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This past week brought yet another standout rookie debut from a young pitcher. This new pitcher, however, is likely the least intriguing of the rookie starters who have potential impact in fantasy leagues, so proceed with caution on him. Additionally, the minor league HR leader, Franmil Reyes, made his MLB debut this week. He still has yet to hit a homer in the bigs but considering that he is just 22-years-old and plays in spacious Petco Park, worrying after just two games is not an M.O. owners should exercise.

Despite the fact that we are now seven weeks into the season, the majority of MLB Pipeline's top 10 prospects with a 2018 ETA have not been called to the majors yet this season. The Super Two deadline is slowly nearing, though, so expect guys like Eloy Jimenez, Kyle Tucker, and Nick Senzel all to be making their respective debuts in the near future.

Players on the list last week but not this week include Ronald Acuna, Mike Soroka, Caleb Smith, Domingo German, and Dustin Fowler. Players joining (or-rejoining) the list are Freddy Peralta and Franmil Reyes.

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Prospect Call-Ups and Rookie Performances

Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH, LAA) 

The 23-year-old (yes, he's still just 23) is triple-slashing .325/.366/.597 over 82 plate appearances in 2018. And as if that line itself is not impressive enough, he also has a 3.58 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 11.8 K/9, through 32.2 innings. This past week, in his lone start on the bump, Shohei went 6.1 innings, racked up 11 strikeouts, walked just two, and allowed one run on three hits. He is far and away the leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.

Walker Buehler (SP, LAD)

Buehler finally looked human this past week and he still did not even look that bad. His start against the Reds on Thursday, May 10th, was a quality start in which he went 6 innings, struck out 8, and allowed just two earned runs. His start against the Marlins yesterday did not go quite as nicely: 5 runs (4 earned), on 7 hits and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts. So even when Buehler does not have his best stuff he has excellent strikeout upside and looks to be an asset for all fantasy owners down the stretch. Buehler's ERA now sits at 2.67 on the year.

Josh Hader (RP, MIL)

I'm just going to write the same first three sentences I wrote last week on Hader because the advice is still applicable.

Hader should be owned in every league in existence, but now that he's nearly at 90% owernship I can stop recommending that he be picked up because he's not available. He's also not going to be getting saves now that Corey Knebel has been activated off the DL. Neither of those matter because Hader is still an absolute monster.

I whiffed on the "he's not going to be getting saves" part; Hader picked up his sixth save of the season in an extra-inning victory this past week (and his total line for the week: 3 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 0 R, 0 BB). Hader is very good at baseball.

Gleyber Torres (2B/3B, NYY)

Well, Torres is still trotting out every day for the Yankees and he's still hitting for extra bases, something I had predicted he would struggle with in his big-league debut. His slash-line on the season is up to .324/.372/.493 with 6 XBH, 3 of which are HR. Over the past week, Torres is 4/14 with a HR. The seven strikeouts in that timeframe are a bit concerning but keep in mind that Torres is just 22 years of age, so he still has quite a bit of learning to do.

Nick Kingham (SP, PIT)

Just a quick update on Kignham: he is expected to start on Saturday at home against the Pirates. He's not quite a must-add for the matchup but he is very close to a must-add. Go get Kingham off your wire if you still can.

Fernando Romero (SP, MIN)

Romero gave up his first MLB run in his most recent start, but he still had a very solid outing: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. The strikeouts are very enticing but if Romero does not have his best stuff on any given day, the walks will eventually come back to bite him. Romero's 2.73 FIP also indicates that his 0.54 ERA is bound to rise at some point in the near future. If you have Romero it's best to hold him, just do not expect him to continue exactly what he has done through three starts.

Freddy Peralta (SP, MIL)

Peralta was called up to the bigs for what was supposed to be a spot-start against the Rockies but then pitched so well that he earned himself another turn in the rotation. Peralta threw 98 pitches (60 for strikes) at Coors Field on Sunday over 5.2 scoreless innings. He struck out 13, walked 1, and allowed just one hit. This type of success is not unprecedented from Peralta, he was a solid pitcher in the minor leagues, but due to his funky delivery has always struggled with walks. Additionally, he is largely a one-pitch pitcher; Peralta threw over 90% fastballs against the Rockies. That is fine for a reliever who sees hitters one time, but any pitcher who throws 90% fastballs more than once through the rotation is going to get rocked at the MLB level. Peralta is a guy to stash and monitor, but it's very much a possibility that he has already put his best career start behind him.

Franmil Reyes (OF, SD)

Reyes, after triple-slashing .346/.442/.738 with a minor-league-leading 14 HR and a respectable 20.1% strikeout rate at AAA for the Padres, was called up to the major league club. He is just 1/7 with 3 strikeouts so far, but the 22-year-old has a lot of raw power to tap into and has demonstrated solid plate discipline over the past few seasons. Reyes is far from a must-add, but he has the potential to have impact power numbers by season's end, so monitor closely.

 

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