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Top Fantasy Baseball Stories Of The Week - Jack Leiter's Debut And More

Jack Leiter - Fantasy Baseball Prospects, Draft Sleepers, MLB Rookie Rankings

Hello again, Rotoballers, welcome back to another round-up of the week’s headlines. In the last week, we witnessed another long-awaited debut of a heralded prospect, saw some fireworks in college ball, and said goodbye to a broadcasting great.

On Thursday, Jack Leiter saw his first action in the major leagues when he drew a start against the Detroit Tigers. There was also some excitement in the collegiate ranks as Florida’s Jac Caglianone tied an NCAA home run record. Earlier in the week, long-time radio voice of the New York Yankees John Sterling announced his retirement.

In this series on RotoBaller, I take a look at the news from the week that was and offer some thoughts on how it might affect fantasy baseball going forward. You can also keep tabs on the latest happenings in Major League Baseball as it happens at our fantasy baseball news feed. Without further ado, let's get into the news from Week 4 of the MLB season.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:


Welcome To The Show

On April 16, the Texas Rangers announced that they would be promoting Jack Leiter to the big league level. The team’s second-ranked pitching prospect has struggled with command in the minors. He has shown improvement on that front in 2024, though. Through 14 ⅓ innings at Triple-A Round Rock, Leiter has 25 strikeouts to just three walks.

Leiter made his debut on April 18 against the Detroit Tigers. His debut as a major leaguer started with an auspicious three-pitch strikeout of Riley Greene but the success didn’t last long. Leiter suffered through a four-run second inning and allowed two more runs in the fourth before being replaced by Jose Urena. All told, Leiter gave up eight hits and three walks, struck out three, and allowed seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched.

Fantasy impact: Those who rolled the dice on the prospect got burned big time. The damage done in his short outing translated to a 17.18 ERA and 3.00 WHIP. Leiter was optioned back to the minor leagues the very next day making him an easy drop for anyone who took the chance in redraft. Dynasty managers are holding, even if the first look at Leiter in the majors was not what they hoped for.



Starting on April 6, University of Florida junior Jac Caglianone went on a home run bender, knocking one out of the park in nine straight games, tying the NCAA record. The streak finally came to an end on April 20 against Vanderbilt when he went 1-for-3 with two walks, one of them coming in his final at-bat of the game. The 21-year-old drove in 16 runs and slugged 1.235 in that span.

Caglianone came into this season with an already impressive resume. As a sophomore in 2022, he hit an NCAA-leading 33 home runs and set single-season program records with 90 RBI and 208 total bases on his way to being named a First-Team All-American and Golden Spike Award Finalist. Caglianone is currently sporting a .401/.495/.854 slash line with 23 home runs, 47 RBI, and a 7.53 K%.

Fantasy impact: Nothing immediate, but Caglianone will be a name to keep an eye on. Hitting prowess aside, Caglianone is also 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA while pitching for the Gators this year. The two-way star is projected as a top-10 selection in this year’s amateur draft. It will be a while before his impact is felt in redraft leagues, but he will soon be a hot commodity in dynasty formats.


John Sterling Says Goodbye

Monday afternoon brought some surprising news out of New York. John Sterling, the Yankees radio host and play-by-play announcer since 1989, announced he would be retiring from broadcasting, effective immediately. His 5,631st and final broadcast was the Yankees’ 8-3 win over the Blue Jays on April 7.

The news was a shock to baseball fans everywhere but Yankees fans were left reeling. Almost right away social media was abuzz with their collective dismay over losing the beloved announcer. At the same time, there was a healthy amount of appreciation for the man whose voice carried their team over the airwaves for 36 years.

Sterling started his broadcasting career in 1970 as the play-by-play announcer for the Baltimore Bullets. From there he went on to call games for the New York Islanders and New Jersey Nets. For most of the 1980s, he worked in Atlanta, broadcasting Braves and Hawks games. In 1989, the native New Yorker landed the job of his dreams. Since then his voice has been an indelible part of the franchise.

Fantasy impact: None, but sometimes we need to step back and see the sport through our eyes as fans instead of fantasy players. The departure of an all-time great like Sterling is certainly one of those times. He made a lasting impression on generations of Yankees fans and his personalized home run calls and triumphant call of a Yankees’ victory (“Theeeeeeeeee Yankees win!”) are imprinted in the memory of baseball fans across the country. The team celebrated his legacy before the game on April 20 with gifts and a video tribute featuring Yankees stars from his tenure. His broadcasting partners presented with a silver microphone. What better gift for an announcer named Sterling?

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