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The deadline for teams to secure an additional year of team control will pass later this week, meaning we will have a far better shot of seeing guys like Nick Senzel, Kyle Tucker, and, of course, Ronald Acuna at some point after this week passes. Hopefully those youngsters will be featured on next week's list. Until then, though, we're stuck with just the names that are presently in the bigs.

This list will come out each week and will likely contain a mix of the biggest names and hottest non-names in baseball among prospects. That means that Shohei Ohtani will likely be a mainstay, but, like I said last week, Christian Villanueva is gone.

Players on the list last week but not this week include Christian Villanueva, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, Tyler Mahle, and Dillon Peters.

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Recent Call-Ups and Rookie Performances

Shohei Ohtani (P/DH, LAA)

In his first full week of action, Ohtani compiled nearly an entire WAR between pitching and hitting. He currently sits at 0.9 fWAR. He took a perfect game into the 7th inning in his most recent start and finished with 7 IP, 12 K, 1 H, 1 BB, and 0 R. He also hit another home run since the last edition of this article, giving him three on the year. This is Shohei Ohtani's world, we're just living in it.

Colin Moran (3B, PIT)

Moran came over to the Pirates in the trade that sent ace Gerrit Cole to the Astros. Many criticized the Pirates for not getting enough for the ace but based on how Moran has performed, it seems as though they may have found a diamond in the rough that the Astros were simply not able to develop. Yes, it is small sample size, but Moran has an OPS of nearly .900 and has made soft contact in well under 20% of his PA. Again, small sample size, but Moran has also exhibited great plate discipline with 3 walks and just 4 strikeouts in his 35 PA on the season, not including Wednesday's contests. Given the depth at 3B, Moran is not a must-add in shallower leagues, but the 25-year-old is worth a flier if you can spare the roster spot.

Brian Anderson (3B, MIA)

I highlighted Anderson in last week's column and he rewarded me by going two for his next 10. Despite the tough luck hitting, though, he is still walking more than he is striking out and reached base safely four times in Tuesday night's loss to the Mets (two singles, BB, HBP). Anderson, like Moran, is not going to exhibit a ton of power right away, but will be a solid contributor in deeper AVG and OBP leagues.

Scott Kingery (2B, PHI)

Kingery has continued to hit since the last column. Though he hasn't put up back-to-back multi-hit performances, he has gone 4/13 with two walks, four runs, and two homers, including a grand slam in Philadelphia's 6-1 win over the Reds on Tuesday. Much of Kingery's value is derived from his ability to play multiple positions, and while he is only eligible at 2B in most fantasy leagues for now, he has appeared at five different positions in just nine games for the Phillies so far. If Kingery continues to produce as he has, he will likely rank near where Marwin Gonzalez does in terms of overall value due to his positional versatility.

Josh Hader (RP, MIL)

Hader is a name that needs to be owned in every league. The young lefty is not getting thrown into save situations despite the Brewers bullpen blowing its last three save attempts (they blew two on Tuesday night). Even still, he has been extremely valuable; Hader has thrown 6.1 innings, struck out 14(!!), walked just three, and has generated swinging strikes on nearly 20% of his pitches. Oh, and he has a FIP of 0.03. Seriously. Hader has been absolutely filthy when he's been used, and though he will likely not see save situations, that may benefit fantasy owners because they will get a greater quantity of innings from Hader in addition to less restricted usage.

Yonny Chirinos (SP/RP, TB)

Chirinos was a relatively unknown commodity entering 2018, but has quickly established himself as a reliable pitching option for the Rays. Though Chirinos has not gone more than five innings in either of his first two appearances (one start and one relief), he has been extremely impressive in his limited work. Chirinos posted a walk rate of 3.8% in the minor leagues and has carried that pinpoint control to the majors, where he had walked just one batter through nine innings pitched prior to his Wednesday start. He had also scattered just four hits in that time. He then got the call to start on Wednesday against the White Sox and impressed again. Chirinos went 5.1 innings, allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out five. He wasn't able to come away with the win, but if the Rays keep going to Chirinos every fifth game, you should keep plugging him into your fantasy lineups.

 

More 2018 MLB Prospects Analysis





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