2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Rookie Report: Bleeding Dodger Blue

by Dennis Sosic
2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Rookie Report: Bleeding Dodger Blue

One exercise that baseball fans like to do toward the end of the baseball season is trying to guess who is going to win the player's awards. Who will win AL MVP? Will Judge snap out of his slump and crush it like he has most of this season? How about the NL MVP? Will Stanton's homer tear be enough to earn him the MVP?

One award that I feel safe in projecting is the NL Rookie of the Year.  The 2017 winner will be Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Cody Bellinger. Bellinger is having such an outstanding season as evidenced by his 34 homers and 79 RBI. While reviewing the stats, I was thinking, "WOW, another Dodger winning the Rookie of the Year (ROY). That's crazy."  It made me investigate further and I was correct, it is remarkable how often a Dodger has won the award.

The Dodgers have now won the ROY 17 times. That is more than double of any team! Dodgers Hall of Fame Jackie Robinson was the first rookie of the year in 1947, and the award now bears his name.  In addition, the Dodgers even had consecutive seasons of winning the award. They had streaks of four in a row and another streak with five straight.

The baseball greats on this Dodgers ROY award winners are impressive. From Jackie Robinson to Don Newcombe, and from Mike Piazza to Corey Seager.

So next season as you prepare for your fantasy baseball draft, and you want to find a sleeper, look at the Dodgers' roster.  Please draft one of the rookies. One of them will probably end up winning the ROY and possibly help you win your fantasy title.

For a look at other rookies not in the Dodgers' organization who can help you win a fantasy championship, look no further than the Week 20 Rookie Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 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

Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Chicago White Sox

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Reynaldo Lopez had an impressive debut last Friday. He allowed two runs in six innings and struck out six while throwing 102 pitches. While the White Sox were also impressed with the performance, they had concerns on his workload.  Watch for the White Sox to monitor his pitch counts and innings very closely for the rest of this season.

Lopez earned the promotion by holding a 2.70 ERA and a 63/15 K/BB ratio over his last 46.2 innings at Triple-A. He has not surrendered more than two runs in his previous seven starts and had 131 strikeouts in 121 innings pitched.

Lopez sparkled in July by posting a 2.10 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 30 innings which earned him the organization's minor league pitcher of the month in July.

Reynaldo Lopez should already be rostered in AL-Only leagues. He should be no less than a streamer option in mixed formats.

Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets

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After year long speculation, Dominic Smith finally got the call to the big show.

Dominic Smith was having an outstanding season in Triple-A Las Vegas. He owned a .330/.386/.519 slash line with 16 homers and 76 RBI in 457 at-bats. Now that Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce both gone, Smith should occupy close to an everyday role at first base.

He has a hit in four of five games with the Mets. In fact, he just hit his first big league homer Tuesday, it was also his first two RBI.

Dominic Smith will be a fantasy factor down the stretch for owners. He lacks power but he can really hit. He will hit for average and help in OPS and with RBI.

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

Brent Honeywell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

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The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the most surprising teams in the major this season. They are now 60-61 and only 1.5 games behind for a wild card spot.

The Rays have potentially the difference maker to put them over the top, and his name is Brent Honeywell.  Over his last seven outings, Honeywell has posted a 0.93 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 51 strikeouts and only seven walks in 38.2 innings.

The right-hander has produced a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP through 23 starts in the minors this season. He ranks second in Minor League Baseball with 160 strikeouts and has struck out 32 percent of the batters he has faced this season while walking only 6 percent.

Brent Honeywell should be in the majors right now. I suggest you pick him up now before the eventual call-up. If you wait until then, you will be too late. He is a definite add in AL-Only leagues. In mixed leagues, he should be rostered to speculate on his promotion.

Willie Calhoun, 2B/OF, Texas Rangers

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Willie Calhoun was the main prize in the trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. He immediately made a strong impression. He hit four homers and had eight RBI in his first five games at Triple-A.

Calhoun was the Dodgers' No. 4-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. He has been working in the outfield in the minors to hopefully expedite his promotion to the bigs.

In just his second full professional season, the 22-year-old Calhoun is hitting .298 with 23 home runs in Triple A.

Willie Calhoun could get his first action with the big club when the rosters expand in September.

Three Up

Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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You are probably thinking, well no kidding!?! This is way too obvious!

In fact, you might be correct but Bellinger is now on a whole different level.

