Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Prospect Report: All Ohtani, All The Time


Well, it’s Sunday and that means I’m writing the Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Prospect Report, which you know. What you may not know is that my girlfriend has, much to my delight, decided to hone her cocktail making skills. So, here I am, two Manhattans deep and just saw Shohei Ohtani be perfect in a six and a third innings bid with 12 Ks and 20 swinging strikes. This is what baseball happiness feels like and if you are not swept up by this I need you to try harder.

Not completing a perfect game or a no-hitter should not take away from how exciting the past five days have been. Since Ohtani has been hitting and pitching at home (April 3rd) he has homered in three straight games with a ridiculous exit velocity, regularly 100+ MPH. What’s better, is he is throwing 100+ MPH as a pitcher. How he is locating his fastball and generating swings and misses with his splitter is just so fun to watch. More about this below.

The baseball world is buzzing, the fantasy world is rationalizing why Ohtani is still a cautionary tale because so many of us said to be careful, Twitter is awash with pitcher gifs making people shake their head in disbelief, and however you feel about it, all your baseball fan-ness should be tickled to no end.

So, hey, welcome to the Shohei Ohtani show, ey? And welcome to the Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Prospect Report. Enjoy Ohtani’s first HR heard in the U.S. and in Japan.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Prospect Report

News & Notes

For all your rookie and prospect news.

Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH, Los Angeles Angels

Let’s start where we… started. I know everyone is writing about him, talking about him, drooling over his stuff and bat, and I am, too. So, I won’t pretend like I’m somehow above highlighting him here. I did include him in my players to avoid and I’m not regretting it yet (still a UCL strain and innings limit) but that won’t stop me from highlighting what needs highlighting.

What I saw in his outing against the A’s this weekend (remember, too the A’s just saw him on Apil 1st) was pinpoint accuracy with his fastball and nasty swing-and-miss stuff with his splitter. You can see it on full display here:

What is amazing is that he can throw that fastball for his average, 93 MPH, and crank it up to 100+ on command… with command. Then his splitter, around 87 MPH, runs in on righties and away from lefties. He is not throwing his slider a bunch but it is dirty, too with its vertical drop.

So, in a small sample, here is what I’m thinking: drinking Manhattan’s and watching baseball is freakin’ awesome. Ohtani’s hype train is something I am buying some coach tickets for. Before I buy first class tickets, I just want to see consistency and how he does against better teams. Honestly, I think the doubts were warranted and my concerns were not about his ceiling. They were about what I saw in Spring, health, and the innings limit. So, I’m enjoying this ride and the only conclusion I’m generating is that there are more positive outcomes than I thought to go into the season.

Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (AAA)

Raking. Three HRs in three games in the minors. O’Neil came over to the Cardinals from the Mariners for lefty Marco Gonzales last year. Importantly, this guy’s prospect report is all about the power game and he is showing it early on. He profiles with plenty of swing-and-miss stuff, though. So, he is worth keeping an eye on and should make it up at some point this year.

He’s ranked overall between 40 and 65 among prospects and the second St. Louis prospect. If injury hits the STL outfield pick him up quickly if your team and format have room. He is going to hit some home runs this year.

Joey Lucchesi, LHP, San Diego Padres

Lucchesi has now had two starts, both in San Diego, one against Milwaukee, and most recently versus Colorado. In the Colorado game he walked three, only gave up one hit, and struck out 7. He only struck out one against Milwaukee on March 30th. Lucchesi’s profile is basically below average from most scouts’ perspective.

His success is mostly attributed to his funky delivery. Check it in this strikeout from Ryan Braun:

I put him up here because he had a good outing against Colorado. That said, I’m not buying into this at all. The pedigree is not there, he has a 0% HR/FB, and is probably better suited for the bullpen.

Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (AAA)

Adam Wainwright comes back from injury and one of my favorite prospects goes to AAA to with absolutely nothing left to prove. And, just in case he did have something prove, he did. He pitched 7 innings on Sunday, five hits, 11 Ks, and 0 walks, and one earned. If you can keep him stashed, do it. If not, keep a very close eye to any injury in the Cardinals rotation.

