Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 19 Rookie Report: The Playoffs Push Begins

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As the fantasy baseball season winds down, we set our sights on our playoffs. What players can we still add to put our team over the top?

MLB teams are also vying for playoff spots and we still have some highly contested playoff races to enjoy the rest of the season.

There are still some rookies that have yet to contribute who might play a part in deciding these playoff races.

Let’s take a look at current rookie players and upcoming potential difference-making rookies in the Week 19 Rookie Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 19 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

Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves

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Ozzie Albies was called up on August 1 and failed to manage a hit in first seven big league at-bats. His first major league hit was dramatic as he smacked a three-run homer against the Dodgers in his third MLB game.

He earned the promotion to the big leagues by slashing .285/.330/.440 with nine home runs, and a 21-for-23 stolen base success rate at Triple-A Gwinett. Albies is the No.19 overall prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com.

The 20-year-old prospect started in 82 games at second base and 14 games at shortstop for Triple-A Gwinnett and was the organization’s only representative in the All-Star Futures Game last month.

The Braves’ organization are hoping that Albies will eventually team up with former No. 1 prospect Dansby Swanson to form an exciting double-play combination for years to come.

Albies should get every opportunity during the remainder of the season to establish himself as a long-term member of the Braves’ young impressive core.

Speed is Albies’ game. Roto owners looking for speed should add Albies immediately.

Brandon Woodruff, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Brandon Woodruff was a highly-regarded prospect coming into this season. He was rated as the Brewers No.8 prospect per MLBPipeline.com.

Woodruff finally made his MLB debut on August 4 where he went 6.1 innings of shutout ball while allowing seven hits, walked two and struck out six batters.

He earned the promotion by posting respectable numbers in the rarefied air at Triple-A Colorado Springs. The 24-year-old registered a 4.46 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 70/24 K/BB ratio in 72.2 innings.

Brandon Woodruff may have an extended opportunity to show what he can do if Chase Anderson (oblique) must sit for a few more weeks. He is worth a flier in NL-Only leagues, while someone to only keep an eye on in mixed formats.

Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Chicago White Sox

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It was just announced that Reynaldo Lopez will be called up to make his White Sox debut on Friday.

Reynaldo Lopez is rated as the No. 6 White Sox prospect and No. 59 overall prospect per MLB.com and Baseball America in baseball.

Lopez was named the Sox’s minor-league pitcher of the month in July. He posted a 2.10 ERA with seven walks and 38 strikeouts over 30 innings in five starts. He didn’t allow more than two earned runs in any of those outings. In addition, he pitched at least six innings in four of them.

The White Sox are in rebuild mode and going absolutely nowhere. There are definitely spots in the rotation up for grabs.

Overall, Lopez has a 3.65 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 122 strikeouts in 116 innings this season. He has allowed two or fewer runs in seven straight starts. Also, he has struck out at least 10 in three of those outings.

His stuff is good enough to start, but his command is the issue. He is worth an add in deep mixed leagues. Lopez should have already been rostered in dynasty/keeper leagues and AL-Only formats.

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

Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Tyler Glasnow was one of the top 10 prospects entering the 2017 season. Unfortunately, he struggled with his command throughout his 12 starts this season. He posted a 7.45 ERA and 1.91 WHIP and recorded only three quality starts. He was unable to pitch more than five innings in nine of his 12 outings.

The Pirates decided to demote him to Triple-A on June 10 to regroup and fine tune his pitching mechanics.

Glasnow has been dominant since his demotion. He has compiled a 6-0 record with a 1.46 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 85/24 K/BB ratio in 55.2 innings. The Pirates’ current rotation is probably the strongest it’s been all season long. However, Pittsburgh is falling out of the playoff hunt.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see the team recall Glasnow in the near future.

He has enjoyed plenty of success at the Triple-A level, but he has proven to be a bust in the bigs so far.

Look for Glasnow to make a few starts during September. He is someone to stash now as most owners probably forgot about him after his dismal showings so far at the major league level.

Brent Honeywell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

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The Futures Game MVP might be the best pitching prospect still left in the minor leagues.

The 22-year-old right hander is having an up-and-down season over his 16 starts between Double-A and Triple-A. Overall, he has an 8-8 record, 4.48 ERA, and 1.37 WHIP across 86.1 innings. He is the Rays’ top pitching prospect and he has an outstanding 110/25 K/BB ratio.

He looks ready to contribute to the big-league staff after boasting a 1.33 ERA and a 39/6 K/BB ratio over 27 innings since the beginning of July.

The Rays are still in contention and like every MLB team, they can use another arm. I believe Honeywell comes up in September and shows he is ready for the bigs. Honeywell should be rostered in AL-Only formats.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies announced that they want to experiment having Rhys Hoskins playing left field in the minors. Currently, there is a spot that at least is temporarily opened with the Phillies when Aaron Altherr landed on the disabled list last week with a recurring hamstring injury.

The Phillies want to get a good look at Hoskins this summer. They will want to see how his bat holds up in even a small sample against major-league pitching to have a better idea of whether Hoskins can or should be the opening first baseman in 2018. If it succeeds, it will give the Phillies another option moving forward.

One thing is for certain, Hoskins can hit. He has hit .280/.385/.570 with an International League-leading 27 homers and 84 RBI. Perhaps the most tantalizing stat is his .385 OBP and the fact that, despite those power numbers, he has struck out just 73 times while walking 64 times.

