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Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report - Prospect Risers and Fallers for Week 9

michael harris II fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers waiver wire pickups

Welcome to RotoBaller’s Recently Promoted Prospects series for fantasy baseball! Here I discuss some recently-promoted top MLB prospects and rookies, making note of what I think their upside could be for fantasy baseball managers, and whether they are potential risers or fallers.

In the past two weeks, we have seen a few more high-impact rookies make their MLB debut. Below I discuss three rookies that might work their way into fantasy relevance. I will use industry scouting reports, analytics, and RotoBaller’s premium projections to predict what each recently called-up player could do if given a continued opportunity in 2022.

Here are your recently promoted prospects for Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season.

Be sure to check all of our preseason fantasy baseball rankings for Roto, Points, H2H, dynasty, best ball, prospects and more:

 

Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves

33% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: 21-year-old Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II was a surprise call-up by the Braves on May 28. Harris, called up straight from Double-A, was slashing .305/.372/.506 to go with five home runs and 11 stolen bases over 174 at-bats in 2022. In six games since his promotion, Harris is batting .286/.318/.381 over 21 AB. He does not yet have a stolen base in the majors. With outfielder Eddie Rosario on the 60-day injured list, and Ronald Acuna a little banged up recently, Harris could be given a long look by the Braves at the MLB level this year.

Skill: Harris is a 6’0” tall lefty who was drafted in the third round of the MLB Draft in 2019, as the 98th overall pick.  He has made a rapid ascent through the Braves farm system and is the top-ranked prospect in the Braves organization and the 58th overall prospect in MLB as per MLB Pipeline.

Harris is a potential five-tool star and will be able to contribute in all categories for fantasy managers in his prime, particularly in the stolen base department. He projects as a 15-plus HR talent who can steal 30 or more bases, excel in batting ratios, and is an above-average defender. Over three minor league levels, Harris has posted a career minor league slash of .292/.360/.441 with 14 HR, 124 RBI, 46 steals, and 114 runs scored over 739 AB.

Projection: If Harris can produce while he is in Atlanta, he may remain with the team through the remainder of 2022. This makes him an immediate speculative add in formats of 12 or more teams. The Braves did not promote their top prospect to have him sit on the bench. If he can adjust to MLB pitching at his young age of 21, he can help fantasy managers in all offensive categories, particularly in stolen bases and batting average. Of course, managers should temper expectations when it comes to home run totals. That said, should the Braves move him up in the batting order, he could be a solid source of RBI totals.

 

Nick Plummer, New York Mets

3% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: With outfielder Travis Jankowski (hand) being placed on the injured list due to a hand fracture, the Mets called up 25-year-old outfielder Nick Plummer from Triple-A Syracuse on May 28. Although Plummer was called up to the Mets for outfield depth purposes, since his promotion he has made his presence felt. He belted a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in his first major league start and followed that up with a three-run home run in his second major league start.

Before his promotion, Plummer was slashing .250/.313/.511 with six HR and 21 RBI over 88 at-bats at Triple-A. If he can continue to hit, and third baseman/designated hitter J.D. Davis continues to struggle, don’t be surprised if Plummer sees more and more time in the Mets lineup at DH or as the first option to spell one of the Mets' outfielders on a rest day. Plummer has already displaced first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith who was optioned to Triple-A following Plummer’s impressive first two games.

Skill: Plummer had a long, tough road to get to the majors. He is a former first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, drafted 23rd overall in the 2015 MLB draft. He missed all of the 2016 season due to a wrist injury and was sidelined for part of 2017 due to an oblique injury. In 2018 and 2019 at Single-A he posted mediocre numbers. After modifying his swing before the 2021 campaign, he finally had a breakout campaign over two levels in 2021. Before the 2022 season, he became a minor league free agent and the Mets jumped at the opportunity to sign him.

The pedigree is there and he showed promise at Double-A and Triple-A in 2021 slashing a combined .280/.415/.479 with 15 HR and 54 RBI over 386 AB. He is the Mets' eighth-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline. He fits right into the Mets’ roster construct as another hitter with great plate discipline and a high on-base percentage skill set.

Projection: Plummer has the opportunity to remain in the big leagues through the remainder of the season if he continues to produce at the plate. With Smith now at Triple-A Syracuse (and potential trade bait) and Jankowski sidelined until after the All-Star break, Plummer should see his playing time increase. He may very well end up in a bona fide timeshare with J.D. Davis at DH and could even see the majority of at-bats at DH if Davis continues to struggle.

Plummer is worth a speculative add in deep mixed league formats of 15 or more teams. He should also be rostered in NL-only formats, given his potential for increased playing time, his MLB draft pedigree, and his solid 2021 and 2022 minor league campaigns.

 

Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs

52% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: 22-year-old Chicago Cubs infielder/outfielder Christopher Morel made his major league debut back on May 17. Since being called up, Morel has reached base safely in all 17 games in which he has played. Over those 17 games, Morel is slashing .262/.364/.446 with two home runs, six RBI, and six steals. Despite the impressive start to his major league career, Morel’s time in the majors may be temporary in 2022 with several Cubs returning from the injured list shortly.

Skill: Morel was an international free agent signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Cubs back in 2015. He is the 21st-ranked prospect in the Cubs organization as per MLB Pipeline. While he does not sit on any top-100 prospect lists, he has plus power with a pull-heavy approach at the plate. He also has defensive flexibility making him an attractive option in deeper and/or NL-only fantasy formats.

His career minor league slash is somewhat uninspiring at .242/.313/.413 over five levels, though he has 41 career minor league homers and 54 steals. In 2022, before his call-up, he slashed a very solid .306/.380/.565 with seven homers, 20 RBI, and three steals over 108 at-bats at Double-A Tennessee. Despite beginning 2022 at Double-A, he finished 2021 at Triple-A Iowa, so he has faced pitching at the highest level of the minors.

Projection: Despite the hot start to his major league career, rumor has it that Morel may be sent back down to the minors once the Cubs see the return of several veterans from the injured list. Jason Heyward (COVID-19) and David Bote (shoulder) could be returning soon. With Clint Frazier (appendectomy) recently returning to the Cubs, Morel may be the odd man out. Of course, if his hot hitting continues, he could force the Cubs’ hand to keep him rostered at the MLB level.

Morel is definitely worth rostering at this point in most 12-team redraft mixed leagues, but managers should not break the bank to acquire him. A low-cost FAAB bid to acquire him and ride out this hot streak would be worth the money. Conversely, Morel should be rostered in deeper dynasty formats at this point, particularly considering his success against MLB pitching so far. The 22-year-old has 15/20 potential down the road as he continues to develop.



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