Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 13 Prospect Report
Last night was the beginning of the NCAA College Baseball World Series. This year features a favorite in Vanderbilt, squaring off against a surprise finalist in Mississippi State (MSU). Vanderbilt is actually looking to secure back to back titles as MSU is looking to win its first.
If you don't follow or are not a fan of college baseball. I highly recommend that you check out at least one of the next two games. They play in a best of three series and it appears that Vanderbilt is going secure the win in game one.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 27, 2021
Vanderbilt is led by a one-two combo at the top of their rotation, in Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker. Both of which will be a top ten pick in this year's MLB Amateur Draft. That is one of the benefits of following College Baseball is that you get to self-scout and see future MLB all-stars.
You can watch the games nightly on ESPN, game two is tonight and game three if necessary is on Wednesday night.
Now let's get into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 13 Prospect Report
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 13 Prospect Report
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Kean Wong, 2B, Los Angeles Angels
Kean is the younger brother of the Brewers' second basemen Kolten. Like his brother, Kean is a strong defensive second baseman. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
Unlike Kolton though, Kean does not have quite the same hitting skills. Kean has bounced around several different organizations and was even DFA'd at one point. Now back with the Angels, he was recalled from Triple-A this past Friday, when they placed Justin Upton on the IL.
Kean did make his major league debut in 2019 with both the Rays and the Angels. However, he did not have much success. He was only able to produce three hits in 18 plate appearances. All three hits were singles and he failed to draw a walk.
Now in 2021, he has been up and down several times between MLB and Triple A. However he already has more extra-base hits and runs batted in than he did in 2019. However, he is only slashing .179/.200/.282 and striking out 23% of the time. Wong can remain on the waiver wire even in the deepest of leagues.
Keston Hiura, 1B/2B, Milwaukee Brewers
Keston is getting called back up to join the major league club after being sent down to regain his confidence and get back to making solid contact. He spent just over two weeks down at Triple-A Nashville. When the Brewers' primary first baseman Daniel Vogelbach went down with a severe hamstring injury, the front office decided it was time to bring Hiura back up.
Since being sent down, Hiura has addressed many of the issues that were plaguing him. He was able to cut his strikeout rate down to 25.5 percent and tallied a hit in every game but one. He also had a two homerun game and drove in seven during his eleven games.
With this promotion, Hiura is hoping to translate the Triple-A success to the major leagues. Hiura has seen both success and failures at the major league level, however, his above average bat-to-ball skills and his advanced approach at the plate should not be ignored.
Since being promoted this past Wednesday, he is showing that the time spent in Triple-A has paid off. He has already raised his batting average twenty points, has put two balls over the fence, and driven in five.
If for some reason Hiura is available in your league, go pick him up as his upside is far too good to be wasting away on the waiver wire.
Albert Abreu, RHP, New York Yankees
Abreu is a young promising arm in the Yankees system. He is ranked as the Yankees' 18th prospect via MLB Pipeline. He did have a small cup of coffee in 2020 and even made several appearances earlier this season.
So far in 2021 all five of his appearances have come out of the pen, however, his three most recent appearances were all multi-inning stints as he was able to go at least two innings in all three. He has given up three earned runs in his 10.2IP so far and complied eleven strikeouts.
Abreu has an electric arm, as his fastball sits upper nineties and can even reach triple digits. His fastball velocity ranks in the 88th percentile. He relies heavily on the fastball and then compliments it with his mid 80s slider, however, he struggles to throw it for strikes. He also offers a change-up but it is his least effective pitch.
As for now, it appears that the Yankees want to continue to use Abreu out of the pen. He also appears to only be used in low leverage situations, so for that reason alone. Abreu can remain on the waiver wire in all leagues.
Conner Wong, C, Boston Red Sox
Conner is a converted catcher, as he played shortstop at his time at Houston University. Then he was ultimately drafted as a catcher by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was then traded to Red Sox in the haul that was sent back in return for Mookie Betts.
Since he is a converted catcher is more slender and faster than your typical catcher, he can still drive the ball to all fields and can generate easy power. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 across two levels. Wong finished the season with 24HR, 11SB, 82RBI, and slashed .281/.336/.541.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 27, 2021
He can be too aggressive at the plate which is why the strikeout numbers can be concerning. However, if he can cut down on the aggressiveness and be more patient his OBP should be serviceable.
