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Rookie Report: Recent MLB Prospect Call-Ups (Week 18)

The calendar has turned to August and we still have yet to see some of the big-name prospects that were expected to come up this season. Yes, Kyle Tucker, Willie Calhoun, Juan Soto, and Willy Adames have all made their debuts this season but I seriously doubt that we will see any more of the blue-chip rookies come up this season in time to make a fantasy impact.

With that being said, there is a large crop of rookies to choose from at this point, both blue-chip prospects and less heralded prospects who have burst onto the scene. And, as these things tend to go, the list has grown considerably since the start of the season.

Jalen Beeks, Jeff McNeil, and Daniel Poncedeleon leave the list this week. Kolby Allard and Ryan O'Hearn will each join for the first time this season, and Jake Bauers will be rejoining the list. Without further ado, this week's rookie report.

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Prospect Call-Ups and Rookie Performances

Kolby Allard (SP, ATL)

Allard had a mediocre-at-best MLB debut, going five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, walking two, and striking out one. The lefty figures to be a part of the Atlanta rotation at some point in the future but will likely be a non-factor this season, as the Braves just acquired Kevin Gausman from the Orioles. Allard has the pedigree and results in the minor leagues to back up his status as a legitimate prospect, though, so don't panic if you own him in a keeper league. And if you picked him up in redraft leagues, he is a safe drop.

Ryan O'Hearn (1B, KC)

O'Hearn burst onto the scene earlier this week by knocking a homer in his big-league debut. Hitting home runs should come easily for O'Hearn, he hasn't hit fewer than 20 in a full season since going pro, but he will struggle with contact. O'Hearn looks like he will have a similar career trajectory to Lucas Duda, that is, he will be valuable when he is on a hot streak but his cold streaks will be very cold. His strikeout rate should settle somewhere in the mid-to-high twenties, and his walk rate will likely end up right around 10%. Pick up O'Hearn if you're in an AL only league and need the cheap power, but otherwise he is someone to just throw on the watch list for now.

Jake Bauers (1B, TB)

I'm re-adding Bauers to the list because he has quietly hit for a good amount of power since getting called up. It's not that nobody thought he could do it, he was excellent in the minor leagues, but a .506 slugging percentage with a .246 batting average doesn't come around every day. Not to mention that his walk rate is sitting up at 13,2%, quite impressive for a rookie. We could do without the 23.4% strikeout rate, but so long as he is drawing walks and hitting for power, he is a valuable asset in leagues of 10 teams or deeper.

Kyle Tucker (OF, HOU)

Tucker was optioned back to the minor leagues on Wednesday. He went 7-45 in his brief, 16-game audition with the big league club. Tucker's debut was certainly disappointing, but let us not forget that Alex Bregman, who is now an absolute stud, picked up just one hit in his first 32 at-bats. Not every rookie is going to be promoted to the majors and hit like Juan Soto, so be patient with Tucker in keeper and dynasty leagues. In redraft leagues, he's a safe drop as he likely will not be back up with the big league club until September.

Shane Bieber (SP, CLE) 

Bieber righted the ship after his disastrous 1.2-inning, 7-run outing against the Pirates by going 6.2 innings against the Twins and registering a quality start. It was a baseline quality start but still, it gives Bieber owners something to hang their hats on. Bieber is going to be a great asset in dynasty leagues, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to limit the hard contact against him (currently, he is allowing 44.7% hard contact) enough to be effective this season. Still, the strikeout, ground-ball, and walk rates are all very intriguing. Bieber remains a middle-of-the-pack pitcher for the remainder of 2018 with a chance to become more beyond that.

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN)

Shortly after I wrote up Winker as a dark horse NL Rookie of the Year candidate the Reds announced he would miss the rest of the season. Winker finishes his rookie season with an excellent .299/.405/.431 triple-slash and seven homers in 89 games. The good thing for Winker is that shoulder surgery doesn't affect one's ability to see the strike zone, so if you're in a dynasty league now is the time to go out and buy. The bad news is that we know the type of toll shoulder injuries can take on a player's power, so it might be a while before Winker can work his way back up to the power levels he was at just before going on the disabled list.


Quick Hits

Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL)

Acuna is just five for his last 23 (.217/.280/.609 over the past week) but the power is very much still there and he has gotten a bit unlucky with regards to BABIP. The fact that he has 11 homers in 53 games this season speaks volumes to his talent level; we should be seeing Acuna near the top of draft boards for many years to come.

Juan Soto (OF, WAS)

Soto is hitting .360/.448/.720 with 2 HR, 7 R, and 4 RBI over the past week. The excellence is nothing new from the teenager at this point.

Seranthony Dominguez (RP, PHI)

Dominguez threw two scoreless, hitless innings this past week to lower his ERA to 1.91 on the season. Additionally, the fact that the Phillies didn't acquire any high brow relief help at the deadline (with no offense intended to Aaron Loup) is a big vote of confidence by management in Dominguez as their closer.

Gleyber Torres (2B/3B, NYY)

Torres went yard twice on Wednesday afternoon against the Orioles to push his triple-slash over the past week to .294/.368/.706 with 3 R and 6 RBI. He's on the fast track to AL Rookie of the Year.

Garrett Hampson (2B, COL)

Unfortunately for Hampson owners, it looks as though the rookie will not be playing every day. It's a real shame because Hampson is hitting .300/.417/.450 with four walks and five strikeouts, doing pretty much exactly what we thought he would be doing: hitting for a modest amount of power while demonstrating excellent control of the strike zone. Obviously, it is a limited sample, but Hampson has been all-around solid since coming up and should see semi-regular reps as long as LeMahieu remains sidelined (which won't be long; he's supposed to return today).

Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX)

Calhoun has received regular playing time since being called up, which is good for him because he will need to regularly face MLB pitching to adjust, but he has scuffled a little since his call-up. Calhoun is hitting just .250/.282/.333 in nine starts and three pinch-hit appearances. The strikeout rate is killing him; he's at 28.2% in the bigs this season. Calhoun has intriguing prospects for the future, and probably as high an upside as anyone you can find on waivers, but if you need the production immediately, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you cut Calhoun for another outfielder who is producing.


Josh Hader Update

Hader over the past two weeks: 3 G, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 9 SO. Also a couple of insensitive tweets unveiled. None of those should affect his fantasy value, though.


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