Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report: Open Sesame

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Guys. I have had many instances in the last month where I realized that it was indeed 2019 and I am old.

The first is that I got invited to a 10-year high school reunion. Gross. Seriously, coming from the guy who remembers more bad times than good in his high school days, that’s a hard no for me. I’m fairly certain that 95% of the class wouldn’t even know who I was since it was my third high school in four years. Get the bleep out of here with “we need your donation to make this a great high school reunion”. Go fund yourself. (That’s fun to say aloud – GO FUND YOURSELF!)

Secondly, we now have opener prospects. OPENER PROSPECTS?! Yes, confused reader, we have prospects that are being groomed to be openers, then being called upon to do that job. Sure, it may all be a ruse to get said pitching prospect some major league playing time (as in the case of a player to be discussed.) However, I don’t think it’s crazy to think that day is coming. We’ve already got these flamethrowers coming up and really only going four-to-five innings at a time. The day is coming where a team says screw it and has 12 guys who can go three-to-four innings after three days rest. What happens to fantasy baseball then? Better yet, what happens to fantasy baseball analysis then?

“Hey, you, go pick up that pitcher that is expected to be the second pitcher after an opener because he hasn’t pitched in three days and could maybe possibly throw today.”

I’d quit writing.

ANYWAY, rant is done. I feel old and here is a prospect report.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report

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Promoted

Luis Urias, 2B, San Diego Padres

On the positive side, the Padres seem dedicated to getting Urias consistent playing time. The Kinsler era is over to the relief of many Padres fans. On the other hand, he’s only got one hit in his first five games back with the major league squad. He does have four walks, but it’s not great overall.

I would leave him on the waiver wire in your redraft leagues, but he provides a buy-low chance in your dynasty leagues. His bat is pure and polished – there’s no way in hell this strikeout rate continues. Better points league option than roto, though.

Adrian Morejon, SP, San Diego Padres

The Padres are doing the thing!

They’ve called up Morejon, but he is being asked to be an opener. There are a lot of takeaways here, but I love that the Padres are getting him some early looks against major league hitters while finding a way to limit his workload. It’s the best of all worlds for Morejon’s future. We’ve seen heralded pitching prospects in the past go through this routine and it has paid dividends more often than not.

Through his first 3.1 innings, he hasn’t looked overmatched at all. However, he’s not a pickup in redraft leagues as openers have little to no value for fantasy purposes. I feel like openers should technically get ‘holds’ or an equivalent sort of stat if they go a scoreless inning at the beginning of the game. Get on that, statisticians.

Jose Urquidy, SP, Houston Astros

Forrest Whitley, Corbin Martin, JB Bukauskas, Josh James… With all the Houston pitching prospects coming into the year, you would’ve thought that there wasn’t any room for a breakout arm.

Think again!


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Urquidy had a monster game last weekend against the Rangers, going seven strong and striking out nine batters. And of course he did, it’s not like I dropped him in a dynasty league of mine after his preceding start lasted just 2.2 innings and yielded five runs. Ugh. Self-involvement aside, Urquidy was mixing in three pitches from what I could see. FanGraphs says he had two different breaking balls, so maybe I had one too many beers on Saturday night?

Anyway, he’s worth an add for your 12-team redraft leagues where pitching is bare going into August. He could be the guy you drop the very next week, but he’s certainly worth a shot.

Optioned

Brendan McKay, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

What, is McKay just going to get a spot start every ten days for the remainder of the season? No wonder the Rays are fading in the playoff race…

Okay, that was a little harsh. They’re still very much in it. They just aren’t as hot as they were in April and May. However, you would think that Tampa would just give this kid a chance to run with the job. If he can get an idea of what a consistent workload looks like, the Rays would be able to envision what their 2020 rotation would look like, which should be gnarly. Gnarly… again, feeling old as shit.

With Snell going down for at least a month now, they have to feel inclined to call up McKay for good. Their rotation is looking less and less itself by the day. McKay can do a lot to fix that.

Conner Menez, SP, San Francisco Giants

Hey, I’ve been talking up Menez for a couple of prospect reports now. It was good to see him called up! His Triple-A performance certainly called for it and he didn’t even need a trade. Good thing, because the Giants look like contenders again.

He was sent back down after a spot start though, which is saddening. It’s good to know that he’s the next man up though should they need somebody following an injury or trade.

Across AA and AAA this season, he’s rocking a 3.13 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, and 11.7 K/9.

Kyle Wright & Touki Toussaint, SP, Atlanta Braves

I lumped these two together because they continually have been flipped between the majors and minors this year. Toussaint has been optioned four times in 2019 alone. Wright has had five non-contiguous stints with the Braves this year. Good thing Triple-A Gwinnett is closer in proximity to its major league affiliate than most equivalents in baseball.

It’s incredibly difficult to gauge the long-term value of these two guys when the Braves keep yanking them around. From a fantasy perspective, perhaps a trade could provide a change of scenery that propels their careers. As a Braves fan, I would hate to see either of them go.

Injury Update


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Pitchers

  • Forrest Whitley continues his comeback with High-A in a recent rehab start. It was not the prettiest start, but he sent down eight straight batters after allowing a couple of runs. With Urquidy pitching well and a potential trade for a starter in the works, Houston is not going to feel obliged to rush Whitley at all. That does make him an interesting buy-low player for dynasty rebuilders.
  • Meanwhile, there’s still no sign of Triston McKenzie in minor league box scores. It appears that he is still in a slow-progressing throwing program in extended Spring Training, but he’s a tough one to gauge right now. Had he been healthy this year, it’s not unrealistic that he would be pitching valuable innings for the Indians right now. Keep your eye on his status as he is another buy-low candidate.
  • Providing some good news is Daniel Lynch, who returned from an arm injury after a month and pitched a couple of short rehab starts. Most recently, he threw three scoreless innings with five punchouts in the Arizona League.
  • Brusdar Graterol is back! If you haven’t seen video on him, do yourself a favor and search for it on Twitter. Straight fire!

Hitters

  • How we can still have “undisclosed injuries” in this day of technology and social media? Such is the case with Colton Welker, yet another injured Rockies prospect. As always, I will update his status in a future prospect report when we hear more.
  • Monte Harrison was having a fun season in Triple-A and was well on his way to Miami in September. Then, he got hit by a pitch on the wrist. On Monday, he had wrist surgery and it likely cuts his 2019 campaign short. Let’s hope he can bounce back because he’s got a fun fantasy profile to dream on for roto leagues.
  • Brent Rooker suffered a “right groin contusion”. When I saw that, my mind immediately went to a dark place. Upon a quick Twitter search, sure enough, he got hit in the not-so-good spot when sliding for a line drive. Take all the time you need, Brent. Take all the time you need…

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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