Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report

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Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report.

This past Saturday I was finally able to attend a baseball game in person for the first time since 2019. While it wasn’t quite an MLB game, it was close. I attended a scrimmage between the alternate sites of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Luckily for me, the White Sox Alternate Training Site is only a few minutes from my house.

There were some notable names in the game, one of the biggest names being the White Sox starting pitcher for the game, Reynaldo Lopez. With the game only being an exhibition the rules were similar to a spring training game. There was even an inning where the teams just decided to end the inning without having reached three outs.

Overall it was a fun experience and most importantly I was able to be a fan in the stands of a baseball game again. Which was a great feeling of possibly getting the world back to normalcy.

Now let’s take a look at some prospects that have been promoted and demoted in the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report.

Be sure to also check out John’s 2021 Top Prospect list.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Prospect Report

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Promoted

Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins

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Brinson was a part of the deal that sent Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2018. Brinson has always been regarded as a top prospect even with his time in the Milwaukee system. Unfortunately, he has struggled ever since making his MLB debut in 2017.

The Marlins recalled Brinson when Starling Marte hit the IL on April 20th. Don Mattingly has said he wants to give Brinson every opportunity to fill in and be the everyday centerfielder while Marte is hurt.

In his limited time in 2021 he is only hitting .125 with zero home runs and only one RBI. I really want to see Brinson succeed, as I have been following him since his time in the Milwaukee system. Unfortunately, I’m just not sure he is anything more than a quadruple-A player (too good for Triple-A but not quite good enough for the Majors).

I would leave Brinson on the waiver wire unless you’re in the deepest of leagues that start four or five outfielders and you are desperate for help at the position.

Spencer Howard, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

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Howard, who was recalled to the big leagues this past Wednesday, is the Phillies’ top pitching prospect as well as their top overall prospect. While this won’t be his first time with the big league club, he hopes this is his last call-up.

During 2020 Howard made six starts and went 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA and 23Ks in 24.1 IP. Howard has electric stuff and lights up the radar gun, as his fastball sits the mid-90s and can reach 98mph. He relies on his secondary pitches, mostly his slider as his out pitch.

So far in 2021, he has yet to start a game as the Phillies have been using him out of the pen. In 4.1IP he has given up four runs and has struck out eight. His strikeout rate is where you want to see it. It’s just a matter of limiting the runs.

I would add Howard in any league he’s available in. At some point, the Phillies will use him in the starting rotation where his value will be maximized.

Alex Kirilloff, OF, Minnesota Twins

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As I have written before, I absolutely love Kirilloff and I can’t emphasize adding Kirilloff enough. This move has been one we have been waiting for, as many had slotted Kirilloff as making the team out of spring training.

Kirilloff was promoted from the alternate training site this past Friday when the Twins placed Miguel Sano on the IL. Since being recalled, he is hitless in three games. However, he has only stuck out twice in 11 at-bats, so he doesn’t appear to be overmatched.

I would add Kirilloff where ever possible as we could be looking back as this being one of the best waiver adds all season.

Nico Hoerner, 2B, Chicago Cubs

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Arguably the best option for the Cubs at the keystone, Hoerner lost out on the 2B job in spring training, even though many thought he was the best option for the position.

After a short stint at the Cubs’ alternate training site, he was recalled to the big league club this past Thursday.

Hoerner is someone that I am high on (I am saying that leaving my home team bias at the door). He has always had a great contact rate as he has never had a strikeout rate higher than 20 percent.

With both Eric Sogard and David Bote struggling out the gate in 2021, Hoerner should be able to grab the starting second base job and never let it go.

I would be adding him everywhere as he will be able to score runs and hit for a high average.

Luis Patino, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

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Admittedly Patino is someone I am notably lower on than most others. Patino came over to the Rays in the deal that sent Blake Snell to the Padres in the offseason.

Patino has always had the top prospect tag dating back to his time in the Padres organization. Currently, he is ranked the number sixteen overall prospect and as the number two prospect in the Rays system behind only Wander Franco.

Therefore the hype behind this kid is real, and rightfully so. He has a cannon of an arm that has his fastball sitting around 97 and can even reach triple digits. He uses the fastball to get swing and misses both inside and outside the strike zone. Patino also uses his above-average slider as a nice compliment to the fastball.

