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The service time benchmark for teams to secure an extra year of team control came and went late last week. Somewhat surprisingly, nothing about the rookie landscape has changed; Ronald Acuna and Nick Senzel are still hanging out in the minor leagues with Kyle Tucker, Gleyber Torres, Michael Kopech, and Austin Hays.

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. Shohei Ohtani is on the list once again. And Christian Villanueva is back. It's probably going to be a revolving door for the lower-end prospects.

Players on the list last week but not this week include Colin Moran, Scott Kingery, Yonny Chirinos, and Brian Anderson.

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Recent Call-Ups and Rookie Performances

Shohei Ohtani (P/DH, LAA)

Ohtani hit his first bump in the road on Tuesday against the Red Sox when he went two innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out just one. It was reported after the game that Ohtani exited the game due to a blister. This is hopefully just a blip on the radar of what figures to be a fantastic season for Ohtani. All this start shows is that Ohtani is human. No big cause for concern here; deploy him as usual in your fantasy lineups once he is healthy once more.

Christian Villanueva (3B, SD)

This marks #TheReturn of Christian Villanueva. Villanueva's bat was relatively quiet after his three-HR performance in early April; he triple-slashed .214/.290/.321 between that game and April 13th but then hit homers each game between April 14th and 16th. His average is back over .300 and while Villanueva is going to strike out a healthy amount, he's worth rostering for the potential pop that he offers.

J.P. Crawford (SS/3B, PHI)

J.P. Crawford has been on a hot streak over the past week and change. Dating back to April 10th, Crawford has OPSed nearly 1.000 with three extra base hits and an equal number of strikeouts and walks. He has his average off the interstate for the first time all season and is trending in the right direction. This may be the last time you can grab Crawford on the cheap so snap him up if you can.

Josh Hader (RP, MIL)

Until Hader is owned in every league, I'm going to start all my write-ups of him the same way: Hader is a name that needs to be owned in every league. Hader has struck out 25 batters in 11.2 innings in 2018, good for a 19.3 K/9. He's also sporting a BB/9 of 2.3 and a K-BB% of nearly 50%. Hader is a stud whether or not he is closing games and if he continues to close for the Brewers, he immediately becomes one of the elite fantasy closers.

Joey Lucchesi (SP, SD) 

Lucchesi was intentionally omitted from this list for the first two weeks because he really only throws two pitches and I didn't think the success was sustainable. Needless to say, Sloppy Joe made me look like a fool. Lucchesi has posted a 1.66 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 21.2 innings. His 25% K-BB% is 14th among all qualified starters in baseball and ranks ahead of two guys named Jacob deGrom and Stephen Strasburg. Ever heard of them?

Part of what has made Lucchesi so great is his "churve," which is essentially a hybird of a change and curve. He's really only been using that and his fastball but apparently has a slider and pure change in his arsenal. If he's having this much success with just two pitches, imagine how successful he could be when he starts to mix in the other two.

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN)

Yes, Winker's average leaves a little to be desired. He hasn't flashed any of the power that we saw from him in his brief stint in the majors last season. But none of that matters because he is taking after Joey Votto in the plate discipline department. Entering play on Wednesday, Winker owns a walk rate higher than his strikeout rate (22% walk rate versus 18% strikeout rate), and his OBP is a ridiculous .420, especially considering that his batting average sits below .250. Scoop Winker if you still can or try to pry him from owners panicking about his lack of power, especially in OBP leagues.

 

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