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Hot Prospects to Watch Week 25: Mejia, Mullins, Tellez, Reid-Foley

Can you believe that the fantasy baseball season is almost over? It's well into the fantasy playoffs now, so this is the time for owners to start planning ahead for next season.

Probably the hottest prospect this month who will maintain his prospect status heading into next season is Francisco Mejia. After homering twice in his first start with San Diego, Mejia cooled off for his next few games, but his bat is trending upwards over the last week.Mejia leads the batters this week, but the top pitching prospect performance (say that five times fast) belongs to right-hander Sean Reid-Foley of the Blue Jays, who struck out 10 in his last start against the Yankees.

It's going to be a hitter-heavy list this week, so let's see who's swinging a hot bat.

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I Tellez It Like I See It

Francisco Mejia - C, San Diego Padres

Upcoming games: vs San Francisco 9/18-19, at Los Angeles (NL) 9/21-23

Mejia has been getting more regular playing time this past week, appearing in each of the Padres' last five games while getting the start at catcher in three of those games. During that span, Mejia has gone 4-for-16 with a double, a home run, two runs and four RBI to raise his season average to .241 and his OPS to .939. Fantasy owners can likely expect Mejia to be competing with Austin Hedges this spring for the starting job in San Diego, and right now with Hedges' injury woes this year and Mejia's September performance, Mejia has a decent shot at winning out in March. Regardless of whether or not he wins the starting job, Mejia should certainly be worth owning in NL-only leagues next year, and if he does get the starting job he becomes a viable option in 12-team mixed leagues.

Cedric Mullins - OF, Baltimore Orioles

Projected starts: vs New York (NL) 9/5, at Colorado 9/7-9

Out of the prospects on this week's list, Mullins has been in the majors the longest this season after getting called up in the beginning of August. Over 132 plate appearances, Mullins is hitting .276 with nine doubles, three home runs and a .785 OPS. More recently, Mullins has been hitting .348 with an .858 OPS over the last week while drawing three walks against four strikeouts over 26 plate appearances. One aspect of Mullins' fantasy potential that he hasn't really shown much this year in the majors is his speed, as he has averaged 20 steals over the last three seasons in the minors. Given the amount of playing time the Orioles have given Mullins to close out the season, it's reasonable to think he has a good shot at winning a starting job out of Spring Training. If he does, fantasy owners should look for about 13 home runs and 20 steals with an OK average over a full season of work.

Rowdy Tellez - 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

Upcoming games: at Baltimore 9/18-19, vs Tampa Bay 9/20-23

Tellez likely has the most difficult path to regular playing time in 2019 out of the prospects on this week's list. Toronto still has Kendrys Morales signed through 2019, and they also have a 2019 team-option for Justin Smoak. If Tellez can find his way to regular playing time next year, he has the potential for 15 to 20 home runs with an average around .280. Over 10 games this month, Tellez is hitting .407 with seven doubles, one home run, five RBI and a 1.206 OPS — and that's even with Tellez playing in two or fewer innings in four of those games. As it currently stands, Tellez will most likely only be worth drafting in deep AL-only leagues in 2019, but fantasy owners should keep an eye on any moves Toronto makes this off-season that could open up playing time for him.

Sean Reid-Foley - SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Projected starts: vs Tampa Bay 9/20, vs Houston 9/25

The only pitcher to appear on this week's list, Reid-Foley has been putting together some dominant performances in September. In two of his three starts this month, Reid-Foley has allowed one or fewer runs while striking out 10 over at least five innings pitched. Those two starts came against the Marlins and the Yankees, but he struggled in his outing between those when he allowed six runs on five hits and five walks over four innings against the Indians. Reid-Foley looks to have the makings of a potential front-of-the-rotation starter in Toronto, with his 58.6 percent first strike rate and 11.4 percent swinging strike rate both acting as good indicators of future success. Looking forward to next year, he will definitely be one of the better young pitchers to keep an eye on during Spring Training. If he can snag a spot in the rotation, he'll likely be worth owning in 14-team mixed leagues and worth using as a streaming option in 12-team leagues.


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