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Fantasy Baseball Rookie Risers/Fallers (Week 6)

Well, the Major League season is already 18% 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.


Josh VanMeter (2B, CIN)

While not a top prospect in his own right, VanMeter does have an exciting mix of defense and hit tool to keep him in the conversation. After struggling a bit after ending the year at Triple-A, Vanmeter has been back with force this year. Over 30 games he was slashing .336/.431/.736 with 13 homers and five steals. While known as a hit over power bat so far in his career, VanMeter might be the most recent example of a hitter taking advantage of the new ball. While this pace will not continue, it would not be shocking to the see VanMater push the overall line to 15 or more bombs over a full year.

Even more, his K rate is down this year. After a 20.2 K% the year before, this year that number sits at 17.6%. Add in a doubling of the BB%, and VanMeter is looking like a solid fantasy piece based on the supporting metrics. While he does not have a hit in four plate appearances, he did walk and steal a base off the bench. Expect him to find playing time, and this is the under-the-radar option to add this week.

Stock is up since this call was unexcepted, and there looks to be a real shot to stick around. While he will not be able to post numbers like the other prospect featured below, VanMater has the profile to take advantage of Great American. In NL-only leagues, this is a smart buy for limited time value, with long term upside.


Nick Senzel (2B/OF, CIN)

The second most anticipated debut of 2019, Senzel did not disappoint when he got his shot. Three homers through 20 plate appearances show the raw power, and owners will deal with the .200 batting line over a small sample. With a plus sprint speed carrying the overall five-tool profile, Senzel will be fun to watch this year. Not only will the power be there, but the underlying speed will boost run production as well as allow him to chip in double-digit steals.

The debut week did raise some questions, but also shows the impact that playing in Great American can have. This, plus the juiced ball, will add power upside to these plus hitting profiles like Senzel. For now, Senzel is owned everywhere, so there is not much of an opportunity to buy. For owners who already have him on the roster, ignore the chance to move him for value. With the power boost, this is the type of hitter that can win the Rookie of the Year.

Rookie Debuts - Stock Neutral

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


Nathaniel Lowe (1B, TB)

A highly touted bat entering the year, Lowe is up a bit sooner than expected. With a plus hit tool and plus power mark, Lowe should be an impact option once he gets up to speed. Nine hits in 30 plate appearances are only a good sign, and the power will come. What is encouraging is that he is seeing close to four pitches each at-bat, so he is not pushing even with the call-up. A solid RBI producer in the minors, Lowe will rely on the team to support these numbers, but the skills are there to be an across the roto-category producer.

If anything the stock is right where it should be, without the power to push up early expectations. The fact that he is already hitting means he should be around for an extended stretch. With a good team around him, and some great offensive parks in the American League East, Lowe is a must add where he is still available. The final note, and while the minors, is that Lowe never posted an wRC+ below 111 in his career, and that was over 52 game at High-A. The track record is there, and owners in need of an impact bat should be moving for this asset while the price is down with the name value.


Cal Quantrill (SP, SD)

After struggling over his time in the minors, the son of the former Big League pitcher, Quantrill finally got his chance to debut last week. So far, in two starts, he has pitched a total of 10 innings with eight Ks. His first start was much better with 5.2 innings and two runs allowed, but he did strike out more hitters over 4.1 innings in his second start. While length might seem to be an issue with 23 hitters being the cap in both starts. This means that he will need to be efficient to get to the needed five to record a win.

The downside with Quantrill is that since he got to the high minors, the stuff has been down. After a 23 K% to start his career, over the past three levels, that has dipped to 17.2%. While the walks have stayed in a 5-7% range, the ability to get swings-and-misses will be crucial to hanging with the Padres. He does not have the arm for the bullpen, so there is a bit of safety in the role for fantasy owners.

With two reliable starts against the Braves and Mets, Quantrill has flashed the skills to be effective. While the ceiling is also a bit low, the floor seems to be there for a safe SP4.

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