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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Risers - Players To Stash and Top Performers (Week 4)

Paul Skenes - Fantasy Baseball Prospects, Rookies, Call-Ups

The minor league baseball season is underway and many well-known prospects are already making their case for an MLB debut later this summer.

However, the question is, do these performances truly matter for this season? How easy will it be for these prospects to reach the big leagues and are they worth stashing on your redraft roster?

Knowing which prospects to watch can put you ahead of your leaguemates and in the driver’s seat during the second half of the season. Adding the right prospect can fill the missing piece on your roster and power you to a fantasy championship. This fantasy baseball prospects series will examine a few key players in the minor leagues and assess whether they have a path to fantasy stardom in 2024.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Joey Loperfido, OF, Houston Astros

Houston No. 6 , Overall NA

What if I told you that Loperfido leads all of professional baseball in total home runs? The center fielder turned first baseman and has a dominant .333/.429/.825 line with an incredible 1.324 OPS through the first 14 games of the Triple-A season.

Loperfido has a whopping 10 home runs, 17 RBI, and 18 runs scored.

Loperfido is a prospect to monitor because he has seen playing time at first base over the past week. This is highly significant as it could pave the quickest path to a promotion.

Jose Abreu, the current first baseman in Houston, struggled in his first season in the Space City last year and is off to another disappointing start. Abreu is hitting a dreadful .111/.180/.133 with only one extra-base hit. Loperfido could provide a much-needed impact bat to the Houston lineup, and first base could be his ticket to the majors.

One concern I have with Loperfido is his high strikeout rate. This season, he has a 21:8 K:BB ratio, similar to the 134:65 ratio he posted across several minor league levels last season.

Loperfido could make his major league debut soon and should already be rostered in deeper/AL-only formats. In shallow leagues, if you lack outfield/first base production and have the roster space, it could be worth stashing Loperfido. He could provide a much-needed boost to your team if and when he is promoted.

The Astros have been very disappointing this season and I would not be surprised to see Loperfido in the majors by the All-Star break, potentially even sooner.

Verdict: Stash in 12-team or higher, wait in 10-team leagues for now

 

Christian Scott, RP, New York Mets

New York No. 5, Overall NA

Mets pitching prospect Christian Scott has been striking out batters at an elite level at Triple-A Syracuse. 

The 24-year-old has tallied 19 punchouts in just two starts across nine innings. He has a 4.00 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP with only one free pass (19:1 K:BB ratio).

Scott has been dominant in his first taste at Triple-A and is progressing quite well. Last season, he held a strong 2.47 ERA and 0.84 WHIP across 62 innings at Double-A with 77 strikeouts.

Even though Will Sammon of The Athletic reported last week that the Mets would prefer not to rush Scott’s promotion, his dominance at the Triple-A level may change their minds quickly. 

New York's starting rotation has taken hit after hit to open the season. Ace pitcher Kodai Senga and southpaw David Peterson are on the 60-day IL, and Tylor Megill is on the 15-day IL. If the Mets continue to hang around the Wild Card picture, it would be hard to imagine Scott not being on their major league roster by the All-Star break.

For now, it is best to leave Scott on the waiver wire in shallow and 12-team leagues. If he is available in your 15-team and NL-only league, I suggest stashing him, as he could be the most valuable pitcher on your waiver wire. If Scott can make another two to three dominant starts, he will enter must-stash territory in all leagues.

Verdict: Stash in deeper leagues, wait in 12-team or lower

 

Paul Skenes, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh No. 1, Overall No. 3

Rounding out this list is the former No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 MLB Draft. Skenes was a key part of the LSU championship team last year, has been nothing short of electric in Triple-A, and is on the verge of a call-up. 

Skenes has made three starts, with a 0.00 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts in just over nine innings. 

The Pirates are monitoring his innings at this stage. However, it is still being determined whether they are slowly building him up in the minors, intending to promote him after making several stretched-out starts. Alternatively, these short outings could be just a way to preserve his innings until he is promoted.

Time will tell, but if the 21-year-old is somehow available in your 10-team league, grab him immediately, as he should already be rostered in other formats. 

Also, see if you can strike a deal with the manager who currently rosters Skenes in your league. Maybe they are loaded with pitcher injuries and are becoming frustrated with stashing Skenes. The pitcher could have legit ace upside from the moment he is promoted. Now is the time to get him in your redraft league in any way possible as his value will never be lower.

Verdict: Check your waiver wire in shallow leagues

 

Bonus: Quinn Priester, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Fellow Pirate Priester, who technically graduated from prospect status after logging a short 50 innings in the majors last season, began this year at Triple-A and has also been dominant.

Priester has a 3.95 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 20 strikeouts over 13 ⅔ innings this season. Skenes and Priester should be in Pittsburgh sooner rather than later; the question is who will be called up first.

The Pirates have a decimated rotation with Marco Gonzales on the 15-day IL and Johan Oviedo on the 60-day IL. As a result, both Skenes and Priester could be promoted very soon, which will significantly impact the starting pitching landscape. Skenes is the better talent and fantasy option but Priester should be looked at in deeper formats. 

Verdict: Stash in deeper/NL-only formats



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