Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Gunner Henderson, Corbin Carroll, Hunter Brown (2022)
Rookies, rookies and more rookies. With September call-ups in full effect and service-time rules no longer as strict, many organizations are turning to their youngsters to provide a spark down the stretch. Even teams that are already out of the playoff hunt are still giving a few of their prospects a taste of the Big Leagues. Whether they’re on the Astros or the Nationals, if they’re active and producing, they can help your fantasy squad.
Prospects are always a bit of a roll of the dice, but as we’ve seen, there are always a few who take the league by storm. So if any of these young bucks are available in your league, you may consider adding them before your competition takes notice.
As always, all players highlighted are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues and are broken down into categories where they’re most likely to help you. Many of them will contribute across the board but will likely make the biggest impact where they’re listed.
The Orioles farm system is gushing with talent and Henderson outranks them all. The 21-year-old, fifth overall prospect in all of baseball (according to FanGraphs) does everything well and has been fantastic since his debut.
Henderson already looks the part of a Major Leaguer after accumulating five hits in his first three games. He’s also hit a home run, stole a base and scored two runs. For now, he’s only eligible at shortstop, but he spent his first three games playing three different positions, so it won’t be long until he qualifies elsewhere.
Henderson’s going to play every day as Baltimore fights for a playoff spot and should be rostered in all league types. He won’t qualify for this list next week, so add him ASAP.
If you follow baseball at all you’ve probably heard of Corbin Carroll. The league has been buzzing about his arrival since last year and has been a favorite in dynasty circles for quite some time.
The Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in 2019 just celebrated his 22nd birthday and joins an outfield full of young talent. He possesses plus-plus speed and an excellent hitting tool. He can drive the ball to all fields while still turning on the occasional pitch and planting it into the seats. In his first two games, Corbin hit the ground running going 3-for-10 with two doubles, four runs scored and five RBI.
He’ll do a bit of everything for you, but with his speed and ability to get on base (he never recorded an OBP below .408 in the Minor Leagues), Carroll should be a boon in the run-scoring department.
Toglia has faced some tough pitching over his first few games in the Majors, but he still managed to hit a homer. With a home stand coming up on Monday, the friendly confines of Coors field should play to Toglia’s strengths.
The Rockies’ first-round pick in 2019 hit 30 home runs this year combining Double and Triple-A. He knocked in 83 RBIs and produced a .333 average and a 1.171 OPS in Triple-A.
The 6-foot-5 switch-hitting outfielder/first baseman is a good bet to play nearly every day and hit a fair share of dingers. With the Rockies playing all of their games at home this week, Toglia is worth an add for those pining for homers.
Arizona suddenly has too many great outfielders. The plethora of talent has led to a timeshare of sorts but the five players jockeying for three or four spots (DH) have still managed to produce quality stats.
Drafted out of high school eight years ago, Garrett was graded with plus power and speed but a low hit tool. The power-speed combination proved to be real but it did take a while for the 26-year-old to find consistency at the plate. After leaving Miami and spending the last two seasons in Arizona’s farm system, Garrett has improved his contact rate and quality of contact resulting in a batting average of .280 in 2021 (Double-A) and .275 in 2022 (Triple-A). He also mashed 28 homers this year while swiping 15 bases.
Since his promotion, he’s been on fire. Garrett has already connected with four barrels (17.4%) and has a 61.5% hard-hit rate. Over 32 plate appearances, the Texas native has registered a ridiculous .414 BA with a .335 xBA. He’s also crushed two homers, three doubles and even stole a base.
Garrett has four RBIs to his credit already but has always had a knack for hitting with runners on base. He totaled a whopping 95 RBI this season in 103 games for Triple-A Reno and knocked in 81 last year in Double-A (also 103 games).
He’s not going to play every day only because of the mountain of young talent Arizona is blessed with. But while he’s hitting like this, it’ll be tough to keep his bat out of the lineup, even for a manager like Torey Lovullo.
Just to give you guys a quick reprieve from all the first-year guys, here is perhaps a much steadier option. Dickerson has been raking at the plate evoking memories of when he was with Colorado, Pittsburgh or even Philadelphia. He’s been so hot at the dish lately that the Cardinals have chosen to start him over their gold-glove caliber center fielder.
It may not last until the end of the season, but he’s been fairly consistent at the dish and has some easy competition coming up. Dickerson’s not a bad play to improve your average or boost your RBIs — he has totaled 19 hits and five RBIs over the last 10 games.
Mitchell’s not a bad option in extremely deep leagues for steals, but he may not play enough or produce with the bat enough to be worthy. He’s got speed to burn, much like his young teammate Esteury Ruiz, who could also rack up the steals if given a chance. For now, he’s probably best left for the watch list, but if you’re in a 16+ league battling it out for stolen bases, you could take a flier on the former Bruin.
Another option is the Yankees’ second overall prospect, Oswald Peraza. He may not see enough playing time, but he’s got a ton of upside and lightning-quick feet. Peraza stole 38 bases last season in the Minor Leagues and totaled 33 this year before they called him up. He also hit 19 homers.
With the Yankees lineup near full strength, it’ll be tough for New York’s shortstop of the future to breach the starting nine. But whenever a prospect of this barometer gets the call, it’s usually not to sit on the bench. Peraza is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues where you need steals.
Brown may not join the Astros’ starting rotation even with Justin Verlander hitting the IL, but Houston’s top prospect is still worth a flyer. The 24-year-old misses bats and limits runs with the best of them. He racked up an impressive 32% K-rate this season in Triple-A while registering 2.55 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. There’s no official word yet on how he’ll be utilized but with many fantasy managers approaching their innings limit, he may be just what the doctor ordered to get maximum production without too many innings.
Waldichuk can be wild at times, but it’s usually in the form of “effectively wild.” The former Yankee traded to Oakland in the Frankie Montas deal, has averaged better than 13.5 K/9 throughout his Minor League career. This season, in 10 Triple-A games, the 6’4″ lefty produced a 2.09 ERA with 67 strikeouts. He held the Nationals to one run on Thursday and should be a solid play for the rest of the season for fantasy managers.
Wells should be back by the end of the week. He pitched in a rehab assignment on Friday, allowing one hit over 2.1 innings with no walks. The hulking righty may not return directly to the starting rotation, but he should be an innings eater regardless of role. On the off-chance that he is placed back into the starting five, Wells and his career 1.04 WHIP (1.11 this year) should play nicely for those looking to lower their WHIP.
Wells rarely surrenders a free pass (6.0%) and does a great job limiting hits (.229 OBA) with his pinpoint accuracy. The 6-foot-8 righty exhibits great control for someone his size and should be added back to rosters in deeper leagues.
Bradish has always had great stuff but the results just didn’t show it. Still learning to pitch at the Major League level, the Orioles rookie gave up far too many home runs and a ton of hard contact over his first ten starts. Since returning from his brief stay in the Minors, Bradish has been much cleaner with his delivery leading to much more favorable numbers.
Since July 29th, the lanky right-hander hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game (seven starts). He’s coming off of back-to-back shutouts on the road where he totaled 15 innings while allowing just four hits. The impressive performances came against Houston and Cleveland, two of the better-hitting teams in the league.
With Bradish pitching well and his confidence sky-high, now may not be a bad time to add the cutter specialist in deeper leagues.
With Ryan Presley on the IL, Montero has been extremely reliable as the Astros new closer. He recorded four saves over the last eight days and only gave up one run in those outings. He strikes out better than a batter per inning and has kept his ERA and WHIP low all season. Pressley could be back relatively soon, but in the meantime, Montero makes for the perfect complement on rosters desperate for saves.
Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.