Prospect Stock Report 7.27.17
July 27, 2017 | Justin Klein
Rafael Devers was called up on July 24th but didn’t get the start because Boston was facing a left-handed pitcher. The next day Devers did play but went without a hit. That said he did manage a walk and a run scored. Then on the 26th Rafael notched his first major league hit. It just so happened to be a laser beam that went over the fence. Devers had another hit on the evening and ended up two for four with a run scored and an RBI. The HR went an estimated 427 feet, but more impressive than that is that it was off of LHP Andrew Moore. After being benched against a southpaw Devers took one deep for his first hit and his first HR. Currently still available in 60% of Yahoo leagues Devers should be picked up in most formats that are 12 teams and larger. The young slugger has the ability to hit for average right away and in that Boston lineup he could accrue plenty of counting numbers to go with a good average. Having already flashed some power it will be interesting to see just how much pop the 20 year old Devers displays in his first go-round in the big leagues. In a tiny nine game sample at Triple-A Rafael smacked two homers and slashed a healthy .400/.447/.600 with a .200 ISO and a 194 wRC+. At Double-A Devers played in 77 games this season and managed a 48/18/56/.300 line with a .275 ISO, .408 wOBA and a wRC+ of 154. One of the consensus top prospects in all of baseball Rafael has shown a bit more power this season than was to be expected from a youngster with such a strong hit tool. With the ball seemingly as juiced up as ever I wouldn’t be shocked to see the power continue for Devers in spite of his rather young age (he’s still 20!). If you need help at the hot corner or CI and Rafael is available in your league go and pick him up.
Lewis Brinson also hit his first major league home run on Wednesday as he took Sean Doolittle deep with a man on as the Brewers fell to the Nationals 8-5 at Nationals Park in Washington DC. Brinson was recalled for the second time on Wednesday as the Brewers had a space on the roster after putting Matt Garza on the disabled list. This time around Lewis should stay up and play most days as he’s the best centerfielder on the roster and his bat is ready for the big leagues. Although he struggled in his initial trip to the majors Brinson has absolutely racked at Triple-A this season as he’s posted an incredible 63/10/43/11/.345 batting line with a .417 OBP, .569 SLG, .225 ISO, .420 wOBA and a wRC+ of 151. Not far behind Devers in most of the prospect rankings Brinson is a top prospect in his own right. Despite the established pedigree and skill set Lewis is still floating around in 88% of free agent pools in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues. I was wrong about his playing time the first time he was called up, but I doubt the Brewers will keep him up and not play him. He may sit occasionally, but I expect the rookie to play nearly every day, and if he does that he will definitely be worth owning in most formats. A combination of power and speed like this doesn’t come around very often and the fact that he’ll be doing his hitting in a strong Brewers lineup only makes him more valuable in the fake game. If you need a fourth or fifth outfielder and Brinson is available you should probably go and pick him up before he’s gone. I have a feeling that he’s either going to be a big part of the Brewers first playoff appearance in years or part of a big trade that brings an established player to Milwaukee. Either way Brinson will likely have a positive impact in the fake game down the stretch.
Derek Fisher was also recalled to the big leagues recently as the Astros brought him back up on July 25th for OF depth because of the ailing George Springer. While Springer and his left wuad discomfort aren’t thought to need a DL stint it’s worth noting that Houston stuck Fisher right into the two hole in the mighty Astros batting lineup. While most rookie hitters scuffle Derek has only been up for a total of seven games and yet he already has a pair of HR and a SB along with a robust .240 ISO. If Springer were to land on the disabled list Fisher could get a longer look, and he might even get one anyway. Jake Marisnick has been decent and Nori Aoki has been hot lately, but neither of them possesses the intriguing skill set of Derek Fisher. Currently available in 85% of Yahoo leagues Fisher should be picked up and played in all but the shallowest of formats, even if it’s only for a handful of games. When a player with this sort of combination of speed and power is batting near the front of the best lineup in baseball you better take notice or you’ll be left in the dust as Fisher looks to keep it rolling in the big leagues.
Luke Weaver has been recalled by the St. Louis Cardinals as Adam Wainwright was placed on the disabled list. It’s thought that Weaver will likely fill his spot in the rotation. The Wainwright injury came out of left field and it being described as a stiff back. That sounds like a minimum DL stay to me, but you never really know, especially with older starting pitchers. Avaialbel in 73% of Yahoo leagues Weaver will start tonight, July 27th, against the Diamondbacks in St. Louis and then he projects to make his next start at Milwaukee on Tuesday, August 2nd. Both of these starts are big for the Cardinals as they look to stay in the division race in the NL Central. If Weaver pitches well there is the chance that he could stay up and in the rotation. Otherwise he could move back to the bullpen or be sent back to Triple-A to stay stretched out and to limit his workload. Either way these matchups aren’t the best, especially in head to head formats, but they are potentially useful in deeper ROTO formats. In 13 starts across 66 innings pitched at Triple-A this season Luke has posted a solid 9-1 record with a strong 9.41 K/9 and a fantastic 1.91 ERA. If you need the pitching help Weaver is a decent option and could potentially be a fairly solid SP3/4 type down the stretch if he’s able to stay up and in the Cardinals rotation.
Eric Fedde is coming up for the Nationals to start on Saturday as he takes the rotation spot of Stephen Strasburg, who just hit the DL with a nerve impingement in his right elbow. While the Nationals expect Strasburg to be back after a minimum DL stay that sounds like a more major injury to me. Even if he’s able to come back he may not be nearly as effective. With the injury history that he has and the fact that Washington has always handled him with kid gloves it will be interesting to see what happens. In the mean time Fedde, who is himself a highly regarded prospect, will step into the Washington rotation. Currently available in 96% of Yahoo leagues Eric has a solid fastball and a good mixture of pitches. That said he has had his struggles this season as he’s managed just a 6.43 K/9 and a 5.57 ERA across four starts and 21 innings at Triple-A. Before that he notched a much better 8.63 K/9 with a 3.04 ERA in 17 appearances and across 56 and 1/3 innings pitched at Double-A this season. Even if Strasburg’s injury is more serious it’s not likely that Fedde would stay in the Washington rotation unless he had tremendous results. With the Nationals gunning for a division title and home field advantage in the playoffs they would surely swing a deal for a starting pitcher if Strasburg were to miss significant time. Heck they might even do that if he’s not going to miss time. In either case Fedde likely won’t be in a big league rotation for long. He’s an interesting streamer in deeper formats and will face a strikeout prone Rockies lineup in Washington DC this weekend.
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