Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 Rookie Report: Tools Of Ignorance

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Hopefully, as you are reading (skimming?) the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 Rookie Report you are still playing for something in your fantasy baseball leagues. Fantasy Baseball seasons are marathons and you need to stay on top of your game to continue to be a high level.

As we head to the finish line, I started to think about which players had it the worst, suffered the most during baseball seasons.  I think everyone would agree, that it has to be the catcher.

Many moons ago, there was a term that was coined in reference to catchers. “Tools of Ignorance” is a nickname for the catcher’s equipment. The term was ironic that a player with the intelligence needed to be effective behind the plate would be ignorant enough to play a position that required so much safety equipment.

Catcher is the most difficult position in baseball and while they are looked upon more for their defense and handling of pitchers, fantasy owners look for hitting talent. IF that player can still hit after suffering from defensive decline, that player will often go all the way down to first base.

When you hear Fantasy owners complaining that the baseball season is too long, tell them to ask a catcher how their season was and if their season was too long.

Well, this intro might be getting too long,  so let us find out which rookies are rising and falling in the Week 22 Rookie Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 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

Greg Bird, 1B, New York Yankees

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In a pleasant surprise, Greg Bird is back and hitting the heck out of the ball for the Yankees. He has been sidelined for most of the season with a right ankle injury. The left-handed slugger has slashed .286/.375/.500 with six RBI in five games since being activated from the disabled list. During his most recent rehab stint, he batted .423 (11-for-26) with two doubles, three homers, six RBI and four walks.

Bird also missed all of the 2016 season while recovering from right labrum surgery, but he showed promise during a brief stint as a rookie in 2015 (.871 OPS).

He came into this season as a huge sleeper and promptly went 6-for-60 (.100) with a homer in the Majors. He last played in a big league game on May 1.

Greg Bird could be a sneaky add for owners looking for pop at their MI slots in deeper leagues.

Jack Flaherty, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

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The Cardinals will promote right-hander Jack Flaherty from Triple-A Memphis to make his MLB debut on Friday. He isn’t officially on the 40-man roster yet, but a spot both there and in the Cardinals rotation opened up when the club traded Mike Leake to the Mariners on Wednesday.

Both Baseball America and Fangraphs rated Flaherty comparable at No. 57 on their own summer rankings of baseball’s top 100 prospects. Rated No.3 in the organization, he put himself in this position for this callup with a breakout 2017 season.

Flaherty posted a 1.42 ERA and .092 WHIP with 63 strikeouts and 11 walked at Double-A Springfield before being promoted to Triple-A Memphis. He continued to impress at Triple-A, posting a 2.74 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 85 strikeouts and 24 walks in 85.1 innings. Overall, his 2.18 ERA and 147 strikeouts are tops among all Cardinals’ farmhands.

Jack Flaherty will get to back up the hype this Friday and will be someone to definitely own in keeper/dynasty leagues. In addition, he should be monitored and possibly picked up in all Fantasy 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

Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Detroit Tigers

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Candelario was the headliner for the Tigers in the Justin Wilson & Alex Avila deal.  He was rated by MLB.com as the Cubs’ best prospect and will enter the Tigers’ system at No.3.   He is now the Tigers’ top position prospect.

The switch-hitting third baseman is a .295/.384/.521 career hitter at the Triple-A level with 22 homers and 107 RBI in 162 games. In addition, he has posted a .835 OPS in the minors this season at Triple-A.

He made a cameo appearance with the Tigers earlier this month to provide depth, He projects as a plus hitter with average to above-average game power.

Current third baseman Nicholas Castellanos has already begun catching fly balls in the outfield possibly to make way for up-and-coming prospect Jeimer Candelario. Candelario leaves Castellanos as a bat without a position going forward. Castellanos continues to be a real liability to the Tigers infield. It would allow the Tigers to upgrade at two positions, with Candelario taking over third base, and Castellanos filling the void left by the departure of J.D. Martinez.

Jeimier Candelario will be brought next month and given some at-bats to give him a better taste of the big leagues.  Someone to monitor in keeper/dynasty leagues but I wouldn’t jump in yet.

Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians

Mejia went to big league camp with the Indians in February. He is hitting .300 (101-or-337) with 21 doubles, 14 homers, and 51 RBI along with a .848 OPS at Class AA Akron. He is only 21-years-old and could be the Indians’ starting catcher next season.

The switch-hitting catcher is ranked as the No.3 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball Prospectus, and the top overall catching prospect in the majors according to MLB Pipeline.

The Indians are thinking about bringing him up in September as a bat to help in the stretch drive. In an effort to enhance his defensive versatility, Mejia is going to the Arizona Fall League to learn how to play third base. It is not the beginning of a full-time position switch but the club wants to see if they can make Mejia more versatile and thus more attractive to the big-league club.

Maintaining catcher eligibility will be big for Mejia’s fantasy value. It’s looking like Mejia’s bat will profile just fine at any position (.300/.349/.499 this season) if a move out from behind the plate is necessary at some point down the line. Look for Mejia to be brought up next month and if his bat gets hot, he will be on the playoff roster. I think it makes sense to call up Mejia for the stretch run given the offensive struggles of the current catching tandem of Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez. Keeper/dynasty league owners should already have him on their rosters.

