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Week 13 Rookie Roundup: Recently Promoted Prospects


Welcome to the 2017 edition of the Recently Promoted Prospects! Here I discuss some recently promoted prospects and what to make of their production for fantasy owners.

Just a quick note before we get started. This week, because of how many notable hitters were called up, I am going to discuss seven hitters and only three pitchers (there weren’t really any super notable pitchers). There were only a pair of starting pitchers promoted this week and a few relievers, whereas a few batters who warrant mentioning received a promotion.

So without any further ado, let’s get right into talking about the recently promoted prospects for week 13!

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Hitters:

Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK) - 9% owned
The ownership rate confirms what I’m sure everyone already knew: Barreto is one of the most exciting fantasy prospects in baseball. In my Top 30 MLB Ready Prospects series (which I’m sure you all read), Barreto had been in the top three for weeks. And when you look at his numbers, it’s pretty clear why that was. At Nashville this season, he owned a .281/.326/.428 slash line with eight home runs and four stolen bases. The year prior, he had a .281/.340/.413 slash line with 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 119 games at Double-A.

What makes him all the more exciting is that he is a middle-infielder. He will play shortstop while both Chad Pinder and Marcus Semien are out with injuries, but many believe second base to be his longterm position. For now, however, it means he will qualify at shortstop in most leagues and could soon gain eligibility for second. He stands a good chance as well of retaining eligibility for both positions next season. But as for this season, he may go through his ups and downs. He did strike out 29.8 percent of the time this season at Triple-A, but he is also only 21 years old and boasts a power/speed combination few up the middle can match. His high risk/high reward profile for the 2017 season limits his value to 12+ team leagues, but if he can improve his contact rates, he could be a valuable add for playoff contenders.

Tyler Wade (SS, NYY) - 1% owned
The second middle-infield prospect on this list, Wade was promoted after Starlin Castro was placed on the 10-day DL with a hamstring strain. Though he doesn’t have the power/speed combo of the aforementioned Barreto, there is plenty to like about Wade. At Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, he posted a .313/.390/.444 slash line with five home runs and 24 stolen bases in just 71 games.

Wade has always been regarded as a well above-average speedster and should be counted on for stolen bases while he’s in the majors. Though he will lose his starting spot when Starlin Castro returns, if he hits well enough in Castro’s absence, he could remain on the roster and serve as a super-utility man. He isn’t worth owning in shallow leagues because of his limited playing time moving forward, but owners in deep/AL-only leagues could find a use for the stolen bases and temporary playing time.

Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC) - 1% owned
With a pair of injuries on the Chicago Cubs’ roster to Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward, Candelario was recalled from Iowa and added to the Cubs’ bench. The likely soon-to-be-trade-chip may see a couple of starts with third baseman Kris Bryant playing in the outfield as Heyward’s replacement, but with Zobrist due back sometime this week, Candelario’s time in the majors might be limited to just a few days. His bat is certainly potent, and worth an add if he gets traded at the deadline to a team where he might see regular playing time, but for now, he can be left on the waivers unless you’re in a super deep league.

Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B, SF) - 0% owned
Hwang was promoted to the big league club on Wednesday, three days before he could use his opt-out clause. This came days after he expressed interest in using that clause if he wasn’t promoted. The 29-year-old Korean had found moderate success at Triple-A, slashing .287/.333/.478 with seven home runs and five stolen bases.

He was not setting the minors on fire as many had expected when he signed with the San Francisco Giants, and his defense has been regarded as well below-average. He will not hit for a ton of power and is not very fleet of foot. There is also no guarantee he will be a starter this season, as there is little reason to start a 29-year-old on a team filled with young rookies who can play the hot corner. He might be worth an add in deeper leagues, and possibly 14+ team leagues if he sees regular playing time, but keep expectations low for the veteran third baseman.

