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Fantasy Baseball Rookie Risers/Fallers (Week 18)

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.

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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's radars, these players need to be.

Bo Bichette (SS, TOR)

Perhaps the most prominent name expected by many to make his debut in the second half, Bichette continues a trend of young stars north of the border. While Bichette is rated in the same class as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio in terms of role with the Jays, he seems to fit right in the middle of those two in terms of fantasy value. While he might never get to the raw power of Guerrero Jr., he is the better contact hitter between him and Biggio. With a plus plus hit tool, decent speed, and athleticism on defense, Bichette will be fun to watch.

The first 20 plate appearances have been electric for Bichette, with eight hits and a homer so far. After debuting in the six-hole, Bichette has been batting at the top of the order since. The only thing that is stopping him from having an A+ debut week was the lack of a steal, but that all comes down to context for this team. On a power-heavy roster, expect the team to be conservative on the bases in the hopes of eking out some wins. For next year, Bichette will have a .280 15/20 projection from most places and is flashing those skills now. Finally, a prospect who has lived up to his hype during his debut. 


Jake Rogers (C, DET)

Featuring on our AL-only list this week, Rogers might not end of up being all that great of a fantasy asset. Still, he is one of the best defensive catchers in the game already and will be the regular for Detroit as soon as possible. This means that with the growth of two-catching formats, Rogers will be on the draft lists just for the playing time alone. In terms of his first chances, Rogers looked good, with three hits in six at-bats. With two walks in that time as well, Rogers seems like a professional hitter stepping into a new role. No concerns about his catching so far, and he is even getting some praise from pitchers for his game calling already.

Before the call, Rogers had been struggling at the plate but had seen his power output rise to nine homers in 48 games. With the new ball at Triple-A, all power numbers are suspect, and Rogers will need to show even more to stick in fantasy circles. The silver lining is that he does walk a lot for the power profile. A career .338 OBP line in the minors also shows some of the floor, with a batting line in the .240 range. Stock is up with the playing time ahead, and some increased pop. Long term, Rogers will be the next Roberto Perez; a batting average that will make owners cringe, but power upside to stomach it most weeks. 


Rookie Debuts - Stock Down

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

Dillon Tate (RP, BAL)

The principal return from the Zach Britton trade last year, Tate was also involved in a deal with the Rangers the year prior. Always considered one of the better arms in the game, concerns about his command have resulted in the stock declining. The fastball has slowed down over his time in the game, and now sites 90-92, but can touch 94 on occasion. Scouts like his slider more than the changeup, but he will need all three to be a starter for Baltimore moving forward. When he entered the league, the reports were that he could rely on the fastball. With changes in the delivery, that pitch is not enough for him to be a fantasy option anymore. 

Two appearances out of the pen with the Orioles this past week, Tate was tagged for six earned runs in five innings pitched. While he did strike out five and only walked one, he did give up three bombs. An ERA of 10.80 looks confused next to a WHIP of 1.00, but this shows the real issues with pitching in Baltimore. When Tate gave up those three homers in Petco Park, one of the better parks for suppressing homers, imagine the carnage at Camden. Clear stock down, and clear sell for fantasy owners.  



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