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Fantasy Baseball Prospects Report - MLB Rookie Risers and Fallers for Week 18

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It has been a few weeks since my last edition of RotoBaller’s Recently Promoted Prospects series for fantasy baseball prospects thanks to a trip to the Caribbean where I enjoyed watching MLB trade deadline madness from a beach with a drink (or two) in my hand. A number of big prospects have since been promoted to the majors, so it's time to catch up.

In this article are your recently promoted MLB prospects and their outlooks as we head into Week 18 of the fantasy baseball season. Here I discuss some recently-promoted top MLB prospects and rookies, making note of what I think their upside could be for fantasy baseball managers, and whether they are potential risers or fallers.

Below I discuss four rookies that might work their way into fantasy relevance. I will use industry scouting reports, analytics, and RotoBaller’s premium projections to predict what each recently called-up player could do if given a continued opportunity in 2022.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Vaughn Grissom, Atlanta Braves

22% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: In a somewhat unexpected move, the Atlanta Braves called up top infield prospect Vaughn Grissom from Double-A on Wednesday, August 10. Grissom was called up when the Braves placed second baseman Orlando Arcia (hamstring) on the 10-day injured list. Grissom will play second base and start for the Braves with both Arcia and Ozzie Albies (fractured foot) on the IL.

Grissom did not disappoint in his MLB debut on August 10, when he went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and a stolen base against the Boston Red Sox. He immediately showcased the talent that has propelled him up the Braves’ organization prospect ranks.

Prior to his promotion, Grissom was slashing .324/.405/.494 with 14 HR, 67 RBI, and 27 steals in 96 games over two minor league levels (High-A and Double-A). In two games at the MLB level so far, Grissom is 3-for-7 with one homer, two RBI, and a stolen base.

Skill: Grissom is a 6’3” right-handed hitter who has played multiple infield positions (shortstop, third base, and second base) in the minors. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Braves (overall 337th pick) and has, as mentioned, rapidly moved up the Braves prospect ranks in the three years he has been in the organization. Grissom is currently the top prospect in the Braves organization and the 98th overall prospect in MLB, as per MLB Pipeline.

As he has advanced through the minors, his power has also developed (as many scouts had projected). In 2021, he hit seven homers over 317 at-bats split between Low-A and High-A. In 389 minor league at-bats in 2022 (between High-A and Double-A), he has belted 14 homers. Grissom has excellent plate discipline and on-base skills, evidenced by a career .402 on-base percentage in the minors. If his power continues to develop, the sky could be the limit for Grissom, especially if he exhibits the same stolen base skill set in the majors.

Projection: Grissom was not called up from Double-A by the Braves to sit. Much like outfielder Michael Harris II, Grissom will start at second base for the immediate future while Arcia remains sidelined indefinitely with a hamstring strain.

The jump from Double-A to the majors is significant, so managers should still temper expectations, despite Grissom’s impressive start. At this point in the season, though, there will be very few additional prospects promoted who will have a clear path to playing time in an excellent lineup, and who can help managers in all offensive categories.

Managers in redraft formats in need of help on offense should be very aggressive in their FAAB bids for Grissom. He should serve to help teams with some power, steals, and solid ratios the rest of the way in 2022. Grissom’s performance will also have a direct impact on whether the Braves opt to resign Dansby Swanson after the 2022 campaign. As a result, the window to acquire Grissom on the cheap in dynasty formats is closing rapidly, unless (of course) Grissom struggles.

 

Bubba Thompson, Texas Rangers

4% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: Texas Rangers outfield prospect Bubba Thompson was called up from Triple-A on August 4 to replace Kole Calhoun (heel) who was placed on the 10-day injury list. Prior to his promotion, Thompson was hitting .303/.355/.474 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, and an impressive 49 steals in 52 attempts over 80 games (346 at-bats). Since his promotion, however, Thompson is off to a rough start. He is batting just .160/.192/.200 in 25 at-bats over seven games. While he has three stolen bases, showcasing his speed, he has already struck out ten times.

Skill: The 24-year-old Thompson is a 6’2”, 197-pound righty who was drafted by Texas in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft. He is currently the 27th-ranked prospect in the Texas organization as per MLB Pipeline. His minor league career has been marred with injuries (knees, hamate, ankle) which drastically slowed down his development and caused his prospect status to plummet.

Poor hitting performances in campaigns prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly due to the recurring injuries, also did not do much for his prospect status. Thompson's very high strikeout rates in the minors have also contributed to his declined prospect status.

In 2021. Thompson was finally healthy throughout the campaign and his slash line and counting stats improved. He hit .275/.375/.483 with 16 homers, 52 RBI, and 25 steals over 429 at-bats in Double-A. Of course, despite the impressive numbers, strikeout issues continued (125).

Thompson has average-to-above-average power and near-elite speed, exemplified by his 123 career minor league steals over five seasons. He favors hitting to left field as a pull hitter. His above-average defensive skill set should serve to get him playing time in Texas, even in a part-time capacity. Of course, the strikeout/poor plate discipline issues will likely serve to cap his ceiling.

Projection: Since his promotion, Thompson has been starting for the Rangers in centerfield. Once Calhoun returns from the IL, Thompson may be relegated to a bench role as a late-inning defensive sub, or sent back to the minors, since Leody Taveras and Adolis Garcia will continue to start.