Miguel Andujar (3B, CHC) - 0% owned
A day after Wade was recalled by the New York Yankees, Andujar was also given the promotion. It was widely assumed that after Gleyber Torres had Tommy John surgery and was set to miss the rest of the 2017 season that Andujar would step up and become Chase Headley’s eventual replacement at the hot corner. Andujar had been posting strong numbers in his week at Triple-A, owning a slash line of .308/.379/.462 slash line prior to a .312/.342/.494 line at Double-A.

However, with Headley hitting a bit more of late and now being worth a total of 1.0 fWAR on the year, Andujar might have to battle the switch-hitting veteran for playing time. Because he is playing a demanding position and he is not a great power hitter, Andujar will need to emerge as the frontrunner for playing time if he is going to have any fantasy value. He can be owned in deep/AL-only leagues, but nothing shallow until he is the regular third baseman.

Mark Zagunis (OF, CHC) - 0% owned
The second of three Cubs’ prospects promoted this week, Zagunis was promoted after Heyward was placed on the DL. Ranked as the fifth-best Cubs prospect by MLB Pipeline, Zagunis has been praised for his ability to reach base, citing a solid bat and outstanding eye at the plate. Before his promotion, he was only hitting .249, but had been walking 17.9 percent of the time, pushing his on-base percentage to .399. He had also been hitting for some pop as evidenced by his .474 slugging percentage and 11 home runs on the season. But for right now, he appears to only be up as a bench bat/spot starter. He could be a decent on-base contributor if he gets a chance to play — which could happen if he gets traded at the deadline — but until he sees that playing time, he is only worth owning in deeper leagues.

Victor Caratini (C, CHC) - 0% owned
After Miguel Montero was designated for assignment yesterday (likely a result of him calling out his pitchers), Caratini was promoted to take the spot as backup catcher. Caratini is one of the best hitting catchers in the minors, as evidenced by his outstanding .343/.384/.539 slash line and eight home runs this season at Triple-A. However, it is important to note his defense behind the plate is regarded as sub-par to say the least, and he does not have much of a chance at supplanting Willson Contreras as the starter. Caratini does not seem as likely as some to be traded, and is likely looking at a future as an offensive-minded backup catcher in Chicago. He is worth a snag in some deep/NL-only leagues because of what he can contribute as a catcher, but he won’t be worth owning in leagues shallower than 16-team leagues.

 

Pitchers:

Andrew Moore (SP, SEA) - 2% owned
Considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Seattle Mariners’ system, Moore was called up for a spot start and optioned back down shortly after it was over. He allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings against the Detroit Tigers. He walked none and struck out four. Moore is going to be in the minors, so his value right now is obviously at zero, but he is expected to be recalled in July when the Mariners need another starter. And with career strikeout rates near 23 percent in the minors and a track record of keeping both his ERAs and FIPs in the mid-3.00 range, Moore could be a solid add in some 12+ team leagues.

Brock Stewart (SP, LAD) - 0% owned
Stewart earned a three-inning save earlier in the year, was demoted and then called back up again. He is now expected to serve as a long reliever for the big-league club. He has some strikeout upside — he has struck out batters at least 25 percent of the time almost every year of his MiLB career — and will likely have more innings than the average reliever, but he is still a reliever. His long-relief role could allow him to pick up the occasional three-inning save, so he may be worth owning in 16+ team leagues and some 14-team leagues, but nothing much shallower.

Kyle Crick (RP, SF) - 0% owned
Crick was promoted last week (just as last week’s edition of this article was coming out) and so far has appeared in three games. He has accumulated 4.1 innings, and has posted a 4.15 ERA and 3.37 FIP. This is coming off a successful stint at Triple-A where he posted a 2.76 ERA and 2.94 FIP over 29.1 innings of relief. His stuff is electric, and now that his command has improved (he was moved to the bullpen to help him find more consistency), he could have a longterm future in the backend of a bullpen. But for now, he is still a little ways away from seeing save chances, limiting his value in all leagues.

 

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