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The calendar has turned to June. The Super Two deadline is near. This is one of the best times of the year for baseball fans becuase it means that soon teams will begin to start calling up their blue-chip prospects that they deem worthy of a major league appearance.

The Super Two deadline passing essentially means that teams will avoid an additional year of arbitration if they recall a player from the minors. Due to service time considerations, many teams wait until this deadline has definitively passed (it's generally around two months into the season, perhaps slightly more) to save money on their top prospects. This means that soon we will see the Nick Senzels, Michael Kopechs, and Eloy Jimenezes of the world. Hopefully.

Walker Buehler and Nick Kingham leave the list this week. Players joining (or-rejoining) the list are Jalen Beeks, Alex Reyes, Mike Soroka, and Miguel Andujar. And since we are getting close to passing the Super Two deadline, I will just note that I think it's extremely unlikely Vlad Guerrero Jr. gets the call at all this year. You can roster him but there is a very slim shot that he makes an actual fantasy impact in 2018.

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Prospect Call-Ups and Rookie Performances

Jalen Beeks (SP, BOS)

Beeks will make his MLB debut on Thursday as a spot starter for the injured Drew Pomeranz. The 24-year-old lefty was a 12th round pick out of the University of Arkansas in 2014. He slowly-but-surely ascended through the minors before really bursting onto the scene in 2018. This season, in Triple-A, Beeks has a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 12.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 35.4% strikeout rate, in 56.1 innings, all as a starter. The sky is the limit here for Beeks, and while MLB.com pegs him as a back-of-the-rotation starter, his performance in AAA this year indicates that he can be much more than that. Add Beeks in redraft and dynasty leagues wherever you can.

Alex Reyes (SP, STL)

That was fast. After dominating the minor leagues in his rehab stint, Reyes came to the majors, made one start, and is out again for the year. He left his start after pitching four scoreless innings, scattering three hits, walking two, and striking out two. Reyes is only 23 years of age, so he is still young, but it is a bit concerning that the injury bug keeps popping up with him. He is safely droppable in all redraft leagues and should be targeted by any dynasty team trying to rebuild due to the lower price tag. At his best, Reyes could be an ace, and at the very worst, he will become a lights-out closer.

Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH, LAA)

Ohtani left his Wednesday start against the Royals early due to a blister on his right middle finger. He did not go enough innings to receive the win but his pitching performance was far from poor: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO. The three walks are a bit uncharacteristic of Ohtani, but considering that two of them came in the fourth inning when he was battling his blister, the control issues are not of major concern right now. Knowing how blisters can affect pitchers, though, makes me somewhat worried about Ohtani down the stretch this season because these things can pop up at any moment. There is not anything to be very worried about with Ohtani here but monitor the situation closely if you are an Ohtani owner or aspiring to be one.

Shane Bieber (SP, CLE)

Well, Bieber's MLB was nothing short of disappointing. Bieber cruised through his first time in the order, facing the minimum on thirty-three pitches and striking out two and walking none. Through four innings, Bieber's line was quite impressive: 51 pitches, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 4 K. The wheels came off somewhat in the fifth inning when Bieber allowed a double, a walk, and a single to lead to two runs for the Twins. Then in the sixth inning, Bieber collapsed, allowing back-to-back HR after retiring the first two hitters he faced in the eighth. He then gave up a single and was yanked for Dan Otero before he could get through the sixth frame. His final line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO.

There are a lot of things to be happy about in Bieber's debut. The first is that the pinpoint control he showed in the minors was on full display in his debut. As Bieber worked deeper into the game, his command worsened, but that could be a result of nerves from making his first MLB appearance. Bieber also did an excellent job of inducing ground balls: seven of the eleven outs he got from balls in play were on grounders. He induced 9 grounders of his 17 balls in play, a very good rate for a youngster. Long-term Bieber could be a very solid asset for some fantasy teams, but he was optioned back to AAA after his start and there is no telling when he might return.

Dennis Santana (SP, LAD)

Santana made his MLB debut in relief in Coors Field and it was even more underwhelming than Bieber's debut. Pitching in Coors as an MLB debut is a sort of rude awakening and Santana was clearly not up to the task, firing 3.2 innings in a relief appearance where he allowed six hits, walked one, struck out four, and allowed five runs. More runs than strikeouts is never a good sign. Then again, it is Coors.

Like Bieber's performance, there is a lot to like about Santana's debut. Santana got 10 swinging strikes on 70 pitches, a very good ratio, and was also victimized by some bad luck on balls in play. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4:1 in 3.1 innings is very respectable, so there is reason to believe that Santana can bounce back and be a decent starter this year, at least for fantasy purposes. He takes the hill Thursday afternoon at PNC Park against the Pirates.

 

Quick Hits

Mike Soroka (SP, ATL)

Soroka has made two rehab starts so far. His most recent one came on Wednesday in Triple-A: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He threw just 73 pitches. He is expected to make one more rehab start before re-joining the MLB rotation.

Juan Soto (OF, WAS)

Soto's last week: 6/20, 4 BB, 3 SO, 6 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR. Soto is now hitting .346/.443/.538 with 2 HR and a 9:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 52 MLB PA this season. He is 19 years old.

Seranthony Dominguez (RP, PHI)

Dominguez finally gave up the first two runs of his young career on Wednesday night against the Cubs. His 2018 line: 16 IP, 17 K, 1 BB, 1.13 ERA, 0.25 WHIP.

Dylan Cozens (OF, PHI)

Cozens since being recalled: 2/6, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 3 SO. Just about exactly what we thought he would be.

Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL)

Acuna is expected to resume baseball activities within the next few days and could possibly be sent on a rehab assignment next week if all goes according to plan. He should be back before the end of June.

Josh Hader (RP, MIL) 

Hader only made one appearance this past week but it was vintage Hader: 1.1 IP, 3 SO, 1 BB, 0 ER. He now has his ERA down to 1.05 on the season and is averaging over three strikeouts per appearance this year.

Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY)

It is worth noting that Andujar has been red-hot over the past week: 8/17 with 4 doubles, 2 HR, 3 R, 8 RBI, and, shockingly, more walks (3) than strikeouts (1).

Gleyber Torres (2B/3B, NYY)

Gleyber Torres became the first Yankee since Mickey Mantle to hit 10 HR before his 22nd birthday when he blasted his 10th dinger of the year Monday. He is now slashing .294/.353/.551 on the year. I still hate the Yankees.

 

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