There is a reoccurring theme this season; Prospects, prospects and more prospects. I don’t think I have ever seen so many top prospects up in the majors before mid-July. It really is crazy, but at the same time very fun for us Fantasy Baseball players and baseball fans watching these guys.
People are going nuts over them too, and rightfully so. A lot of these players are doing really well this year. At least the top guys are; Joc Peterson, Steven Souza, Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa, Joey Gallo to mention a few. This week we had Byron Buxton and Francisco Lindor get the call up, who were both elite prospects in the game. More on one of them later.
I’m going to give you a bonus waiver wire add here. A prospect that is going to be called up no later than July 1 is Mets superstar pitcher Steven Matz. If what I’m reading about this kid is correct, he should absolutely do well in the majors. The only concern I have is a high walk rate of over three per nine innings.
Matz’s call up might be bad news for another top prospect pitcher for the Mets, Noah Syndergaard. (Author rant: Alright really Mets, you really have too much young talent on the mound. Can you share some with the O’s.) Sounds like the Mets have considered moving Thor to the bullpen to make room for Matz. Syndergaard countered that idea in his last start by two hitting the hot Toronto Blue Jays line up, but we will see what happens as we move closer to the Matz callup.
In other good news Jose Fernandez’s return date from Tommy John surgery has been made official. We will see him pitch at home against the Giants on July 2nd. I own Fernandez in one league, an auction league I got him for $3 (crazy right?), but I’m tempering expectations. I’m just praying we get an above average pitcher the rest of the season. If we get that, he will be useful the rest of the fantasy season. The potential for dominance is there though, so If for some reason he is sitting out there in your league now is the time to stash him.
Waiver Wire Targets
All players I am suggesting are owned in 30% or less of ESPN leagues. Of course if there are better players available in your league that are owned in more than 30% of leagues, by all means get them first.
Fransico Lindor, SS, Minnesota Twins Owned in 27.6% of ESPN Leagues
I was really surprised to see Lindor not owned in more leagues, especially given that he is a shortstop and was the No. 3 overall prospect according to MLB.com. I know he won’t hit for power so he is not exciting, but come on its shortstop. How many of them do hit for great power? The answer… about three.
What can Lindor do? He should be able to hit for a solid average and steal you some bases. That is plenty valuable at a premium position. You go ahead though and keep rolling out Marcus Semien. I’ll take my chances with Lindor.
Mark Canha, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics 12.8%
Canha started off the season as one of the hottest hitters in baseball, then cooled off quite a bit and was dropped in a lot of leagues. He picked things up hitting .345, two HR, five RBI and seven runs over his last eight games.
Don’t be scared off by the three games in a row he sat earlier this week. Sunday was a day off, then the Athletics played at San Diego so there was no DH. He will be right back in the lineup again continuing his hot hitting ways more often than not as they return to AL ballparks.
Miguel Montero, C, Chicago Cubs 22.8%
The catcher position has been pretty awful this season, so anytime you find a catcher who is hitting the ball well, he is worth a look. This is especially true when it is a catcher who has a history of being a good player like Montero.
Monteo has hit four home runs and nine RBI over the last two weeks. Pretty surprising considering how cold he had been. More surprising is the fact that the Cubs Joe Madden placed him in the cleanup spot in the lineup in the midst of that cold spell.
You might wind up dropping Montero two weeks from now for the next hot player. But unless you have one of the elite guys, you can probably swap stream your catcher most of the season.
Kevin Siegrist, RP, St. Louis Cardinals 15.2%
This is a speculative add with Trevor Rosenthal dealing with arm stiffness. We all hope there is nothing wrong with Rosenthal, but when you hear arm stiffness that is worry-some. Too many times that has led to a lengthy DL stint and even Tommy John surgery.
Siegrist has stepped in immediately and gotten two consecutive saves, proving he can get the job done. His K/9 ratio is stellar at 12.93, so even if he Rosenthal does come back, its not like he is completely worthless to own.
If you have a spot to take a chance on him I definitely would in the chance that Rosenthal is out for an extended period of time.
Robbie Ray, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks 8.3%
After a rocky season last year in Detroit posting an 8.16 ERA, Ray has suddenly looked like an unstoppable pitcher in his first four starts this season. Overall he has a 1.09 ERA, allowing just three total runs. His WHIP is low too at 0.97.
Clearly those number won’t continue, but I’m ready to take a chance on him and hope that the one touted prospect has figured things out. Pick him up and ride the hot hand, but only drop a back end of your rotation guy or bench batter to do it.
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