In this week’s 2016 fantasy baseball rookie report we have seen two major Prospects make their debuts in the big leagues. Weather interrupted one’s performance while the other is still scouring the radar for a hit.
One top prospect, Tyler Glasnow, received a noticeable snub. Chad Kuhl, who is deserving of a call up but does not have the overpowering stuff of Glasnow, was called up to take a spot in the Pirates rotation. The Pirates organization has made a strong statement to their highest ceiling AAA pitching prospect, We are not impressed by your inability to control your pitches in the strike zone consistently.
The Nationals on the other hand continue to baffle with their promotion strategy of their top prospects, giving Lucas Giolito the starting spot vacated by Stephen Strasburg. Giolito has not pitched above AA in his career and even though he has improved this season he has not shown his former dominance consistently. Austin Voth has been very good in AAA and could easily have been called up to be the placeholder of that rotation spot.
All that can be learned from these moves is that Major League organizations are unpredictable. It may seem like an easy choice to Promote your top pitching prospect but he may not be ready to handle big league hitters. The Nationals may be trying to see what they have in Giolito and are “upping the ante” to see what type of player he is.
All we can do as Fantasy owners is make the best decisions we can with the information that is provided. Let’s take a look around baseball to see what the information is telling us this week.
Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report
In The Majors
AJ Reed, 1B/DH, Houston Astros
After the early season hype, Reed has finally made it to “the show.” He has not recorded a hit since his call up but has two BB’s, two runs scored and one RBI. He has struck out eight times in 13 plate appearances. Reed brings huge power upside to the plate each at bat. It appears he will need some time to adjust to big league pitching. If you own him, he is worth holding on your bench until he get acclimated to big league pitching.
Aledmys Diaz, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
Diaz went through a power outage dating back to June 5th. He did not have an extra base hit(which was a home run) until June 22. Then from June 26-28 he exploded with five doubles and another home run. Diaz has 17 HR through three levels of the minor leagues in 2015 but only five in 2014. Can he hit 20 home runs? Possibly. Did he start the season off ridiculously hot? Yes.
His power may decrease in the second half of the season but he continues to score runs (50 so Far) and drive runs in (40 so far) he will be a useful fantasy SS.
Diaz fouled a ball off his face on June 26. X-rays were negative, no broken bones. He will have to sit out until the swelling has gone down.
Brandon Nimmo,OF, New York Mets
With Michael Conforto struggling, the Mets called up Brandon Nimmo June 26 to play left field. He went hitless in his first game but notched his first two major league hits and scored a run in his second start.
Nimmo was hitting .328 with five HR’s and 37 RBI this season. He also sports an OBP of .409 in AAA this season. Nimmo has never showed much power or have a lot of speed. He also was formerly playing in the numbers-inflating PCL for the Mets, so his stats could be atmospherically inflated. In a deep league or NL only he could be worth a fourth outfielder spot but if Conforto is able to turn things around Nimmo’s time in the big leagues could be short.
Max Kepler/Byung HO Park, OF/1B, Minnesota Twins
Neither man is presenting a strong rookie campaign. Park has the power potential but has lost the ability to drive the ball in the month of June. Since June 1, Park has three HR’s and two doubles. Thats it. Aside from those five extra base hits park has four singles. That is nine hits in 30 days. Not good.
Kepler is not mashing opponents pitching either but has seemed to find a rhythm at the plate hitting safely in 16 games this month with seven doubles and three HR’s. When Miguel Sano comes back someone will need to be sent down. It could be either Park or Kepler. Kepler is at least a productive member of the line up at this point. If he stays he could be worth an add in deep leagues.
Julio Urias, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Urias earned his first win June 28, beating the Brewers 6-5. Urias allowed two runs on two hits while striking out six batters. He did, however, walk six batters in the game.
This was to be his last start before having his innings paired back but after the Clayton Kershaw back injury, Urias could be asked to do more. The Dodgers rotation is riddled with injuries. The Dodgers could certainly benefit from more starts from their top prospect.
Steven Matz, Sp, New York Mets
Matz has been found to have a large bone spur in his pitching elbow that will need to be surgically removed/repaired at some time in the near future. He is currently trying to pitch through the pain and have the surgery at the end of the season. If he were to have the surgery in season it would be a three month recovery, effectively ending Matz’s 2016 season. Matz’s June 29 start has been pushed back to June 30, against the Cubs. A tough start for any pitcher, it may be a good time to sit him.
Chad Kuhl, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Kuhl got the unlikely win in his Major league debut opposing Clayton Kershaw. He walked four and struck out five, allowing three earned runs in five innings. He pitched well enough to earn another start July 2. He was throwing his fastball 96-97 but obviously was having a hard time controlling it. I need to see more from him before I can add him. He may not get another start after July 2 if he does not perform well.
Lucas Giolito, SP, Washington Nationals
Giolito was good but not great in his first major league start. He only allowed one hit in four innings but walked two batters and only struck out 1. The weather did not cooperate with Giolito ending his night after the 4 innings due to a rain delay.
It had the makings of a great outing. His next start could be this weekend against the Reds. Hopefully owners will see the dominant starter Giolito projects to be.
On The Farm
Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros
Selected to the AA All-Star game and the MLB Futures game, Bregman is unscathed by the HBP to the head and has continued his torrid pace at the plate. Astros GM., Jeff Luhnow has hinted that he could be called up to AAA at some point this week. If he continues to get starts at 3B he could see time in the Majors very soon.
Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Since being promoted to AA, Moncada has kept the hit train rolling. He has four hits in four games with one HR, a double, and four runs scored. Moncada has experienced an increased difficulty at the plate striking out six times in four games.
As he adjusts to better competition he should strike out less but that will be something to watch as the season progresses. He was striking out 21.1% of the time in single A. He was walking 15.8% of the time to offset the walks. If Moncada continues to punish AA pitching, and the Red Sox continue to struggle to find a suitable third base option, Moncada could be an option late in the season.
If you have never seen him in action you can catch him in the MLB Futures games during ALL-Star weekend.
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox
Another Red Sox prospect who will be playing the in the MLB Futures game, Benintendi has ten multi hit games in the month of June. He is hitting .302 with 23 doubles, eight HR’s, 50 runs scored, and 54 RBI. Even more impressive is his 27 BB/31 K’s.
Showing a great eye at the plate and good power thus far Benintendi has a chance to climb the minor league ranks quickly. Barring a blockbuster deal, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley are going nowhere leaving left field an option for Benintendi. He himself could be traded for an impact starter the Red Sox desperately need. Keep your eyes on his progress.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Since June 18, Judge has hit seven home runs, scored 12 runs, and driven in 12 runs. He is on fire. The Yankees offense needs a spark and Judge could provide that spark. Judge threatens to hit the long ball every time he steps to the plate. There is no room in the current Yankee outfield but an injury provide him the opportunity to join the big leagues. Make sure if you see an Yankee outfielder go on the DL, you are the first one to the waiver wire.
Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Glasnow is 7-2 with a 105 strikeouts in 90 innings and a 1.70 ERA. Yet he was passed over by the Pirates for a promotion to the big league Rotation. In two of his last three starts, June 17 and 22, he pitched 13 innings and struck out 14 batters.
The reason why he was passed over is the walks he allows. In those two starts he walked 11 batters. He has walked 20 batters in his last 23 innings. Until Glasnow can show better command of the strike zone, the Pirates have shown they are not interested in having him pitch in the big leagues.
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