Wong will service as Vazquez's backup for now, so playing time is a concern. I would continue to monitor Wong's situation going forward. I would leave Wong on the waiver wire except for in two catcher leagues or AL-only leagues. He does have some upside as the catcher position is a fantasy wasteland.
Dean Kremer, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
The former 14th round pick in 2016, was really hoping to make the next step forward this year. He made his debut in a brief capacity in 2020, when he made four starts in September.
The tall lengthy right-hander was once ranked as the Orioles' 10th prospect and their third-ranked right-handed pitcher. Kremer was a part of the Orioles return for the 2018 deadline deal for Manny Machado.
Kremer enjoyed a breakout 2019 season when he finished the year with a stat line of 9-6 3.72ERA, 1.30WHIP, 122Ks in 113IP across three minor league levels. That was good enough for the Orioles to give him a chance with the big league club in 2020.
Now in 2021 he made the rotation out of spring training and had mild success. So far in his twelve starts, his ERA has inflated to a dreadful 7.25. His 1.61WHIP was ranked as 11th worst amongst pitchers with at least 40IP. Furthermore, he only had two quality starts this season.
His most recent start against the Blue Jays was all the front office needed to see, when he only lasted 0.1IP and gave up six earned runs and gave up five free passes. Kremer was sent down to Triple-A and he will need to regain his confidence in himself and the front office before he can get another look at the majors again Kremer can be dropped in all leagues as he may not be back in the rotation any time soon.
Jackson Kowar, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Kowar was featured in this article back at the beginning of June when he got his first taste of the big leagues. Kowar is Kansas City's top right-handed pitching prospect. Unfortunately for both Kansas City and Kowar, he has struggled mightily since getting called up.
Both Kowar and Lynch, Kansas City's top pitching prospects, have both suffered the same fate. Like Lynch, Kowar was sent back to Triple-A. He made three appearances and started two games, and all three appearances had a similar outcome.
Ironically his relief appearance was his longest, as he went three innings and gave up two earned runs. While his two starts were almost identical, never made it past the second inning, and surrendered four earned runs. It was a big mix of both hard contact and walks that ultimately lead to Kowar'sdemise.
He will join the Triple-A Omaha rotation and hope to regain his strong performance from earlier this season when he was striking out 12 batters per nine and not allowing any long balls.
Kowar can be dropped in all leagues as he does not offer much fantasy value, and may not see the major league rotation any time soon.
Top performers of the top 100 prospects in the past ten days
Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA (AAA): .310/.400/.619 3HR, 12RBI, 12R, 2SB
Riley Greene, OF, DET (AA): .324/.395/.618 2HR, 6RBI, 9R, 1SB
Nick Gonzales, SS, PIT (A+): .333/.400/.1000 2HR, 4RBI, 3R
Francisco Alvarez, C, NYM (A+): .385/.500/.923 3HR, 8RBI, 11R
Robert Hassell III, OF, SD (A): .237/.326/.263 6RBI, 5R, 5SB
Tyler Soderstrom, C, OAK (A) .419/.471/.871 3HR, 13RBI, 8R
Gabriel Moreno, C, TOR (AA) .375/.483/.792 3HR, 14RBI, 7R
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 26, 2021
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, BAL (AA): 10IP, 1.80ERA, 0.50WHIP, 16K
Asa Lacy, LHP, KC (A+): 12IP, 3.00ERA, 1.42WHIP, 22K
Edward Cabrera, RHP, MIA (AA): 10.1IP, 0.87ERA, 0.58WHIP, 16K
Shane Baz, RHP, TB (AAA): 10IP, 0.90ERA, 0.70WHIP, 15K
Cade Cavalli, RHP, WAS (AA): 11.2IP, 3.09ERA, 1.46WHIP, 17K
Congrats to Shane Baz, who has been named Triple-A East Pitcher of the Week!
Here's all 10 strikeouts from his strong performance last night.
— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) June 28, 2021
Be sure to check out John's freshly updated 2021 Top Prospect List.
Check out all the 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from this great group of writers.