Quick Notes

  • Franklin Barreto is called up. See section below.
  • Lewis Brinson is batting sixth on Sunday after going hitless in three games. He looks like he is just having some growing pains and should have plenty of room from the Marlins to struggle and figure it out.
  • Miguel Andujar was struggling until Sunday when he went 2-for-5 with a walk, two RBIs, and a run. As long as he is playing, he is worth rostering.
  • Tyler Mahle mowed down the Cubs on April 2nd and got plundered by the Pirates on Sunday. His success hinges entirely on locating his fastball which he can do. His scouting report is average to slightly above average starter without any real wipeout pitch. So, a spot starter at best here.
  • Dustin Fowler should have been called up when Boog Powell hit the DL. Instead, Mark Cahna and Franklin Barreto were called up. Keep a close eye on Fowler – he has the hitting profile to be successful right off the bat and steal some bases.
  • Ryan McMahon is struggling. He is 0-10 with two walks, and .000 BABIP (obviously) at the time of writing this article. With this is swinging and missing, ground balls, and a learning curve. I’m holding on to him but he is not earning any more playing time right now.

The Next Big Thing

Guys you really need to know about.

Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State Beavers

Madrigal is listed as 5’ 7” and 160 pounds. He is the most polished hitter in the upcoming 2018 class with a contact-heavy approach. He draws some comparisons to Dustin Pedroia and could hit for some power and steal some bases (20/20 potential). The steals may come more easily than the power as he hits as more of a doubles guy than a home run guy right now.

Currently, he is recovering from a broken wrist and as he comes back he is sure to have a great last college season with the Beavers. Why he is on this list has everything to do with his approach to the game. Madrigal is gritty and smart with the bat and on the base paths. He can absolutely hit, barrel up balls, take walks, and make an impact.

While Madrigal is not the next Mike Trout or Ronald Acuña, he could be the next Kingery, Hiura or Pedroia.

Waiver Pick Ups

Players worth your team’s consideration.

Franklin Barretto, 2B/SS/OF, Oakland Athletics

Embed from Getty Images

Barretto got called up with Boog Powell going on the DL and looks to spend some time in the OF while also giving Marcus Semien and Jed Lowrie a break here and there. That feels like potential regular starting time and if you can afford to pick him up while at-bats gets figured out, he is worth a speculative grab.

Barretto has ranked anywhere from 32 to 60+ on different sites and the number 2 prospect for the A’s. He can hit for average and power. I think Dustin Fowler is the better prospect who has a more advanced approach. That said, Barretto had 15 HRs and 15 SBs in AAA last year. He does not walk and has an aggressive approach which could mean feast or famine when he comes up.

Despite needing to refine his approach to really reach his potential, he is worth adding because he is a good hitter and has been since playing professionally. If you are in any kind of keeper format, have enough reserves, or just want to get on the train before it is too late scoop him up. I will say that it feels likely that when Powell is healthy he could get sent back down to work on pitch selection.

Risers and Sinkers

Highlighting players whose stock is rising and falling.

Risers – Carter Kieboom, SS/3B, Washington Nationals (A+)

I am a Carter Kieboom, fan. He is showing off early going 5-for-13 with two HRs, a double, and two walks. I am watching him closely and I think he is going to rocket up prospect rankings this year. He is the youngest of three baseball brothers and Washington drafted Carter’s older brother, Spencer, too.

Last year was shortened by a hamstring injury preventing him from more robust production. His scouting report is all about his hitting with great bat speed, strong wrists, and ability to hit to all fields for power and average. He probably won’t be up until 2019 or 2020 but by then he will much higher on prospect ratings by then.

By the way, the Potamic Nationals Twitter Game is on. This after A Kieboom HR:

Sinkers – J.P. Crawford, 3B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies

J.P. Crawford is struggling. 1-for-23 so far with one hit and one walk. He has a .077 BABIP and typically walks much more than this. He is pressing and struggling. In a shallow non-keeper league, I wouldn’t blame you for dropping him.

The reason I am legit worried is just that the prospect report on him has always kind of been all over the place. An average runner, with some power and mostly he can hit line drives and be patient at the plate. His defense is part of why he is the 37th overall prospect on He’s not this bad and he has just never been one of my guys.

Thanks for reading. Check out the rest of our great Fantasy Baseball content.

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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  2. Eric

    April 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Why is McMahon not in the minors if the manager refuses to start him??? One start thus far is ridiculous! Of course his numbers are terrible…no consistant playing time.

    • Kyle Megrath

      April 10, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Such a great question. I think he is really a platoon bat and the Rockies have faced a bonkers amount of lefty starters so far. I totally agree that he can’t get into a rhythm pinch-hitting late in every game.

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