Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report: Buehler and Torres Up; Franchy Madness

on

Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ number one prospect,  started on Monday and the number five overall prospect, Gleyber Torres, came up for the Yankees on Sunday. This is the panic/excitement/try and keep it together and don’t spaz out time of year for prospect call-ups. This 2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report has all the news you need to stay hip, stay ahead, and stay dominating your fantasy kingdom atop your glorious throne made of my knowledge.

I dropped Ryan McMahon today. It didn’t feel good. I think it is so hard to determine when to drop prospects and rookies, especially in keeper leagues, don’t you? Of course, you do. Like me, you don’t want to look silly and drop a guy that turns it around the next day. How do you even make these kinds of decisions?

I figure with pitchers having four or so starts and hitters having 40-70 at-bats (and minor leaguers having a bit less than that) we can start asking important questions about do we keep a guy or not? So, I’m going to try and keep this in mind for this post.

It is important to be asking the right questions when considering dropping a guy who maybe has some prospect pedigree, who was super hyped coming into the season, or who you have to weigh their long-term upside vs. short-term benefit of someone you can pick up. I will highlight if I think a player’s struggles will continue, if they are lucky/unlucky, and if I think their skills will (sooner or later) bust them out of a slump. That means you have to be wise within your league and rules.

Can you do that for me? Sure ya can… cause you’re sitting on the throne of data and science I’ve built for ya.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report

News & Notes

For all your rookie and prospect news.

Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees

Andujar is really starting to hit and is worth picking up now. He may be ranked lower than some others being called up as he is the 65th ranked prospect on MLB.com. Be that as it may, he has been a been a multi-hit extra-base machine machine. Sunday he went four-for-four.

He has always profiled for a high average with a good swing, good wrists, and 55 power. He generates a lot of contact which can make up for his low walk rate. What is making me feel very encouraged right now is his 15% K rate and 39% hard-hit rate. He is still swinging and missing a lot and swinging at balls outside the zone, though.

Joey Lucchesi, SP, San Diego Padres

Joey got knocked around a bit on Sunday giving up four earned on five hits and striking out four over five innings. This doubles his total walks and earned runs from his three previous starts.

I’ve been writing about how his two-pitch arsenal is not built for long-term success. That said, he is striking out enough guys and his deception could get him some more good starts. So, I would say plan A, sell high. Plan B, hold on and start against average and bad teams, especially at Petco. You should get some strikeouts and good ratios.

Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Another top prospect for another playoff contending team was called up Sunday and this fella is Walker Buehler starting in place of Rich Hill who is on the DL. He gave up zero earned in five innings of work striking out five to boot. He also walked three and generated only 3.4% swinging strikes.

Buehler is the number 12 overall prospect. After elbow surgery, he started throwing his fastball in the upper 90s while mixing in a plus curveball and plus slider, both of which can generate swings and misses. One has to be extremely excited about his arsenal and potential.

One also has to be prepared for the growing pains of a pitcher whose nasty stuff comes with control issues. In any kind of keeper format, he is a must own. I, personally, am cautious with all prospect pitchers because their growth is so rarely linear. So, I’m not picking up in redraft leagues but could not fault you for doing so.

Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins

Brinson has three HRs in his past four games which may make you think he is turning it around. The problem is that these are his only extra-base hits in 79 plate appearances, he is striking out 35% of the time, walking 3.8% of the time, and hitting 61% of balls in play on the ground with just 24% hard-hit rate. He is just struggling. His BABIP is .190 but if he can’t lift the ball or hit it harder it doesn’t look like that is going to make a big jump. I have already dropped Brinson in the league I have him in.

Franchy Cordero, OF, San Diego Padres

Well, Wil Myers and Manuel Margot are both back on Sunday and with Patrick Corbin the lefty up, Franchy road the benchy. He is starting Monday, though. Franchy is a full-blown statcast darling at this point and was after last year, too. He is continuing on what Jeff Sullivan claimed over at Fangraphs by demonstrating elite speed and power this year, too. I mean look at this longest home run of the season.

I would do my best to hold onto this guy. For me, you’d have to pry him from my cold dead hands, though. I think if he hits, they’ll find a way to play him. He could be platooning for a bit, though.

