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Fantasy Baseball Rookie Risers/Fallers (Week 11)

Well, the Major League season is already 36% 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.

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Rookie Debuts - Stock Up

These players helped their fantasy value with solid debut weeks for their respective team. If not on owners' radars, these players need to be.


Yordan Alvarez (1B/OF, HOU)

Perhaps the second-most hyped prospect to make his debut this year, Alvarez has finally arrived in Houston. The key for fantasy is that Alvarez lands on a good team, with great run and team OBP numbers to boost his immediate value. At the very least, when he hits, expect Alvarez to have runners on base. With all of that, perhaps rostering all Astros rookies makes sense right now. Still, with two hits and fours runs in his first three games, Alvarez can do most of the damage on his own. Flashing a plus hit tool and power grade, Alvarez is a future fantasy stud.

The Triple-A line is shocking for the slugger, with a .343/.443/.742 slash. Add in 23 homers, and Alvarez was the Mike Trout of the minors through the first 55 games. If this can carry over to the Majors, owners will have a real asset of their hands. For now, he looks set as the Designated Hitter, so plenty of playing time coming his way. If owners missed on the big names in FAAB weeks back, this is the player they have been waiting to bid on.


Mike Shawaryn (RP, BOS)

Shawaryn tops what might be the worst farm system in baseball after Michael Chavis’s graduation. Talked about as a sleeper closer candidate this spring, the role and playing time will be a question to begin his career. So far he has appeared out of the pen three times, topping 30 pitches each time. The rotation might be open depending on what the team plans to do with Nathan Eovaldi. For now, owners should expect him to stay in the pen, but there is some rise in the stock with a potential jump to the rotation.

Over his three appearances, Shawaryn has been lights out with 13 Ks over 8.1 innings. Posting a 43.4 K%, fantasy owners should be interested in gross value with the counting numbers. Add in a .135 xBA, and there is plenty of run in the form on the way, adding the stability that he will stick with Boston at the very least. For now, expect him to be a two-inning type of arm out of the pen, with the stuff to strike out 70 in 50 if this keeps up. He plays better in AL-only, but he also could emerge as Josh-Hader-lite.


Rookie Debuts - Stock Neutral

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


Andrew Knizner (C, STL)

Thought of as one of the better hitting catcher prospects in the game right now, Knizner is up a bit earlier than expected. Already back down in Triple-A after going hitless in seven plate appearances, Knizner is clearly a player that the team wants to play everyday. For now the team will play Matt Wieters behind the dish, at least until they think Knizner is ready to be up for a longer stretch. In his own right, Wieters offers an interesting block. While perhaps a better player right now, the team has no loyalty to Wieters with a cheap contract, so expect this situation to be somewhat fluid.

In terms of fantasy value for Knizner, owners should be jumping to bid if they have any need at catcher. Even with the questions on playing time, the 60-grade hit tool makes him worth the risk. After answering questions about his glove with jumps over these past few seasons, Knziner might be the best fantasy catcher in the game. While he will never be a masher, there should be a .280 floor on the batting line, and with that, owners can settle for 12-15 homers from the spot. The reason to add now is with the call he is perhaps in eligible in most databases. If owners have a place to spare, Knizner can be an impact bat with the time.


Rookie Debuts - Stock Down

These players hurt their fantasy value during their first week of play.


Peter Lambert (SP, COL)

Avoid the Rockies pitching at all costs, well until you are desperate due to the injuries that have hurt you so far. With that enters Lambert, a middle-tier prospect for the Rockies. Appearing on most scouting sites in the 12-18 range in the organization, he is not projected to stick with the team without significant skills growth. Lambert is going to be an exciting watch, but owners should stay away for now.

Starting with the good news, Lambert was excellent in his first two starts. Through 12 innings he had 12 K and a 0.83 WHIP. Add in the 1.50 ERA, and he looked like an ace to jumpstart his career. Then came the Padres. Lambert gave up eight runs and nine hits in just three innings in another wild game between the two clubs this past weekend. The concerns come from the exit velocity, as hitters are posting an 89.6 mark against the starter. Hitters may already be finding more success against him due to concerns about his command. Lambert looks like a ticking time bomb that may have already gone off.

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