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USATSI

The Braves have done this once already this year, promoting a 21-year-old with hardly any experience at even Double-A and immediately inserting him into the starting lineup. It's how we got Michael Harris, you may remember.

Could lightning strike twice with Vaughn Grissom? Well, one game in, it already seems like it has. The shortstop-turned-second baseman went 2 for 4 with a home run and stolen base in his big-league debut Wednesday.

OK, so one game rarely tells us anything, but there's also the small matter of what Grissom was doing in the minors. We'll check out those numbers in a minute, but first, let's hear Brian Snitker's reaction to the performance.

"Nothing fazed him," the manager said before marveling at the home run. "I heard from the guys that that power's real."

Indeed, it's true that the most optimistic scouting reports had Grissom developing power to go along with premium bat-to-ball skills. There was nothing cheap about his home run, which cleared the Green Monster and traveled 412 feet. Even his single he muscled up at 97.8 mph.

His production seemed to improve with every step up the minor-league ladder, capped by a 22-game performance at Double-A Mississippi in which he hit .363 (33 for 91) with three homers, seven steals and a .925 OPS. It's becoming less fashionable to promote prospects straight from Double-A, particularly ones who've played so little there, but maybe the Braves' internal evaluations are just on another level. With Harris' immediate success, they've earned some benefit of the doubt.

Of course, even once we've determined Grissom is good, there's still the question of whether he could be more than just an injury fill-in this year.

Possible waiver wire pickups
ATL Atlanta • #18 • Age: 21
Rostered
17%
2022 Minors
AVG
.324
HR
14
SB
27
OPS
.899
AB
389
K
54
Wednesday's debut may have been only one game, but it was nonetheless historic for Grissom, who became the youngest player in the modern era to homer and steal a base in his debut. He contributed a fair amount of both of those (14 and 27) in the minors, but it's his bat-to-ball skills that stood out most. In three years across four levels, he struck out at only a 13.4 percent rate, which is akin to Juan Soto. The most questionable part of Grissom's offensive game is his power, but his peak exit velocities suggest considerable upside there. He also looks like he's still growing into his 6-foot-3 frame. It never hurts to take a shot on upside, which Grissom clearly has, but note that playing time could become an issue when Ozzie Albies (fractured foot) returns in two weeks or so.
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #85 • Age: 25
Rostered
76%
Rehab assignment
ERA
1.69
WHIP
0.94
INN
16
BB
5
K
26
I expected to tout the Astros' Lance McCullers as a waiver wire pickup with him set to join the Astros starting rotation Saturday following a four-start rehab assignment, but his 81 percent roster rate put him just beyond the cutoff. The good news, though, is that Dustin May is even better. He just made his second-to-last rehab start Tuesday, striking out eight over five innings, and has looked as untouchable as before Tommy John surgery, when he put together a 2.74 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 13.7 K/9 in five starts early last year. Armed with a devastating two-seamer that approaches triple digits and a curveball that piles up whiffs in its own right, the 24-year-old should be another big hit for the Dodgers. Now may be your last shot to grab him.
BOS Boston • #22 • Age: 34
Rostered
61%
2022 Stats
AVG
.237
HR
14
SB
7
OPS
.708
AB
375
K
113
After going homerless in July, Pham homered for a third straight game Wednesday, all of them coming with his new team and two in his new home at Fenway Park. In all, he hit four balls in excess of 100 mph Wednesday. He's been impacting the ball hard all year, rating in the 92nd percentile for average exit velocity, but the production has been underwhelming considering. Even so, this hot stretch has him back up to 37th among outfielders in Head-to-Head points scoring and 30th in 5x5 Rotisserie. The Red Sox are showing plenty of faith in him, too, having recently elevated him to the leadoff spot.
KC Kansas City • #9 • Age: 24
Rostered
58%
2022 Stats
AVG
.243
HR
5
OPS
.713
AB
140
BB
16
K
23
If you listen to the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, you know I've advocated for sticking with Pasquantino throughout his rookie struggles because the data is just too promising for them to continue. Well, we may be witnessing the start of the turnaround. The big blow (or blows?) came Tuesday, when he went 3 for 7 with two home runs in a doubleheader, but he followed it up with another two hits Wednesday to make him 9 for 23 (.391) with just one strikeout in his past six games. The low strikeout rate, which is now down to 14.5 percent for the year, is one of the reasons I like him so much, and it was just as present in the minor leagues. Combine it with a Mike Trout-like average exit velocity (92.3 mph), and big things are sure to come.
STL St. Louis • #62 • Age: 33
Rostered
58%
2022 Stats
W-L
4-5
ERA
3.37
WHIP
1.24
INN
115
BB
35
K
102
Quintana's second start with the Cardinals went about like his first -- six strong innings with roughly a strikeout per -- but with the added bonus of coming at Coors Field, where pitchers aren't supposed to succeed. (Maybe he could show Miles Mikolas a thing or two.) The 33-year-old really has had a redemptive season in what's become a fairer environment for pitch-to-contact guys like him. It was easy to overlook when he was still with the Pirates -- and it shouldn't be lost on anyone that Wednesday's win was only his fourth in 22 starts this year -- but he's on a winner now and should reap all the benefits, especially if the Cardinals are willing to work him harder than the Pirates did. His 103 pitches Wednesday equaled a season high.
CIN Cincinnati • #43 • Age: 26
Rostered
17%
2022 Stats
SV
4
ERA
1.94
WHIP
0.96
INN
41.2
BB
22
K
53
Certainly, there are more promising save sources out there in a number of leagues, chief among them being the Orioles' Felix Bautista, but if your league has already mined the deadline news for incoming closers, then Diaz might be the next-best place to turn. Hunter Strickland, after allowing 10 earned runs in his past nine appearances, is predictably out of the closer role, where he never should have been in the first place. Manager David Bell hasn't expressed any plans for the bullpen beyond that -- and has been reticent to do so in general -- but come on. It has to be Edwin Diaz's little brother this time, right? No other Reds reliever has come close to matching his production this year, and he's been handling the eighth inning for more than a month now.
STL St. Louis • #11 • Age: 29
Rostered
17%
2022 Stats
AVG
.191
HR
5
OPS
.683
AB
110
BB
13
K
35
After he lost his job to Brendan Donovan following a 10-for-77 start to the year (and not such great numbers last year either), it seems like DeJong can do no wrong now. The former Rookie of the Year runner-up went 4 for 5 with two doubles Wednesday, making him 11 for 33 (.333) with four homers and five doubles in 10 games since returning from the minors. Factor in his strong finish there, and he now has 10 homers in 19 games. Your skepticism is understandable, but shortstop is a difficult position to fill off the waiver wire (because most of its full-timers are rostered already). We are talking about a former 30-homer guy, so if you do have that tricky spot to fill, it doesn't hurt to roll the dice and see what turns up.
COL Colorado • #44 • Age: 24
Rostered
10%
2022 Minors
AVG
.310
HR
15
OPS
.933
AB
255
BB
27
K
63
Anytime a player has a chance for regular at-bats at Coors Field, it's of interest in Fantasy Baseball, but particularly one like Montero who has legitimate prospect pedigree, being the biggest piece to come over from the Cardinals in the Nolan Arenado deal. And after a couple cameos this year, the 23-year-old seems to be settling into the majors finally, collecting two hits for the fifth straight game Wednesday to make him 13 for 30 (.433) with a home run and four doubles since returning. He's now started eight straight and is certainly making high-quality contact with an average exit velocity of 91.8 mph. His plate discipline has been terrible so far, but he was never one to strike out at a high clip in the minors. As a third base-eligible player, his stock could rise quickly.