Fantasy Baseball

2016 Fantasy Baseball: Super Two Prospects; Pitching

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Super Two Prospects

Credit: ipickmynose

As mentioned in the earlier article about Super Two hitting prospects, many Major League teams keep their best players in the minors until late May/early June to manipulate their service time. FanGraphs has done a really great job outlining the process of service time and making it easy to understand. Basically, teams will gain an extra year of control and minimize player’s arbitration salary by limiting the amount of “service days” that a player accrues during their first year in the Major Leagues.

Now that we’re into late May, there should be a rush of top prospects being called up the majors as the Super Two date approaches. Adding prospects is always a dangerous game, as some will contribute immediately (i.e. Noah Syndergaard, Kyle Schwarber) and some will still require some seasoning time in the minors (i.e. Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios). This article will give an overview of the Super Two pitching prospects and their expected impact upon reaching the bigs. What you do with that information is up to you.

I have also taken a look at the Super Two Prospects from the batting side of things.


2016 Fantasy Baseball Super Two Prospects

Pitchers

Julio Urias, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Stop. Do you have an open spot for streaming pitchers? Or someone you’re going to drop anyways? Yes? Is Urias still available on your waiver wire? Yes?! Go add him now. Seriously. With Alex Wood suffering from elbow tendinitis, the Dodgers have recalled Urias to make the start on Friday. Urias comes in as one of the top (arguably THE top) pitching prospect in all of baseball. Urias has absolutely dominated the hitter friendly PCL to the tune of a 1.10 ERA and 0.78 WHIP and he’s currently carrying a scoreless streak of 27 IP. In his 41 IP this season, he’s struck out 44 and walked only eight, all while being on a strict 80 pitch limit. Absolutely ridiculous for a 19 year old in Triple-A. He’ll reach the majors with three plus pitches (fastball, curve, changeup) and a solid matchup (@NYM) in his first start.

There’s one caveat. This may only be a one or two start audition before he’s sent 1) back to the minors or 2) to the bullpen, in order to limit his innings. Right now, Urias’ innings career high is 87.2, and you can bet the Dodgers won’t give him too much to handle this quickly. If you’re in a keeper league, you probably don’t care about those, but in a redraft, you might need to reconsider who you’re dropping. If you have a spot on your team, Urias is a must add for his start on Friday. Even if he’s sent to the bullpen, there’s always a chance he can re-join the rotation with the Dodgers oft injured starting pitchers.

Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Glasnow is one of two Pirates prospects who will get a call to the majors after the Super Two date passes. Glasnow will come into the league with a blazing fastball and an impressive curveball, which he uses to keep up his 11.34 K/9. In Triple-A this season, Glasnow has a 2.16 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 63 punch outs in 50 IP. The biggest knock on Glasnow is his command, but he’s shown improvement, as his BB% has improved since last year. When his command is working for him, Glasnow looks every bit a future ace.

Of all the pitching prospects on this list, Glasnow possesses the greatest strikeout potential, although it does come with a bit of risk with regards to his command. The Pirates are notorious for keeping their prospects in the minors until the Super Two date, but in Glasnow’s case, the extra time to refine his command may mean the difference between a high risk, high reward SP3 or a top of the rotation starter. At this point Glasnow should be stashed in all leagues, as his upside is most likely unmatched by anyone sitting on the waiver wire.

Jameson Taillon, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Taillon is the second Pirates prospect who we should expect in the majors within the next two-to-three weeks. The former second overall pick hasn’t pitched much over the last two years due to Tommy John surgery in 2014 and hernia surgery in 2015, but in his first full year since 2013 Taillon is reminding everyone why he was so highly regarded. In 49.1 IP this season, Taillon has a 1.82 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. Unlike his teammate Glasnow, Taillon’s command has been impeccable as evidenced by his incredible 10.2 K/BB.

One concern with Taillon would be any innings limit the Pirates may impose on him. As he hasn’t thrown a professional pitch since 2013, Taillon will most likely be shut down before the end of the year. However, in the innings he does pitch, Taillon looks to be a very steady option with a higher floor than Glasnow, due to better command. If you’re in need of pitching, I’d suggest stashing Taillon now, as rumors of his call-up were fueled when his last start was skipped. Of the two Pirates pitchers, Taillon is more likely to be recalled first, due to his age and advanced command.

Blake Snell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Snell is the only player on this list with Major League experience, as he was called up to make a spot start on April 23rd against the Yankees. It was a solid debut for Snell, who went five innings, only giving up one run on two hits while striking out six. Snell is one of the only prospects who can match the ridiculous strikeout potential of Glasnow. In fact, Snell is currently besting Glasnow’s K/9, as he holds a 12.29 mark through eight starts at Triple-A this season. Like Glasnow, walks are also a consistent problem for Snell as his 4.17 BB/9 this year is a significant step back from last years mark of 2.64. Snell has also struggled with pitch efficiency, as his most recent start on May 20th was the first this year in which he lasted a full six innings.

When Snell gets called up, his floor will depend on how well he can limit the walks he issues to Major League hitters. His last three starts in Triple-A have been encouraging as he’s only walked four batters combined. Snell will provide his owners with excellent strikeout numbers when he gets the call back to Tampa. Chances are he’ll be at the top of the Rays rotation until he hits free agency. I’d recommend stashing him in all leagues as he should get the call as soon as the Super Two date passes.

Other Pitchers to Consider

Lucas Giolito, SP, Washington Nationals

Giolito’s second year in Double-A hasn’t gone quite as planned, as he’s seemed to have regressed from last year, posting mediocre ratios (3.40 ERA, 1.46 WHIP) and an ugly 4.89 BB/9. His struggles, combined with the performance of the Nats rotation means that Giolito probably won’t be called up right after the Super Two deadline. He’s probably not worth stashing in re-draft leagues.

 

 

 

Josh Hader, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Hader has dominated Double-A thus far. He has yet to give up more than one run in any start, hasn’t given up a HR and is holding a 0.79 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. The only reason he may not be called up at the Super Two deadline is because of the Brewers. They’re not in any shape to compete and may want their top pitching prospect to get some experience at Triple-A first. If he’s called up, he’s worth a speculative pickup.



Alex Reyes, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Reyes recently came back from suspension and put up a solid start, striking out eight over four innings. However, St. Louis management has said that they will not make any knee-jerk moves to improve their struggling rotation, meaning the chances of Reyes being called up at the Super Two date are slim. Look for the Cards to let him pitch more innings in the minors with the intention of calling him up later in the year.

 

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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