The MLB Futures Game was an exciting showcase of young talent ready to break through and make an impact in the big leagues. The game was lopsided in favor of the international squad but there were big time performances from both teams.
This week’s 2016 Fantasy Baseball rookie report will focus on the players who shined in the futures game as well as those poised to reach the big leagues in the second half.
There are some updates to be given for rookies called up before the all-star break. Will the call ups last or were they simply strategic roster moves to add an extra bat going into the break?
How many of the players from the 2015 futures game are currently in the majors? How many of this years Double-A and Triple-A prospects will be called up for a significant time in the second half? How many will see a September call-up?
Let’s take a look at the Minor league prospects and see who can help your roster going forward.
Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report
In the Majors
Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals
Turner was called up July 7 and went 0-4 in his first game back. Will he stay on the roster? It is hard to say. It will be hard to displace Danny Espinosa if he continues to hit like he has.
Dusty baker has said Turner will come of the bench for now in a utility role. Turner has received starts in center field in Triple-A. Could he be an upgrade in the outfield over ben Revere? Keep a close eye on his situation.
Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Glasnow showed decent control in his big league debut, walking two and striking out five while allowing three hits. Glasnow left two runners on base and was pulled with one out in the fifth inning. His reliever allowed both runs to score, totaling four earned runs on the day.
Glasnow was optioned back to the minors but according to Pirates GM Neil Huntington, Glasnow is a viable option to take a rotation spot in the second half. Only time will tell when he will be recalled and take his turn every fifth day in the major league rotation, If he is still available, pick him up now. You may add a future ace to your team.
Kenta Maeda, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Maeda finished a strong first half with a 13 K effort on July 10. Maeda has easily been the best rookie pitcher in the national league and if not for the hitting prowess of his own teammate, Corey Seager, could be the rookie of the year.
Maeda has been the second best pitcher on the Dodgers staff and provides consistent quality inning for the staff. He has had some bumps in the road, but overall eight wins with a 2.95 ERA is a great addition to any Fantasy staff.
Now let’s delve into the Futures game for some fast rising high ceiling prospect action.
On the Farm
The futures rosters contain high talent prospects representing all levels of minor league baseball. Not all the players are close but most figure to make an impact on a major league roster someday. Many of the players rostered on both teams could see time on a major league roster this season.
Four players from the 2015 game spent time on a major league roster in the second half of 2015: Aaron Nola, Kyle Schwarber, Ketel Marte and Michael Conforto. 19 players from the 2015 roster are currently on a major league roster in 2016. Edwin Diaz, at the time of the 2015 game, is now pitching in Seattle and dominating at the back end of the bullpen.
For owners in keeper/dynasty leagues, the players on the 2016 roster are most likely well known but the fact that they are on the team should create a target for you in trade talks for this season. If you are in the hunt and need a piece to win now, you may be able to trade one of these players from your roster knowing they could be close to a call up.
If you are in a spot where you need to build for the future, these players may be the ones you want to trade established pieces for.
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
He has already been called up once and has been hot as of late. New York’s offense is struggling, so he could be the spark New York needs.
Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets
At Double-A, Smith has 10 HRs and 59 RBIs. His power is good and his bat could be beneficial to the Mets lineup in the second half. He is behind veterans James Loney, Lucas Duda, and Wilmer Flores, but Smith should be a bat that could help the Mets during a playoff push.
Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros
Bregman was a homer shy of the cycle in the futures game. He will not supplant Carlos Correa at SS or Jose Altuve at second, but third base is an option. If A.J. Reed struggles, Luis Valbuena could move to first and Bregman could take third. If the Astros are in the playoff hunt going forward, keep an eye on the waiver wire.
Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Moncada is an absolute stud. He hits, runs, fields, and dominates pitching. He smashed a home run into the upper deck in the Futures game, but Dustin Pedroia blocks him at second base but that can be overcome. If the Red Sox were to trade Travis Shaw for pitching, Moncada could move over to third at the minor league level to get some experience then be called up. It is a long shot but it is beginning to look like the Red Sox will need to find a space for him in the line-up.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves
Swanson is currently in Double-A, hitting .268 with five home runs, 38 runs, and 29 RBIs. Swanson also has tallied 11 hits in his last 21 at-bats. Do the Braves need to rush him, NO, but the current shortstops are terrible. Swanson could be a late season call up.
Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox
Left field has been a bit of a revolving door for the Red Sox this season. The team has not suffered because of it, but Benitendi could solidify the outfield for years to come. He is hitting .288 with six HRs, 29 runs scored, and 29 RBIs in Double-A. His bat has also been hot, currently batting .438 with three HRs, eight RBIs and two steals in the past 10 games.
Dave Dombrowski made a statement Benintendi could be close to a call-up. Add him now if possible.
David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies
Dahl has been hot all season between Double-A and Triple-A. The Rockies outfield has no vacancies currently but that could change should the Rockies decided to sell on Carlos Gonzalez. Since being called up, Dahl is hitting .500 in 28 PAs and has not struck out yet. Dahl has 15 HRs and 50 RBIs between two levels with 15 SB. The Rockies seem to breed power hitters who run. Just think what his bat can do in the thin air of Coors field. If the rumors around Cargo heat up, run to pick up Dahl
Hunter Renfroe and Manny Margot, OF, San Diego Padres
For a struggling team, the Padres are rich with OF talent. Matt Kemp is a trade candidate, Travis Jankowski is underwhelming and Melvin Upton Jr. is playing like he is 21 again. So many things can happen in the second half. Two spots could open up.
Renfroe is currently hitting .355 with 21 HRs and 76 RBIs. Margot is hitting .299 with four HRs, 39 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. Each provides a valuable skill. Renfroe’s power may take a hit in PETCO but he has the skills to make contact and pile up extra base hits. Margot will hit for little power but the 23 steals are an undeniable asset.
Going forward, either player is valuable. Stay up to date with the information coming out of San Diego
Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Meadows has been obliterating minor league pitching. The trouble is the Pirates outfield is the most talented, young outfield in baseball. Starlng Marte and Gregory Polanco have each had their share of injuries this season so there is no guarantee they stay healthy in the second half. If one of the Pirates outfielders should go down, pick up Meadows immediately.
Alex Reyes, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Reyes is a big talent with a blistering fastball. Reyes hit 100 in the futures game and possesses a solid curve and change up. Should the Cardinals rotation need a boost going forward, Reyes will be the first one up. Look for him later in the season.
Carson Fulmer, SP, Chicago White Sox
Following in the footsteps of Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon, Fulmer could make his Major league debut one year after being drafted. Don Cooper has stated the organization has been thinking about bringing him up.
He may spend this year in the bullpen to keep his innings limit down and ease him into major league competition. He will provide good strikeout numbers, but could go through some growing pains. He is worth holding onto in any keeper league.
Dovydas Neverauskas, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates
A large lithuanian, Neverauskas brings the heat out of the pen. He strikes out almost a batter an inning, which could help solidify the Pirates pen for the playoff run. Should they fall out of place and Mark Melancon is traded, Neverauskas could be put in more of a high leverage role.
Josh Hader, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Hader was dominating Double-A in 2016 before being promoted to Triple-A. He has since run into some rough terrain. Hader managed a K/9 of 11.53, 3.0 BB/9 and a 0.95 ERA.
Triple-A has been rough on Hader in his 24 innings. His ERA has jumped to 6.38 and he is walking 5.25 batters per nine innings. The adjustment will come for Hader. The Brewers pitching staff is underwhelming at best, so once Hader makes the adjustment to Triple-A hitters, it could be a short wait for a call up to the big leagues.
These are some players to look for/follow as the second half begins. Each has the ability to make a significant impact on your Fantasy roster. Which player will you make the move for? May your team’s bats stay hot and your pitchers stay healthy. Good luck in the second half.
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