The incumbent first baseman is Tommy Joseph. He is a league-average first baseman and a below-average defensive first baseman. The Phillies tried to unload Joseph by the Trade Deadline but could not net enough for the Phillies to make a trade.

With Joseph manning first base, there was not a position ready for Hoskins to play. He would gain very little being called up to just sit on the bench and watch the Phillies play daily.

I believe that Hoskins would have to have catastrophic results for him not to stay in left field for the rest of the season. The Phillies need to see what Hoskins can do versus major league pitching. He should already be rostered in dynasty/keeper formats. He would be a sneaky pickup now in advance of his eventual call-up.

Three Up

Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

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Rafael Devers continues to show off his impressive bat since his MLB debut on July 25.  Devers started his big-league career by going 12-for-24 through seven starts.

In the attempt to keep the pressure off of the 20-year-old super prospect, the Red Sox batted Devers eighth or ninth in his first four starts. After his hot start, manager John Farrell moved him up to the No.5 spot in the lineup.  As long as he remains productive, he will likely remain locked in the heart of a potent Boston lineup.

Devers slashed .305/.373/.575 with 20 homers in 85 games, despite being one of the youngest players at both Double-A and Triple-A.

In his 11 career MLB games, he is hitting .349/.429/.605 with three homers, six RBI, eight runs scored, and six walks with a 1.033 OPS in 43 at-bats.

The Red Sox have used seven different players to man the hot corner this season. I think they finally got it right with the promotion of Rafael Devers. He has injected new life into the Red Sox lineup, he could do the same for your fantasy team. He is still only owned in 50 percent of ESPN leagues. That number will continue to increase substantially, don’t miss out! Grab Devers in all leagues and formats!

 German Marquez, SP, Colorado Rockies

German Marquez is making a name for himself in the majors. He has now allowed three runs or fewer in each of his past six starts with 44 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. That is with half of those games being pitched at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

He is now 9-4 with a 4.11 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 103 innings pitched. He has even pitched well enough at Coors Field with a 5-2 record and a 4.31 home ERA. Hitters are only .253 against him at the downtown Denver Park.

Marquez has won all three of his starts after the All-Star break while posting a 3.38 ERA and a 33/7 K/BB ratio.

German Marquez is definitely a starter in NL-Only formats. He is also someone to stream in mixed leagues and don’t be too afraid to throw him in your lineup while at home against a weak hitting club.

Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros

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The Houston Astros traded two outfielders at the Trade Deadline which will provide more opportunity for Derek Fisher to play in an expanded role.

Fisher is now in his second stint in the Majors. He hit .278 (5-for-18) with two homers in five games with the Astros in mid-June while on his first ride with the Astros.

Fisher was recalled from Triple-A Fresno due to outfielder George Springer being placed on the disabled list with a quad injury. The rookie was subsequently placed at the top of the order. All Fisher has done since his callup was going 8-for-23 with a home run, triple, double and five RBI in six games.

Through 84 games at Triple-A Fresno, the left-handed hitting Fisher was batting .318 with 21 homers and 66 RBI.

Overall, he is hitting .258/.347/.455 with three homers, nine RBI, nine walks, two steals and a .801 OPS in 17 games this season.

His all-around talent and opportunity with the Astros make him a strong play in all Fantasy formats.

Three Down

Jharel Cotton, SP, Oakland A’s

Jharel Cotton had a ton of preseason buzz entering 2017 after an encouraging five-start sting last September.

He has really struggled for much of his rookie season. In addition, he has been shuttling back and forth between the majors and minors earlier this season in the attempt to find his rhythm.

He hasn’t completed six innings in any of his last four starts. Also, he has made just one quality start since May 4. In fact, Cotton has a total of four quality starts in 16 tries this year, with three of those coming in his first six outings.

For whatever reason, he is getting the benefit of the doubt from the A’s. Cotton has a 5-8 record with a 5.48 ERA and is averaging barely five innings per start.

Quite obviously, stay away from Jharel Cotton.

Jordan Montgomery, SP, New York Yankees

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Jordan Montgomery became the odd man out of the Yankees’ rotation when Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia joined the team at the deadline.

Montgomery emerged out of nowhere during spring training to win the final rotation spot and registered a 7-6 record with a 4.05 ERA in 21 starts.

The Yankees acknowledged that they want to monitor his workload closely down the stretch. Montgomery has thrown 115.2 innings this season. His career-high is 152 innings recorded last season.

There were growing concerns within the Yankees; the organization felt that the innings and high pitch counts were taking their toll on Montgomery. He recorded a poor month of July. The southpaw posted a 5.90 ERA in six starts during July and his ERA rose from 3.53 to 4.15.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that part of the motivation for optioning Montgomery to the Minors is to keep him stretched out to start while ensuring hold his innings limit to 180.

Montgomery will be back in September and for the stretch run. Furthermore, he will be the first pitcher the Yankees will look to in case of an injury to their rotation.  If you have room to stash Montgomery on your bench, he could provide nice dividends in your fantasy playoffs.

Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox

Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Yoan Moncada has not been impressive since his July 19 call-up.

He is currently hitting .173/.317/.288 with one home run and six RBI, along with a .606 OPS. Furthermore, he has struck out a whopping 21 times in 52 at-bats so far this season, a 33 percent strikeout rate.

Obviously, that production has yet to happen. Fantasy owners need production and relying on a hyped rookie during playoff push is not always the best strategy. The rookie needs to be on all benches until if/when he figures it out.


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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