Those of us on diligent prospect watch know this to be true: good things come to those who wait. Such is the theme of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Prospect Report here at F6P, as we saw two sparkling ships sail into port this past weekend.
We'll cover both such exciting developments, but first, it's worth briefly noting: Max Meyer, of whom I've effused often in this space, was placed on the 7-day injured list at Triple-A Jacksonville on Thursday with ulnar nerve irritation.
Reportedly, the Marlins don't expect him to miss more than one start. But, for those who've bought in on the Meyer hype, this is worth your close attention in the coming days.
It's an arm injury; I'm concerned, and you probably should be too.
Indeed, though, for the purposes of this column, let's remember that good things come especially to those who stash much-ballyhooed prospects on their benches and brace for their imminent call-ups. So let's get to the good news.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Prospect Report
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Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles
Adley Rutschman's first career hit is a TRIPLE! pic.twitter.com/CRm7KoY4Vn
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 22, 2022
I wonder how many of us had on our 2022 Fantasy Baseball Bingo Card that this kid's first major league hit would be a triple. I certainly did not. But, hot dog, I was impressed by the hustle (even despite Brett Phillips's buttery grip on the ball out there in the right field corner).
Many of us were waiting for Rutschman's call-up as far back as last year. He has, after all, been one of the top prospects in all of baseball for what seems like an eternity. His performance in the minors in 2022 left the Orioles little choice but to elevate him. The 24-year-old slashed .309/.427/.515 with three homers, five doubles, 12 runs, and nine RBI across 19 Triple-A games this year.
This is an immediate-impact bat, especially at such a barren lineup position as catcher. He's only 59% owned in ESPN leagues, so there's a shot you can still grab him off waivers. Go get him if he's there.
And, for those of us chumps who were too slow to grab him, I'll offer a silver lining. It's no secret the Orioles, sooner than later, want to roll out at Camden Yards their prized catching prospect with their top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez. So let the most hopeful of us consider Rutschman's contract selection a portentous moment for Rodriguez's impending debut. Because why just be excited about one elite prospect when you can fire yourself up about two?
Nolan Gorman, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
When I first wrote about Nolan Gorman for this column, I was legitimately concerned about how he would fit into a fairly solid St. Louis Cardinals infield. But, as it would happen, outfielder Tyler O'Neill's woes at the plate and subsequent injury gave the organization enough cause to call up their feast-or-famine second-baseman prospect.
It is admittedly a bit ironic that Gorman would be chosen as the replacement for O'Neill, as their strikeout rates are quite similar and similarly dismal. But Gorman's power is no joke: at Triple-A Memphis, he slashed 308/.367/.677 with 15 homers. He has yet to go yard in his first four games at the big-league level, but he has gone 5-for-10 with two walks, two doubles, an RBI, and four runs scored. We like it, especially the two walks.
He's 27% rostered in ESPN leagues; three out of four of you reading this piece should have a good opportunity to go grab him and add some power to your second base slot. There's a brutal degree of swing-and-miss in this kid's game, but he barrels balls with an equal degree of brutality when he squares up just so.
Christopher Morel, OF, Chicago Cubs
Called up from Double-A just a week ago on May 17, all Christopher Morel has since done for the Cubs is produce. Prior to Monday's game, he had gone 4-for-14 with a home run, a stolen base, two walks, two runs, and two RBI. That home run was his first major league hit, for what it's worth.
There's also a decent amount of positional versatility in his game, as he's spent six years in the minors, and played three different positions in the games he's started. Unclear whether or not that will translate to positional eligibility in fantasy lineups, however.
I really wouldn't go out of your way to buy in on this guy, though. He won't play every day, his numbers are unsustainable, and he's regularly slotted at the bottom of a not-great Cubs lineup.
If you want to get in on Morel cheap while he's locked in, go for it. But don't be surprised when he hits a wall.
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