinals are scheduled for 10 games this week, he's well worth another shot.
Alec Bohm 3B
PHI Philadelphia • #28 • Age: 24
A dry spell in early September might have had you second-guessing Alec Bohm's power potential all over again, but he has now delivered five straight games with an extra-base hit, including his third homer Sunday. At the very least, he profiles for batting average, striking out less than 20 percent of the time with a hard-hit rate in the top 10 percent of league, so you can expect him to do some damage with eight games at his disposal this week.
MIA Miami • #24 • Age: 30
Jesus Aguilar has been particularly hot since his multi-game absence for back stiffness, batting .326 with two homers and four doubles in 12 games. His reduced strikeout rate and elevated line-drive rate this year give him a good profile for batting average and make him the likeliest of Marlins hitters to take advantage of their nine games this week.
Greg Holland RP
KC Kansas City • #35 • Age: 34
If there was any question who would be the Royals closer following Trevor Rosenthal's departure, Greg Holland gave an emphatic answer this weekend, notching a save both Friday and Saturday to give him three in four days. He has recorded four of the team's six saves sans Rosenthal and, despite his struggles the past couple years, has numbers befitting a closer this time around. Seems as conclusive as you can hope to find off the waiver wire right now.
Ty France 3B
SEA Seattle • #23 • Age: 26
Ty France never got a fair shake with the Padres, but the Mariners seem committed to finding out what he can do, having started him now in nine consecutive games. He's batting .364 (12 for 33) with two homers, two doubles and a triple in those games, and for a guy who hit .399 with a 1.247 OPS in the minors last year (albeit in the juiced ball-infused PCL), that's a noteworthy development. His triple eligibility makes him a versatile pickup, too.
Dean Kremer SP
BAL Baltimore • #64 • Age: 24
Dean Kremer's second career start came against the same opponent as his first career start, and while he didn't one-hit the Yankees over six innings this time, he wasn't far off. It might have been the more impressive effort, though, seeing as they already got a good look at him and knew what to expect this time around. I'd be hesitant to start him against the Rays this week given his low strike rate and modest swinging-strike rate, but he's worth stashing for a possible two starts the following week.
Jared Walsh 1B
LAA L.A. Angels • #25 • Age: 27
The Angels' new first baseman had to settle for just two singles Sunday, but he has homered five times in his past eight games and is batting .389 (14 for 36) so far in September with just six strikeouts during that stretch. It's the greatly reduced strikeout rate that has me believing Jared Walsh might still develop into something after hitting .325 with 36 home runs and a 1.100 OPS as a 26-year-old in the minors last year, but for now, he's cheap home run help.