The rookie now has six homers in just 11 August games. He is on pace to break his own personal best of 13 long balls in a month that he set back in June. He is averaging a home run per just about every 12 plate appearances.

Bellinger has also shown some growth at the plate, striking out just 23 times in his past 118 plate appearances (19.5 percent) after striking out 28.8 percent of the time in his first 125 plate appearances.

He has raised his average from .262 to .274 just since July 28, and as much as I want to I could go on and on with the amazing numbers that Bellinger is putting up, but I don't want to bore anyone.

Bellinger is the landslide NL Rookie of the Year, but could he also win NL MVP???

Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

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Rafael Devers seems to accomplish new milestones every time he touches the field.

In his first 16 major-league games, he has hit .339/.397/.677.  In addition, he has six home runs along with 12 RBI.

There has been no bigger hit than what Devers delivered on Sunday night in New York. He was facing Yankees' closer Ardolis Chapman in a 2-1 game with one out in the ninth. Devers then took a 2-1 fastball at 102.8 mph and sent it over the 399-foot sign in left center field for a game-tying solo home run. Boston went on to win 3-2 in 10 innings. WOW!

Devers hit .311 with 20 homers in just 86 games between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He has an impact corner bat with 40-homer potential. Suffice it to say, Devers should be owned and started in ALL formats.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

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Hoskins was leading the International League with 29 home runs when he was promoted last week. He had a slow start to his big-league career. He had one hit-a single-in his first 13 at-bats.

On Monday, Hoskins did what the Phillies expect him to do for years to come. He smacked two home runs in the same game which traveled over 800 feet combined. He became the first Phillies hitter to smash his first two career homers in the same game since Scott Rolen in 1996.

Hoskins has the tools to make an immediate impact in the power categories and is definite add in all fantasy formats.

Three Down

Brent Suter, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

After going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his first five starts, Suter was 0-1 with an 8.16 ERA in his last three outings. In those three starts, he has gone 5.1 innings or less in each of those starts.

Suter was then diagnosed with a left rotator cuff strain and placed on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday.

Whether the rotator cuff strain was a factor in his recent struggles or it was just the league starting to figure out the soft-tossing lefty, he will now have some time to sort things out.

His timeline for return is not certain and either his hold on a rotation spot. With Chase Anderson (oblique) due back in the next week or two, Suter may be bumped out of the rotation.

Brent Suter would be someone I would forget about possibly helping me win my fantasy title this season. I would rather not wait and take any chances that Suter would regain his dominance from his first three starts.

Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees

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Frazier was in the midst of a horrible slump, hitting .152/.222/.273 over his past 36 plate appearances before suffering a strained oblique injury. He was placed on the disabled list this past weekend. This type of injury usually requires four-to-six week recovery of rest and rehab.

Growing pains for rookies are expected. However, this injury really impacted his play.  His power was the best part of his game as evidenced by his .477 slugging percentage. He can get the bat to the ball with lightning quickness, allowing him to drive extra-base hits and show off his plus power.

The injury was holding down his production before he hit the disabled list, and his batted ball profile has noticeably worsened lately.

The switch-hitting outfielder was hitting 290/.398/.515 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs in 60 games at the time of his injury. Frazier has shown the ability to be a fantasy asset with his strong approach at the plate. Keep an eye on his actual return. The regular season is winding down and roster spots are valuable. If there are signs that he will not be back, obviously he can be dropped in redraft leagues. He should be held onto like gold in dynasty/keeper leagues.

Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies

In his fourth stint with the Rockies this season, Tapia went 3-for-20 and was optioned to Triple-A once again due to his latest lack of hitting and there is no specific role with the big-league club.

Tapia played regularly from mid-June until the All-Star break and fared well at the plate. However, with Gerardo Parra, Charlie Blackmon, and Carlos Gonzalez all getting healthy, there didn't appear to be a path to regular at-bats for Tapia now. Of course, if somehow a spot would open up, Tapia would possibly become an appealing option.

Tapia was a hitting machine in the minors. The lefty outfielder is a career .320/.364/.451 hitter over seven minor league seasons. Furthermore, he has never posted a minor league season with an average below .300.

His playing time has been in a rough decline and he should see more at-bats in the minors. He will present a viable option for a promotion when rosters expand in September. Tapia is a good contact hitter with low power and decent speed. He is projected as a more of the fourth outfielder, therefore, not a player to concern yourself with in fantasy.


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