Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Prospect Report

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Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Prospect Report

Boy oh boy, do we have good news this week. There are moments every couple of seasons when the top prospect in baseball gets the call to the majors. That time has finally come for the game’s number one prospect, Wander Franco. I want to keep the intro short this week because we have a lot of information to cover. However, I wanted to share the special moment when he received the good news. Enjoy!

Check out John’s 2021 Top Prospect Rankings.

Now let’s jump right into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Prospect Report.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Prospect Report

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Promoted

Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

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The time has finally come, the moment fantasy baseball players have been waiting for. Seems like we have been waiting for far too long. The Tampa Bay Rays are calling up the number one overall prospect Wander Franco. Many people thought he was getting the call a couple of weeks ago but instead the Rays decided to call up their other middle infield prospect Taylor Walls.

Baseball’s top prospect talent is arriving in time for today’s game against the Red Sox. Franco will become the youngest player in the Majors at only 20 years old. He was already the youngest player on a Triple-A roster, so he is not afraid of the advanced competition.

Even though he is only twenty years old, it seems like Dynasty players have been waiting for Franco forever. Franco has been getting high praise since he signed as an international free agent in the 2017 class. There were even some analysts that were giving him the exposure he deserved at just age 15.

Franco is getting the call to the bigs due to his exceptional and advanced bat and approach at the plate. He received the second-ever 80-grade hit tool given out by MLB Pipeline. The only other player to receive such a grade is Vlad Jr.  After losing Tyler Glasnow last week and now losing six games in a row. The spark that the Rays need could come in the form of the league’s No.1 prospect.

What to Expect

I am sure most fantasy readers are aware of Franco, but what can we expect from him. He has exceptional bat-to-ball skills and even has an advanced eye at the plate for a 20-year-old. He has never batted below .300 in the minors. Franco has never had a strikeout rate higher than eight percent before this year. Even as a 20-year-old in Triple-A this year he was only striking out 12 percent of the time.

He has great bat speed that generates easy power to all fields. Franco was able to skip many different levels in the minors, including skipping both Dominican leagues and the Florida complexes when he was signed as a 17-year-old, and the Rays sent him straight to rookie ball.

In rookie ball, he was almost four years younger than his competitor’s average age, and all he did was rake. In 61 games he slashed .351/.418/.587 with 11 home runs, 46 runs scored, 57 RBI, four steals, and finished with more walks than strikeouts.

He then quickly rose through Single-A in 2019 and then made another significant jump up to Triple-A in 2021. After making a strong case for himself at the Alternate Training site in 2020.

Just to further show you how infrequently he strikes out. In his 945 minor league plate appearances, he has only struck out 75 times, yes only 75 times. That is extremely rare in this day and age.

While his natural side of the plate is a left-handed batter, his right-handed swing is nothing to be worried about. While his power numbers take a small hit, the batting average only takes a very small dip as a right-handed batter.

If for some reason Franco is still on your waiver wire you need to be adding him immediately, as he is the most promising young hitters to rise through the minors. He has the skill set to be a generational type talent and could be in the same conversation as Tatis Jr and Vlad Jr. as one of the game’s best players.

Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins

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Another young promising prospect in the Miami organization has gotten the call to the majors. Sanchez is ranked as Miami’s fifth-best prospect and ranked as the 98th overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was signed as an international free agent in the 2014 class by the Tampa Bay Rays and was then traded to the Marlins in a 2019 deadline deal.

Sanchez is your prototypical power hitter, who generates tons of raw power from the left side of the plate, however, he also has a ton of swing and miss concerns. Fangraphs gave Sanchez a 70 grade for raw power and only a 30grade game power, while MLB gave Sanchez a 50-grade power.

Unfortunately for Sanchez, he has seen his power and offensive output steadily decline every year as he has risen through the minors. He did have a small cup of coffee in 2020 with the Marlins and saw little to no success as he only had one hit in 29 plate appearances.

The call to the bigs was definitely warranted as Sanchez was on an absolute tear at Triple-A in 2021. Before being called up he was slashing .349/.400/.643 with nine home runs and 28 RBI.