Quick Notes

Ronald Acuña Jr. and Nick Senzel are still not called up despite both having passed their super-2 dates. They are both worth stashing if you can, as there are plenty of possible outcomes where they come up and rake right away.

Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (AAA) is likely to be called up for a start soon with Adam Wainwright hitting the DL. If he is not owned in your league, any league, he should be.

Lourdes Gurriel, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays was recalled from AAA to the big leagues on 4/20 where he went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. As long as Devon Travis is struggling, Gurriel could take ABs from him. He does not have a great pedigree and has little value outside of AL-only leagues.

Willy Adames, SS/2B, Tampa Bay Rays (AAA) hit for the cycle on Monday. As Tampa’s second-best prospect and due up this year he is excellent defensively which is a big factor in his ranking. He can hit, though. The Rays may give him a nice long extended look. Grab him when he gets called up.

Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers (AAA) is still not called up and is one of my favorite potential impact bats of 2018. I would stash if you can.

Luiz Gohara, LHP, and Mike Soroka RHP are both Atlanta Braves (AAA) pitchers in the top 50 overall prospect ratings. Gohara is a big exciting lefty and worth stashing because he throws gas that can touch triple digits along with a wipeout slider. He made his first rehab start this past Tuesday and the Braves could call him up soon. Soroka meanwhile, is known for his control and less for his nasty stuff. But he is K-ing 11.49 per 9 so far in AAA.

Kyle Wright has been up and down so far this season but put pitched well on Saturday.

Juan Soto can’t be stopped. 5 HRs, now.

The Next Big Thing

Guys you really need to know about.

Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (A)

Embed from Getty Images

Going into this year, I have to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of McKay. He is ranked the number three Tampa Bay prospect and 25th overall. I figured he is this high, not because he is elite, but because he can be serviceable on both sides of the ball as a pitcher and hitter. Turns out, I was wrong. Dude is a rare talent as a hurler and hitter.

His pitching repertoire is good and getting better. In his last outing, McKay pounded the strike zone giving no walks and getting seven Ks. He has a 2.00 ERA and .56 WHIP with 15 K/9. It is not against good hitting and still… his profile is a good command fastball. His curveball is looking really good, too and if he continues to improve his changeup and cutter he could be a number 2 or number 3.

What he is doing with the bat is just as exciting. Right now he as a 13-t0-3 BB/K ratio. That is bonkers, McKay… bonkers. He only has one extra-base hit in 29 ABs but is hitting .345 with a .470 wOBA. He is 22 years old and depending on which scouting report you read he could profile as a 50 or 60 power and hit tool. That means really good.

Waiver Pick Ups

Players worth your team’s consideration.

Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees

Torres got called up and played on Sunday going 0-for-4 and hit 1-for-4 Monday. He was batting .347 with a .404 wOBA, one HR, and 5 extra base hits in AAA. He is also the number one Yankees prospect and number five overall according to MLB.com. So, I’m willing to be very patient with him.

He profiles as a high average, spray hitter with a polished approach and swing. He also has Major League ready ability to recognize pitches and adjust. I would pick him up right away if you need middle infield help. It is his first call-up, so you may have to be patient.

Risers and Sinkers

Highlighting players whose stock is rising and falling.

Risers – Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox

Michael Kopech, RPH, Chicago White Sox (AAA) has had three starts and is holding a 2.40 ERA with five walks and 21 strikeouts over 15 innings. Stash now or pick up this 10th overall ranked prospect as soon as he comes up. He is already highly touted. So, I am just putting him on here because he is earning his way up right now.

Sinkers – Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

O’Neill has been up since 4/19 and gotten one start, two pinch hits, and zero hits. I don’t know what they’re doing and until he gets regular at-bats I’m not super excited. He can hit for tons of power but he is also the 94th ranked prospect on MLB.com.


Check out the rest of our great Fantasy Baseball content.

Thanks for reading.

About Kyle Megrath

I care about lots of stuff. I'd like the world to be more just, equitable, and peaceful. I'd also like the Red Sox to win the world series every year. I would also like to win all my leagues and help you win all yours. I want the first one more than the second, yes, I'm not a butt. I also love reading about, writing about, and participating in Fantasy Baseball. I also love zombie movies.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *