Hello, Prospect Report faithful, newbies and everything in between. Happy almost MLB Draft Day 2018!!! Lots of great and exciting news this week as some of the year’s storylines continue to focus in and take shape.
Let’s start with Shane Bieber's call-up. There is a lot more about him below but he is starting for Cleveland on Thursday after catapulting up through AA and AAA. His promotion comes on the heels of a seven-inning rain shortened no-no which is just the tip of the iceberg for a guy with a near one ERA.
Secondly, the draft is next week!!! Learn more about the top 20 players from this MLB.com article and some of the most exciting skills here. If you’ve been reading my stuff, you know I love Nick Madrigal who is the highest ranked hitter in the draft. He just has such a polished hit-tool and his skills are so advanced he could be in the majors sooner than many of his peers.
Here is a good video about some of the draft picks for this year:
This Memorial Day Weekend, I tried to spend as much time as possible outside on the one day that was sunny here in New England. Outdoors, warm weather and time with friends and family mean two things for me: gin and tonic. This amazingly refreshing cocktail spells out summer and spells it best with a great gin.
Just like martinis, a gin and tonic is about figuring out what kind of gin you like and want. I tend to fluctuate cravings for robust, flavorful gins which can have different spice profiles and levels of juniper (the ingredient that makes gin, gin) to more classic, crisp, dry and refreshing gins. Most of the time I will go to the latter for G&Ts because it is more refreshing for me.
So, here we go with a big update heading into June!
2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Prospect Report
Get customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.
News & Notes
For all your rookie and prospect news.
Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals
Soto is 6-for-25 with three doubles and a home run so far in the majors. The 19-year-old is looking sharp walking and striking out at a 16% clip. He has never struck out at any level more than 20%. This is just as exciting as it gets, but you don’t have to tell that to the National’s Dominican Academy who watched Soto’s first game:
Shane Bieber, RHP, Cleveland Indians
This is a fun story. Not even ranked going into this year as a prospect, Bieber’s stats so far in the minors are eye-boggling and he is going to get his big league debut on Thursday. He has 31 Ks in 34 innings, a 1.05 ERA and .55 WHIP. This dude walks .5 per nine for a 1.7% walk rate. That is beautiful. However, he does not strike out as many as a typical ace at 8-Ks per nine and has a .183 BABIP which could regress quickly in the majors.
Two big improvements from previous years include jumping from 46% GB% to almost 60% behind some great command, a very good curveball, and improving slider and change. He has gotten his fastball up to 91-94 MPH.
The move Thursday is to give Trevor Bauer an extra day of rest and then Bieber will likely go right back down to AAA. Josh Tomlin was their fifth starter before going to the bullpen and Adam Plutko is getting the opportunity as the no. 5. Plutko is no guarantee. So, I’d say Bieber is a good speculative grab in keeper leagues and worth watching in all formats.
#Indians RHP prospect Shane Bieber will make his MLB debut this Thursday vs the Minnesota Twins. Bieber this season has made a meteoric rise between AA & AAA now off to Cleveland.
- 65.1(IP) 43H 10R 8ER 3BB 61SO 1.10 ERA pic.twitter.com/9JCaGL8cLv
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) May 28, 2018
Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
I wrote about him a lot last week and, as expected, he is joining the rotation this week going on Wednesday and pitching every five days without restrictions. Carlos Martinez should be back in the next couple weeks as he recovers from a lat injury. Reyes has 44 Ks over 23 innings and should start accumulating massive amounts of strikeouts right away.
I will be watching to see how is control looks given that has been his biggest weakness and he is coming off TJS and control is the last thing to come back from recovery. No cold water, here, though. He should be owned in every league as the 16th overall ranked prospect.
Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (AAA)
Adames has come up, gone 2-for-12 with six strikeouts and one HR (on the first pitch he saw against Chris Sale), and gone back down to AAA. He is a hard-hitting line drive type guy who can work deep into counts and draw walks. He is the 21st ranked prospect and can develop into an all-star especially with his slick fielding skills.
Keep an eye out for his next call-up. Clearly, the Rays have every reason to take it slow and let him develop because they are rebuilding. So, I’ll keep you updated.
