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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Risers (Week 14) - Rookies to Stash and Top Performers

Brooks Lee - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

The minor league baseball season is underway and many well-known prospects are already making their case for an MLB debut later this summer.

However, the question is do these performances truly matter for this season? How easy will it be for these prospects to reach the big leagues and are they worth stashing on your redraft roster?

Knowing which prospects to watch can put you ahead of your league mates and in the driver’s seat during the second half of the season. Adding the right prospect can fill the missing piece on your roster and power you to a fantasy baseball championship. This fantasy baseball prospects biweekly series will examine a few key players in the minor leagues and assess whether they have a path to fantasy stardom in 2024. 

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Brooks Lee, SS, Minnesota Twins

Minnesota No. 2, Overall 14

Brooks Lee, a top prospect of the Minnesota Twins, has made a significant stride in his recovery and subsequent career progression. After a two-month hiatus due to a herniated disc in his back, Lee has resumed baseball activities and returned to Triple-A St. Paul, where he has been showcasing an exceptional performance.

The former eighth overall pick in the 2022 draft logged a 10-game rehab assignment between the Florida Complex League and Single-A before returning to Triple-A on June 5.

Lee made his minor league debut in 2022 and spent the majority of his time with High-A while holding a .289/.395/.454 line with four home runs, 12 RBI, and a 16:18 BB:K ratio in 25 games. He then got a small taste of Double-A with two games to finish the campaign. 

In 2023, he started in Double-A and spent the majority of the summer there. Once again, he performed well with a strong .292/.365/.476 line with 11 home runs, 61 RBI, six stolen bases, and a 41:63 BB:K ratio. Under the hood, he held a solid .325 BABIP, .375 wOBA, and 120 wRC+. 

He concluded the season by earning a promotion to Triple-A, where he struggled through a 38-game stint. He posted a .237/.304/.428 line with just five home runs and 23 RBI. While his base statistics look like they dropped significantly, his other metrics remained constant with his production at Double-A. His walk rate fell slightly from 10.3% to 8.9%, and his K rate increased slightly from 15.8% to 16.7%. 

Jump to June 5 of this season when Lee returned to Triple-A St. Paul after recovering from his herniated disc. Through 14 games this season, the Cal Poly product is smashing his previous totals with a .350/.400/.617 line and four home runs, 15 RBI, one stolen base, and a 5:9 BB:K ratio. He sits with a 13.8% K rate, his lowest of the past two seasons, .438 wOBA, and 159 wRC+.

In addition, Lee has begun to play games at second base, suggesting the Twins value his bat and want him in the majors as soon as possible.

Lee has entered must-stash territory, and he could be up in Minnesota before the All-Star break. 

Verdict: Stash in standard leagues

 

Kyle Teel, C, Boston Red Sox

Boston No. 3, Overall 29

The Boston Red Sox drafted former Virginia Cavalier Kyle Teel with the 14th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. 

The young backstop needed only three games in the Rookie League before moving up to High-A last summer, where he posted a stellar .377/.485/.453 across 14 games. He then earned a promotion to Double-A, where he tallied 10 hits, 11 RBI, and one long ball through nine games.

This season, he has played all 55 games with Double-A Portland and has performed just as well. In those 55 games this season, Teel has a .307/.401/.484 line with eight home runs, 45 RBI, five stolen bases, and a 31:62 BB:K ratio.

Though Teel’s walk rate has dropped since last summer (20.5% to 12.3%), he has lowered his K rate from 28.2% to 24.6%. This is a great sign, as Teel has been able to reduce his strikeout rate through a more extended sample size at Double-A.

In addition, when comparing his 14-game sample size at High-A to his extended look at Double-A this summer, Teel has maintained a similar wRC+ of 150 compared to his previous 166 and a .401 wOBA compared to the .438 he held last season.

We have seen prospects such as Adael Amador make the jump from Double-A to the majors this season, but for now, he should remain rostered in only keeper and dynasty leagues. If Teel joins Triple-A in the coming weeks, a 2024 debut could be in reach.

Verdict: Continue to monitor, could push for late-season debut

 

Quinn Mathews, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis No. 20, Overall N/A

Rounding out this column is a lower-ranked prospect in the St. Louis system on MLB Pipeline: southpaw Quinn Mathews. Mathews joined St. Louis as a fourth-round pick in last year’s MLB Draft out of Stanford.

The 23-year-old made his minor league debut this summer with Single-A, where he logged 30 ⅔ innings with a 1.47 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and an 11:52 BB:K ratio.

He then earned a promotion to High-A, where he has a 2.87 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and a 6:51 BB:K ratio in 37 ⅔ frames. He has been exceptional in his past three starts, where he has struck out 26 batters in 18 ⅔ frames with a 1.93 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.

From Single-A to High-A, his HR/FB rate dropped from 22.2% to an astounding 7.1%. In addition, he lowered his walk rate from 9.4% to a minuscule 4.2%. Matthews was recently moved up to Double-A Springfield on June 24, which further shows how quickly he is progressing through the minor leagues and how valuable he is in a dynasty setting.

Redraft managers should be familiar with his name, but he will most likely not see time in St. Louis this season.

Verdict: Rising star in dynasty and keeper leagues, remains on track for 2025 debut



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