Hello Fantasy friends and foes. Welcome back to the SCFE Weekly Rookie Report.
To celebrate our independence this July 4th, MLB players will each wear a cap that says “We The People” on the underbill of each cap. The proceeds of Fourth of July merchandise sales go to MLB Charities to support programs for service men and women, veterans and military families.
Nothing quite says America like supporting our military and their families, and the nation’ past time, baseball. I am already smelling the grills getting started up. What’s better on the fourth of July then baseball, fireworks and cooking out with your family and friends.
As we turn our attention back to baseball, this week’s Rookie Report features two pitchers return to the bigs. It also discusses three current minor leaguers who will make an impact in the MLB and in your Fantasy playoffs. Let’s take a look at who these players are in the Week 14 Rookie Report.
Week 14 Rookie Report
In The Show
Max Fried, SP, Braves
Southpaw Max Fried started on Saturday in place of Brandon McCarthy, who is on the disabled list with right hamstring inflammation. Fried earned his second career win by shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals over 6.2 innings. He ended the night with a career-high 11 strikeouts while allowing four hits and three walks.
He previously made a spot start against the Mets on May 28, allowing two runs (one earned) in five innings, walking four and striking out six. Overall, he has appeared in five games for the Braves, accumulating a 4.09 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11 innings.
At Triple-A, Fried has made nine starts and put up a 4.29 ERA, 3.22 FIP, and 3.43 xFIP. Fried may have more opportunities to start especially with McCarthy not pitching well this season (4.92 ERA) and fellow rookie Mike Soroka (shoulder) just placed on the 60-day DL. Fantasy owners should look upon Fried as no more than a streaming option.
Nick Kingham, SP, Pirates
After a three-week stint in the minors, Nick Kingham will rejoin the Pirates and assume the rotation spot of Chad Kuhl, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with right forearm discomfort. He will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Monday’s game against the Padres.
Over his six starts with the Pirates this season, Kingham posted a 2-3 record with a 3.82 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts in 35.1 innings. He will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Monday’s game against the Dodgers. In his last three starts at Triple-A, Kingham went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA.
Nick Kingham has pitched well in his six career starts, however, he does not move the Fantasy needle. He should be only started in the deepest formats or streamed in the most advantageous match-ups.
On The Brink
Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros
— Daren Willman (@darenw) June 26, 2018
Kyle Tucker, the Astros top hitting prospect, has destroyed Triple-A pitching over the past two weeks. In his last 10 games, Tucker is batting .476 with three homers and six RBI. Tucker just had his consecutive game hit streak end at 18, where he was 35-for-76 (.461) during the streak, with five homers, seven doubles, 16 RBI, 18 runs, seven walks and even stole six bases.
Tucker was affectionately called “Ted” by the Astros in spring training, where he hit .409 with five homers and a 1.256 OPS in 20 games. However, he opened 2018 with Houston’s Triple-A Fresno and after a slow start, he is batting .315 with 12 homers and 60 RBI. He also offers some speed as well with 13 stolen bases in 15 opportunities.
The Astros have a hole in left field, where Marvin Gonzalez is having a disappointing season (.231/.306/.365) and is now needed at shortstop with Carlos Correa (back) now on the disabled list. There have been rumblings all year about the call-up of Kyle Tucker, and that the only thing in his way was an opening. I see the opening now to bring up the legit five-tool talent. Certainly, if he is somehow available in your league, you should obtain him now. Most savvy owners already have.
Francisco Meija, C, Indians
2 ABs, 2 RBI doubles for the scorching 🔥 Francisco Mejia, who now has 8⃣ STRAIGHT MULTI-HIT GAMES. For context, the @MLB record is 13 (Rogers Horsby, 1923), and only 20 big leaguers have had longer streaks in the past 50 years.#Indians prospects stats: https://t.co/TdC4yNSlpj pic.twitter.com/oUOx5GO8fH
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 1, 2018
Francisco Mejia, the 22-year-old switch-hitting catcher and top prospect of the Cleveland Indians’ organization, has rebounded nicely from a slow start to his season to earn his third straight mid-season All-Star selection. In his first year at Triple-A, he hit .187 (17-for-91) in April and .192 (14-for-73) in May. He is hitting .471 (41-for-87) with four homers and 21 RBI in the month of June. In his last nine games, Mejia has had two or more hits in each game. He had seven hits in his last two games.
Currently, the Indians’ catching duties are taken up by Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez. Gomes has re-established himself as the No.1 catcher, while Perez is hitting .141 (13-for-92) with one homer and six RBI. Perez has a career line of .207/.300/.345. Among players with at least 100 PA in 2018, Perez ranks 351st of 355 qualifiers. For those who may believe Perez is in for his defense, with a .01 defense score, he is the 78th best catcher in the Majors this season. As far as base runners, he has been worth -2 runs, the second worst in baseball to Robinson Chirinos.
In order to get this bat in the big leagues, Mejia has split his time between catching (35 starts) and the outfield (20 starts) this season. Mejia is a career .292/.245/.442 hitter in the minors. Look for Francisco Mejia to be called up for the second half of the season. Fantasy owners in two-catcher leagues should consider possibly stashing him now.
Jalen Beeks, SP, Red Sox
WATCH: @PawSox SP Jalen Beeks, RP Ryan Brasier & OF Rusney Castillo were named Wednesday to the International League's 2018 All-Star Team. The three players will represent Pawtucket in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Columbus, OH on July 11. @ABC6 pic.twitter.com/LPsOWBH39k
— Nick Coit (@NickCoit) June 28, 2018
Jalen Beeks struggled in his first taste of the Majors in early June, going four innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and three walks. Beeks continues to pitch well at Triple-A with a 5-4 record and a 2.40 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 13 starts. He leads the International League with 101 strikeouts in 75 innings.
Beeks was just elected to represent the Pawtucket Red Sox at the Triple-A All-Star Game. In Triple-A this season, he has notched a 12.36 K/9 versus a microscopic 1.99 BB/9. Those strikeout numbers can be attributed to a nice fastball that consistently hits 95-96 mph. When you combine that with his four other pitches, you have yourself a very exciting pitcher.
The Red Sox Steven Wright just hit the DL again with a knee issue, the Red Sox did call up Justin Haley to take his roster up. However, Beeks’ spot in the rotation did not match up with Boston’s schedule so they decided on Haley. If Wright is out for an extended period, look for Justin Beeks to get called up again. Additionally, the Red Sox are involved in numerous trade rumors as they look to fill a need at first base. Other teams would love the opportunity to add a lefty power pitcher like Beeks.