Pickups of the Day for June 21st

  • “The future is now, old man.” – Dewie Wilkerson

    We’re now at the point of the season where managers with teams lagging in the standings are finally coming around to the idea that this just may not be their year – which means for some, the waiver wire is a place to speculate on lottery tickets that could help your team in future years, rather than helping right now. When looking at names that fit the bill, the focus often goes to young, up-and-coming players who aren’t far from their debut in the Majors – whether that debut is upcoming or recently passed.

    So with that in mind, let’s take a look at three recently recalled pitchers – and one outfielder making his case for a return to his big league club.

    Away we go!

    Jonathan Cannon – SP – CWS – 6% Yahoo, 15% CBS

    Now five starts into his MLB career, the White Sox’s #11 prospect (as per MLB.com) has managed to prove two things in certainty – he exhibits elite control (4.5 BB%, 91st percentile) and, despite his name, he does not in fact have a cannon for an arm, with his average fastball velocity sitting in the bottom half of the league at 93.7 MPH.

    Thankfully, his bread-and-butter fastball is a sinker, so velocity doesn’t play into its value to quite the same level. The sinker has been a weapon for him so far, allowing just a .196 average on the pitch, while grading out with a +6 Run Value. He pairs that with a similarly devastating sweeper that also sits with a +6 Run Value, and with which he has only given up a 9.5% Hard-Hit rate. Cannon leaned on those pitches in his most successful start to date: 8.2 innings, seven hits, one walk and no earned runs against the Astros this past week. He only put up four strikeouts in the effort but that total isn’t particularly surprising when you consider Cannon’s overall whiff rate (23.8% – 40th percentile).

    In an incredibly dire season overall, there seems to be the tiniest bit of magic happening with the White Sox pitching development as both Cannon and Garrett Crochet have come out of the gate by exceeding the expectations of even the most optimistic observer. Cannon projects to be more of a 4th-starter type than Crochet’s ace upside but that doesn’t mean he can’t make an immediate positive impact on your ERA and WHIP.

    League size recommendation: 14-team and 16-team leagues

     

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