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Fantasy Baseball Rookie Risers/Fallers (Week 17)

Well, the Major League season is already 47% 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 players helped their fantasy value with solid debut weeks for their respective team. If not on owners's radars, these players need to be.

Michael Baez (SP, SD)

Season line: Two games, two innings, two Ks

The Padres are going to be an exciting team to watch the rest of the way, as the front office clearly does not care about service time or age when looking at talent. With Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias already playing every day, the next wave of prospects is going to come on the mound. With Baez, the team has an upside arm, but a player who only signed before 2017. Debuting at 23 means there is still a literal decade of development time ahead to push this value up even more. While there are always questions regarding the durability of young arms, with the stuff that these prospects can offer, they are going to be hard to hit even to start their careers.

Baez seems set in the bullpen, with two appearances on a single inning so far. He did strike out a batter in each outing and has only walked one. What set Baez apart is the pitch-mix. Typically a reliever will have two offerings, with the best, having one other offering they can throw when needed. Baez has a fastball, curveball, slider, and change that he can throw, will all four pitches grading out as a 50 floor. Expect him to widdle this down to three for the time being, but with that type of arsenal, and mid-90s velocity, this is a stock with fantasy impact.


Rookie Debuts - Stock Down

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

Zach Green (3B, SFG)

Season line: Two games, five ABs, two hits

A former third-round draft pick by Philadelphia, Green was added this past week as cover for Evan Longoria. Entering the year via a minor-league invite to spring training, and not being listed on any prospect lists, Green is a pop-up option for fantasy owners. Through 64 games at Triple-A Sacramento this campaign, Green was slashing .303/.402/.689. Add in 23 homers with 39 runs scored, and Green has played like the top prospect he was never considered.

In terms of this staying time with the team, there is not much of a path for playing time. While Green did start in the first game up with the team, he has yet to make another appearance. Green does have two fits in his first five plate appearances, but he is not getting the run of a player whom the team thinks will be with them the rest of the way. While there is some new interest in dynasty leagues with the hot year, with this being his first productive year the plate, redraft owners should not take a flier until he starts to play more often.


Tim Lopes (2B, SEA)

Season line: two games, one AB, two runs, one walk

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 Amateur Draft, Lopes offers another name who did not begin the year with any prospect hype. Still only 25, Lopes has taken his time to get to the Bigs but is still well within the range for fantasy players to take a look. In 91 games at Triple-A Tacoma, Lopes was slashing .302/.362/.480 before his call. With a career .277 batting line, Lopes has been an excellent bat-to-ball hitter, but with a career .382 slugging line has not been able to show much pop.

No hits in his first few games, but Lopes did manage to score twice of a walk and hit-by-pitch. Owners should expect him to keep playing scrappy, with runs and RBIs that the profile will not support, but also a clear ceiling on even that value. With news that he will be heading to the Injured List with a concussion, owners should stay away. Still, if Dee Gordon is dealt, then Lopes might be the next man up. In that case, he is a .270 MI starter, with some risk of scrappy leading to value.


Adrian Morejon (SP/RP, SD)

Season line: 3.1 innings pitched, two Ks, one earned run allowd

Signed out of Cuba before the 2016 season, Morejon has always been ap layer with some hype, but questions on how quickly he would move. Still only 20 at the time of his debut, Morejon has impressed with his plus stuff. Always, walks have been a concern with 55 in 164 total innings of work. If that can stay in the 3.0-3.5 K/9 range, then the stuff and length are there for him to project as an SP3 with some rise for 2020 and beyond.

When his best offerings are the fastball-curveball combo, it makes sense that he looks to set into a role in the pen for the time being. Through his first 3.1 innings of work, Morejon has struck out two batters and walked none. While there have been four homers, this is also too small a sample size to read either way. With the skills to pitch in the Bigs, but a bullpen role capping his value, the stock is down for now. If he gets a spot start, this is the type of arm that owners should throw FAAB at in redraft formats.


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