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Rookie Report: Recent MLB Prospect Call-Ups (Week 25)


In this week's Rookie Report, we'll be taking a look at several catchers making an impact in fantasy this month.

Francisco Mejia made a splash in his first start for the Padres, hitting his first and second career home runs while driving in four in the 6-2 win over the Reds. While Mejia may have had the more flashy performance, he is not the only rookie catcher putting up good numbers as the Blue Jays are getting solid production out of Reese McGuire and Danny Jansen this month. On top of their young catchers, the Blue Jays have also seen rookie first baseman Rowdy Tellez put up a good performance since making his major league debut.

While the one Blue Jays prospect everyone wants to see will remain unseen, Toronto has a solid crop of young talent making an impact during the fantasy playoffs. Let's take a look at this week's new debuts and top performances.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Prospect Call-Ups and Rookie Performances

Francisco Mejia (C/OF, SDP)

After his aforementioned two home run performance in his first start for the Padres, Mejia has gone 5-for-24 with one double and one home run over his next 10 games, only five of which he started. He's got the ability to be one of the top hitting catchers in baseball, but the question is whether or not he will provide a boost in fantasy for the rest of this year. Hedges is still in front of Mejia for playing time in San Diego right now, and Mejia's struggles so far (getting on base) further limit his value for 2018. Over 32 plate appearances so far with the Padres, Mejia has drawn two walks and has struck out nine times. In NL-only leagues and 14-team or deeper leagues Mejia is worth considering as a fill-in option when he starts, otherwise, he should remain on the waiver wire.

Brad Wieck (RP, SDP)

In just two appearances with the Padres, Wieck is already showing his potential as a high-strikeout reliever. Over five seasons in the minors, Wieck sports a 12.3 K/9 rate, which lines up almost perfectly with his current 12.0 K/9 after striking out four over three innings of work in San Diego. Granted, small sample size applies here, but so far Wieck is putting on a good display for owners to consider owning next year in leagues that count holds and K/9. One thing owners will have to keep an eye on with Wieck is his command struggles last season that led to him posting a 5.4 BB/9 over 38 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. While still not ideal, Wieck has managed to regain his control this year, as he has posted a 3.3 BB/9 rate — the second-lowest rate of his career.

Rowdy Tellez (1B, TOR)

Out of the position players that have been called up this September, Tellez has been putting up some of the better numbers out of the bunch. Over 12 games, Tellez is hitting 13-for-34 with seven doubles, one home run, and six RBI while posting a 1.076 OPS. I wrote about Tellez in this week's Hot Prospects to Watch column, and he looks like he has the potential to become a pretty decent corner infield option in deep mixed or AL-only leagues, what it's all going to rely on is if playing time will open up for him in Toronto in 2019. For now though, in 14-team mixed leagues and AL-only leagues, he's worth adding for a late playoff boost.

 

Quick Hits

Reese McGuire (C, TOR)

The second of three catchers on this week's report, McGuire is hitting .250 with a pair of doubles over 18 plate appearances this month. Getting the start in five of his seven appearances, he has shown some discipline at the plate with two walks to two strikeouts, but he only has a hit in three of those games. Worth keeping an eye on going forward as he is a former first-round pick with the potential for 10 to 15 home runs and maybe 10 steals.

Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD)

Verdugo has struggled in the month of September, hitting .190 with one double and a .530 OPS over 24 plate appearances. His only home run this season came back in July, the day before he was optioned back to the minors. The one positive is that his 5:3 K:BB ratio isn't all that bad given his low average. Don't look to him for any help the rest of this year.

Jeff McNeil (2B/3B, NYM)

While Verdugo has slumped, McNeil has been on fire in September, hitting .375 with a .925 OPS over 66 plate appearances. Over 17 games this month, McNeil has three doubles, two triples, one home run, and eight RBI while stealing two bases. McNeil can be a guy that can give a team a boost in the fantasy playoffs, and going forward owners should consider him as a solid utility option in next year's draft given his positional flexibility.

Danny Jansen (C, TOR)

After ending August with a .333 average and .974 OPS, Jansen has seen his numbers drop off in September as he is hitting just .161 with a .547 OPS this month. Jansen does have a double and a home run this month, but he also has eight strikeouts over 35 plate appearances. Like Verdugo, don't expect anything from him for the rest of this year, but he's worth keeping an eye on going forward for his 10 to 15 home run potential with the slight possibility of 10 steals.

Jake Bauers (1B, TBR)

Things seem to be turning around a bit for Bauers to close out the season. After a miserable month of August at the plate that stretched into the beginning of September, Bauers is now hitting .286 with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI over his last nine games. It's a positive sign for Bauers, and hopefully, a strong finish to his 2018 campaign will carry over into next year.

Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL)

Four doubles, three triples and four home runs over 17 games. Just because it's September why shouldn't we expect Acuna to continue to rake? He's hitting .319 with a 1.065 OPS this month as he continues to make a strong case for NL Rookie of the Year.

Juan Soto (OF, WAS)

It's basically the same story for Soto as with Acuna. Three doubles, four home runs and 14 RBI over 16 games this month for the 19-year-old. Seems safe to say this is going to be one of the closest NL Rookie of the Year races in recent history.

Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY)

Andujar's numbers are slightly down this month, as he's hitting ONLY .265 with three doubles, one home run, and eight RBI over 14 games. Barring injury, Andujar should reach the 25 home run mark sometime soon, and he will undoubtedly be one of the higher ranked third basemen in drafts next season.

Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH, LAA) 

Ohtani continues to crush the ball in September in what is essentially the icing on the cake for his impending AL Rookie of the Year award. Ten of his seventeen hits this month have gone for extra bases — four doubles, one triple and five home runs over 54 plate appearances. Fantasy owners will be crossing their fingers this offseason in hopes that the Tommy John surgery that Ohtani will likely undergo does not affect his performance at the plate, assuming current reports hold that the Angels will allow him to hit while recovering from surgery.

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