Week 6 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.

We have now cruised into the month of May. And unfortunately for fantasy owners, this is not typically a time where a bunch of top prospects receive promotions. It’s just after the beginning of the season, and just before the Super Two deadline. So unless there is an absolute dire need for a top prospect, we may not see another major promotion until June.

Nonetheless, there are always roster moves made seemingly every day, and some of the moves may have impacts on deeper leagues. While most of these guys aren’t super exciting, some of them may have value in your fantasy leagues, even if that value is relatively minimal. So without any further ado, let’s get right into talking about the recently promoted prospects for week six!

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Hitters:

Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC) - 1% owned
The most interesting fantasy piece promoted, Candelario was called up to the majors as a corresponding move to the placement of Jason Heyward on the 10-day DL. Candelario will remain on the roster and play third base with Kris Bryant likely taking over a bulk of playing time for Heyward in the outfield.

Prior to his promotion, Candelario had been enjoying arguably his best season in his career. He was walking more than he ever has above rookie league, he was on pace for a career-high 23 home runs with four in 28 games thus far. He also posted career-highs in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.443), slugging percentage (.649) and wRC+ (186). Scouts have always seen plenty of upside in Candelario’s bat, and now it looks like he will get a chance to flash that potential in the majors. He is starting to tap into his raw power, and has continued to show promising plate discipline and an ability to make consistent contact.

Don’t count on the 23-year-old to stay on the roster once Heyward returns, but most believe he will be traded at this year’s deadline and should immediately start in the majors for whichever team acquires him. This taste of the majors is really just a sample of what he could do over a full season of work, and he could be a productive bat for owners once he finds starting time.

Magneuris Sierra (OF, STL) - 0% owned
Dexter Fowler injured, Jose Martinez injured, Stephen Piscotty injured. Do you call up Harrison Bader from Triple-A? Nope, apparently you call up Magneuris Sierra from Class-A Advanced. Yes, you read that right, he jumped Double- and Triple-A to reach the majors. The Cardinals No. 7 prospect (MLB Pipeline) debuted on Sunday, and is off to a hot start at the big-league level, slashing .357/.400/.357 in 15 plate appearances. Prior to his promotion, he slashed .272/.337/.407 with three steals at High-A.

Sierra is quick, and has the speed to man center field and provide fantasy owners with stolen bases. His contact/speed game also makes him appear poised to be a future leadoff hitter for the Cardinals. But I would not count on much this season. If not for a slew of injuries, he would still be at High-A. He may return to Double- or Triple-A once his time in the majors is over, which will likely happen once the outfielders on the DL start returning. But his speed and regular playing time right now make him an intriguing stopgap for owners missing Piscotty or Fowler.

Brian Goodwin (OF, WAS) - 0% owned
The Nationals are desperately searching for an answer to the absence of Adam Eaton. They have tried Michael A. Taylor and Rafael Bautista, and now Goodwin reaches the majors. He does not figure to be that permanent solution. Though he has shown promise in the past, Goodwin was hitting only .256, while striking out 28.2 percent of the time. And though he was on pace for 19/20 last year at Triple-A (14 HR, 15 SB in 119 games), he currently has only two home runs and two stolen bases. He is probably not much more than a bench bat until the Nationals find a new center fielder.

Bruce Maxwell (C, OAK) - 0% owned
Maxwell is a quiet catching prospect who has actually been a decent hitter for much of his MiLB career. For a while, he practically only reached base, but in 2016, he discovered power, launching 10 home runs in only 60 games at Triple-A, and one homer at the big-league level. He was recently promoted to the majors, and so far, has accumulated 17 plate appearances in six games. If he keeps starting, he could be a sleeper catcher in deep/AL-only leagues with his power and reliable bat. He is by no means the next Gary Sanchez, but there are going to be some owners out there who could use him if he makes the most of his MLB time. And given the Athletics’ rebuilding status, they may be more inclined to start the 26-year-old at catcher rather than 32-year-old Stephen Vogt (who has been struggling mightily at the plate this season).

Tomas Telis (C, MIA) - 0% owned
Unlike Maxwell, Tomas does not figure to receive much playing time. He has been profiled as a backup catcher for a long time, and is only three months younger (to the day) than starter J.T. Realmuto who is having a fringe All-Star caliber season so far. Telis is not super potent with the bat either, so any playing time he does receive, will not be super exciting. He can be ignored in all formats.

 

Pitchers:

A.J. Cole (SP, WAS) - 2% owned
Cole was promoted to serve as a spot starter while Joe Ross spends some time in the minors to rebuild some confidence after a shaky start to his 2017 season. Unlike Ross, Cole looked very sharp in his start, allowing just one run over six innings (albeit against Philadelphia). His solid start was enough to earn him another shot, this time against Baltimore on Thursday.

Though he has never been a great strikeout, Cole has a track record of relative success in the minors. His 2016 was not great (4.26 ERA), but his peripherals suggested he was better than his ERA indicated (3.96 FIP, 3.47 xFIP). Regardless of his past success, he will need to pitch out of his mind to hold Ross down in the minors, and even then he may still be replaced. He is not a recommended spot start against Baltimore, so his value is limited. And by limited, I really mean he should not be owned.

Jeff Hoffman (SP, COL) - 1% owned
Hoffman was up to the majors for Chicago’s doubleheader, and while that may have briefly excited some people, he was optioned down to the minors right after the game. And as of right now, German Marquez is starting to heat up on the mound, making a potential starting chance for Hoffman look bleaker by the day. Unless you are in a deep dynasty league, he should not be owned.

Jake Thompson (SP, PHI) - 1% owned
Thompson has always had a reputation of being a bulldog pitcher with an innings-eating mentality and future ahead of him. So it is a bit puzzling that he was promoted with the intention of serving as a reliever for Philadelphia. He looked sharp his first time out against Washington, but was tagged two days later for two runs on two hits and three walks over two innings against the Nationals. He could be a rotation option for the team later on down the road, but until he starts seeing starts, he does not need to be owned.

Editor's Note: Thompson was demoted Wednesday afternoon after this article was written

Austin Brice (RP, CIN) - 0% owned
Brice has been up and down from the minors all season long, but now may be up for a more extended period of time as both Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis were optioned to the minors given the need for only four starters over the next couple days. Brice used to be a starter, but has transitioned to the bullpen, and it appears to be a move for the better as he now appears more consistent. But he is not a reliever likely to see any save opportunities with Cincinnati given their surprisingly solid bullpen. A reliever without saves and without even a guaranteed spot on a big-league roster does not make for a promising fantasy option, so don’t worry about adding him any time soon.

Chad Green (SP, NYY) - 1% owned
Like Hoffman, Green was promoted to the majors, made one appearance and was sent back down to the minors. Unlike Hoffman, his appearance was very successful as he struck out three batters and allowed just one hit in an inning of work. He has been very successful as a starter this season in the minors, and may very possibly be the Yankees’ sixth man for their rotation. He is not worth owning, but expect to hear his name called again later this season.

 

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