Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 11 Prospect Report: Yordan Rules

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Boy, was this past week an amazing one for sports or what? We saw the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup come to a dramatic conclusion. The US Women’s soccer team were playing FIFA on rookie mode. We’ve got a US Open ongoing with incredible star power on the leaderboard going into the weekend. What more can you ask for?

I know some folks are sad, but this means more focus on baseball! Since the NBA playoffs took four months to complete with more than half the teams making the tournament, it doesn’t leave much TV time for other sports. Baseball takeover is about to begin and I am here for it.

Also, this time of year is especially exciting for call-ups and trades of prospects! I’m anticipating a busy trade market for teams with lots of minor league assets, which makes my job here very fun. I will be sure to update you on all those findings once they begin! For now, let’s recap the week that was for fantasy prospects and set you up for next week.


2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 11 Prospect Report

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Promoted

Yordan Alvarez, OF, Houston Astros

I freaking love Yordan Alvarez. Air Yordan. Man-Child.

Whatever you want to call him, I’ve been a huge fan of his for a while now. In fact, I was able to watch him in person down at the Double-A level. While my write-up is here, the short story is that I compared him physically to Freddie Freeman and labeled him as a 30-homer floor guy with high average long-term. Bullish, I am! I’m sticking to my guns here – I believe Alvarez is going to be a fantasy monster.

In his first week of action, he is doing nothing to quell those lofty expectations. Stats stats stats. While we’ve seen some other prospects start off hot and die down a bit (looking at you, Michael Chavis), I believe Alvarez has staying power. It’ll be very interesting to see how the Astros handle getting Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer back in a short span. However, there is an opportunity for him to platoon with someone like Yuli Gurriel. Stay tuned!

Jordan Yamamoto, SP, Miami Marlins

Although the people want Zac Gallen, they got Yamamoto and they had to be pleasantly surprised. In a spot start against the Cardinals, Yamamoto went seven shutout innings with five strikeouts and just five baserunners allowed.

After a dominant 2018 minor league season across three levels, Yamamoto has been effective in Triple-A New Orleans. However, it hasn’t been as fantastic as Gallen and we should see Caleb Smith back soon. Jose Urena was moved to the 60-day IL though, so perhaps a roster spot stays open for him. As with Alvarez, stay tuned.

He’s an interesting pickup in deep leagues with long-term streaming potential. I wouldn’t get my hopes up to high though.

Optioned

Spot-Spart Southpaws

Devin Smeltzer was never supposed to stay up for too long. Yet, it felt like everyone was buying into his ability after one start. It’s funny that someone with better stats in Yamamoto isn’t as clamored over as Smeltzer when they did the exact same thing in their debut. Anyway, here we are and Smeltzer is sent back down. I’m not too interested long-term, but I could be persuaded if I saw more film that I liked. I just didn’t see much that caught my eye as far as pitch movement and fastball life is concerned.

On the other hand, I did like what I saw from Joe Palumbo in his debut. Considering his jump from Double-A for a spot start in a double-header, the lefty held his own! I talked about him last week, so I won’t be a broken record here. Look for him to get a Triple-A promotion later this summer and potentially get some major league reps in September. I like him more than the two previously mentioned pitchers.

Struggling Speedsters

Cole Tucker finally got the boot last week after being overmatched by major league pitching. It wasn’t for lack of opportunity as the Pirates gave him start after start. A 47 wRC+ just won’t cut it, though. Perhaps a trip back to the minors will give him restored confidence and drive. I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of Mr. Tucker in 2019.

As bad as Tucker was, Garrett Hampson has been a nightmare this year. I didn’t think a 10 wRC+ for a Coors Field resident was possible, but I have been proven wrong. I love his style of play and really hope he gets back to normal in short order. However, with the guys ahead of him in the organization chart, it may take an injury or two to get that opportunity back.

Injury Update

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Hitters

  • Let’s just get all of the wrist injuries out of the way in one bullet point, shall we? Fortunately, it’s all positive news! Bo Bichette is back with Triple-A. Joey Bart is back and hitting homers already. Nico Hoerner will be back shortly after the All-Star Break. Finally, Andres Gimenez and Jarred Kelenic both avoided major damage to their wrists and will see short IL stints, if any.
  • There was a brief injury scare for Ke’Bryan Hayes on Tuesday when he exited the game with an undisclosed injury. It turns out that he injured the index finger on his left hand on a hit-by-pitch. He is expected to go on the minor league IL, but there are reports that it won’t last long.

Pitchers

  • It will be back-to-back lost seasons for Brent Honeywell, who suffered a right elbow fracture in his rehab program. What a devastating piece of news for a promising pitcher. We wish him the best on his next comeback!
  • Both Jesus Luzardo and AJ Puk got innings in the same Low-A Stockton contest. Both pitchers were throwing in the mid-90’s with Puk touching 99. Luzardo is the more interesting piece for 2019 (and potentially beyond), but Puk may have lost some prospect sheen in your dynasty leagues. Go gauge his value.

Check the Wire

  • Dylan Cease is getting some buzz although GM Rick Hahn is saying ‘not yet’. They can’t keep rolling out Manny Banuelos or Odrisamer Despaigne, can they? The upside here is amazing with high K% and a fantastic batted ball profile. He could be a middle of the fantasy rotation pitcher that boosts your roto categories.
  • With the press that Zac Gallen has been receiving, I’m sure he’s already owned even in redraft leagues. Go do your due diligence, though.
  • Luis Urias is destroying the ball in Triple-A at the moment. He has also gotten a vote of confidence from the big league manager. Ian Kinsler has actually been hitting the ball well the last month or so, which makes for a crowded infield in San Diego. The next injury for the Padres infield should mean a Urias call-up, which makes for an interesting stash for those with shares of Fernando Tatis Jr. or Manny Machado.

Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwody. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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