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Rookie Report: Prospect Risers and Fallers for Week 15

Welcome to the latest edition of RotoBaller’s Recently Promoted Prospects series for fantasy baseball! Here I discuss some recently promoted MLB prospects and rookies , making note of what I think their upside could be for fantasy baseball managers, and whether they are potential risers or fallers.

We have seen 159 rookies make their MLB debut in 2021. This week was a bit light on call-ups, but I'll dig into two hitters that could be potential fantasy assets moving forward. I will use video looks, scouting reports, analytics, and RotoBaller’s premium projections to predict what each recently called-up player could do if given a continued opportunity in 2021.

Here are your recently promoted prospects for Week 15 of the fantasy baseball season.

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Vidal Brujan, Tampa Bay Rays

43% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: Vidal Brujan was called-up to be the team's 27th man for this week's double-header. He was promptly shuttled back down to Triple-A. But then, utility man Mike Brosseau went on the IL with an oblique strain, so the Rays recalled Brujan to provide cover as an extra utility position player.

Skill: Brujan has been a darling of prospecting circles for some time now. He was a popular stash candidate in redraft leagues, as evidenced by his already high ownership level on Yahoo. Brujan has a track record of excellent contact ability and plate approach, so he should be a good add in both batting average and OBP leagues. He also has game-changing speed, stealing 166 bases during his minor league career. This smaller statured switch-hitter also possesses the wiry strength necessary to chip in some home run power as well. He displayed more game power in his time at Triple-A this year as well, posting a 10.0% estimated Barrel rate.

Projection: Brujan has the contact ability, on base ability, speed, and just enough power to become a viable fantasy asset right now. The only hangup is that Brujan will have to muscle his way into the Rays lineup on a regular enough basis to grab the counting stats. If he gets the playing time, he could chip in 5-10 home runs, 10-15 stolen bases, and above average batting average and on base percentage over the second half of the season.

 

Stuart Fairchild, Arizona Diamondbacks

0% Rostered on Yahoo

Situation: Stuart Fairchild was called up by the D'backs this week to replace Nick Heath as the team's 4th outfielder. With the team posting a 26-64 record so far this season, look for Arizona to break in some new young hitters that are performing well at Triple-A, such as Fairchild.

Skill: Fairchild was the Cincinnati's 2nd round selection out of Wake Forest University in the 2017 draft. Fairchild's plate approach has become borderline elite in the minors, as he's developed into posting double-digit walk rights while also making contact at a well-above average clip. While he's not a burner, he has shown the speed necessary to cover centerfield and swipe some bags when needed. But, most importantly, Fairchild has seen his power production take a leap this season at Triple-A. Below is his estimated xwOBA and Barrel% chart from his minor league career:

Stuart Fairchild
Year Level xwOBA Barrel%
2017 R 0.306 5.7%
2018 A 0.327 8.6%
2018 A+ 0.284 6.7%
2019 A+ 0.325 8.9%
2019 AA 0.345 8.1%
2021 AAA 0.414 15.2%

You can see that the power leap in 2021 looks legitimate. Watch for it to continue at the MLB level if he gets regular playing time.

Projection: Fairchild needs everyday reps to become relevant for redraft leagues this year. However, with Arizona clearly looking to sell off any player that isn't bolted down, I think the opportunity will pop up for him in the second half. With full time reps, I can see Fairchild picking up 5-10 home runs, a couple of stolen bases, and posting above average batting average and OBP. This would make him a streaming OF option even in 12-team mixed leagues. If he's currently unowned in your dynasty league right now, make sure to scoop him up.



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