Welcome to @MLB, Willy Adames! The #Rays No. 2 prospect took Chris Sale deep for his first career hit. Watch live: https://t.co/oX4yZRAR9X pic.twitter.com/5LbMRKy6ZM
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 23, 2018
Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Flaherty got his second win last week giving up just one run, four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. He only needed 88 pitches to get through six innings. Having now pitched 29 innings in the majors this year with a 2.15 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP he is living up to his good command scouting report doing everything he can to earn a full-time spot.
He and Alex Reyes could be impacted whenever Carlos Martinez comes back. Flaherty is getting picked up a lot but his still only at 53% of ESPN leagues. Do better, friends.
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves
Acuña is on the DL with a mild left knee sprain, knee contusion, and a lower back contusion. I’m going to put the injury video below which looks a million times worse than this diagnosis. So, watcher, you have been warned… you will cringe.
This diagnosis is really good news for him and fantasy owners and he walked off the field after this. So, hopefully, he gets healthy quickly and can continue to tantalize us with talent.
Here is what happened to Ronald Acuña Jr.
He was able to walk off the field.
Stay tuned for updates. pic.twitter.com/Qj9NUAD0EE
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) May 27, 2018
Gleybar Torres, SS/2B, New York Yankees
Woah. Torres has 6 HRs over a six-game span between 5/19 and 5/25. He’s batting .320, which is in line with his scouting report. It is nice to see his skills translate quickly. He is owned in 83% of ESPN leagues and it should be 100% now.
Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
O’Neill hit three home runs in as many days, and HRs is O’Neill’s MO. He is getting regular at-bats as of right now while doing his fair share of striking out. He has a 40% K-rate in the bigs. It should go down as he calms down as he was closer to 20% in the minors. He is a risky, high-upside power hitter.
Franmil Reyes, OF, San Diego Padres
Reyes has been up and stayed up since getting promoted earlier in May. He hit his first HR on 5/22 and second one on Monday. He is risky as a guy that has historically had a .250 average in the minors along with a bunch of power. However, this year before being called up he had 14 HRs and a .346 AVG with a 13% BB rate.
Of course, I’m excited because he can hit a ton and those minor league numbers make me think he has perhaps figured something out. I think he is a 'wait and see', but stashing him in the keeper leagues is cool, too.
The big fella! 🙌 Franmil Reyes hits his 2nd home run of the season. #LetsGoPadres
FSGO: https://t.co/uoOhuFlDMH pic.twitter.com/lcZEB5irJr
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) May 28, 2018
The Angels are trying to manage Shohei Ohtani’s innings this year and have pushed a start from this past Sunday to Wednesday against Detroit.
Nick Senzel is back with the Triple-A Reds after rehabbing from vertigo at their spring training facility.
Austin Meadows is hitting a lot. He has six multi-hit games out of nine total games including two home runs. He was my waiver pick up last week and you need to go get him.
Dustin Fowler is getting consistent at-bats which is great for fantasy managers. I think he’ll be producing more consistently very soon.
The Next Big Thing
Guys you really need to know about.
Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
Mize is the number one projected player in the 2018 draft class. His stuff and control are very strong and he has shown durability in his young career. His splitter is his best pitch but all his stuff can generate swings and misses. Check out his stuff here and get excited about the draft this week:
Waiver Pick Ups
Players worth your team's consideration.
Vlad Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays (AAA)
There is still no sign of being called up other than his performance clearly warranting it:
🔥😲😲 Vlad Guerrero Jr. is tearing the cover off the ball in Double A. When should the @BlueJays call him up? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/I5pXDChGTO
— Fanatics View (@fanaticsview) May 28, 2018
I’m putting him here because I think if he is not owned and you can stash him… you have to do it. I really think his skills are so obviously ready and he could impact your team right away.
Risers and Sinkers
Highlighting players whose stock is rising and falling. This week I’m just going to highlight some draft picks I’m excited about as “risers.”
Risers – Nolan Gorman, 3B, O’Connor HS
Gorman is an intense potential who can absolutely crush the ball from the left-hand side. He showed off this power at the High School Home Run Derby and All-American game. Scouts give him somewhere between a 60-70 grade power which is as much or more than Tyler O’Neill who is also a power hitting minor leaguer. If he can fix some holes in his swing he could improve some contact and average concerns.
Risers – Connor Scott, OF, Henry B. Plan HS
Scott is intriguing because he is a five-tool offensive player who can throw gas at 94 MPH and drop in a nasty curveball. So, another potential two-way player who may be very relevant has just a bat, too.
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