2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report

by Jason Beckner
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report

Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report

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Let's not waste any more time and let's jump right into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report.

Check out Mike's 2021 Top Prospects Rankings.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Prospect Report

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Josiah Gray, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

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The big news of the week was the promotion of  Josiah Gray. He is baseball's 42nd ranked prospect and the 8th ranked right-handed pitching prospect.

Gray was originally drafted by the Reds in 2018 and was then included in a trade that off-season to the Dodgers. He features a four-pitch mix of fastball, curveball, slider, and change-up. While the fastball sits in the mid-90s and his curveball is the best secondary option.

Gray was called up to the big leagues last Tuesday and while he didn't get the start, but he did get the piggyback role as he entered the game in the third inning following the opener. He finished his debut appearance with four earned runs on four hits. He did have seven strikeouts, but the long ball got the best of him as he surrendered three home runs.

Gray then followed that up with his first major league start this past Sunday. He also faired better than his first appearance. He gave up two runs on three hits and struck out six batters. While he did limit the Rockies to only one home run, he did allow four free passes, as he struggled to find the zone. The walks and home runs are out of character for Gray, most likely due to his high nerves of facing big league hitters.

Even with the early struggles, I would be adding Gray. Even in shallow leagues the strikeout and win upside is too good to be left on the waiver wire.

Matt Manning, RHP, Detroit Tigers

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Manning is back with the big league club after a short two-week stint with Triple A. Manning is hoping to make a bigger impact this time around. When he was called up earlier this season, he saw very inconsistent success.

In his first five starts with the Tigers, he went 1-3 with 6.95ERA and a 9:8 strikeout to walk ratio in his five starts. Of those five starts none of them qualified as a quality start but only one start did he surrender more than two earned runs. While home runs have been an issue for Manning in Triple-A he only surrendered three home runs in his six starts so far this season.

He was recalled this past Wednesday. He went on to tally his first quality start in 2021 while striking out four and allowing one earned run on four hits.

After turning in his best MLB start to date, he earned another chance to stick in the rotation. The Tigers are not in playoff contention, therefore they will be giving Manning every opportunity to stick with the big league club as they evaluate their top talent.

I would add Manning in any league that you need SP help. He should be able to build upon this recent success and he has a good strikeout upside.

Daniel Lynch, LHP, Kansas City Royals

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Lynch, similar to Manning is back with the big league club after being demoted earlier this year. Lynch was demoted back in May after a horrendous three starts. In those three starts, he failed to go at least five innings and he gave up at least three runs in all three starts, including one start in which he gave up eight earned runs in only two-thirds of an inning.

Lynch was recalled this past Sunday to make his start at home against Detroit. The Tigers were the last team he faced before being demoted back in May when he surrendered four runs on seven hits in 2.2IP. However this time Lynch got his revenge as he pitched eight scoreless innings, with five hits, and four strikeouts to earn his first major league win.

After the dominating performance from Lync, he should be able to earn at least one more start to help build upon his recent success. His next scheduled start is set for July 30th against Ross Stripling and the Blue Jays.

I would continue to leave Lynch on the waiver wire until he can string together a few decent starts. Unless of course, you are desperate for starting pitching help in that case I would add Lynch and hope that he stays hot

Brent Rooker, OF, Minnesota Twins

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Rooker is Minnesota's tenth-ranked prospect via MLB Pipeline. However, this isn't Brent's first taste of the big leagues, as he did make his debut in 2020 and the end of September. He did have success with the big leagues club, as he slashed .316/.381/.579 with one home run and five runs batted in.

Looking to build on his 2020 success, Rooker started the 2021 season with the big league club and only appeared in eight games. He had little to no success, as he only went 3-for-30 with one double, one home run and was striking out 43 percent of the time.

He was then sent to Triple-A. While there he played in 61 games and was able to continue his success, displayed by his 19 home runs, 39 runs scored, and 48 runs batted in. However, he did see a small dip in the batting average partially due to a dip in his BABIP.

After the recent trade of Slugger Nelson Cruz, Rooker will get the first chance to fill the designated hitter role. However, he should also be able to receive regular at-bats in either the outfield or DH. So far since his call up, he has 2-for-12 with a home run and a double.

I would add Rooker in deeper leagues as a possible fourth or fifth outfield as he should be able to contribute with counting stats while maintaining an above-average OBP.

Estevan Florial, OF, New York Yankees

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The Yankees second-ranked outfield prospect behind only Jasson Dominguez. The Yankees have had a carousel of outfielders as the injury bug seems to have become contagious in their clubhouse. They currently have five outfielders on the IL, so clearly they need help in the outfield.

As of right now Florial still remains very raw and has not had that big breakout season. He has not been able to accumulate the needed at-bats in the minors to really get acclimated to professional pitching. However, he does have above-average power and speed. Both his power and run tools received a fifty or better grade via MLB Pipeline.

He did appear in one game in 2020 but he went hitless in three plate appearances. He was recalled last Tuesday and he immediately made an impact. As he homered in his first game and then swiped his first bag the following day.  Since being recalled he is slashing 286/444/571 with one home run and three runs batted in.

As for now, I would leave Florial on the waiver wire with the exception being in deeper leagues or leagues that start four or five outfielders.

Luis Patino, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

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Another top pitching prospect that debuted earlier this season, and was demoted, is now back with the big league team. The Rays recalled Patino this past Thursday to start the game in Cleveland.

Unfortunately, it came with just mild success. He allowed four runs on five hits while striking out four and walking three, for a no-decision in 5.1 innings. This start rose Patino's ERA to 5.26 and his WHIP to 1.25 on the season.

Kevin Cash has suggested that Patino would stick in the rotation for the time being. It's hard to imagine Patino would be moved to bullpen or back to Triple-A anytime soon.

Patino is scheduled to take the bump this Thursday against Gerrit Cole and the Yankees. I will be watching this start closely as we have yet to see Patino throw a quality start. However, he has been able to go into the sixth inning in his last two starts.

I would add Patino if available. His upside and fantasy value is too good to be sitting on the waiver wire.


J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

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The Diamondbacks pitcher, was able to make his debut early in 2021 when he was promoted to the majors in mid-April. However, the failed starter has solely been featured out of the bullpen for Arizona.

Bukauskas was able to thrive in the bullpen role early in the season. Since then he has had his ups and downs. While most of his appearance did not come in high leverage situations, he did convert one out of two save opportunities and he also collected one hold.

Bukauskas was optioned to Triple-A this past Wednesday. There is a strong possibility that he will be back with the big league club at some point this season. However, if you are rostering JB it is safe to say that you can drop him going forward.

Vidal Brujan, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays

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In more shocking news, the Tampa Bay Rays have sent Vidal back to Triple A. Brujan only appeared in ten games for Tampa Bay. He was only able to manufacture two hits in 26 plate appearances. Also, neither of those hits were extra-base hits.

Brujan was promoted right before the All-Star break, after having a great start in Triple A. However playing time seemed to be sparse for Brujan. He did seem to be lost at the plate at times, as he struck out eight times and didn't draw a walk.

The Rays elected to send Brujan back to Triple-A to continue to receive regular at-bats. With Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe playing well and the recent acquisition of Nelson Cruz. The playing time just isn't available for Brujan.

You can drop Brujan in shallow and deeper leagues. I would only continue to roster Brujan if you have the roster flexibility.

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