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Prospect Debuts - Fantasy Stock Watch for Week 4


Well, the Major League season is already 15% of the way done. Some owners think that they are on their way to victory while others are patiently waiting for things to turn around. Still, while all the victory laps are being taken, the smart owner is looking forward to the rest of the year and finding what value can still be had. While the season always seems to move quickly, the dog days of summer are still upon us.

Now that we are rolling along, so too are the call-ups. This week, the Rotoballer team keeps tabs on all the new names and faces, with insight into their fantasy value to help any team. For owners looking for a cheap spark, look no further.

For redraft, dynasty, or general fantasy players knowing the new prospects is key to begin to plan out FAAB bids and waiver claims. Target or avoid these players to helps teams keep their competitive windows open.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Rookie Debuts - Stock Up

These rookies hit the ground running in their 2019 debuts and have matched the preseason hype so far. The question is whether this provides a sell-high opportunity or if the fantasy owner should hold tight.

 

Michael Chavis (3B, BOS)

The recent spike in chatter around Chavis is tied to a recent defensive switch to second base. Profiling as a third baseman for most of his career, he transitioned this spring and has started at second in the minors as well. With Dustin Pedroia nearing the end of his career, the spot will be open moving forward. Even when healthy, Eduardo Nunez is no threat to push off a young bat from the spot this year.

In a limited start to the year at Triple-A, Chavis has posted a .250/.345/.600 slash with a four K-BB%. The power was also there with four bombs in 12 games. Scouts have liked Chavis as a solid 50 hitter for most of his career, so playing time on a good team should make him fantasy worthy. Expect a .240 average with 14 homers if he plays most of the year, and he will also score his share of runs. Not a breakout, but Chavis will be a solid player to target next year.

 

Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT)

Reynolds has shown that he is a good hitter, with a career batting average in the minors above .300. The issue, and why he sits down on prospect lists, is the lack of power. While pushing double-digit homer totals in each of his pro seasons, owners should not expect much more in the Majors. Reynolds fits the Pirates/Austin Meadows mold with solid grades on all the tools, but no real standout carrying piece either. While he does not have the same pop as Meadows, Reynolds should hit for a comparable batting average.

In terms of the situation, Reynolds looks like he could have some playing time over the next month. Even with the likes of Gregory Polanco back, the fact that Corey Dickerson and Lonnie Chisenhall are still out for a bit opens the door. He has been the starting center fielder since his debut and has settled into the sixth spot in recent games. Another player with a low ceiling this year, Reynolds does have the highest floor of the bats on the list in current redraft leagues.

* After finishing this piece, Bryan Reynolds was announced to be dealing with an injury. If he is out, then avoid, but in dynasty leagues, this is a good time to buy low.

 

Stock Neutral

These players neither helped nor hurt their fantasy value in the first week of play.

 

Cole Tucker (SS, PIT)

Tucker made the highlight reels with his first few games, but owners need to slow down before jumping all-in with giant FAAB bids. Tucker will be a reliable fantasy option, but he is still very raw at the plate. For starters, he only has 13 games played above Double-A. Even with playing time, he was posting 20 K%, which needs to come down for a player without much of a power floor. Only one season above five total homers shows the ceiling, but, when he learns the strike zone, he should be a good contact option. In two years at Double-A, he hit .257 and .259 respectfully but did score 74 runs in his second year. Still a bit green, he will be at his best after some more seasoning at Triple-A.

For fantasy owners, Tucker will add some value when he can move around the diamond in a utility role more. Right now, he is only up due to the Erik Gonzalez injury, and there is no real news on what the plan for the spot is moving forward. While a competitive, but not a playoff, team, Pittsburgh will not spend to fill the spot. If this is the case, Tucker could do more harm than good to roto categories, as he will struggle with playing time. For dynasty owners, sell high while there is hype. For redrafts, avoid jumping all in this year, but target Tucker as next year’s utility piece with upside.

 

Taylor Clarke (SP, ARI)

While only up for one day, and three innings, Clarke should be back in Arizona sooner rather than later. Profiling as a starter long term, there is a good chance that the team looks to get him innings out of the pen to help a squad that has been in the bottom half of the league to date. Since the Diamondbacks have been hanging around at 13-11, there is a good chance they think the team can push for a Wild Card spot. If so, expect Clarke to either be in the rotation or taking on the Brandon Woodruff role from last year’s Brewers.

The bullpen would be preferable for fantasy owners, as a 19.2 K% needs to creep up to deal with multiple trips through the order. With only two seasons with more than 100 innings, there is also a chance that Clarke faces a pitch cap, or a clear plan to limit innings later in the year. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on his usage to see his value for this year. In the pen he is a must add, but in the rotation, let others take the plunge. Long term, he can be an SP3 or the future closer for the Diamondbacks. He is not one of the top pitching prospects, but Clarke has a good chance to be one of the most productive without the flair.

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