Young Guns on Display Across the Majors
Tuesday night showcased some of the brightest young talent in all of baseball. In a season which has seen many rising stars flourish after being thrust into the bright lights, Tuesday’s action was a buffet-style serving of baseball's crop of adolescent aptitude. The Marlins may be in the basement of the NL East, but their wealth of talented prospects is quickly becoming a high-ceiling major league squad. In a bold move to shake up their roster on Tuesday, the Marlins' brass called up top prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick. It was only fitting that they should arrive on the same day in which 20 year-old phenom Jose Fernandez would toe the slab. Fernandez has seemingly gotten stronger with each game, posting a 1.50 ERA over his last nine starts dating back to June 1. Over that span of 52.1 innings, Fernandez owns a 7 – 2 record, and he’s struck out 51 batters while only walking 19 and allowing only two long balls. Simply put, he's been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Yelich made a splash in his major league debut going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Marisnick didn't fare as well, going 0-for-4. Let’s not forget that slugger Giancarlo Stanton is just 23-years-old himself. The now-healthy Stanton belted a solo shot that nearly reached the concourse in left field at Coors Field to help propel the Fish to a 4 – 2 victory. It was Stanton’s seventh homer in eight career games at Coor’s Field, and his eleventh on the season. That was a lot of words for a losing team, but after ragging on the Marlins all off-season, they sure do seem to have a very bright future.
Baller Move: Yelich is definitely worth adding and Marisnick won’t go 0-4 every night. Both can be added in deeper leagues. Marisnick's ceiling may actually be higher than Yelich's in the power department.
The Marlins were not the only team with young talent to flaunt on Tuesday. The Houston Astros have been flaccid offensively on more nights than not. Going through a complete organizational overhaul is a long, painful process which the Astros have only just begun to endure. Just as with the Marlins though, the future gives some reason for hope in Houston. With newly-promoted shortstop Jonathan Villar hitting atop the batting order Tuesday night, the Astros “rallied” to win in the bottom of the ninth off of the previously perfect Grant Balfour (first blown save since April of 2012). Villar has speed to burn and a quick bat which fits perfectly in front of the diminutive Jose Altuve in the Astros' lineup. Villar's second major league game was a 3-for-4 effort with two doubles and two runs scored, one of which was of the game-winning variety. Houston also had a rookie hurler pitching on this night-- Jarred Cosart would yet again post an impressive outing after flirting with a no-no in his major league debut before the break. Cosart showed great composure as he got out of a seventh-inning jam to keep the game tied at two apiece before the walk-off win. Cosart has now allowed just one earned run over his first 15.0 major league innings with 6 strikeouts. Still worried? Cosart has definitely earned another start and is on track to do so on Sunday at Toronto.
Baller Move: I would say Cosart is here to stay and you may want to take notice before someone else grabs him in deeper leagues.
Not enough youth for you? Okay, how about Shelby Miller facing the Phillies after getting additional rest over the All-Star Break? Miller dialed up a dominant performance striking out six batters over six frames with one walk and no earned runs. Miller has a 180 innings limit so the Cardinals will likely keep him from going deep into games which means the young ace-to-be will have to continue to pound the strike zone as he did on Tuesday. Miller has yet to lose in July and has permitted only five earned over his last seventeen innings.
No baller move here, Shelby is already established and a keeper league owner’s wet dream. If you drafted him, you already made the baller move. You may be able to pry Miller away from an owner worried about his innings limit.
AL Hot Shots:
- Grant Balfour’s perfect streak of 44 consecutive saves was snapped on Tuesday as he blew his first save since April of 2012. No reason to worry, but if you're the worrying type grab Ryan Cook who took over for Balfour last season when he missed time.
- Joe Nathan also blew a save on Tuesday. It was only Nathan’s second blown save of the season and there is also nothing to see here. The veteran closer is solid. Mariano Rivera, who set up Nathan in the All-Star game, did notch a save in the Yankees come-from-behind win. The Sandman has an amazing 32 saves thus far in his farewell tour.
- Matt Dominguez blasted a game-tying two-run homer off Grant Balfour in the bottom of the ninth to help the Astros finally defeat the A’s.
- Yoenis Cespedes did not start but did pinch hit and stayed in at DH, going 1-for-2 with a double on which Justin Maxwell and J.D. Martinez collided in right center. Cespedes will be in the starting lineup on Wednesday.
- Jose Bautista smacked his 23rd homer of the year as the Blue Jays fell to the smoking-hot Dodgers 10-to-9 in Toronto.
- Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in the Yankees' 5-4 win over the Rangers on Tuesday. IF, and I say IF Derek Jeter gets healthy Nunez will likely slide to third base. With the future of A-Rod in limbo, Nunez could be a nice versatile add.
- Evan Longoria and Wil “where’s my other L?” Myers homered but the Rays fell to the Red Sox 6 – 2.
NL Hot Shots:
- Joey Votto went 3-for-9 over the double header with the Giants, he launched an opposite-field homer in the first game for his 16th on the season. Devin Mesoraco was the hero however as he doubled and smoked a three run homer in the first game of the doubleheader.
- Arizona’s own young starting pitcher Patrick Corbin yet again posted an impressive performance as he would earn his 12th victory of the season defeating the Cubs. He allowed just one run on four hits, striking out six with three walks.
- Gerrit Cole snapped a three-start losing streak by defeating the Nationals on Tuesday. He struck out four and lasted seven innings allowing two hits and one run.
- Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez homered and drove in three runs each as the Dodgers rallied to defeat the Blue Jays and the Dodgers are all of a sudden firing on all cylinders.
- The Dodgers will make a decision on whether or not to place Matt Kemp on the DL on Wednesday.
- Kris Medlen may be headed to the bullpen with the return of Brandon Beachy on the horizon. Beachy is set to return next week after making one more rehab start. Alex Wood seems likely to keep a spot in the rotation and is worth a look in deep leagues for his strikeout potential.
- Travis d'Arnaud is making his first start at catcher since breaking his foot in April for the GCL Mets on Wednesday.
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Follow Shawn Caswell on Twitter, or don’t: @CasKnowsRoto