Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Prospects Report: Second-half storylines

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The All-Star break is a weird time for prospects. Most of the ones Fantasy owners were hoping would arrive already have, if only temporarily, and the ones who haven't are probably standing in their own way, which makes you wonder if you should even want them anymore.

And then the September callups are just around the corner, which compels us all to dig even deeper into the prospect pool even though we're all just guessing which ones will actually arrive. Oftentimes, they're not the best an organization has to offer.

So instead of tackling the Prospects Report the usual way, Michael Hurcomb and I have taken this opportunity to kind of step back and reassess the entire prospect landscape. Basically, we've determined what we consider to be the biggest prospect-related facing Fantasy owners right now and answered them. Enjoy.

Do you expect to see Kris Bryant in the majors this season?

Michael Hurcomb: Even though the Cubs have indicated Bryant isn't in line for a promotion this season, I still feel he will make his MLB debut in 2014. I understand the Cubs are sellers and they have nothing to play for this season, but what's the harm in promoting him? I don't buy the argument to save arbitration years because the Cubs are likely going to lock him up long-term anyway. I really don't buy the argument the Cubs want to lose more games for a better draft pick. Is promoting Bryant going to make that much of a difference? The rotation is in trouble, so one bat likely won't make them significantly better. The kid is clearly proving he's too good for the minors and has adjusted pretty well since moving up to Triple-A. Think about the business aspect as well. I know the Cubs always draw, but envision the buzz Bryant's promotion will stir up and surely he will increase merchandise sales as well. I could imagine Bryant staying at Iowa through the end of the minor-league season and then joining Chicago when rosters expand in September to get a little taste of the majors before next spring.

Scott White: As careful as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been not to rush the rebuild they began with the Cubs in 2011, the idea of them throwing caution to the wind with one of their most prized assets just to sell a few more jersey tees is positively ludicrous to me, especially since they've already hinted they wouldn't. Granted, what they make public and keep private aren't always one and the same, but the upside to rushing Bryant just doesn't compare to the downside. No matter how quickly his eye-popping numbers have moved him up the ladder, he's still in his first full professional season. Maybe he's ready, but he's certainly not over-ready. And if, by some infinitesimal chance, he's not ready, his promotion could create a whole mess of confidence issues that could have him ping-ponging between the majors and the minors for the next few years, delaying the Cubs' ultimate goals for who knows how long. Wil Myers didn't get the call in 2012 even though his numbers begged for it. George Springer didn't get the call last year even though his numbers screamed for it. I imagine Bryant suffers the same fate this year.

Which minor-leaguer are you stashing for the second half?

MH: Phillies third-base prospect Maikel Franco. As I wrote earlier this week, I feel a promotion to the majors could be imminent. The Phillies have held firm that they won't bring Franco up until he's in a groove offensively. Well, he's been heating up the last few weeks and seems primed for a promotion. The Phillies are expected to be sellers at the trade deadline, and it's not like third baseman Cody Asche has been such a strong performer that he's solidified his spot in the starting lineup. Franco has the potential to be an impact bat at what has been a weak Fantasy position this season, so he's definitely worth stashing. He's proven to be a streaky hitter in his minor-league career, but he has decent plate discipline and won't kill points-league owners with a high strikeout rate. He had 31 home runs, 36 doubles and slugged .569 last season, so you know the power is there.

SW: I'll assume you want someone fresh here and that picking Andrew Heaney, Drew Pomeranz or Danny Salazar would be the coward's way out. So with that, I'll puff out of my chest, lower my voice and say ... Maikel Franco. There's really no other answer. I don't think the Cubs would be as careful with Javier Baez as Kris Bryant since he's been in their system longer, but when he hasn't done anything to warrant a promotion, why rush it? Archie Bradley is in the same boat. I don't know that I'd trust him for much even if he did arrive. Ditto for Noah Syndergaard. Dylan Bundy will probably arrive at some point, but he's on a strict 75-pitch limit that will likely preclude him from contributing in mixed leagues. The Dodgers just don't have an opening for Joc Pederson and wouldn't even with an injury. Meanwhile, the Phillies haven't gotten much from Cody Asche, are notoriously impatient and have already said they'll call up Franco if he gets hot enough. So far in July, he's batting .390 (16 for 41) with nine extra-base hits.

Who needs to be on your radar for next season?

MH: Red Sox starting pitcher Henry Owens. All this guy seems to do is to get opposing hitters to swing and miss. He's struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings over his career. He's also proven to be a winner, sporting a career .714 winning percentage and never having less than 11 wins through his first three minor-league seasons. This year, he is 12-3 with a 2.21 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 17 starts for Double-A Portland. He seems to only get better as he gets older, which is a great trend. He posted a 4.87 ERA and 1.45 WHIP as a first-year pro in 2012 and then had a 2.67 ERA and 1.13 WHIP last season. Hitters have a hard time picking up the ball out of the southpaw's hand, which generates plenty of misses on his fastball and changeup. His curveball is improving, and the 21-year-old hurler continues to show an advanced feel for pitching. His Achilles' heel remains a high walk rate, but if Owens gets off to a fast start at Triple-A next season, the Red Sox might have to clear a rotation spot for the young lefty.

