Fishing For Fantasy Prospects in the Final Weeks
I have lived on a lake, in the small town of Dedham, Maine, for half my life. This lake has taught and shown me many things as well. One of them being how to relate it to the game of baseball and analyzing Fantasy prospects.
(Here comes the eye roll followed by a whisper under each reader’s breath, “What in the heck am I reading? Is this the start of a Dumb and Dumber script in an attempt to revive the series after the last attempt?”) Still a big fan, Jim Carrey! Big fan!
Any who, all bodies of water have baby fish who are shown the ways to survive and adapt to natural habitats by there mothers and fathers. They then grow into prospects and begin to learn how to swim, find shelter and eat on their own. The next process is becoming an adult and fully adapting to the culture of living and teaching their youngsters as they were taught in the beginning.
I’m 171 words in and not one single bit of Fantasy Baseball advice? Alright, let’s get to the real nonsense, shall we?
The process that fish go through is quite similar to what baseball players tend to go through. The ability to adapt in both situations I believe is the single biggest reason why some fish and some Fantasy prospects stand out while others get slaughtered or released.
6 Fantasy Prospects For the Final Weeks
We actually broke this down into two sets of Fantasy prospects: This year and next.
3 Baby Fish Fantasy Prospects
Here are three baby fish or low level prospects who I think will have an impact late next fall.
Victor Robles, OF, Washington
The last three promotions that Robles has been granted from the Nationals, he has increased his walk rate. Young guys like Robles who is only 19 years young and is a speedster, you like to see those types of improvements, especially showing discipline at the plate. Guys like Soriano and Vlad back in the day, there favorite pitches were ones who hit the dirt. I would love to know how many times they were safe on pitches that got past the catcher on a strikeout!
You see Adam Jones, and Starling Marte, but I can name plenty of guys who don’t know that walking is a way of getting on base. It is a small margin for error for these types of players. I bring up those two players for the simple fact that, while he has increased his walk rate slightly, (it’s not high), but he strikes out very little. His contact rate is very high which is the main reason Jones and Marte get away with these types of peripherals.
His highest, taking out the five games earlier this year in single A, is this year at 15.8% K rate. Albeit in high single A where Robles is now batting a sour .232, his average has been above .313 every stop minus the five game promotion.
The last number that jumped out at me was the first year he played with the Nationals, he had 14 doubles in 47 games. He has at least shown that he has some pop and hopefully I believe one day, be a five-tool player more like Marte and not like his teammate, Michael Taylor.
Yadier Alvarez, P, L.A. Dodgers
One guy who I feel like people are just glazing over is Yadier Alvarez, 20 year old prospect who the Dodgers scooped up in the international class. Was able to watch him in person a few weeks back and he is going to be a solid number one in this league. Well, number two if he stays with the Dodgers and Kershaw is still in the rotation. The one thing I took away from his performance was how effortless his release is. This guy can touch 98 mph with ease.
If I were to sit at an even 80 mph I would throw out my arm, gasp (or scream) and my shoulder would be on ice for a week! Followed a reporter on Twitter who had reported that over the offseason his velocity had been a tick down.
This dude needs to be promoted to Double-A. He has 61 Ks in 43 innings this season. In his last start he allowed no hits through 5 innings with 8 Ks. To add to his dominance in single A as well, his command has been pretty solid. 17 walks in 46.2 innings is nothing to snub him for. Command will improve.
It may not be next year for Alvarez with the Dodgers taking it slow with him in part because of the surplus of young arms in there system but when he gets his call up, he needs to be owned.
Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston
The main reason I have Moncada on this list is because I do not believe he comes up in September. From Kevin Thomas, of the Portland Press Herald reported that Moncada unfortunately aggravated his ankle. This was devastating news to hear for ‘Tha Rook’ squad who pulled off a deal sending King Felix for Moncada straight up earlier this year. Tristan Cockcroft and I were going back and forth on this deal via Twitter. At the beginning of the year, I did think I gave up a lot, but I think Moncada is going to an absolute STUD.
The one negative that I see in the numbers is his .179 batting average against lefties this season. That is not a good sign but he did however bat .310 last season against lefties. His steal rate this season is a bit lower but is still on pace for one steal every other day. He has 13 home runs and a whooping 31 doubles in 97 games this season. If he can manage to be a reasonably solid third baseman, with that being the only spot for him with the Red Sox, he can hit 20 homers, steal 40 bases and bat .280.
3 Playoff Push Prospects
Here are three young prospects who are in the majors or could come up and help a team make a push into the postseason.
Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston
Baseball is a streaky game, just ask Mr. Bregman. Unbelievably, he started 0-17. He has found his stroke as of late having reached base in 12 of his last 13 games. He has struck at a very high clip compared to what he was doing in the minors and it shows with his swinging strike percentage at 10.8%.
We tend as Fantasy owners to love these prospects because they haven’t done anything wrong yet. I think owners are getting more frustrated this year because of the lack of top-end prospects all due to the year of the prospects last season. Bregman will hit! Be patient.
Alex Reyes, P, St. Louis
I lead with these two guys, not just because they are future studs but because they are also in fantastic situations. Let’s take the Mets for example. What they are doing to Michael Conforto is beyond me. From mishandling his playtime in the middle of the season while he was injured, to platooning him! The only way for a young player to get better against lefties is to, oh maybe, bat him once in a while against a lefty!
I also want to talk about how he made Bregman look silly yesterday on that strikeout. I love the K’s from Reyes but that fastball is pretty straight. Not as straight as the troublesome Nate Eovaldi but he will need to mix and match once hitters time that puppy up. With his fastball sitting at just under 97 mph and his changeup at a silly 86.9 mph his curveball is going to be the difference maker.
Trea Turner, 2B, Washington
One of the more entertaining players to watch on a baseball field. Having watched highlights of his first game, that triple he had, looked absolutely effortless! This guy is stealing bases every time he is on base. As I am typing, he is probably stealing a base right now.
Still just turning 23, he is hitting right now .309 but has a BABIP of .372. He has a 3.1 walk rate which is unsustainable to have an average that high with that kind of discipline. He will take more walks, having shown it in the minors. Will just have to swing at less pitches with an 11.6 swinging strike rate. The one interesting statistic that has shown up early since his MLB debut is his 41.2% hard hit rate. Huge fan of Mark Simon who got me onto this stat. He is absolutely ripping the ball! He reminds me of Dustin Pedroia contact wise and going all out. He will steal a lot more bases than Pedroia though, that is for sure.
Hopefully, this discussion on Fantasy prospects for this season and next helped you get a better grip on what’s going on with the baby boomers as we head into the 2016 Fantasy Baseball twilight.
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