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The Wire Troll: Zack Gelof Flashing Power and Speed

August 12, 2023 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Zack Gelof has made an instant impact for the Oakland Athletics.
Zack Gelof is already a great source of power and speed. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. The trade deadline has now passed in all formats, so your only chance to improve is through the waiver wire. Do it!

This week, Paul Blackburn — normally a stabilizing force in the A’s rotation — stumbled; the red hot Dodgers (+340 faves to win the World Series as per FanDuel) pulled away in the NL West race; and six-time All-Star Jose Bautista signed a one-day deal to officially retire as a Blue Jay.

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Zack Gelof, 2B, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 5.7 per cent; CBS: 35 per cent): It took Gelof over a week after his promotion to the majors to spank his first career homer, but he’s pounded five more in the 15 games since (see video below), and now has a half dozen dingers and steals through his first 22 games. He’s piling up the counting cats this month to the point where the rookie has become a must add for Fantasy purposes. With a 145 OPS+, Gelof has proven he’s more than capable of handling major league pitching, so we expect him to stick around for the duration of the season. This kid was a great leadoff presence at college, and while he’s mostly hit second since coming up, we could see him as the top-of-the-order hitter of the future in Las Vegas — especially if Esteury Ruiz never figures out how to draw walks.

Cole Ragans, SP/RP, Kansas City Royals (ESPN: 6.3 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): Another recently dealt player, Ragans has been a very pleasant surprise in the Royal rotation after struggling as a reliever in Texas in the first half. Did anyone see this transformation coming? KC reportedly did its homework here while adding a slider to Ragans’ mix, and the new offering is working very well. He’s looked better with each start, going undefeated through three outings while fanning 19 against just two walks over the last 12 2/3 frames covering the last two starts. Be aware that Ragans has a tough matchup this week against the Cubs, but southpaws tend to fare better against them, so don’t be afraid to keep him active. Either way, this hurler looks like he’s going to really contribute down the stretch, so grab him in all formats.

Chase Silseth, SP/RP, Los Angeles Angeles (ESPN: 9.7 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Look at that… another hurler who was less than inspiring out of the pen who has looked fantastic since getting a chance to start. Silseth was shredded in May, and had been scored on in three straight relief outings, but since getting his chance to start after Canning Griffin got hurt, all he’s done is go 2-0 with just 11 hits and four earned runs allowed over 17 2/3 frames while racking up 26 Ks against three walks. Seriously? Breakout City, baby!

Quick Hits

  • Eddys Leonard — a player that caught our eye last year — saw his extra-base pop tail off a tad in his promotion to Double-A this year, but it was still very surprising to see the Dodgers remove him from the 40-man roster last month. Traded to Detroit at the deadline, he was immediately bumped up to Triple-A, and yes, it’s a small sample size, but he’s been killing it. This move could work out great for Leonard as the Tigers don’t have a SS prospect close to the bigs.
  • It’s been almost 15 months since the O’s have been swept and one of the big reasons why has been the play of catcher Adley Rutschman. He homered Thursday as part of a second straight multi-hit effort, giving him a modest three-game hit streak before taking an 0-fer on Friday. Rutchschman has been amazingly productive in August and is proving he’s a workhorse, within shouting distance of a new career high in games, having already passed his at-bat mark recently.
  • Since being brought back to the majors just over a month ago, Alek Manoah has been better, but still not good enough, so he’s been farmed out again. Going from being a Cy Young finalist last year to two demotions with a dismal record the following season? Yikes.
  • It might be time for you to take a look at Ke’Bryan Hayes if he’s been dropped in your league. On Thursday, he hit his sixth triple (tied for fifth in majors) as part of a two-hit night — his third straight multi-hit game, a streak that was snapped when he only managed a homer on Friday. Hayes has been super productive this month and for the second straight season has reduced his K rate. There remains star potential here.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Born Sam Roy Hagar, this American rocker is better known as Sammy Hagar. In 1982, he released his seventh album, Three Lock Box, and included his only top 20 song ever, “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy.”

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