Patino made his MLB debut this past Sunday, and he looked sharp. After walking the first batter he faced. He was able to settle down and went on to retire the next eight batters he faced. He finished the day with 2.2IP 0H 1BB and 3Ks.

I would add Patino in any league that he is available, as he appears ready to take the next step and should be able to continue to dominate on the mound for the Rays.

Jose Devers, SS, Miami Marlins

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Yep, that’s right. Jose, the younger brother of Boston’s 3B Rafael, is getting called up by the Marlins. The 21-year-old shortstop is headed for the big leagues after the Marlins placed 3B Brain Anderson on the IL.

This move is a bit of a head-scratcher by the Marlins as Devers has never played above high A, and only has a total of 784PA in the minors. Even in spring training this year he batted .200 in 14PA.

The Marlins eighth-ranked prospect has always had good bat to ball skills but so far in 2021 he is hitless and has struck out in all three of his at-bats so far in his young MLB debut. I would continue to monitor the situation as we go forward and see if Devers is able to take off. As for now, I would leave Devers on the waiver wire.

Sheldon Neuse, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Sheldon is the Dodgers 19th ranked prospect and was called up to make his 2021 debut this past week. Sheldon did have a small cup of coffee back in 2019 when he played in 25 games for the Oakland Athletics. At the beginning of spring training, he was traded to the Dodgers for Cody Thomas.

Sheldon was called up from the alternate training site and was thrown right into the starting lineup. He is getting the playing time at 2B while Gavin Lux is on the IL.  Sheldon does have a nice pop in his bat and can generate easy power and has the capability to hit 25HR+ as displayed in his 2019 season in Triple-A when he hit 27 home runs.

So far in 2021, he is making the best of his opportunity. He has already hit two home runs and is currently hitting .286 and has an OPS of 1.000. You should be adding Neuse wherever available as he should be able to remain in that stacked Dodgers lineup and continue to hit long balls.

Demoted

Kyle Isbel, OF, Kansas City Royals

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The Royals fifth-ranked prospect was able to make the opening day roster out of Spring Training. The fact that he made the team out of spring training was a bit of a shock as he has never played above high A. Furthermore was even a below-average hitter in high A.

So far in 2021, he has looked extremely overmatched as he is striking out 41 percent of the time and is hitting .265 in 12 games this season so far. The Royals even attempted to aid his production by giving him the strong side of a platoon, but even then he continued to look overmatched at the big league level.

Isabel is someone that needs to be left on the waiver wire or dropped immediately as I don’t foresee the Royals recalling him anytime soon.

Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

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Honeywell is someone that I featured in the promoted section of last week’s report. Unfortunately, in this week’s report, he is featured in the demoted section. While he was solely being used as the opener for the Rays in his short stint with the big league club.

His most recent start was one that Brent would rather forget. He served up a two-run home run to Grichuk and was pulled after one inning. He finished with a stat line of 3H 3ER 1BB and 2K. After that rough outing, he was then optioned to the Rays alternate site to make room for Sunday’s starter Luis Patino (see above).

Honeywell can remain on the waiver except for in deeper leagues. It appears that the Rays are proceeding with caution with Honeywell (rightfully so) by limiting his IP and keeping him in the opener role.

Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta Braves

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Pache is Atlanta’s overall ranked prospect and is the 11th overall ranked prospect in MLB. He was able to break camp as the braves opening day centerfielder by utilizing his above-average defense to win the job over Ender Inciarte.

However, Pache was never able to take advantage of the playing time, as he struggled in his first 11 games out of the gate. He was only able to slash 133/161/200 with 3R 0HR 0RBI and 0SB.

On April 13th he ended up on the IL when he left the game against the Marlins with left groin tightness. Then on April 24th when he was eligible to be reinstated from the IL, the Braves decided he would be better off at the alternate site where he can work on developing more and work on his hitting.


I would still continue to hold Pache if you have the roster flexibility. His above-average speed and power capabilities will make him a good contributor. He should hopefully be back up with the big league club later this summer.


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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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