Welcome to the weekly Fantasy Baseball Prospect Primer. In this space, we will inform you about prospects who have recently been called up or who might become fantasy contributors in the near future. Especially good for Keeper leagues, you'll want to check in weekly to get the latest news and advice for the coming week about prospects of fantasy relevance. Whether you need a great future keeper or you're just tired of starting Phil Hughes in that last SP slot, or if you're just looking for the next big thing in fantasy baseball, this is the article for you!
Christian Yelich (OF, MIA) and Jake Marisnick (OF, MIA) – The new Miami duo has been on display for almost a week now, and so far it has been an underwhelming fantasy display for both youngsters. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, for every Yasiel Puig to get the call, there are nine or ten others that struggle to transition to the majors.
For Yelich, the hype is at a level that probably isn't quite deserved for fantasy owners. Yelich has tons of upside, setting the tone in a major way with his play in Spring Training and this year’s Futures Game, but like most Marlins prospects, he's been rushed to the majors before showing any facility with consistently identifying and hitting breaking pitches in the upper minors. Miami is depending on his athleticism and talent to guide him and and hopefully break through in the near future. Yelich made a bang with his debut last Tuesday with a three-hit night and two RBI. Since then, though, he is just a paltry 4-for-25 (.248).
For Marisnick, it’s a little bit of a different story. He was one of my favorite hitters from the 2009 draft, in which most scouts endowed him with a first-round grade. Nevertheless, he fell to the third round and was taken by the Blue Jays before coming to Miami in the Josh Johnson trade last summer. To this point in 2013, Marisnick has matched Yelich’s 4-for-25 in his last week and only has one run to his credit in the majors. We are certainly seeing the learning curve for both players, and the Marlins lineup is far from the ideal place to accommodate growing pains.
Both of these players are so similar in their potential. Yelich gets most of the press (and the fantasy ownership, which is around 22%), but Marisnick is every bit the player Yelich can be…
- Player A - .275/.359/.504 line with 9 HR, 33 RBI and 5 SB in 270 plate appearances
- Player B - .289/.350/.489 line with 12 HR, 46 RBI and 11 SB in 313 plate appearances
Both of these stats lines are from the minors this season with the majority at the Marlins' Double-A affiliate. Have you guessed correctly? Player B is actually Jake Marisnick! Both players are five-tool high-caliber players who can be dangerous at the plate, but with Yelich at 22% owned and Marisnick at around 2-3%, it’s very interesting to know the minor league numbers they each carry. If I’m manager in an NL-only league or a very deep mixer, I’m taking a shot with either of these players. Yelich is obviously showcasing for many fantasy owners already, but don’t sleep on Marisnick because he’s going to be good sooner than later as well.
OTHER NOTES AND BITS
Alex Wood (SP/RP, ATL) – With the fall of Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson to recent injuries, it appears Alex Wood will remain in the Braves rotation for the foreseeable future. Wood has impressed so far with a 3.42 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 31 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. Barring the unlikely scenario that the Braves make two trades to acquire multiple starting pitchers, Wood should continue to start through August, at which point an innings limit might come into play.
Khris Davis (OF, MIL) – Davis is an interesting prospect, as well. With Ryan Braun accepting his suspension for the remainder of the season, Milwaukee called up Davis to try to replace some of the lost production. So far, he’s pretty much just bench and pinch-hitting duty, but Davis deserves a shot to be an everyday player sometime soon. He is 25 years old and hit 13 HR in 243 at-bats at Triple-A this season, so keep him on your radar.
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