So far in his first five games, he has five hits including his first career home run. However, he has already racked up nine strikeouts in 22 at-bats.

If you are desperate for power or play in deeper leagues, I would add Sanchez and insert him into your lineup with confidence.

Demoted

Chance Cisco, C, Baltimore Orioles

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There was a time when Chance was a top-rated catching prospect prior to 2017. He was then promoted to the bigs and made his debut in 2017. Chance never took that leap that many fantasy players had hoped for.


He has since continued to play musical chairs between the majors and Triple-A as he never was able to perform at the level the Orioles were hoping for. His fantasy stock took an even bigger hit this past week as the Orioles finally designated him for assignment.

I know the catching position is a baron wasteland so there is a chance that Cisco was rostered in deeper leagues. However, he should be dropped in all leagues as he does not provide any fantasy value.

Isan Diaz, 2B, Miami Marlins

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Diaz has been another disappointing prospect that has not lived up to his hype. He ranked as high as the 65th ranked prospect in 2017 by MLB Pipeline. However, the former second-round pick has not been able to achieve success at the major league level.

His minor league numbers displayed a player that has been able to provide power and speed. He had three seasons in which he had double digits steals and home runs. While he has made several appearances since 2019. He still maintained the prospect status by fantasy players as he has never exceeded 200 at-bats in the majors.

Since making his debut in 2019 he only has seven career home runs and has been caught stealing on all three of his attempts. He is also only slashing 146/286/223 and only has four extra-base hits so far in 2021. Therefore the Marlins have decided to send him back to Triple-A.

I would drop Diaz in all leagues, even in deeper leagues too. As he does not offer enough fantasy value.

Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Oakland Athletics

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Jesus is a top-pitching prospect that has seen some success since his debut season. He made his big league debut at the end of 2019 and then was with the team in 2020 for a short period of time.

His 2021 did not start off very promising as he struggled to the tune of a 5.59ERA and only posted one quality start in his first six starts. Then he was forced to the IL after he suffered a fractured pinkie finger which caused him to miss four weeks.

Then when he returned from the IL in June, the Athletics decided to use him primarily out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, he had no success out of the pen either. He gave up at least one run in his past five appearances and only one strikeout in his last four appearances.

His dreadful June continued yesterday as the Athletics sent Luzardo and his 6.87 ERA down to Triple-A to continue to work on things and regain his confidence. Luzardo has huge upside and the Athletics will be calling on Luzardo again soon as they look to make the playoffs.

If you have the roster flexibility I would continue to roster Luzardo, as his upside is too good to just drop to the waiver wire.

Top Performances

Top performances by the top prospects in the past ten days

Hitters:

Wander Franco, SS, TB (AAA):  .325/.357/.650 1HR, 6RBI, 6R, 1SB

Bobby Witt Jr., 2B, KC (AA): .375/.419/.650 1HR, 7RBI, 6R, 3SB

Marco Luciano, SS, SF (A): .303/.415/.545 2HR, 6RBI, 7R, 1SB

Riley Greene, OF, DET (AA): .364/.462/.636 2HR, 5RBI, 8R

Jordan Groshans, SS, TOR (AA): .343/425/.514 1HR, 8RBI, 5R

Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (AAA): .326/.392/.696 5HR, 12RBI, 8R, 1SB

Pitchers:

Nate Pearson, RHP, TOR (AAA): 11IP, 1.64ERA, 0.91WHIP, 9K, 1W

Matthew Liberatore, LHP, STL (AAA): 10.1IP, 1.71ERA, 1.16WHIP, 9K, 2W

Reid Detmers, LHP, LAA (AA): 10IP, 2.70ERA, 1.10WHIP, 20K, 1W

Emerson Hancock, RHP, SEA (A+): 8.2IP, 2.08ERA, 1.15WHIP, 9K, 1W

Max Meyer, RHP, MIA (AA): 9IP, 0.00ERA, 1.78WHIP, 8K



Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.

About Jason Beckner

Jason is based in Chicago. He is a baseball junkie. He eats, sleeps, & breathes baseball. Has a passion for dynasty formatted leagues. All opinions expressed are that of his own. You can follow Jason on twitter at @JRBecks

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