But September gives us other opportunities including looks at lesser known talents. Let's stick to Coors Field for the first one...
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Dynasty Advice for Week 23
It's not common for a former Indie League players to reach the majors. For the four seasons between 2011 and 2016, Cardullo bounced around Independent ball. The Rockies signed him to fill out their Triple-A roster, and he proceeded to bat .30/.367/.522 in 452 plate appearances. He also popped 17 home runs with six stolen bases.
Perhaps the most interesting part of his profile is an eight percent walk rate and 13 percent strikeout rate. He's maintained those rates in the majors (only 15 plate appearances). If he maintains similar contact and power rates, he could be a fantasy gold mine. He'll have Coors Field in his corner to further fan the flames of production.
There are two main problems for the 29-year-old. His age and lack of pedigree leave him no room for failure. He'll need to become established like David Peralta before he gets any leeway. Even then, there's a roster crunch in the outfield with Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, and Raimel Tapia all fighting for reps. Cardullo is currently in the first base mix with Gerardo Parra. Ryan Raburn is also still hanging around the roster.
Overall, Cardullo appears to have potential as a Coors Field stud. Unfortunately, he needs some help if he's to play enough.
Since joining the Athletics at the trade deadline, Cotton has posted a solid 2.82 ERA, 8.45 K/9, and 1.64 BB/9. He's expected to start for the Athletics on Wednesday. Fortunately, he'll face a light-hitting Angels lineup. Just avoid Mike Trout, right? And Albert Pujols. And Kole Calhoun. Maybe this won't be so easy.
As a command guy with solid stuff, Cotton's profile can be risky. It's not uncommon for pitchers like Cotton to catch too much plate or pitch too predictably. The gap between Triple-A and the majors is wide. A great Triple-A pitch can sometimes be a mistake in the bigs. Even pitchers who adapt quickly like Joe Musgrove stumble through some rough outings.
Cotton has a chance to open 2017 as part of the A's rotation. Scouts are split as to his future, with more than a few signalling a move to the bullpen in his future. As such, Cotton will likely fill whichever role is more needed by Oakland.
De Leon debuted on Sunday, firing six innings of four-run ball. He tallied nine strikeouts and walked none. Interestingly, he relied almost exclusively on his fastball-change up combo even though he also has an effective slider and curve. While he won't do much for you down the stretch, everything is in place for an excellent 2017 campaign.
Brock Stewart - Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have called upon Stewart a few times to mostly bad results. His 7.94 ERA in 17 innings leaves much to be desired. However, the underlying skills of a successful pitcher are present. He'll get another shot this week to translate a good swinging strike rate and 9.53 K/9 into a solid outing. Stewart is a good gamble for future success. He posted a 2.49 ERA, 9.59 K/9, and 1.07 BB/9 in 50.2 Triple-A innings. He was even better in Single- and Double-A.
Beede, 23, repeated Double-A this season. It was a successful campaign with a 2.87 ERA, 8.47 K/9, and 3.25 BB/9. The former 14th overall pick is now within shouting distance of the majors. He'll likely open 2017 at Triple-A. With continued success, he'll debut as soon as San Fran needs depth.
Max Schrock - Oakland Athletics
Schrock was traded to the Athletics recently. It's good when little-known players are traded for people like me. Scouting reports on Schrock were uncommon, but now more information is available. In particular, scouts worry about him defensively. If he can't improve at second base, he doesn't really have a position. As a hitter, his numbers read like Brock Holt or Alberto Callaspo. A super utility role may be the best case scenario, but you might be able to sell him as more due to his high contact rate.
Raul Alcantara - Oakland Athletics
Alcantara pitched yesterday (although he's yet to take the bump as of this writing so I'll stick to using future tense). Like Cotton, he's making his major league debut against the Angels. Alcantara is more of a pitch to contact guy than Cotton which automatically limits his fantasy utility. The best examples of this profile learn to limit hard contact. That usually takes years. Alcantara is a worthy stash, but don't expect instant gratification.
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