SW: You mean other than Bryant? Yeah, OK, I've made my point there. I actually think Joey Gallo has a strong chance of contributing for the Rangers that soon. The Futures Game MVP (thanks to one of his typically mammoth home runs), Gallo has had a mostly smooth transition to Double-A after making a mockery of high Class A. Some contact issues for sure -- he's striking out every other at-bat at the higher level -- but a .977 OPS is nobody's idea of failure. He won't turn 21 until the offseason, but if Jurickson Profar and Rougned Odor are any indication, the Rangers don't mind speeding their best prospects through the system. And if their season continues to go as it has, it wouldn't be so far fetched for them to trade Adrian Beltre while he's still valuable. Spring training will give us a better idea just how close Gallo is to contributing in the big leagues, but as of now, I suspect the he'll be playing every day for the Rangers by the end of next season and hitting the kind of home runs Giancarlo Stanton is known for.

Whose stock has fallen the most in your eyes?

MH: Braves starting pitcher Lucas Sims could use a lifeline and quick. A year after going 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, the right-handed hurler is 6-8 with a 4.97 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 19 starts for high Class A Lynchburg this season. Sims came into the season as a top 100 prospect by Baseball America (No. 57) and MLB.com (No. 60), but it wouldn't be surprising if he's left off the list next season unless he has a strong finish. Sims' numbers are down across the board, including his strikeout rate. After striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings in his first two years as a pro, Sims is striking out just 5.5 batters per nine this season. Sims struggles have been pinned on him toying with his mechanics as he looks to cut down on his walk rate. Well, he's not making much progress in that department, as he's walking 3.5 batters per nine innings, which is right on his career average. The good news is that Sims has plenty of time to turn around his career, but his long-term outlook has definitely taken a hit due to a down season.

SW: It sounds weird since he's already gotten a taste of the majors this year, which is more than a lot of prospects will ever be able to say, but I don't have much faith in Garin Cecchini becoming a relevant Fantasy contributor anymore. Coming into the year, he looked like one of the minors' premier contact hitters with at least doubles power and the potential for more. But in 79 games at Triple-A Pawtucket, he's batting .253 with a ghastly .329 slugging percentage. Remember Juan Pierre, slap-hitting speedster extraordinaire? He was derided for slugging percentages higher than that, and that was as a league-leading base-stealer. Cecchini can run, but it's not exactly his calling card. So what is his calling card? Playing third base? The Red Sox moved him to left field a couple weeks back, so he doesn't even have that going for him anymore. His lack of power at the developed age of 23 is more concerning to me than a starting pitcher struggling in the PCL, as Noah Syndergaard and Zach Lee have, or still learning to attack the strike zone, as Archie Bradley and Jesse Biddle are.

Which under-the-radar prospect are you snatching up in dynasty leagues?

MH: You won't find Reds outfield prospect Jesse Winker on any top-100 lists, but he should be. He is considered the Reds' third-best prospect by MLB.com and fourth-best by Baseball America, so he's not completely off the radar. However, this kid reminds me a lot of Reds first baseman Joey Votto mostly because of the plate discipline/power combo. Winker has posted a .401 on-base percentage and .490 slugging percentage in 247 minor-league games and is only 20 years old. It's scary to think he hasn't even reached his prime yet. He projects as a plus hitter with plus power. He works the count and hits to all fields. As long as he doesn't get traded, his bat could play huge at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. Winker might not make a Fantasy impact until 2016, but he's a player I can definitely tell Fantasy owners to stash in long-term keeper formats.

SW: Hard to pick just one here. The buzz has died down on Ben Lively a bit after getting a little nutty early on (understandably, given the kind of numbers he was putting up in the hitter-friendly California League), but he's still only 3 percent owned. I'm going to dig a little deeper here, though, with a personal favorite of mine who no one else seems to notice: the Rangers' Luke Jackson. I don't know why nobody notices a former compensatory pick with a mid-90s fastball and a good enough breaking ball to give him legitimate strikeout potential -- especially with the 2.45 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings he's compiled at Double-A Frisco the last two years -- but he's only 2 percent owned. He's had his struggles with walks but has consistently improved over the course of his career so that they're not so much of a problem anymore. And now that he's at Triple-A, he's a good bet to compete for a rotation spot next spring, if he doesn't arrive sooner. To me, Jackson is what Jimmy Nelson was at about this time last year, and wouldn't you like to have him on your dynasty league team now?

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Royals catcher Salvador Perez dealing with leg injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:46 pm ET) Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been playing through an apparent leg injury for some time, manager Ned Yost said on Sunday per FOX Sports Kansas City.

Yost called it a slight groin injury, while Perez described it as a tight left hamstring. He was given the final inning of Sunday's game off as a precaution. He went 1 for 3 with an RBI in the game and is now hitting .306 with 24 RBI on the season.


