It's the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Prospect Impact Report here at F6P, and we'll continue to look away from Bobby Witt and Julio Rodriguez while we wait for them to, you know, do something. Anything at all, and with some consistency. The box score stats aren't good, and peripherals (read: chase rate) are even more concerning.
In a bit of fairness, given the home run drought across the league, it seems the humidors have deadened the balls to the degree that they're closer to lead balloons than baseballs. So how's it possible for us to really evaluate their respective power outages just yet relative to the adjustment period for other blue-chip prospects from other years?
Elsewhere, we should be pleased that chatter seems to be picking up around two of the three prospects we covered in last week's Impact Report: Max Meyer and Nolan Gorman are both doing what they do, with the former mowing down AAA batters like they're on the business end of a firing squad, and the latter hitting home runs game-in and game-out like he's Enrique Hernandez from the 2021 playoffs.
Their ownership percentages are up. Get after them swiftly. Meyer, at least, will make the leap to the 40-man roster by early summer. How Gorman will carve out an everyday role remains to be seen. Perhaps Dylan Carlson really is as bad as his numbers suggest, and the Cardinals will reassess their lineup accordingly.
I've got three names for you this week for whose impact you should brace, and, by my estimation, for which you should brace rather immediately. Again, a watch list week (albeit a hyper-vigilant watch), as most all the prospects who broke camp (besides Seth Beer and Jeremy Pena, maybe) search for their footing.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Prospect Impact Report
Looking for a Fantasy advantage? Get the ultimate in-season edge with customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using My Playbook from FantasyPros.
Brace for Impact
Grayson Rodriguez, SP, Baltimore Orioles
Frankly, I'm surprised he's not more owned. He's the sixth-ranked MLB Prospect by MLB Pipeline, and the only prospect ranked higher than Rodriguez in the Orioles organization is the dude who'll soon be stationed behind the dish catching him: Adley Rutschman.
He's absolutely eviscerating AAA hitters right now, with an otherworldly 23:2 K:BB ratio and a 1.26 ERA over 14+ innings. He could be immediately transcendent in the bigs, and very well could be the 2022 prospect with the last name Rodriguez about whom we're most impressed at the end of the year, if J-Rod's dismal April is in any way representative of the rest of the season.
The kicker? John Means is officially slated for TJ surgery and is out for the season. I think we see him closer to June than September. Stash him.
Triston Casas, 1B, Boston Red Sox
Say it with me now: Bobby Dalbec just isn't that good. The second half of his 2021 season, during which he slugged close to .700, was a complete outlier. He's, at best, a bottom-of-the-lineup, pray-he-barrels-one-over-the-wall, but-mostly-enjoy-the-breeze-from-his-whiffs kinda guy. He's got an OPS of .484 so far this year, and I bet he barely breaks .650 by the end of the season.
Enter: Triston Casas, the 22-year-old slugging first-baseman for the WooSox, who's currently got a .903 OPS against AAA pitching, with a 13:16 BB:K ratio. Hard not to salivate at plate discipline like that in a dude whose most exciting upside is pure, unbridled power.
Boston's lineup hasn't been as great as it could be so far this year, what with Trevor Story scuffling to find his footing on the east coast, and Dalbec failing to hit the broadside of a barn. Casas is the future, and the future is near. I'm not letting someone else snag him off waivers before I do.
George Kirby, SP, Seattle Mariners
Strong start by George Kirby. Final line: 5IP, 5H, 0R, 2BB, 7K, 83 pitches, 54 strikes. All 5 hits were singles.
1st 3 starts for Kirby:
1.23ERA, 14.2IP, 10H, 3BB, 20K. pic.twitter.com/R0xJGxpAUe
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) April 21, 2022
I feel a little bit dirty for this, given how all-in I am on Matt Brash. But Kirby might, might, prove to be even better. Brash narrowly edged him out for the last spot in the big-league rotation this spring, but as you can see above, Kirby is casually embarrassing hitters in the minors, with a fastball that hits triple-digits.
Truly, I think he could be in the majors right now, but it stands to reason the Mariners want him to develop a bit more: he tossed just 67.2 innings in the minors last year. Let's count on him getting called up this summer. Watch-list him—did I mention his fastball hits 100?
In the meanwhile, reader, rage with me. Rage that year after year Major League Baseball can't find the right balance with its quintessential instrument: the wretched ball. Shatter the humidor doors, I say, and, for the sake of our Fantasy lineups, let home runs once again be king. I pine for Bobby Witt moonshots.
Make sure you bookmark the F6P Fantasy Baseball page for premium content all season long!