4 Prospects To Stash (Fantasy Baseball)
Ronald Acuña, Gleyber Torres, and Walker Buehler continue to provide immense value for fantasy owners this year. Their success should serve as a reminder to fantasy players the importance of following baseball’s best minor leaguers. After all it’s only May. There’s still plenty of season left for these youngsters to make a real difference.
Nick Senzel (3B/2B – CIN)
Senzel’s situation continues to frustrate fantasy players everywhere. At one point back in April it seemed a call-up was imminent with the 22-year-old’s move back to third base, but the promotion never came. At that time he was struggling and the slow start continued for a while. More recently, this past Thursday to be exact, Senzel was placed on the seven-day disabled list with vertigo. This means he won’t return to Triple-A action until at least Thursday of this week.
The good news is before vertigo he was beginning to heat up, with a .306 average over his past 10 games. We’re also approaching the Super 2 deadline in early June, which the Reds might be waiting until to call him up. At his best Senzel will provide fantasy owners with a good average, power, and speed. As we inch closer and closer to the Super 2 deadline be prepared to snag Senzel off waivers.
Alex Reyes (SP – STL)
Entering the 2017 season Reyes was widely considered the best pitching prospect in the sport. Some Baseball America writers even considered him the overall number one prospect, ahead of names such as Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada. Unfortunately, Reyes had to undergo Tommy John surgery in Spring Training last year, halting his development and taking him a bit off the fantasy radar.
The good news is Reyes is on his way back. He made his minor league rehab debut with High-A Palm Beach last Wednesday, striking out six over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He followed that up with five innings of domination with low-A Peoria on Monday. In last night’s outing, he struck out 12 while allowing a single hit and two walks. Now, before we get too excited remember this is a 23-year-old pitcher coming off a major injury. There will certainly be pitch counts and innings limits once he gets to St. Louis. With how crowded the Cardinals rotation is there’s no guarantee Reyes is even used as a starter. Still, the move right now would be to pick him up and stash him in an open DL spot, and just see how the rehab goes. While he’s first eligible to come off the 60-day DL on May 28th, the expectation is Reyes will be ready sometime in June.
Michael Kopech (SP – CWS)
It should be noted the White Sox are in no rush to call up Kopech with how they’re currently playing. It also hasn’t helped fantasy players waiting for Kopech that he has struggled in his past couple of starts. This past Friday the 22-year-old surrendered eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings. For the year Kopech now has a 4.86 ERA to go along with 44 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings pitched. Obviously, that ERA is inflated a bit due to Friday’s outlier performance, and it ultimately shouldn’t affect his chances at a promotion coming soon. Chicago may just be waiting for the Super 2 deadline to pass. There’s enough strikeout potential with Kopech to make him worth grabbing once the call-up occurs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B – TOR)
In 31 Double-A games, this season Guerrero Jr. is hitting an insane .397/.447/.645 to go along with five homers and 36 RBI. Not only does the 19-year-old currently have more walks (13) than strikeouts (12), he also has more extra-base hits (19). It’s clear by now that he’s the best prospect in baseball. The only question that remains is when he will get called up. Entering 2018 there was only a slim chance of that happening, but he may be forcing Toronto’s hand. However, Josh Donaldson is still in town and Toronto is hanging around in the standings. Vladdy Jr. may skip Triple-A altogether, but if the Blue Jays promote him there soon it could be in anticipation of another promotion later this summer. Grab him off waivers even if the next call-up is only to Triple-A.