If Thompson can impress, however, he may carve out a time-share with Calhoun who has been mediocre in 2022. The Rangers may also want to get Thompson’s bat into the lineup more frequently to see what they have in the young 24-year-old over the next month and a half. Managers in need of steals shouldn’t break the bank to acquire him. If he continues to struggle and/or exhibits a high propensity to strike out, he could be back in Triple-A Round Rock once Calhoun returns.

 

DL Hall, Baltimore Orioles

6% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: The Baltimore Orioles are promoting one of their top pitching prospects, DL Hall, on Saturday to start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Hall last pitched on Sunday, August 7 at Triple-A Norfolk against the Nashville Sounds (Brewers). Over three levels in 2022, although primarily in Triple-A, the highly regarded prospect has struggled. Hall has posted a 4.52 ERA, and a 1.42 WHIP, to go with 45 walks and 10 homers in 77 2/3 innings pitched in 20 games (18 at Triple-A). Hall has, however, struck out 126 batters.

Skill: Hall was the first-round pick of the Orioles in the 2017 MLB draft (21st overall pick). He is a 6’2” lefty who boasts an excellent fastball and above-average slider, changeup, and curve. He is the Orioles' 4th-ranked prospect (and the 62nd-ranked prospect in all of MLB) as per MLB Pipeline.

An elbow stress reaction in 2021 limited Hall to just 31 IP at Double-A Bowie where he posted a 3.13 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. His “down season” in 2022 could be attributed to building back his arm strength following the injury. Of course, over five seasons in the minors (missing 2020 due to the pandemic), his highest total of IP in any given campaign is 94 1/3 IP. This raises durability concerns. In addition, while he boasts tremendous strikeout potential (410 career strikeouts in the minors over 294 2/3 IP) Hall has control/walk issues which could limit his success.

Projection: It is definitely interesting that the Orioles are calling up Hall, given his somewhat underwhelming 2022 campaign. It remains to be seen whether Hall will stay with the club or whether the Orioles are merely giving the 23-year-old a brief cup of coffee. Notably, though, since Hall only threw 31 IPs last season and his career-high IP for a given campaign is 94 1/3 IP, the Orioles will only use him sparingly.

Even if he impresses at the MLB level and remains with the club, it is likely Hall will only pitch 20-30 IP the rest of the way. Managers in need of pitching help in redraft formats should not go crazy in FAAB runs on Sunday. Hall will either be used rarely or be headed back to Norfolk by Monday morning.  As for dynasty formats, Hall should already be rostered in any respectable leagues where his value should be realized in 2023 and beyond.

 

Peyton Burdick, Miami Marlins

0% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: Miami Marlins outfield prospect Peyton Burdick was called up to the big-league club on August 3 when they optioned outfielder Jesus Sanchez back to Triple-A Jacksonville. In 88 games at Triple-A this season, Burdick has slashed a .229/.344/.430 line with 14 homers, 15 doubles, 51 RBI, and three steals (in 323 at-bats). Since his promotion, Burdick has played in seven games and has gone 6-for-24 with one HR, two doubles, two RBI, and ten strikeouts.

Skill: Burdick is a 6’0” 200-pound 25-year-old outfielder who the Marlins drafted in the third round of the 2019 MLB draft. He is currently the Marlins' tenth-ranked prospect as per MLB Pipeline. Burdick has played three professional seasons over four levels and owns a minor league career slash line of .248/.370/.471. He has belted 48 home runs over 984 at-bats, including 23 homers in Double-A Pensacola (in 2021 over 373 at-bats). He possesses above-average power, moderate speed, and a solid on-base skill set.

Similar to Bubba Thompson, Burdick struggles with the strikeouts (135 strikeouts in that same 2021 Double-A campaign and 99 strikeouts this season at Triple-A) which may cap his MLB ceiling.

Projection: Burdick should play regularly while he is with the Marlins until one of Jorge Soler (back), Avisail Garcia (hamstring), or Jon Berti (groin) returns from the injured list. Of course, if the Marlins want to see what they have in Burdick heading into the off-season, the return of one or two of these outfielders may not limit his playing time.

Managers in need of some power in daily on-base percentage formats may wish to take a cheap flyer on Burdick as a streaming option.  He could contribute with a moderate number of homers through the remainder of the season, though Loan Depot Park may serve to cap some of these counting stats.



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Comeback Sunday. The Jets, Dolphins, and Cardinals pulling off improbable wins. Other games going down to the wire. Through two weeks, 12 games have been decided by three or fewer, a record. As for survivor, both Ohio teams, the Browns and Bengals, knocked out about 20 percent of the entrants. About 75 percent of entrants... Read More


Dallas Cowboys Defense, Trevon Diggs - Fantasy Football Rankings, IDP Targets, Draft Sleepers

Week 3 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2022 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

We're into Week 3 of the NFL season, and we're starting to see some defensive units stand out among the pack. However, it's still too early to fully give ourselves over to the data we're collecting for some of these teams. Are the Jaguars really this good? Are the Colts really this bad? Only time... Read More


Chris Olave - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 3 FLEX Rankings for Fantasy Football: Chris Olave, Adam Thielen, Jarvis Landry, Jeff Wilson Jr., Michael Carter, Chase Edmonds

Trying to figure out your FLEX plays for this week's fantasy football lineups? Not to worry, we're here to help with our team's updated Week 3 fantasy football FLEX rankings, as of September 24th. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key FLEX options like Chris Olave, Adam... Read More