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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Grayson Rodriguez, Liover Peguero, Endy Rodriguez

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Grayson Rodriguez, Liover Peguero, Endy Rodriguez

It’s Wednesday. You know what that means. We are back with another prospect report where we look at rookies who were just called up, making an impact in the big leagues or are turning heads in the minors.

And I’ll be honest with you. During the All-Star break, I was worried we were running dry on prospects for the year.

Boy, was I wrong.

To start the second half of the season, teams have called up or recalled their top prospects for the playoff push.

For fantasy managers, that’s great news. Let’s get to it.

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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report

All stats are accurate as of Tuesday afternoon, July 17.

Grayson Rodriguez (SP – BAL)

The most big-league-ready pitcher. Ready from the jump. Potential SP1.

But it never happened.

After getting demoted, Rodriguez looked like the pitcher we were expecting to see in Baltimore. His K% jumped up to 33.1%, and he was holding hitters to a .174 average against. Both numbers are near-mirrors from his Triple-A numbers last year.

The Orioles felt he was ready for his second act, as they called him back up on Monday. He has staying power, and at just 86.2 innings pitched so far this year, we should see him have some type of impact moving forward.

Endy Rodriguez (C – PIT)

When Rodriguez was interviewed after getting the call to the big leagues on Monday, he said that he was here to catch.

The Pirates have Rodriguez, Henry Davis, and Austin Hedges (he’s terrible but is an elite framer) on their roster, but it sounds like Rodriguez is the everyday catcher moving forward.

He has a 55 FV and fantastic plate discipline (14.9 K% in Triple-A this year) with some pop.

I’m expecting so-so production out of the gate, but in two-catcher leagues, or if you want to ride the shiny toy, I’m OK with it.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand (1B, 3B – CIN)

Finally. CES is finally making his debut with the Reds. The Reds, who have struggled after the All-Star break, have called up Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and now CES. Kudos to them.

CES had absolutely nothing left to prove in Triple-A, slashing .331/.405/.637 this season with 20 homers and 127 runs+RBIs.

The playing time is going to be a conundrum for the Reds to figure out, as Spencer Steer, Jake Fraley, Will Benson, and Joey Votto could all lose out to CES.

He has the highest upside of any hitter in this column.

Quinn Priester (SP – PIT)

The Pirates are on this list again (and it’s not the last time), as they are giving fans a glimpse of what 2024 will look like.

This time, it comes in the form of Priester. I’m not a huge Priester guy, as I think he’s slightly overrated for fantasy purposes. But he’s also one of the more divisive prospects in the fantasy community.

I don’t see a huge ceiling, but there could be an SP4 floor for fantasy if it all clicks.

I worry about the fastball, and that’s the biggest thing that will hold him back as a fantasy arm. He’s not a big bat-misser, and he’s going to rely on hitters hitting it into the ground with his high groundball rate.

Liover Peguero (SS – PIT)

And one of the fielders Priester will look to induce contact to is Peguero, who is the other bigger system name that the Pirates have called up.

The shortstop had a nice showing in Double-A, and he carried over the success in a cup of coffee stop in Triple-A Indianapolis. He’s shown sub-20% strikeout potential this season, which is a far cry from his other stops in Double-A and High-A. What’s more, he’s increased the walk rate, too, while maintaining a .260-ish average.

The speed is going to play for fantasy, as he has 21 steals across Double-A and Triple-A in 76 games.

He’s a deep-league guy for now, but if you really need steals and/or an MI option, you can go after him.

Tyler Soderstrom (C – OAK)

We knew two things when the A’s drafted Soderstrom: 1. The bat plays and drives his value. 2. He likely won’t remain a catcher.

He has three games at the big-league level so far, and while his long-term home is first base, designated hitter is where you’ll likely see him the majority of the time for the next two weeks until the deadline passes.

The power is real for Soderstrom, as he had 20 in Triple-A this year. The issue has been the big strikeout numbers.

He carried a 27.6 K% (69 games) in Triple-A, with a meh 6.6 BB%. It’s caused his average to sink to .254, which was the lowest mark of his big-league career.

Even with warts and the swing-and-miss of it all, Soderstrom is worth rostering due to the big power alone.

Johan Rojas (OF – PHI)

Right up from Double-A, the Phillies were looking for some outfield help and enlisted the 22-year-old Rojas.

Now, I think they are the favorites to land Juan Soto if he’s dealt, but why not see what the kid has first, right?

He brings some fun speed for fantasy managers, as he stole 30 bases in Double-A, which comes a season after stealing 62 bags in High-A and Double-A last year.

I don’t see a lot of power upside – he only had 13 home runs in Double-A Reading, which is a super hitter-friendly park – so the fantasy upside is 10-12 steals the rest of the season with a .250 average.

He’s more of a five-outfielder league guy, but he does have some solid upside for a 45+ FV guy.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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