Braves' Mike Foltynewicz strikes out seven in win vs. Brewers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:45 pm ET) Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz earned a win on Sunday, allowing one earned run on just three hits and one walk while striking out seven in his team's 2-1 victory over the Brewers.

Foltynewicz (3-1) delivered the best start of his young career on Sunday, limiting the damage to a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. It was his fourth straight start with seven strikeouts and his second straight outing with only one free pass.

Foltynewicz owns a 4.25 ERA and 30:12 K:BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings. He's slated to face the Giants on Friday.


Brewers' Jimmy Nelson walks five in loss vs. Braves
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:40 pm ET) Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson took a loss on Sunday, allowing two earned runs on five hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings while striking out four in his team's 2-1 defeat against the Braves.

Despite his wildness, Nelson (2-5) was able to string together five scoreless innings before the Braves took a 2-0 lead in the sixth. It's the second time this season he's walked five batters in a game and his second straight start with at least four walks.

Nelson owns a 3.67 ERA and 47:23 K:BB ratio in 56 1/3 innings. He's slated to face the Diamondbacks at home on Saturday.


Rangers don't plan on moving Delino DeShields to second base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:40 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields appears to be locked into his position, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

DeShields was rumored to be moving to the infield to play second base, but manager Jeff Banister said Sunday he will remain in the outfield and likely platoon in center with Leonys Martin.

DeShields played second base in the minors for three seasons, but hasn't done so since 2013. He is hitting .271 with 10 RBI in 70 at-bats this season.


Angels pitcher Cam Bedrosian knocked around in first appearance
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:31 pm ET) Angels pitcher Cam Bedrosian didn't receive a warm welcome to the majors on Sunday. Bedrosian, who was called up to replace the injured Mike Morin, allowed three runs on four hits in just 1/3 of an inning in Los Angeles' 6-1 loss to the Red Sox.

"Had to give him the ball and hopefully give him a chance to get his feet on the ground and get a good inning," manager Mike Scioscia said to the Orange County Register. "The stuff looked good but he couldn't command it enough to be effective."


Mets recall Danny Muno, option Johnny Monell
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) The Mets recalled infielder Danny Muno from Triple-A Las Vegas after Sunday's game and optioned catcher Johnny Monell to the same club.

Muno, who went 1 for 6 in four games with the Mets in April, has hit .280/.354/.400 with one home run, 12 RBI and three stolen bases in 100 at-bats with Las Vegas. Monell was 1 for 16 with a double in his stint with the Mets and returns to a .397/.455/.638 line with four home runs and 15 RBI in 58 at-bats with Las Vegas.


Red Sox's Brock Holt hit in arm, loses feeling in hand
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt came out of Sunday's game against the Angels due to an arm injury after taking a batted ball off his forearm, the Providence Journal reports.

Holt initially stayed in but was removed for a pinch-hitter before his next at-bat. He said after the game that he started to lose feeling in his left hand, and that the ball that struck him "jarred a nerve." The utility player has hit .297/.379/.429 with one home run, 11 RBI and one stolen base in 91 at-bats.


Nationals' Anthony Rendon headed for rehab assignment
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:23 pm ET) Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is expected to begin his Class A rehab assignment for Brevard County on Monday and play 3-4 innings, according to the Washington Post.

Rendon, who is currently on the 15-day DL with knee and oblique injuries, was able to participate in batting practice on Saturday. He has taken part in baseball activities, but this will be his first game action since suffering the injuries. Rendon is yet to play this season after posting a .287 average with 21 home runs and 83 RBI in 2014.


Padres pitcher Brandon Morrow tosses bullpen session on Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:16 pm ET) Padres pitcher Brandon Morrow was able to throw a second bullpen session on Sunday, using all of his pitches in a 45-pitch session, according to U-T San Diego.

Morrow also tossed a bullpen on Thursday and is expected to throw a simulated game on Wednesday. Morrow is currently on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation and has been out of action since May 3 with the injury. 

Morrow is 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts.


Rockies' Tyler Chatwood (elbow) recovering faster than expected
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:15 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood is recovering from Tommy John surgery at a faster pace than expected, according to The Denver Post

Chatwood, 25, underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career last July. It's still unknown, and maybe not even practical to speculate, whether Chatwood will return this season. However, it does appear progress is being made with his recovery. 

“I think I’m ahead of where they expected me to be, throwing-wise, so that’s always good,” Chatwood said. “I really don’t want to set a schedule, but the plan is to come back this season.”

One good sign is the fact Chatwood was able to throw a 40-pitch bullpen on Sunday. 

Chatwood first had Tommy John surgery when he was 16 so the injury history is a concern. However, manager Walt Weiss said that while a return to the mound is too far out at this time, Chatwood is showing signs of being further along than what the club expected. 

"(W)ith his history and this being his second (surgery), we are going to take our time and make sure he’s ready to go out and compete," Weiss said. 


 
 
 
Rankings