The 2016 fantasy baseball rookie report has seen half the season go bye. The playoff race in your league is beginning to heat up. Have you begun to take stock of your roster? Are you in contention or basement dwelling?
The trade deadline for most fantasy leagues is about a month away. It is decision time for owners. Who should be targeted in a trade for next year.? Who can I trade, from my own roster, that will net me a championship piece?
For some owners, their attention may be turning toward football and away from baseball. An opportunistic owner may be able to pry an important player away from an owner losing interest.
There is the potential for top prospects to change organizations and alter their path to the majors. For example, the Yankees have two or three players who could make a big impact in real baseball. A trade of elite level players could seriously shift a teams minor league organization by bringing in multiple top level prospects who could make an immediate impact for their new organization.
Gauging playing time and at bats down the stretch, as well as pitchers inning limits, will be important to the prospects on your roster. Stay up to date with all the moving piece in the major leagues and what roster spots open up. Let’s take a look to see how the second half got started.
2016 Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report
In the Majors
Ryon Healy, 3B, Oakland Athletics
Healy has climbed from AA all the way to the majors this season. Through two levels of the minors Healy has hit 14 HR’s with 64 RBI and was hitting .326. He will strike out a fair amount and only walked 6.2% of the time in AAA.
Healy looks to be receiving everyday playing time and is making good contact. In a deep league or AL-only league he is worth a shot.
Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Washington Nationals
Lopez was called up and made his Major League debut July 19. In 4.2 innings he allowed 10 hits and six earned runs while striking out nine and walking one. Not an amazing start but positives can be taken from the outing.
Lopez has a good fastball with decent off speed stuff. His K/9 has really jumped up this year in AA. He had never had a K/9 above 9.00 in his five years on minor league ball until posting an 11.79 K/9 in 76 innings this season. With that strikeout potential Lopez could have some value going forward this season.
I have seen it suggested that Lopez starting is merely a showcase of talent in an attempt to lure a trade for the playoff push this season. The Nationals would not part with Lucas Giolito but a pitcher with Lopez upside could draw interest. Lopez may not get another start this season. Do not rush to pick him up.
Carson Fulmer, RP, Chicago White Sox
Fulmer will pitch out of the bullpen for now for the White Sox. In his MLB debut July 18 he pitched two innings striking out two and allowing zero runs. Fulmer will get the chance to grow and learn in long relief and low leverage situations for now. His K/9 will be high and WHIP will be good but he will not provide much value for this year. If you have room to stash him he could be a solid contributor next season.
Jameson Taillon, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Taillon returned from the DL July 19, going six innings allowing one run, striking out three. It took Taillon only 65 pitches to get through the six innings which is incredibly efficient and exactly what the pirates have been looking for.
Taillon did have take a glancing blow off his head on a line drive off the bat but he remained in the game. Taillon was place into the MLB concussion protocol but woke up feeling good July 20th. For now he is considered day to day. Assuming his symptoms subside quickly he should be a solid option down the stretch.
Junior Guerra, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Guerra has been a pleasant surprise for the Brewers. Guerra has orchestrated five quality starts in his last six starts, and is pitching to a 3.06 ERA this season.
He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters and will walk a few but he has been a bright spot in the Brewers rotation. He is owned in 64% of leagues but would be a good trade target for a second half push. He is 31, there is little threat of injuring his arm for the future. He will pitch out the season.
On the Farm
Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Seattle Mariners
Vogelbach was traded July 20 to the Mariners for Mike Montgomery. Vogelbach was hitting .318 with 16 HR’s and 64 RBI in AAA. Vogelbach was blocked by Anthony RIzzo for the cubs, this is a good move for him.
The Mariners have Adam LInd and Dae Ho Lee Platooning at first base currently. Vogelbach could find playing time down the stretch for the Mariners should LInd and/or Lee Struggle.
Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Moncada Homered from both sides of the plate July 18 at AA Portland. He has continued to terrorize minor league pitching. The jump to the Majors is a large one, but with Moncada’s athletic ability and his apparent mastery of AA Moncada could be in Boston very soon.
Moncada Is one player to acquire now if you are looking for a boost to get you into the playoffs or to begin building for 2017. There is no guarantee he sees the majors this season or hits well if he does get the call up. There is a high level of risk in trading for him with a need for production this season but the risk/reward is just as high.
If you own him, Moncada is building value and will hit a huge value after the news of a call up hits. At that point it may be worth floating some offers to see who you can get.
Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros
Bregman is continuing to tear up AAA pitching and has now started a game at 3B. The Astros are trying to make room for him on the roster. AJ Reed is not working out, Bregman could get a shot very soon
Bregman is hitting .340 with a BABIP of .324, so his average could dip slightly but he does a good job putting the bat on the ball and finding holes. HIs K% has almost doubled since coming to AAA and he is only walking in 5.4% of at bats. Upon being called up, he could suffer some growing pains but he should develop quickly.
Yuliesky Gurriel, 3B, Houston Astros
Gurriel has been signed by the Houston Astros, out of Cuba. He is a 32 year old experienced Cuban player. He had a high average in the Cuban league and hit for decent power. Gurriel does not have all his citizenship paperwork straight yet but it should be ratified soon.
The Astros had Bregman to play 3B but with Gurriel playing the hot corner Bregman’s spot has come into question. One of these players could go to the outfield also. If they hit the Astros will have the enviable problem of finding a spot for both bats in their line up.
Gurriel is an experienced international hitter. He will need some time in the minors to get his timing back, but he could be up at the end of the season to help your team win a title. PIck him up when he becomes available.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers
Gallo has been talked about as trade bait moving recently but could play a major impact in the Rangers lineup going forward. On July 20th, the Rangers placed Prince Fielder and Shin Soo-Choo on the DL. Gallo could easily step into a corner outfield position.
The Rangers are sitting atop the American League West attempting to hold off the surging Astros. Gallo could be the bat to keep the team rolling in the absence of their two stars. Watch for any information coming out of Texas.
- Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report: Last Call - September 23, 2016
- Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Mining for Championships - September 22, 2016
- Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report: Players Impacting Your Roster - September 16, 2016