Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Prospect Report: Bieber’s Back, Baby

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Hello, Prospect Report faithful, newbies and everything in between. Welcome to the Week 12 Prospect Report. So. Much. News. This has been a head-spinning week that has included a surprise Shane Bieber call-up. Find out below how he and a fellow unranked prospect call-up did in the bigs this week. Also, I have more injury updates, the latest major call-ups, and much more.

I’m going to be talking about Shane Bieber and Jonathan Loaisiga below and they both deserve our attention. Most people are familiar with Bieber at this point because his first call-up got a lot of hype. Loaisiga’s debut on Friday got less fan fair, though he fared much better. While I enjoy Acuña and Ohtani, I love stories that develop like this, because Bieber and Loaisiga were outside the top 100 prospects coming into the year. They are so exciting in fantasy baseball and nearly as exciting in real baseball.

And for our craft cocktail of the week, I’m going to explore the mystical cucumber. Remember, I am no mixologist or anything. I just got into mixing cocktails while also starting my career as a fantasy baseball writer. You get to reap the benefits of my multifaceted growth as a human.

Some coworkers and I were discussing a cucumber cocktail they had recently and thought was awful. So, I set out to find a delicious cucumber cocktail to see if I could make it good. I remembered hearing that cucumber and watermelon go great together for cocktails.

So, I started there and found a recipe for a Watermelon Cucumber Cooler and it did not disappoint. Now don’t give me any of that gendered drink BS because this has fruit and not bacon and raw meat. This was delicious and refreshing with each ingredient complementing the next and the lime juice and soda water giving it a boost of refreshingness. You can replace simple syrup with agave. Imagine the drink in this youtube video without mint, and with gin, lime juice, simple syrup (optional), and soda water instead of water.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Prospect Report

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News & Notes

For all your rookie and prospect news.

Shane Bieber, RHP, Cleveland Indians

Shane was unexpectedly called up after the planned fifth Cleveland starter, Adam Plutko, had to pitch in long relief Saturday. Bieber struck out seven, walked one, only gave up one earned, but gave up 10 hits in five-and-two-thirds. That’s 18 hits in 11 innings, all against the Twins, which is the bad news. The good news is that Bieber is finding Ks in the majors and not walking guys (13:2 K/BB) like he has done all season the minors. The hits are a concern. He’s a spot starter for me, right now and against bad teams, I would gladly start him. Carrasco went to the DL and it is possible Bieber gets another start.

Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, New York Yankees

 This was a fun outing to watch. Not just because it was a rookie call-up/debut or because it is an unranked prospect starting after being impressive in the minors. It was fun to watch because he generated 17 swinging strikes with a good fastball, curveball, and change. He walked four in his big league start and control is not his strong suit. He is the 12th ranked prospect in the NYY system and came up with a 3.00 ERA, 58 Ks in 45 IP, and a 2.9% BB% across A and AA.

While Tanaka recovers, Loaisiga could get a couple more starts. Keeper and dynasty leagues should definitely speculatively add him. Shallower leagues, I don’t think it is worth it.

Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

Daniel Roberton was injured and up comes Adames, again. He was not great in his call-up earlier this year. But Adames can hit for power and average. He has a handsome .370 wOBA in the minors this year and has continued to show his ability to take a walk. While the Rays are slow with prospects, he has little left to prove and could hit his way into full time playing even when Robertson comes back.

Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Flaherty this week since I have mentioned him every other week. He is struggling to go more than five innings but since giving up seven ERs in 10 IPs he has gone out against San Diego and The Cubs at home giving up only one ER over 11 IPs and striking out 13. He now supports a 2.66 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 9.77 K/9 and a 3.43 SIERA. Go scoop him up.

 Franklin Barreto, 2B/SS, Oakland Athletics

Barretto is being called up for the third time this year. Bob Melvin says that Matt Chapman going on the DL is Barreto “biggest opportunity.” So, there could be something here. He can steal some bases and hit for pop but has not been consistent in his time in the bigs or down in the minors. I think in keeper leagues, deep leagues, and AL-only leagues he should get scooped up because he is the 56th ranked prospect and has a good hit tool.

Quick Notes

The Angels have called up Jose Miguel Fernandez to fill in at first base. He will be a platoon guy while some Angels recover from injury. He can hit for average and some power. But keep expectations low for this 30-year old.


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Willie Calhoun is hitting!!! I am a huge fan.

Ohtani, Sixto Sancez, Vlad Guerrero Jr., and Acuña are all still hurt.

Francisco Mejia got called up and went back down. He has not had a great year in the minors.

The Next Big Thing

Guys you really need to know about.

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres  (AA)

The number six overall prospect being highlighted as “the next big thing” is not breaking news. I wanted to put him here because this 19-year-old has turned things around of late. Last year, Tatis Jr. went from A to AA and handled himself okay. This year in AA, he got off to a slow start but since May he has been tearing it up. He is now hitting .274 with 11 HRs and walking 9% of the time. He won’t be up until 2019 most likely, but he is as exciting as it gets.

Look at his wOBA progression this year (Thanks Keith Lott!)

Bustin'

Tatis Jr., at a young age, has shown tremendous bat speed and power but what I think makes him the future is that he can make these adjustments. He has made adjustments on sequencing, breaking balls, and improving his walk rate. The ability to adjust one of the biggest things I look for in prospects because I think it buffers against volatility.

Waiver Pickups

Players worth your team’s consideration.

Michael Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves

I’m putting him here again this week because he is not owned in enough leagues. Michael Soroka went six-and-a-third innings in his return from the DL striking out just four Rays but also only giving up one hit and one walk. He has not gone deep into many games so far in the majors this year. That said, he has only given up more than one earned in one of his four MLB starts.

I’ve never been a big Soroka guy because I don’t see any plus-plus stuff and relies on his sinker/ground balls. I don’t think he is or will be an ace but I do think he is a guy that can help you in any league, especially if you can afford to play matchups.

Risers and Sinkers

Highlighting players whose stock is rising and falling.

Risers – Nick Senzel, 3B (maybe 2B and SS), Cincinnati Reds (AAA) 

What a weird year for Senzel who started out slow, picked things up, went down with vertigo, and has come back on a mission. Senzel, the number five ranked prospect, is raking in June. He is now hitting .302 (he is a high average hitter) with a .377 wOBA and 140 wRC+. This is the guy we thought he was and he is tinkering at 2B and SS.

Sinkers –  Luiz Gohara, LHP, Atlanta Braves  (AAA)

Gohara is going back down to AAA to figure some stuff out. He has allowed nine earned across 4.2 IPs as a reliever. He has not been much better in AAA. So, he will have a chance to work some stuff out and will do so as a starter, not a reliever. Gohara is a lefty with a nasty fastball and a plus slider. Don’t give up on him and growth is not linear, especially with young pitchers.


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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.

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