I've long been one of Alex Kirilloff's biggest backers. I've highlighted his prospect pedigree. I've trumpeted his batted-ball metrics. I even christened him one of my
But now, for maybe the first time, I'm losing faith. The pain in his right wrist, which was addressed via surgery last July and was supposedly overcome during a minor-league stint earlier this year, has returned. It prevented him from swinging a bat over the weekend and will require a medical evaluation Monday.
It probably explains why his average exit velocity has cratered to 86.2 mph since his two-homer game July 5, but at this point, that's beside the point. What's it going to take for him to get that wrist right? Will he ever, or will continued flare-ups preempt what could be a productive career?
It's Dynasty leagues where my concern is the greatest. I don't know that I'd be in a big hurry to drop Kirilloff in redraft, particularly not a five-outfielder format. Maybe the evaluation will reveal that a few days' rest is all he needs, which would mean that the second-half breakout is still very much on the table. But the hope is so fleeting by now that I wouldn't blame anyone for moving on.
Here are some of the players you might consider picking up instead.
MIL Milwaukee • #12 • Age: 30
It feels like adding Renfroe should be a no-brainer at this point, regardless of the scoring format. He was the 19th-best outfielder in Rotisserie leagues last year and the 21st-best in Head-to-Head points. He's also on the sort of heater that would merit a longer look even without that history. He went 4 for 4 with a homer run Sunday, giving him six home runs in his past nine games. He's up to a .254 batting average and .828 OPS for the year as compared to .259 and .816 last year.
PHI Philadelphia • #55 • Age: 27
Just a month ago, Ranger Suarez had a 4.33 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. He was headed to the IL with back spasms, and I was ready to classify his season as a failure. Perhaps a little rest is all he needed. "One of the biggest problems when you have an injury is not only does it hurt, but it's in your head all the time," Suarez said after delivering his best start of the season Saturday. "It obviously takes something away from that level of focus I need to be in." The left-hander has thrown three scoreless starts since returning, striking out 16 while walking just two in 16 innings, and his ground-ball rate, while still short of last season's mark, is climbing. It would now rank third among qualifying pitchers.
Jose Miranda 3B
MIN Minnesota • Age: 24
Another home run Sunday wrapped up a big month of July in which Miranda hit .353 (24 for 68) with five homers and a 1.008 OPS. But the rookie's run of success isn't so recent, really. Go back 50 games, and he's batting .335 (54 for 161) with nine homers and a .946 OPS. The only reason his year-long numbers look so ordinary is because he went 5 for 53 (.094) in the first 14 games following his promotion. He hits the ball reasonably hard, elevates well, strikes out at a low rate. More and more, he's resembling the player who hit .344 with 30 homers and a .973 OPS between two minor-league stops last year, which could make him a lifesaver at a position like third base.
Alec Bohm 3B
PHI Philadelphia • #28 • Age: 26
With a stretch of seven multi-hit games in eight, capped by a 4-for-5 performance Sunday, Bohm has brought his season-long batting average up to nearly .300. Take it back to 36 games, and he's batting .378 (54 for 143). The problem is that it's still mostly devoid of power. He has just three home runs during that stretch and only a .140 ISO. Still, the exit velocity is fine, and he's elevating much better than a year ago. He did have both a double and a home run Sunday, which offers some reason for hope. Given the shortage of viable third basemen in Fantasy, it's probably worth taking a shot at this point and just hoping the power comes around.
Nick Lodolo SP
CIN Cincinnati • #40 • Age: 24
The Marlins are a train wreck against left-handed pitchers, so it made sense that Lodolo would turn in the best start of his young career against them last time out, allowing no earned runs in six innings with nine strikeouts. But how would his follow-up go? Even better, it turns out. Granted, he was facing another bad offense, the Orioles, but he had even more swinging strikes (17 to 14) and again went six strong, allowing one earned run. He's getting whiffs on three different pitches (the most devastating being his curveball) and is now sporting an xFIP (3.34) nearly a point lower than his ERA (4.23). The Reds should be able to lean on the rookie pretty hard down the stretch, too, given the time he's already missed with a back strain.
Reid Detmers SP
LAA L.A. Angels • #48 • Age: 23
If you're targeting anyone on the waiver wire right now, Detmers should be the guy. His Sunday start offered the clearest evidence yet that he's a changed pitcher. He struck out 12 and registered 24 swinging strikes, including 10 on his revamped slider, while allowing just one earned run in seven innings. All four starts since he returned from the minors, where he tweaked his mechanics and picked up 2.5 mph on the slider, have been excellent, but this is the first one where he dominated as thoroughly as he did in the minors. This start puts him past last season's inning total, which could limit his workload down the stretch, but the Angels' six-man rotation will hopefully stave it off for a while.
SEA Seattle • #10 • Age: 23
After batting .288 with 11 home runs and a .903 OPS during what turned out to be an extended 54-game stay in the minors, Kelenic is back in the big leagues, and it only took a Julio Rodriguez injury to get him there. Mitch Haniger (ankle) is due to return before the end of the week, but the Mariners may still need to keep Kelenic around for his ability to man center field, not that Rodriguez's wrist contusion figures to require an extended stay on the IL. Bottom line is that Kelenic can control his own destiny simply by performing well, and while he didn't get off on the right foot Sunday, going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, his upside makes him worth a look still in five-outfielder leagues.
TEX Texas • #72 • Age: 26
Hernandez recorded his first save of the season Sunday in only his fifth appearance back from Tommy John surgery, and he was also warming up to preserve a ninth-inning lead Saturday before the save chance was taken away. He would seem to be the leading candidate to close now for the Rangers, with left-hander Brett Martin having fumbled away the role in epic fashion. When last we saw Hernandez, he was putting together a 2.90 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 in 2020 and looked like might get the first crack to close last year before the elbow issue surfaced in spring training. He has come back from the procedure throwing just as hard, his fastball peaking at 100 mph, and hasn't shied away from throwing his swing-and-miss slider nearly 50 percent of the time.