Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Prospect Report
Even though major leagues were on a break for the All-Star Game, the minor leagues were not. While some top prospects got to take part in the Futures Game, many did not. This gave many front offices extra time to decide on how they want to structure their major league rosters.
Clearly, a lot of teams decided it was time to call up their top prospects. This past week we saw four top prospects and three top 50 prospects get called to the bigs. Including two teams’ top prospects.
Let’s not waste any more time and jump right into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Prospect Report.
Check out Mike’s Top Ranked Prospects for 2021.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Prospect Report
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Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners
The number one prospect is back after a 30 plus day hiatus in Triple-A, Kelenic is back in Seattle and ready to prove that he belongs with the big league club. Since being sent back to Triple-A he has been able to regain his confidence.
Kelenic appeared in 24 games for Tacoma and batted 306, hit seven home runs, drove in 23, scored 23 runs, and even stole four bags. Clearly Kelenic likes the pitching at Triple-A, as his total stat line for Triple-A in 2021 is .320/.392/.624 with nine home runs, 29R, 28RBI, and six stolen bases.
The biggest issue that Kelenic is having at the major league level is the strikeouts. He is striking out 30% of the time in the majors, compared to at Triple-A where he was only striking out fifteen percent of the time.
Kelenic was recalled this past Friday and was thrown into the starting lineup. He batted 1-for-4 with a single and broke his 0-for-42 skid at the major league level. So far in his first three games back since being recalled he has collected a hit in every game so far. Hopefully, this is a sample of things to come for Kelenic in the second half.
If Kelenic is available in your league you should add him immediately, even in shallower leagues, as he has great power and speed upside.
Brandon Marsh, OF, Los Angeles Angels
If it wasn’t for the Kelenic promotion this past week, the Brandon Marsh promotion would have been the big news of the week. Marsh is ranked as the 38th top prospect in baseball and the Angels’ number one prospect.
Marsh features a good to above-average bat. He has never batted lower than 260 including his rookie season when he batted 350 in 39 games. He still lacks the in game power as he has only hit double-digit home runs once in a single season with 10 in 2018, which is also his career-best.
Where he lacks in power he makes up for with his speed. MLB Pipeline gave him a 60-grade speed. He has proven that the speed is real. Marsh has been able to collect 45 stolen bases in four seasons. That includes three straight seasons of double-digit stolen bases and even stole 19 in 2019 across two levels.
Marsh also has an advanced approach at the plate with an advanced batter’s eye. He is not afraid to work the count and draw walks. He has always had a walk rate above 10% and had a 14.5% this season at Triple-A. His high OBP is what inflates his above-average OPS, which currently sat at 926 in 2021 prior to the promotion.
Many people thought that Adell would be the first outfielder to get the call for the Angels in 2021, however, the Angels decided to go a different direction and promote Marsh. If you need OBP help or a need for runs, I would add Marsh in all leagues.
Kyle Muller, LHP, Atlanta Braves
Yet another top pitching prospect in the Atlanta organization. This time it’s Kyle Muller, a former second-round pick in 2016. Muller did make three starts in June and did have some success.
He is the Braves’ fifth-ranked prospect and their top pitching prospect. Muller towers on the mound, as he stands 6’7″ and uses his great length to generate top-end velocity, as his fastball sits in the mid-90s and can even reach triple digits at times.
However, Muller has struggled with the command, dating back to his time at Double-A. He has had a walk rate of 4.5 batters per nine since 2019 and has even allowed eight walks in only 15IP in the majors this season.
Aside from the walks, Muller has shown he is capable of pitching at the majors. He had back-to-back starts at the end of June where he went 9IP with 12Ks and only surrendered one earned run. He has the strikeout upside, displayed by his 31K%.
Muller looks to be sliding back into the middle of the Atlanta rotation and should remain there unless he struggles. I would add Muller if you need depth at the starting pitcher position, as he should be able to contribute strikeouts and wins.
Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox
That’s right, another top prospect was promoted this week. This time it’s the Red Sox third-ranked prospect and the former seventh-round pick. This promotion seemed like a long time coming. The Red Sox have had a hole in their centerfield all season long. Now Duran slides right in and should be able to take the centerfield job and not let it go.
Duran’s best skill is his speed. MLB Pipeline graded Duran’s speed a 7o and rightfully so. He has accumulated 82 stolen bases in only three seasons. He stole another 49 bases during his time at Long Beach State University.
Duran has also grown into some power. After not hitting more than five home runs in a season, he has hit 15 home runs in only 46 games for Triple-A this season.
Jarren Duran smashes his first career homer! pic.twitter.com/sFHL9fsCYD
— MLB (@MLB) July 19, 2021
He doesn’t strike out a ton either, he has never had a strike-out rate higher than 25% percent and never higher than 20% until 2019. He has already made seven plate appearances for Boston and it didn’t take long for him to make an impact. In his first at bat he roped a single off of no other than Gerrit Cole. He also hit his first career home run last night.
He should be able to maintain a high OBP and the stolen base upside is too good to leave on the waiver wire.
Willi Castro, SS, Detroit Tigers
After having a mini breakout in 2020 when he slashed .349/.381/.550 with six home runs and twenty-four runs batted in. So many people were targeting Willi as a late-round flier for the shortstop position.
Unfortunately, the 2020 success did not quite roll over into 2021. He is only hitting .214/.278/.341 and striking out 25% of the time. He was also only batting 188 with runners in scoring position.
The good news is the Tigers want him to focus on learning to play the keystone. So while he is back in Triple-A, he will look to regain his confidence and his 2020 success. Then when he returns to the majors he could become multi-position eligible.
I would drop Castro in all leagues as he does not have any fantasy value at this time and is very minimal for the rest of the season.
Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants
This one stings a bit. Not because I didn’t see it coming, but because Bart is a catcher and we are desperate for a decent offensive catcher. However as I wrote about last week, there was a chance that Bart would be sent back down, and the Giants did just that this past Monday.
Bart was originally brought up to bigs to be the 26th man for the Giants doubleheader last Saturday. I thought that if he had made a good enough impression the front office would elect to keep him around a little longer.
Bart did have a strong performance in the doubleheader as he went 2-for-5 with two singles, one RBI, and one run scored, but alas the Giants had other plans for the 24-year-old.
I would relegate Bart back to the waiver wire except for in the deepest of leagues, as he will be back with the big league club in some capacity later this season.
The top performances from the top prospects in the last ten days
Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC (AA): 257/316/571 3HR, 5R, 10RBI
Marco Luciano, SS, SF (A): 387/500/548 1HR, 9R, 6RBI, 1SB
Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL (AAA): 300/400/733 4HR, 6R, 10RBI
Zac Veen, OF, COL (A): 419/550/968 5HR, 13R, 14RBI, 2SB
Brennan Davis, OF, CHC (AA): 333/471/741 3HR, 10R, 5RBI
Michael Busch, 2B, LAD (AA): 333/526/741 3HR, 9R, 9RBI
Grayson Rodriquez, RHP, BAL (AA): 10IP, 2.70ERA, 0.60WHIP, 18K
Hunter Greene, RHP, CIN (AAA): 10IP, 0.90ERA, 1.20WHIP, 11K
Jordan Balazovic, RHP, MIN (AA): 13IP, 0.00ERA, 0.54WHIP, 18K
Deivi Garcia, RHP, NYY (AAA): 10IP, 2.70ERA, 1.50WHIP, 1oK
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 16, 2021
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