The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and in the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Prospect Report, we'll take a look at one of the many minor-leaguers who switched organizations last week.
We'll also circle back to the name of one of my favorite rookies this year, and evaluate a high-profile call-up that has yet to pay off for Fantasy managers.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Prospect Report
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MJ Melendez, C/RF, Kansas City Royals
No rookie in the MLB has been hotter than Melendez over the past fifteen days. He's not known for his average, but, in that time, he's batted .278 with a .923 OPS, including eight extra-base hits. Four of those have been home runs.
He had an absolutely massive series against the Red Sox this past weekend, including a six-RBI game, with a three-run homer.
Melendez has positional versatility, with eligibility at both catcher and right field, and is only owned in 16.7% of ESPN leagues as of this writing. With that flexibility and the regular playing time he's receiving in a young Royals lineup, he's well worth a pickup on waivers.
This guy can whack absolute missiles, and he seems to be catching fire at just the right time. Don't delay in rushing out to acquire him.
Miguel Vargas, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
When Justin Turner hit the IL with an ab injury, the Dodgers called up their prized third-base prospect Miguel Vargas on August 2nd. In his first major-league at-bat, he smacked an RBI double, and would later steal third base in that same game (pictured above).
And yet, he's only played in one game since then. What gives? A bloated and uber-talented lineup of established major leaguers, that's what.
Even worse? Manager Dave Roberts has been infuriatingly non-committal and coy about Vargas's playing time. He's even suggested that he's not totally sure how long Vargas will be with the big-league club.
I want to be more excited about this, but it smacks of a frustrating situation. The Dodgers might kick Vargas back down to Triple-A until rosters expand once Justin Turner comes back.
Still, I'd add him. He profiles as a future total package. He just needs the playing time to get there.
Enmanuel Valdez, 2B, Boston Red Sox
ENMANUEL VALDEZ HOMERED IN HIS SECOND AT-BAT WITH THE @WOOSOX!
— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) August 3, 2022
The Red Sox sure love their diminutive second-basemen, don't they? Valdez came over to the Boston organization in the Christian Vazquez trade last week and has made an immediate impact with the Triple-A WooSox. Including the one above, he has two home runs in his first five games.
Before that, in the Astros system, across their Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, he slashed .327 BA (327 AB), 21 HR, 1.016 OPS, 45 BB, 76 K. This guy has been an absolute offensive force.
Only problem? He's a pretty awful defender. It might be hard to justify a call-up if they can't hide his glove. But what better place to hide a glove than second base?
With Trevor Story's hand injury shaking out to be more serious than a simple bruise, it's possible we see Valdez in a Red Sox uniform sooner than later, especially if he keeps making a splash down the road in Worcester.
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