Three Up

 Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies

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Rhys Hoskins was just named the International League MVP and claimed the Rookie of the Year award. He is the first International Leaguer to claim both awards since Steven Souza Jr. in 2014.  In 115 games, Hoskins hit .284/.385/.581 with 29 homers and 91 RBI along with a .385 on-base percentage and a .581 slugging percentage.

He has looked even better in the majors. Entering Tuesday’s doubleheader, he was slashing .309/.413/.824 with 11 homers and 25 RBI in 19 games.  Hoskins’ 25 RBIs are the second most in baseball history through a player’s first 19 big league games.

Hoskins has also looked capable in left field, where he has started 16 of his 19 games. He still projects as a first baseman long term. He will see more reps at the position when the Phillies regain their starting outfielders Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr from the DL on Friday.

Rhys Hoskins set a team record with 11 homers in August, most ever for a rookie in any one month. If he is still available in your leagues, the owners should be embarrassed. He should be owned and started in all fantasy formats.

Luke Weaver, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

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Making his second straight start in place of the injured Adam Wainwright, Weaver is no longer trying to become a starter. He is in the rotation, with a chance to secure a spot for 2018. His resume is an impressive list of strikeouts. In fact, He joined Rick Ankiel as the only Cardinals’ rookie with back-to-back double-digit strikeout games.

Weaver, 24, now has a 2.48 ERA in seven games (29 innings) this season. He’s 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his four starts (24 innings), and 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three. Oh, and he has 28 strikeouts in his last three games. He is averaging 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Between his time with St. Louis (7 games, 4 starts) and Memphis (15 starts) this season, Weaver has compiled a 13-3 record with 112 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA. Weaver has been impressive, and if he is still available in any of your leagues, he should be an immediate pickup. His numbers could put you over the top in your pitching categories.

Juan Minaya, Chicago White Sox

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Juan Minaya has moved into the closer role by the trade of all of the White Sox late-inning relievers since the All-Star break. After a rocky start, he is settling in, holding hitters to a .143 batting average against the last 10 games.

His 4.24 ERA might scare off some potential owners, but he has a reasonable 1.21 WHIP. His strikeout rate of 42 batters in 34 innings fits the closer role.

Juan Minaya is worth a flier as a sneaky source of saves and strikeouts. He is a  lottery selection to guide you through the playoffs.

Three Down

Paul Blackburn, SP, Oakland A’s

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Paul Blackburn was drilled by a come backer and was placed on the disabled list on Friday. He is dealing with swelling in his right hand and limited range of motion. He has been the A’s most consistent starter since July 1, with a 3-1 record and 3.22 ERA.

Blackburn (wrist) will miss longer than the minimum 10 days with his injury. Alex Simon of MLB.com reports. “Right now, he hasn’t gotten to the point where he’s able to play catch or really even grip a baseball, ” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “It may take a little longer than we originally anticipated.”

It is unclear if Blackburn will return this season. For a team this far out of the race, there is no reason to press a pitcher into action, especially a rookie. He is someone you should continue to roster in dynasty formats, but drop in redraft leagues.

Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox

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The Chicago White Sox placed rookie sensation Yoan Moncada on the 10-day disabled list with a bone contusion of his right shin. This setback is the latest interruption in an up-and-down season for Moncada. He was considered the No.1 prospect in baseball when the Sox promoted him from Class AAA Charlotte in mid-July.

The injury arrives at a particularly bad time for Moncada, 22, who had started to warm up at the plate during his first extended stint in the big leagues. After hitting .100 (4-for-40) with a .530 OPS in his first 13 games, he was hitting .246 (15-for-61) with a .787 OPS in his last 17. In addition, he has 19 walks to go along with 44 strikeouts in 101 at-bats along with three home runs and 11 RBI.

Moncada has been a disappointment for fantasy owners this season. The hype around him has been overwhelming. He has flashed some big time hits and his athletic ability, but overall he still has to learn what the pitchers are trying to do to him. Moncada should be kept on dynasty rosters of course, but I don’t see him contributing enough to help you this season.

Adam Frazier, 2B/SS/OF. Pittsburgh Pirates

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Adam Frazier was having an up-and-down rookie season. It is down now since Frazier tweaked his hamstring and exited Sunday’s game after attempting to beat a double-play grounder.  The Pirates have placed Adam Frazier on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.

After a rough finish to the first half, he has been sizzling since the All-Star break. He is producing a .336/.395/.464 line to go with 17 RBI and 12 runs in 36 games. He has been utilized as a super-utility guy. In addition, he has played second base along with shortstop and outfield. Frazier has been shuttled between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis.

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With Gregory Polanco sidelined, Frazier has found himself with a lot of playing time and producing. Unfortunately, his hamstring will keep him out for at least two weeks. He won’t return until mid-September at the earliest, or maybe not at all. It is safe to drop Frazier if you were riding the hot streak.


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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