Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Rookie Report: It’s Time!

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It’s Time!!!

We finally get to see the most hyped prized-prospects in the big leagues, with the recent call-ups of Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers just to mention a few.

MLB teams are now trying to figure out which fork in the road they are going to take as the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches. Do they mortgage our future for a shot in the playoffs? Will the top prospect(s) succeed in the big leagues? Is that rental player really worth it? MLB teams have a lot of questions and issues to concern themselves with. One mistake can cripple a franchise for years.

Please take a look at which rookies are succeeding in the big leagues and who are the prospects that everyone is discussing in the Week 17 Rookie Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Rookie Report

In “The Show”

PlayerPositionTeam
Ozzie Albies2B/SSAtlanta Braves
Albert Almora, Jr.OFChicago Cubs
Andrew BenintendiOFBoston Red Sox
Josh Bell1BPittsburgh Pirates
Cody Bellinger1B/OFLos Angeles Dodgers
Jose BerriosSP Minnesota Twins
Ty BlachSPSan Francisco Giants
Jorge BonifacioOFKansas City Royals
Parker BridwellSPLos Angeles Angels
Byron BuxtonOFMinnesota Twins
Matt Chapman3BOakland A's
Matt Davidson3B/DHChicago White Sox
Paul DeJong2BSt. Louis Cardinals
Rafael Devers3BBoston Red Sox
Jacob FariaSPTampa Bay Rays
Derek FisherOF Houston Astros
Clint FrazierOF New York Yankees
Kyle FreelandSPColorado Rockies
Ben GamelOFSeattle Mariners
Mitch HanigerOFSeattle Mariners
Ian Happ2B/OFChicago Cubs
Austin HedgesCSan Diego Padres
Jeff HoffmanSPColorado Rockies
Aaron JudgeOFNew York Yankees
Dinelson LametSPSan Diego Padres
Manuel MargotOFSan Diego Padres
Trey ManciniOFBaltimore Orioles
German MarquezSPColorado Rockies
Ketel MarteSSArizona Diamondbacks
Yoan Moncada2B/3BChicago White Sox
Jordan MontgomerySPNew York Yankees
Sean NewcombSPAtlanta Braves
Hunter RenfroeOFSan Diego Padres
Amed RosarioSSNew York Mets
Antonio SenzatelaSPColorado Rockies
Lucas SimsSPAtlanta Braves
Dansby SwansonSSAtlanta Braves
Nick WilliamsOFPhiladelphia Phillies
Bradley ZimmerOFCleveland Indians

Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

After losing out on Todd Frazier to the Yankees, the Red Sox have turned to their minor league phenom in an effort to solve their woes at third base.

It seems like that the 20-year-old will see the larger share of starts at third base while he remains with the big club, as he’ll likely assume the strong side of a platoon with Deven Marrero.

After dominating at Double-A Portland where he led the team with 18 home runs, 19 doubles, and 56 RBIs through 77 games he was promoted to Triple-A. Devers didn’t see his production slow down during his brief stay with Pawtucket, batting .400/.447/.600 in 38 plate appearances.

Devers was the only prospect included on Dave Dombrowki’s no-trade list earlier in the season. Boston’s manager John Farrell added: “There are going to be some ups and downs that we’ll live with and experience. But the time has come for Devers to make his mark.”

Rafael Devers is the Red Sox No. 1 prospect, and No. 12 in all of baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. Devers is the club’s third baseman of the future, and the future is now.

He should be picked up in all formats immediately since the upside is too tempting and he will be a difference maker for the Red Sox and your fantasy team.

Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B. Chicago White Sox.

Finally, the wait is over! Yoan Moncada has finally been promoted to the big leagues. Moncada, considered by many to be the No.1 prospect in the sport, was slashing .282/.377/.447 with 12 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 80 games this season at the Triple-A level.

With the trade of Todd Frazier, the White Sox have started their rebuild. They will turn to their super-rich farm system to provide opportunities at the big league level.

The young switch-hitter should be able to find his way into the lineup every day with his ability to play second and third base. He is viewed as tremendous all-around talent on offense with the ability to hit for average and power. Also, he is able take walks and use his speed on the base paths.

He has started off slowly as he is hitting only .111 (2-for-18) with five strikeouts in his first five games. For now, his penchant for the strikeout will likely cut into his batting average upside, but he is capable of producing across the board in fantasy leagues.

Yoan Moncada should be immediately playable with considerable impact in all fantasy leagues.

Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros

With George Springer (quad) potentially sidelined for a few games, outfielder prospect Derek Fisher will rejoin the Astros this week. The 23-year-old had a slash line of .278/.381/.611/.992 with two homers and three RBIs during his first stint with the big league club this season.

