Prospect Stock Report 6.29.17
June 29, 2017 | Justin Klein
Franklin Barreto was called up by the Athletics on Saturday and went out and homered in his first big league game. In that game Barreto scored two runs and notched two RBI to go with his two hits. In his very next game he also notched two hits before going hitless in his next two contests. That leads up to today where Franklin will face the Astros from the second spot in the Athletics’ batting order. In his fifth game this is already the second time that Franklin has been slotted second and if he can do so more often it would be a boon to his value in the fake game. Currently available in 84% of Yahoo leagues Barreto is a solid pick up in nearly every format or league with at least twelve teams. He might be a stretch to add in ten teams leagues at this point, but he should be added just about everywhere else. In case you’re unfamiliar Barreto was the top prospect in the Josh Donaldson deal and a consensus top prospect at every prospect ranking site. Franklin’s best attributes in the fake game are no doubt his combination of speed and power. This season he had just eight HR and four SB at Triple-A, but he also had ten doubles, four triples and had been caught stealing five times. At Double-A in 2016 Barreto had 10 HR and 30 SB to go with a 117 wRC+. Now that he’s starting for the A’s every day he should be able to use that power and speed to help fake teams and is useful in both medium and deep leagues. In a couple of leagues where I have Marwin Gonzalez as my SS I added Barreto for depth. In a few other deeper leagues he’s makes for a decent MI option as we deal with injuries in the year of the DL. PECOTA projects 15 HR+SB for Franklin over 250 at bats the rest of the season while ZiPS projects 13 HR+SB in just under 200 at bats for the rest of the season. Both of them project an AVG in the neighborhood of .250. Simply put he may hurt your fake team in average a bit but should help everywhere else. While he might not be great at any single thing he should be average to above average in the other four categories. If he’s able to stick at or near the top of the order he could be a great source of runs as well. Hitting second would also mean that he would likely see better pitches to hit and that could lead to more hits for extra bases. In any case he’s worth grabbing in most spots and monitoring in others.
Luis Castillo was impressive on the bump in Cincinnati on Wednesday night as he struck out nine Milwaukee hitters over just five and two-thirds innings pitched in a no decision. While the rookie allowed two runs on five hits and three walks he kept his team in the game and gave them a good chance to win. In just two starts across 10 and 2/3 innings pitched at the big league level Castillo has posted a solid 11.81 K/9 but also 6.75 BB/9 to go with it. His 3.38 ERA looks nice, but he’s managed to leave 100% of men on base and his 6.42 FIP tells another story. Currently available in 93% of Yahoo leagues I believe that Castillo is a fun flier in deeper leagues, but he’s about to have his numbers regress as the league adjusts to him. Luis still has some value with all of his K’s, but the ratios will likely be bloated in no time at all. Castillo’s next start is scheduled to be at Coors Field on July 3rd and that will likely be a ratio massacre. If you need K’s Castillo is an interesting addition in any sort of keeper league and in deep formats. Also, in head to head formats Castillo makes for an intriguing streamer in soft spots where he faces weak competition; especially on the road. Otherwise I would steer clear of the young hurler as he is a huge risk to trot out there. Not many players can make the leap from Double-A to the big leagues and be successful. While Castillo has the tools to be a fantasy contributor down the road I would stay away from him in all but the deepest of leagues for now.
Sean Newcomb is another young pitching prospect that is now plying his craft in the major leagues. Currently available in just over two thirds (67%) of Yahoo leagues you can go and pick up Sean for free if you need some help in your fake team’s rotation. I wrote about Newcomb 20 days ago suggesting that those of you in any sort of keeper or dynasty should immediately add him if he were available as well as those of you in deeper leagues. In shallower leagues and especially in head to head leagues I suggested that Newcomb could be a strong streaming option. While I lauded his ability to strike hitters out I also cautioned prospective owners about Newcomb’s inexperience and his penchant for allowing the free pass. Since then Sean has gone out and twirled 24 and 1/3 innings pitched across four outings (all starts) and notched a K/9 of 7.77 and a BB/9 of 2.96 on his way to a 1.48 ERA. Although it’s a spectacular number it’s currently a bit hallow as Newcomb has allowed a BABIP of just .250 and he’s left a miraculous 85.4% of runners on base. This leads to a FIP of 2.93 and an xFIP of 3.94. While the walks will likely go up so will the strikeouts. The ERA will almost certainly go up, but something in the threes is tolerable as long as it comes with a solid strikeout rate. How well hitters adjust and then Newcomb adjusts back will determine if that number will be in the low threes or high threes or fours. If Newcomb is still available I would go pick him up if I needed a SP on my fake team. Sean’s next start is at home against Houston on the fourth of july though, so you may consider benching him for that. While he’s been good thus far he could get hit up a bit in his next outing and then after that Newcomb is likely a matchup play or streamer in most leagues. I would definitely hold onto him in deeper formats and in all dynasty or keeper leagues. In fact now may be a good time floating Sean in some trade offers as this very well could be the high water mark for him this season. I could certainly be wrong, and I expect him to be useful for the rest of the season, but I don’t expect the results to be anything like the ones that we’ve seen thus far.
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