Week 15 Rookie Roundup: Recently Promoted Prospects

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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.

I hope you all enjoyed the varying All-Star weekend festivities! I know I sure did. And while that was certainly fun, it made for a slow week of prospect promotions. But there were a few guys who got that long-awaited phone call, and I’m here to talk about them today.

So without any further ado, let’s get right into talking about the recently promoted prospects for week 15!

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Hitters

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN) - 1% owned
Winker was recalled by the Cincinnati Reds following the demotion of Sal Romano the Friday prior to the All-Star weekend. And while he still ranks as one of the top prospects in baseball, there is not much of a reason to own him in redraft leagues this season. He figures to spend most of the year in Triple-A, and will likely return there when the Reds recall Romano this week. He is a high-OBP outfielder, but with Scott Schebler, Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton, there’s just no place for him to play right now. If you are in a keeper league, he is worth hanging onto. If not, send him back to the waivers.

Zack Granite (OF, MIN) - 0% owned
It actually stunned me quite a bit to see Granite’s ownership percentage to be tied with all other eight people on this list at 0 percent. Though he lacks name-brand recognition, Granite has put together a strong campaign at Triple-A, slashing .360/.412/.492 with three homers and 15 stolen bases. This coming on the heels of a 56-steal season at Double-A a season ago where he also hit .295. If the Minnesota Twins make room for him in their outfield, he has the chance to bat atop the Twins’ lineup and provide owners with tons of stolen bases and runs scored. He is worth a speculative stash in 14+ teams to see how well he does during his time in the majors.

Yadiel Rivera (2B/3B, MIL) - 0% owned
Rivera was promoted to serve as bench depth prior to the All-Star Break. He spent some time last season in Milwaukee, and did little with it, slashing only .212/.235/.273. He has appeared to carry those struggles over to Triple-A this season where he owns a .231/.292/.324 slash line with three homers, five stolen bases and a scary 25.5 percent strikeout rate. The Milwaukee Brewers are likely going to keep him on the bench for his time up, but you should not. You should leave him on the waivers.

Miguel Gomez (3B, SF) - 0% owned
Like the Brewers, the San Francisco Giants opted to call up a bat to serve off their bench a couple of days before the All-Star Break. He is an intriguing player, as scouts have praised his ability to make consistent, solid contact. They all generally believe he might be able to post a decent batting average at the highest level. But he has never been a great power hitter in the minors, though he did 17 homers between Class-A and Class-A Advanced last season. He is also not much of a speedster, and likely does not have the glove to man down a regular position in San Francisco. If the Giants start cleaning house and free up regular playing time for him, he might not be a bad depth piece in super deep leagues. But he can be ignored in most formats.

Drew Robinson (3B, TEX) - 0% owned
Another interesting prospect to analyze, Robinson is a solid utility guy with surprising power. He is capable of playing all infield and outfield positions (with the exception of catcher), and he plays all of them adequately well. He has reached 20 home runs in both 2015 and 2016, and has been on pace for 20 this season with 11 already at Triple-A in 66 games and two homers in four games in the majors. Scouts don’t project him to hit for a high average, but the power could be valuable in deep leagues, as could the ability to play at multiple positions. But the Rangers are loaded with these utility bats, ranging from Joey Gallo to Jurickson Profar. With playing time hard to project for him, Robinson can be ignored for the time-being.

 

Pitchers

Sal Romano (SP, CIN) - 0% owned
Romano was promoted last week, made a solid start, and was immediately sent back down to the minors. However, with a promotion likely coming soon, I’m going to count him for this week’s promotion (he was not discussed last week) and will leave him off of next week’s list.

Romano’s first start in the majors was terrible. He squared off against the Brewers and allowed three runs (two earned) over three innings on three hits (two homers), four walks and only strikeouts. However, he dazzled at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies in his most recent start, holding a very potent offense to just two runs on six hits and one walk over five innings with six strikeouts. He looked very sharp as his fastball frequently touched the upper-90s and his slider proved to be a lethal secondary pitch for him. His control was his calling card last season, and he is regarded by most evaluators as a groundball, innings-eating starting pitcher. But he has the stuff to potentially rack up the strikeouts every now and again. He is not worth owning in 12-team or fewer leagues, but 14+ team leagues looking for starting pitching depth could do worse than adding Romano.

Chris O’Grady (SP, MIA) - 0% owned
First off, I just want to point out how awesome this guy’s name is. Doesn’t Chris O’Grady just sound like something right from the movie ‘Jaws’? And he pitches for the Miami Marlins! I think it’s awesome, but then again, I know also that I’m easily amused. Anyways, back to my analysis of O’Grady.

O’Grady debuted against the Giants on Saturday, allowing three runs to cross the plate over 5.1 innings of work on five hits and two walks. He struck out four batters. He is a bit of a journeyman rookie, already 27 years of age. He has enjoyed a successful 2017 season at Triple-A after being picked up by the Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft. He owns a 3.29 ERA and 4.36 FIP over 54.2 innings of work. He has found his success, however, with smoke and mirrors as the southpaw only throws his fastball at 87.8 mph. Hitters have often gotten the better of him too, as his biggest weakness in the minors has been the longball. He may have a great name, but the lack of velocity and potential for him to give up home runs a plenty does not make him a great prospect to own in any leagues. He is a desperation add in super deep leagues at best.

Zac Rosscup (RP, CHC) - 0% owned
Somehow Rosscup still qualifies as a rookie despite having registered big league appearances in every season between 2013 and this season with the exception of the 2016 season. He has always shown some strikeout potential in the minors, but has balanced that out with terrible control. He has no path to saves and has very little upside as of right now. He can be ignored.

Akeel Morris (RP, ATL) - 0% owned
The Atlanta Braves promoted this 24-year-old reliever in the hopes of providing their team with a fresh arm in that bullpen. He has a long history of strikeout potential, consistently striking out 30 percent or more of opposing hitters. His stuff isn’t dominant (his fastball only averages 93 mph this season), but he clearly knows how to use it. Still though, without a path to saves or holds, Morris is not a reliever worth owning.

Ben Heller (RP, NYY) - 0% owned
Another hard-throwing reliever added to the New York Yankees’ bullpen, Heller was recalled just before the ASB to help provide the Bronx Bombers with some bullpen depth. He had posted a solid 2.68 ERA at Triple-A and struck out 32.2 percent of opposing hitters, giving him some intriguing upside. However, he is probably not long for the majors, and will certainly not see any saves or holds even if he sticks. He can be ignored.

 

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