Fisher was optioned back to Triple-A when outfielder Josh Reddick returns. Fisher didn’t slow down in his return at Triple-A Fresno, batting .396 (21-for-53) with three homers and three steals in his last 13 games.

Overall, Fisher has a slash line of .318/.384/.583/.967 with 21 homers and 66 RBIs at Triple-A. Having had back-to-back 20/20 seasons in the minors, he remains four steals away with 16 stolen bases, but may not get the chance to make that mark if he continues his hot hitting with the Astros.

With numerous injuries to the Astros’ lineup, there will be at-bats available for Derek Fisher. He is projected to be an above-average major league hitter and is worth least a roster spot in all formats. Of course, in keeper/dynasty leagues, he is no-brainer add.

On The Brink

PlayerPositionTeam
Ronald AcunaOFAtlanta Braves
Willie AdamesSSTampa Bay Rays
Chance AdamsSPNew York Yankees
Franklin BarretoSSOakland A's
Tyler BeedeSPSan Francisco Giants
Lewis BrinsonOFMilwaukee Brewers
Walker BuehlerRPLos Angeles Dodgers
Willie Calhoun2B/OFTexas Rangers
Lucas GiolitoSPChicago White Sox
Ronald Guzman1BTexas Rangers
Brent HoneywellSPTampa Bay Rays
Scott Kingery2BPhiladelphia Phillies
Austin MeadowsOFPittsburgh Pirates
Alex VerdugoOF Los Angeles Dodgers

Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves’ farm system is stacked with some of baseball’s most exciting prospects, including Ronald Acuna who may be the most exciting of them all.

Ronald Acuna was just named the No.1 prospect in the Braves’ talent-rich minor league system and No.10 overall by Baseball America in its midseason Top 100. He won’t turn 20 until December and he is hitting .289/.385/.556  with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs in his first 12 games at Triple-A.

Acuna began the season in High-A and quickly moved on to Double-A Mississippi. His .311 average and 33 stolen bases across Advanced-A, Double-A and Triple-A Gwinnett rank best in the Braves’ system.

He is a bonafide five-tool player who has drawn comparisons to former Braves great Andruw Jones. There is nowhere else to promote the phenom now except the majors. Currently, the Braves have a logjam in the outfield with Ender Inciarte, who partners with Matt Kemp and Nick Markasis in the Braves’ outfield. Acuna will continue to develop at Triple-A unless there is an unfortunate injury or the Braves decide to sell off Kemp or Markasis

Ronald Acuna has loads of potential and is one of the best fantasy prospects in baseball. He is improving his stock daily, and we might get to see him in September. In dynasty leagues, he is a must-own immediately. In redraft leagues, he is worth a look to stash on your bench. If he gets the call and blows up, there will be a race to get him picked up.  Be proactive, not reactive!

Chance Adams, SP, New York Yankees

Chance Adams is the Yankees’ top pitching prospect and he continues to dominate minor league hitters. His stock continues to soar and he does not have much more to prove in the minor leagues. He is now 6-3 with an ERA of 2.37 and 0.98 WHIP in 13 starts at the highest Minor League level. Between both Triple-A and Double-A Trenton in 2017, Adams has owned a combined 1.92 ERA. In addition, he struck out 99 batters in 103.1 total innings

Yankees’ starter Michael Pineda was just diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and will need to undergo Tommy John surgery. As a result, Pineda figures to be out until late in the 2018 season.

Yankees need to make the move now and call up Chance Adams. They need to give him a chance (pun intended). Adams will step right in and has a decent chance of becoming their best starter this season.

I recommend that you add Chance Adams to your fantasy squad. He will be up sometime this season. In dynasty leagues, he is a no-brainer pickup. Otherwise, you have to really consider grabbing Adams and wait for his arrival. It will be worth the wait.

 Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets

Amed Rosario was recently named the No. 2 prospect in baseball by MLB.com and the No.5 prospect by Baseball America. The young shortstop is hitting .329/.367/.473 with 18 doubles, seven home runs, and 17 steals in 88 Triple-A games.

His promotion to the big leagues will probably come after the Mets unload some pieces around the July 31 trade deadline. This is the time of the year when teams bring up their best prospects to get their feet wet. For example, the White Sox just called up Yoan Moncada last week while the Red Sox called up Rafael Devers this week.

While Rosario did play the majority of his career at shortstop, he has also spent some time at third base this season. He played six games at the hot corner.  Because the only players standing in his way playing with the Mets are a washed-up Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera, who is likely to be traded, Rosario looks to be playing games at Citi Field shortly.

Amed Rosario should already be owned in all keeper/dynasty leagues. He would be a nice addition in your MI/CI slot(s) for owners looking for average, steals and OBP.

