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Week 9 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.

What a week for pitcher promotions. Jose De Leon, David Paulino, Eric Skoglund all promoted to their big-league clubs, two of them have already received starts thus far. And there were even a couple neat hitting prospects promoted like Adam Engel and Paul DeJong. Was this the week Yoan Moncada got the call up? No, not quite yet. But hey, these guys can still help out your fantasy team in 2017!

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

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Hitters:

Paul DeJong (3B, STL) - 1% owned
DeJong was promoted to serve as a second baseman and utility player following the injury of Kolten Wong. However, should he find a way to replicate his Triple-A success in the majors, he could be up there a while. DeJong amassed 11 homers and a .294/.331/.541 slash line in 46 games down in Memphis, coming off a season where he launched 22 bombs at Double-A Springfield.

The 11th-overall Cardinal prospect according to MLB Pipeline, DeJong has the potential to make a lasting impact in St. Louis and could be a target in deep leagues if he finds a way to stick on the big-league roster. If he channels the home run he had in the minors, he could even be worth owning in shallower leagues (assuming he sees regular playing time).

Adam Engel (OF, CWS) - 0% owned
After Tyler Saladino was placed on the 10-day DL, speedster Adam Engel was called up to take his place on the roster. Engel is really fast, receiving an 80 grade in speed from MLB Pipeline. Where he struggles most is at the plate. And it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you can’t hit, you can’t steal bases (unless you’re Billy Hamilton).

Engel was really struggling to hit at Triple-A Charlotte before his promotion, mustering only a .221/.312/.463 slash line. He had not even been swiping as many bags, tallying just three in 42 games. His time in the majors is expected to be brief, so even if he does steal a couple bags while he is up there, he can be left on the waiver wire.

Orlando Calixte (SS, SF) - 0% owned
Calixte had enjoyed a solid season at Triple-A before his promotion, but he will come with little fantasy appeal. Unranked by MLB Pipeline and ranked 29th by Baseball America in the Giants’ top 30 lists, Calixte is a utility player by trade, capable of playing nearly all positions asked of him. While he can play all positions, he has never shown himself to be a great hitter, and may find it challenging to crack the Giants lineup on a regular basis once guys like Hunter Pence and Eduardo Nunez are fully healthy. Avoid the utility player, and leave him on the waivers.

Franchy Cordero (OF, SD) - 0% owned
Called up to temporarily replace Manny Margot in the outfield, Cordero has an interesting power/speed combination that could prove valuable, if he could reduce his strikeout totals. He tends to swing and miss a ton, and may struggle to hit for enough average to man a regular role. And despite having an 80-grade for first name, he is not considered to be a top prospect in the Padres system. Franchy is not going to be worth owning until he a) has a permanent role in the majors and b) reduces his strikeouts. Neither of which he has currently accomplished.

Elias Diaz (C, PIT) - 0% owned
Profiled by scouts to be a backup catcher, Diaz does not have much of any fantasy value, even in dynasty leagues. He was called up due to the injury to backup catcher Chris Stewart, and will likely man the backup role until Stewart returns. Diaz can hit for a respectable average when he plays . . . and that’s it. Ignore him in all formats.

 

Pitchers:

Jose De Leon (SP, TB) - 5% owned
De Leon made his Rays debut Monday night, and was promptly sent right back down. He did not fare particularly well in his debut, but he still has tons of upside. The Rays are likely sending him down to continue working him back as a starter and will likely call him up again in that role later this season. De Leon is maybe not yet worth a stash, but he could be worth owning once he is called up again as a starter.

Eric Skoglund (SP, KC) - 3% owned
After Danny Duffy was placed on the DL and declared out for six to eight weeks, Skoglund was promoted to take his place in the rotation. He was called upon to take on the dangerous Detroit Tigers lineup, and shredded through it, holding Detroit scoreless for 6.1 innings and allowing just a walk and two hits with five strikeouts while outdueling Justin Verlander. Not too shabby.

Skoglund is no front of the rotation starter, but scouts believe in him enough to say that he could make it as a four or five starter in the majors. He has never been a strikeout machine in the minors, and his stuff is not electric enough for him to become one in the majors. But if he can limit the home runs, his stellar command and solid repertoire could enable him to hold down a rotation spot for the remainder of the season. His lack of Ks make him more of a deep-league add, but he could have value in some 14+ team leagues.

David Paulino (SP, HOU) - 1% owned
With both Charlie Morton and Joe Musgrove now on the 10-day DL, the Astros need some pitching help. Their first promotion: David Paulino. Paulino is coming off an elbow bruise that has kept him out for much of this season, but he did return to make three unspectacular starts at Triple-A before being called up to the majors. Though his spot start against Minnesota wasn’t great (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 1 BB), he did generate eight strikeouts, and at times appeared to be dominant. No one knows what happens with him now, but he may have done enough to earn himself another start.

If Paulino could stay healthy, he has the stuff and command to be an ace. Scouts have long said that the 6-foot-7 right-hander has an electrifying repertoire and more than enough control to avoid getting into trouble with the walks. His promotion will likely mean a lot of bullpen appearances for now and the occasional spot start, but if Paulino shines in the pen and Mike Fiers continues to flounder, Paulino could be a great in-house solution to the Astros’ rotation woes. He is worth at least adding to the watch list, so as to monitor his performance and see if an expanded role could be coming soon.

Tyler Pill (SP, NYM) - 1% owned
Pill made a spot start against Milwaukee on Tuesday, and looked fairly solid, allowing just one run on six hits and three walks with four punchouts while lasting 5.1 innings. Should you go rushing out to buy him in your league? No. Absolutely not. He is a 27-year-old making his MLB debut after an unspectacular MiLB career that has never seen him strikeout many batters at any level. Though his command is solid, he averages just 89.1 mph on his fastball, proving to be extremely hittable. If you know what’s good for you, leave him on the waiver wire.

Jackson Stephens (SP, CIN) - 0% owned
Stephens was called up as a corresponding move to the demotion of Robert Stephenson, although who really knows why. Stephens was getting clobbered by the home run ball in Triple-A, and had posted a 5.79 ERA and 5.19 FIP. He will likely be used as a long reliever, but even if he were to start on a regular basis, this is not a guy worth owning in any format.

 

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