2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Report: Lotta Action

by Kyle Megrath
2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Report

It is time for the 2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Prospect Report! Let’s do this!

Miguel Andujar is called up, Ohtani did well, Kingery is looking really solid, and the National High School Invitational gave us a hint at some high draft picks.

You are tuned-in, once again my friends, to F6P’s Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report with your favorite Fantasy Baseball DJ: The Koz.

This and lots of other great news to get to and I’m excited about this week’s Next Big Thing. Keep your URL dialed in here for the next 10 minutes and come back every week to feed your need for fantasy prospect lovin’.

Let’s get this week spinning with a highlight from an artist near the top of the charts for a couple years, now. Witness, my friends, the future: Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit a game-winning home run (off Jack Flaherty *sad face) in their last game of Spring Training. Surely, this will get you even more excited for what he will bring. While, he’s not in the show, yet, he is sure to bring hype and talent when he arrives.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Report

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News & Notes

For all your rookie and prospect news.

Ryan McMahon, 1B, Colorado Rockies

Right now, it looks like McMahon is platooning with Ian Desmond at first base. Because McMahon is a left-handed hitter, he should be on the strong side of this platoon but the Rockies were up against Arizona’s heavily left-handed lineup. So, he has not been able to show his stuff yet. By hook, crook, injury, or something that rhymes with injury, McMahon should get the job and hopefully keep it. He has struck out in all three of his plate appearance at the time of this article. So, that is a small sample size and he certainly is not lighting the world on fire.

While in AAA last year, McMahon struck out 17% of the time and hit .374. I’m not worried, though. Be as patient as your roster will allow you. With that, he should be owned in most leagues.

Colin Moran, 1B, Pittsburg Pirates

My boy hit a grand slam yesterday. It is worth noting, playing time is going to go a long way for him and he is playing every day all day right now. So far, his other hit in his nine at-bats prior to salami city was a double. Notably, he hit .308 with 18 HRs in 302 at-bats in AAA last year. This included a .390 wOBA and .235 ISO and these numbers tell me he’ll crank extra-base hits a whole lot more.

For the most part, he has to do very little to earn his price-tag. For that reason, he is worth your attention. I would say keep a close eye on him. Moran is only owned at 3.5% in ESPN leagues. If you are looking for a CI fill in, he is worth a speculative grab and don't be surprised if ownership goes up.

Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins

Brinson is playing every day and went 4-for-8 on Saturday. With that, all his hits have been singles and he has walked just once in 22 plate appearances. On the other hand, he walked at 9.4% in his 2017 AAA campaign and struck out less than 20%. So, he has some discipline.

He is doing exactly what we want from a leadoff hitter in Miami, scoring three runs and being a young prospect with plenty of room to grow on a rebuilding team. If he struggles he may move down in the order.

Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH, Los Angeles Angels

Ohtani had his debut regular season outing on Saturday getting a win, giving up three runs on three hits, 1 BB, and six Ks, through 92 innings, and it took him 92 pitches. His splitter was on and his whole arsenal generated 18 swinging strikes. For the most part, his only blemish was a costly one, a three-run homer to Matt Chapman.

On the other side, he has gone one for five as a hitter and sat against a lefty. So, the Angels are doing their plan and he should start at home vs. Oakland for his next start. He settled some of the worries and not all of them. I believe there are some big bumps he will have to tumble through and in the end, he’ll be a fourth or fifth round pitcher.

Scott Kingery, SS/3B, Philidelphia Phillies

Kingery is up, hitting, and looking really sharp. Still though, only being owned in 60% of ESPN leagues means, he should be in more. So far, he has played at SS and 3B (he came up as a 2B). In two games he is four for nine with two doubles. While it is a small sample, scouts forecasted that Kingery’s ability to hit would translate well into the majors because of his great contact skills and speed.

The question is if his 26 HRs from the minors last year translate and I imagine Philly will keep finding a way to keep him in the line up to find out. Go get him.

Tyler Austin, 1B, New York Yankees

Austin hit two HRs on Saturday. He is working out some time at 1B with Neil Walker. Miguel Andujar is up now, too and crowding the infield, some. This is a special day for a guy that does not have a history of huge power. So, feel free to keep an eye on him. And, don’t go picking him up because of one big day.

The Next Big Thing

Guys you really need to know about.

Julio Pablo Martinez, OF, Texas Rangers

Martinez looks to be the third prospect in Texas’ deepening system now that he has officially signed with them. He bats lefty, is best known for his speed on the base paths, and scouts think he may be able to contribute across all five tools. With good contact skills, patience, quick bat speed, and lots of stolen bases he could find his way to doing exactly that.

MLB.com gives him 55 future value and it can still be hard to project international players. While speed is a little easier to project, the extent of his power and patience may be tougher. Keston Hiura, Scott Kingery, and J.P. Crawford, all have a 55 future value as well. Though Franklin Barreto in Oakland may be a good comparison given that both of them could steal a lot of bases.

In sum, he gets “the next big thing” tag because I think that speed will translate, Texas invested 2.8 million bucks to sign him, and if he can develop the power and patience (I’m thinking Lorenzo Cain power/speed with upside of what we want Byron Buxton to do: 20HR/30SB) he could turn a lot of heads.

Waiver Pick Ups

Players worth your team's consideration.

Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees

Andujar is rated 55 future value in some places and 60 in others. Furthermore, he is ranked 65 overall on MLB.com and 14 on Fangraphs. With Greg Bird on the DL, as well as four outfielders, the Yankees are going to shift Tyler Wade to the outfield and give Andujar some time at DH and, perhaps, the infield.

For the most part, Andujar broke on the scene impressing beyond scouts’ original assessments last year. He started lifting the ball more, struck out less, rarely missed balls, and continued to develop his wrist-strong righty swing. While he mustered 16 HRs in 125 games in the minors last year, he also hit four HRs this spring.

Pick him up for his upside and the chance that he can hit is way up into a full-time role. To me, it does not feel very likely that he stays but he could contribute while he is up.

Risers and Sinkers

Highlighting players whose stock is rising and falling.

Risers - Matt Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS

Okay, so this guy is not drafted and he is in High School. The really cool thing about him is that Liberatore already has a fastball, curve, and changeup he can throw for strikes and generate swings and misses. He is as polished as many college pitchers and maybe some major leaguers. He has a classic pitcher frame at 6-foot-5 and scouts have plenty to drool over with him.

The National High School Invitational (NHSI) is a prep school tournament that has been going on since 2012 and it tends to feature potential high draft pick youth. Scouts were drooling over his polish and command. In his last start of the tournament, Liberatore did give up two runs and after that, he struck out 10 of the last 17 batters he faced.

Sinkers – Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox

Until we get more data on some of these young bucks this year, really injury is playing a big role in our sinkers. What gives Jimenez this week's dubious honor is a pectoral strain he got while lifting. This, in combination with the tendinitis he was battling in his knee last year and this spring, means two things. One, previous injury in the biggest correlation with a future injury. Two, he’s not doing anything to help his already painfully high prospect pedigree.

So, while his stock may be falling some, it was already very high to begin with. And rightfully so, going 4-for-7 with two home runs and a triple this spring and slashing  .353/.397/.559 in AAA last year.

He should be up later this year and don’t be surprised if knee or pectoral issues impact his performance some in the short to medium term.

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