Three Up

Paul DeJong, SS/2B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals

First of all, the rookie infielder played second base initially when he was called up earlier this season when Kolten Wong went on the disabled list. After Wong suffered another injury and went back on the DL, the Cardinals brought DeJong back to be the utility infielder.

The Cardinals starting shortstop Aledymys Diaz started the season very poorly and as a result, he was demoted to Triple-A.  DeJong took over that role and has taken full advantage.

DeJong is now hitting .284/.299/.574 with 25 extra-base hits in 46 games. In addition, he has 13 homers with the Cardinals over just 183 plate appearances, and 12 of them have come over his last 35 games.

He should continue to get everyday playing time, primarily at shortstop. His hot hitting has resulted in moving him into the third spot in the Cardinals lineup for now.

Paul DeJong’s power is for real and he exhibited that throughout his minor league career. DeJong should be owned and started in NL-Only leagues in the MI slot. Also, he is definitely someone to monitor in deeper mixed formats.

Luis Castillo, SP, Cincinnati Reds

The rookie right-hander Luis Castillo may have emerged as the best pitcher for the Reds in the past few weeks. Also, he has delivered a series of solid if unspectacular outings since being called up June 23 and is carrying a solid 3.86 ERA so far this season.

His stuff is pretty impressive. His fastball peaks at 101.1 mph, and Castillo is not shy about challenging hitters with it.

Castillo’s record is only 1-3 on the season. However, he has an impressive 43/15 K/BB ratio in 35 innings pitched. Castillo is a target for owners looking for a sneaky source of strikeouts. As a result of the Reds going nowhere, Castillo is no more than a streaming option in all formats.

Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Due to injuries to outfielders Howie Kendrick and Aaron Altherr, the Phillies called up outfielder Nick Williams. In his time in the minors, Williams showed a high ceiling while hitting .280/.328/.511 with 15 homers, 44 RBIs and five stolen bases.

Williams is slashing .315/.350/.616 with four homers, 18 RBIs, and .966 OPS this season. Also, he just had his modest nine-game hitting streak snapped.

Williams was just moved to the three hole in the lineup as the Phillies’ are coming alive after the All-Star break.  Despite his success, he should only be owned in NL-Only leagues or in deeper mixed formats.

Three Down

Greg Bird, 1B, New York Yankees

Greg Bird came into this season as probably the most-hyped sleeper after his torrid spring training.  He suffered an ankle injury and after 60 at-bats, he was placed on the DL. He was hitting only .100 with one homer, and 22 strikeouts and was limited to 19 games this season.

Greg Bird underwent successful surgery to remove the excess bone growth from his right ankle. He is expected to need six weeks of recovery, which doesn’t include rehab games. In a perfect world, this will place him contributing down the stretch. However, there is no way that you can count on Bird for your fantasy season.

The Yankees are saying they are still counting on Bird being their first baseman in 2018. I will believe when I see it. Instead, I believe the Yankees will seek out a first baseman for their playoff push and that player will probably their first baseman in 2018.

Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves

Dansby Swanson came into the season with very high aspirations after his coming out party at the end of last season.

Swanson has a ton of talent. Consequently, the young shortstop will likely develop into a reliable fantasy shortstop in the coming years but he has played poorly as of late. As a result, Swanson has been relegated to a part-time role and only received three starts after the All-Star break.

Furthermore, he is hitting only .209/.285/.306 with six homers and 35 RBIs but also includes 84 strikeouts in 93 games this season.

Dansby Swanson should not be on any current non-keeper rosters. In keeper/dynasty formats, I would try to hold on to him. The talent is there and this experience will lead to better times for Swanson and his fantasy owners.

Sean Newcomb, SP, Atlanta Braves

The rookie southpaw started his big-league career with four straight quality starts. Unfortunately, his production has gone downhill from there.

Newcomb has posted a 0-3 record with an 11.37 ERA and 2.45 WHIP in three July outings. In eight starts this season, he is pitching to a 4.81 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 44/22 K/BB ratio. In addition, he has walked at least three batters in each of his last three outings.

Sean Newcomb is a high-risk, high-reward option for fantasy owners. As a result, I would rather not take a chance on Newcomb as my fantasy teams are vying for the playoffs.


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL and college football, MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS!) and MMA. He is an avid Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly. He has been competing in fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football and baseball for over 20 years. He participates in numerous fantasy football leagues annually and is the commish in his two biggest money leagues. Also, participates in up to four fantasy baseball leagues annually and is the commish in one league that has been competing for over 15 years. Dennis has won several leagues in each sport and is the team to beat in the league and everyone knows it. Dennis is also an avid DFS player in both football and baseball. Dennis is a student of all sports and normally calls out what the game announcers say before they say it. Coming soon....twitter account.

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