This week’s 2016 Fantasy baseball Rookie Report saw a glut of call-ups and demotions of top prospects. Most of the action came from the Rangers and the Diamondbacks, teams who have seen great contributions from rookies so far this season. These two teams have dealt with a few injuries, which have allowed the young stars to step in and contribute. The lack of patience/opportunity shown in these particular call-ups was surprising.
Julio Urias, one of baseballs top pitching prospects, struggled in his first Major league appearance as a 19 year old, and was sent down only to be called up again in three days. Joey Gallo, a player with arguably the most raw power in the minor leagues was given one at-bat before being sent down. Peter O’Brien experienced the same treatment.
Many of the call-ups on the weekends seem to be strategic, not roster altering. The team may need an extra bat or need a spot start, then a bullpen arm will be added in their place or another need will be addressed.
WIth the super two deadline most likely being passed within the next few days, we could see top prospects’ stay last longer. Two months of the the season have gone by and the current major league players who have started slow have most likely lost the benefit of the doubt by now. The players who began the year on a hot streak, playing above their norm, have all come back to earth.
Let’s take a look around the league to see which 2016 Rookies are making an impact.
Week 9 Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report
In the Majors
Brandon Drury, 3B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Drury is still hitting for a decent average (.287), but his power output has dropped off dramatically in the past 11 days. He has two extra base hits in his past 44 at-bats. If his power output continues to decrease, a spot on the roster could open up for Peter O’Brien
Colin Moran, 3B, Houston Astros
Moran continues to struggle in the majors. He has two hits and two RBIs in 20 at-bats since being called up and is losing starts due to his lack of production. Moran will not be able to hold a spot on the roster for much longer if he continues to hit like this.
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
Buxton was tearing up Triple-A, like normal, after his demotion. Buxton was hitting .336, with six HRs and 14 RBIs. Buxton started in CF and batted ninth after being called up on may 31 and doubled once in four at-bats. I need to see more from Buxton before I pick him up, but watch him closely as the potential is still high.
Julio Urias, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Urias, Major League Baseball’s second best pitching prospect coming into the season, had a disastrous debut to the tune of three ERs on five hits, four walks and three Ks over 2.2 IP. Urias struggled with command, which is out of character for Urias. He has pitched to a BB/9 under two in 2015 and 2016.
Urias was sent down immediately after the game, then recalled to start in Alex Wood’s spot after he has been placed on the DL. Urias is very young and very talented and if the Dodgers will not give up on him, neither should you. If you have him, keep him on your bench as he is too talented to drop in a keeper/dynasty league. In a redraft league, give him a few starts to see what he can do after he gets comfortable.
Urias will start June 2 against the Mets in place of Kenta Maeda. The Met’s offense has cooled and given this is only his second start, you may be better off sitting him and see how he responds to his second chance.
Michael Fulmer, SP, Detroit Tigers
Fulmer struggled initially after reaching the majors. In his two starts previous to June 1, he allowed one earned run and struck out 14. He also cut down on his walks, allowing two in 14.2 innings. Fulmer was strong again on June 1, giving up zero earned runs and striking out eight. Fulmer had a no-hitter going into the seventh, but the lone hit he allowed came on a broken bat single in the seventh on a 98 MPH fastball.
Fulmer has really come on in his past three starts. In a deep league, he is a solid waiver wire pick-up, but in a shallow league, he is beginning to be relevant.
Kenta Maeda, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Maeda will have an extra day of rest starting June 3 after taking a comebacker off his hand. Maeda had a strong beginning to the year but has struggled to make it through five innings his past four starts. Maeda allowed four runs in four of his last six starts, but has limited the home run ball.
Maeda is striking out just over eight batters per nine innings and is walking 2.68 batters per nine. The shorter rest period could be catching up with him, but the hand injury could help him rest and recover from the increased workload this season. Hold tight with Maeda.
On The Farm
A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros
Reed comes into June 1 on a five game hitting streak. He has hit safely in eight of his last nine games with five extra base hits since being reinstated from the disabled list. At this rate, it will not be long before the Astros find a place for him on the Major League Roster.
Hunter Dozier, 3B, Kansas City Royals
The Royals have run into some injury trouble. The team has filled the spots nicely with many capable major league bats. None of those players have been full-time players in their career, however. Dozier was promoted to Triple-A this season after hitting .305 with eight HRs and 21 RBIs at Double-A.
In his last 10 games at Triple-A, Dozier is hitting .341 with four HRs and 11 RBIs. If Cheslor Cuthbert does not work out or goes into a prolonged slump, Dozier could receive the call up to fill the position.
Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Texas Rangers
Gallo was called up for four games, then sent down after one pinch hit appearance in those four games. Gallo hit a home run May 30, giving him nine on the season. Gallo is walking at a high rate with 25 BB in 115 plate appearances and is driving in runs (23 RBIs).
Why the Rangers called Gallo up and did not use him, thereby wasting an option, makes no sense to me. Prince Fielder is struggling and if Gallo continues to hit and show his improved approach at the plate or Fielder is placed on the DL, he could see a lot more major league ABs.
With Jurickson Profar being called up and hitting well, Gallo faces another obstacle at the major league level. Profar can play more positions and doesn’t strike out nearly as much. He does not have the power that Gallo posses though. Keep an eye on the Rangers roster.
Peter O’Brien, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
O”Brien is tearing up Triple-A this season. He has 12 HRs and 32 RBIs in 182 at-bats. O’Brien was called up May 26, received one pinch hit appearance, then was sent back down May 29. The Diamondbacks are trying to figure out what they have in their crowded outfield. With the addition of Michael Bourn, things just got more complicated.
O’Brien could provide power to the Diamondbacks line-up in the second half of the season, so keep an eye on his progress.
Mark Appel, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Appel was a former top ranking Astros prospect on the fast track to the majors, but has struggled to live up to the hype. After being traded to the Phillies in the off-season, he has continued to struggle. His strikeout percentage is down, fastball velocity is down and walks have been up. Appel had an exam performed on his shoulder as a precaution, but showed no structural damage, so its anyone’s guess as to why he has continued to struggle.
Alex Reyes, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Reyes was dominant again in his second start back. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed one earned run. He has not pitched more than five innings yet, but he has been dominant in his performances. If he is still available, now is the time to pick him up as he will not be available for much longer. He most likely will not be up until the All-Star break, but he can make an immediate impact for your team.
- 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