Welcome Fantasy Baseball fans to the SCFE Week 2 Rookie Report!
How are your Fantasy teams after Week 1? Are you like me, sick of all of the injuries?
Every season there are always some hot shot rookies coming in to show that they belong in the big leagues. Unfortunately, there are rules that MIGHT serve a purpose but to Fantasy owners are just a big pain in the butt!! April 13 happens to be the date minor league players can be promoted in the 2018 season and not accrue a full year of service time. When service time is a topic in Fantasy baseball, its bad for baseball. The reasons can be discussed at a later date, but, in essence, the MLB teams are holding back a ton of players only because of the almighty dollar.
There will be some major impactful rookies that will be eligible on April 13, including Ronald Acuna, Nick Senzel, Gleyber Torres, etc. While 13 is sometimes associated with bad luck, I think the 13th this season will do wonders for the rookies’ respective teams and of course Fantasy owners.
Well, enough of me rambling on, let’s go to the Week 2 Rookie Report: Lucky 13.
Week 2 Rookie Report
In The Show
Brian Anderson 3B, MIA
According to MLB Pipeline, the third baseman ranks as Miami’s No. 9 prospect heading into the 2018 season as well as the No. 9 third base prospect in MLB. Brian Anderson has been a Top-10 ranked prospect for the Marlins for the last three seasons. He opens this year as their #3 Baseball America prospect. In 120 games last season split between Double-A and Triple-A, Anderson was able to mash 22 home runs with 81 RBI while slashing .275/.361/.492.
Anderson continued to bang out base hits this Spring. He maintained a .400 on-base percentage through 14 Grapefruit appearances. He notched five extra-base hits, including two home runs and sported a .571 slugging percentage. This type of production earned himself the opening day third base job.
Anderson continues his ascension by hitting .317/.462/.488 slash line through 11 games with one home run, eight runs, and nine RBI. In addition, he has also shown dramatically better approach at the plate, posting a 17.3 percent walk rate and 11.5 percent strikeout rate. Fantasy owners who took a shot with Brian Anderson have to be excited about this type of production. A dart throw that hit the bullseye! He should provide a solid batting average and a good MI to own in deeper formats.
Colin Moran 3B, PIT
Colin Moran came from the Houston Astros in the Gerrit Cole trade. He hit .290/.353/.430 in the minor leagues but with limited power despite his 6’4″ 205 -pound frame. The power started to assert itself last offseason (2017), when Moran and Astros hitting coach Jeff Alber made some changes to create loft in his swing, allowing for more power. The new swing along with a more patient approach resulted in Moran’s projections as a moderate-average, moderate-power batter into a guy who could be a future middle of the order bat that is major league ready now.
His new batting approach resulting in Moran slugging .543 in Triple-A a year after slugging .368 the year prior. He also hit a career-high 18 home runs in 2017. He has only played in 16 career major league games over the last two seasons. Moran will be an average third baseman with the chance to being a middle of the order bat. He’ll hit seventh or eighth in the batting order, depending on pitching matchups. Given PNC Park’s short porch in right field, the 25-year-old’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.
He has gotten off to a quick start to the year hitting .344, with one homer and eight RBI along with a .500 slugging percentage. It looks like the hard work paid off for Moran. Colin Moran should be a starter at MI in larger Fantasy leagues and a player that dynasty/keeper owners should have confidence in to produce in the present and in the future.
Joey Lucchesi SP, SD
Joey Lucchesi, the San Diego Padres’ reigning minor league pitcher of the year, won the spot in the Padres rotation to replace the injured Dinelson Lamet. The club’s No. 9 prospect posted a 1.54 ERA in four spring outings. Since Lucchesi was drafted in the fourth round in 2016, he has been dominant at every level. He owns a 1.99 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings in parts of two professional seasons.
After his first three career starts, Lucchesi is 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a fine 16/4 K/BB ratio. He just earned his first big league win in impressive fashion over the Rockies at Coors Field. He struck out eight, allowed just four hits and two unearned runs and took just 82 pitches to get into the seventh inning. The southpaw got three balls in just three counts and threw 56 strikes overall.
He looks to be the real deal and should be a good mid-rotation starter for the Padres. He throws in the low to mid 90’s with an excellent slider/change. Lucchesi has produced a 27% whiff rate on his breaking pitches and just over 12% of his fastballs through three starts, while only 28% of batted balls against him have been hard-hit balls. If he still available in your league, you should take a chance on the young lefty. While the Padres will not win many games, Lucchesi’s ratios will help your Fantasy pitching staff as you stream him in advantageous match-ups.
On The Brink
Nick Senzel, 3B/SS/2B, CIN
Nick Senzel has proven to be a quick mover in his brief pro career, who will start 2018 at Triple-A Louisville. Senzel will likely to reach the big leagues sometime this season. He is mlbpipeline.com’s seventh overall prospect and has been a third baseman for his entire Minor League career outside of the first week of the season this year. He will more likely be called up on April 13. Why April 13? That happens to be the date minor league can be promoted in the 2018 season and not accrue a full year of service time.
Cincinnati played Senzel at shortstop in the spring, creating a new path for him to make the majors. But the team has an immediate need at third base following the injury to Eugenio Suarez (fractured thumb). Similar injuries seem to have cost guys 6-8 weeks. It was just a week ago where Nick Senzel told the media in Louisville that as far as he knew the plan was for him to play second base every single day.
Last year, Senzel slashed .321/.391/.514 across two minor league levels, delivering 57 extra-base hits (including 14 homers) and stealing 14 bags. His numbers improved when he made the jump to Double-A, which is obviously an encouraging sign. As a batter, he’s widely considered to be among the most MLB-ready prospects in the game. He’s been a .300-hitter at every pro stop.
Nick Senzel can play multiple positions and the Reds will find a way to get his bat in the lineup. He has the potential to be a 20/20 guy while hitting .280. While he should not be available in dynasty leagues, he should be in standard leagues. Fantasy owners should grab him now before he gets the call-up to the bigs.
Gleyber Torres SS/2B/3B, NYY
Gleyber Torres suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow his non-throwing arm while sliding into home plate last June. He completed his extensive rehab and was a full participant in Spring Training while vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster. Unfortunately, Torres did not fare well, he went 7-for-32 (.219) with ten strikeouts. After all the buzz about him breaking camp as the starting second baseman, the Yankees decided to add veteran second baseman, Neil Walker. This obviously indicated that Torres would likely begin the year in the Minors.
In five games at Triple-A, he’s off to a hot start, hitting .348 (8-for-23) with a home run. The most intriguing part about Torres’ recent minor league run is the way Scranton utilized him both at second and third base.
A short stint in the minors thru April 13th gives the Yankees gain that extra year of control thru 2024. The timing couldn’t be better for Torres to make his MLB debut. Currently, the Yankees are bruised and banged-up. Starting third baseman Brandon Drury is on the disabled list with severe migraines. Greg Bird underwent ankle surgery and will be out the first 6-8 weeks of the season. The Yankees are relying on rookies Miguel Andujar and Tyler Wade at third and second base, while Walker has split time at second and first.
His ability to handle multiple positions provides a good chance for Torres to reach the majors this season. With fellow rookies currently struggling, Torres could be brought up to play second base then move Walker to play first, especially against righties. I hope Fantasy owners were able to draft and stash Gleyber Torres. He should be worth with the wait and provide a spark to the Yankees and your Fantasy team.