Prospect Stock Report 8.22.16 August 22, 2016  |  Justin Klein


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Reynaldo Lopez was phenomenal against the Braves Notebook” href=””>Braves last Thursday as he held them to 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 11 in a win. It was his second win in a row, although both of them came against the hapless Braves. Either way, Reynaldo will have two starts this week as the Nationals Notebook” href=””>Nationals will face the Orioles Notebook” href=””>Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday and then the Rockies Notebook” href=””>Rockies at home at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on Sunday. Still available in 77% of Yahoo leagues and 79% of ESPN leagues, Lopez is floating around in most of your free agent pools. If you need some help with your fake team’s rotation, you should consider picking him up. While the Orioles and Rockies are no pushovers, Lopez should at least be a strong source of K’s. I am using him this week in the formats that I have him, though to be fair those are both very deep formats. With the injury to Stephen Strasburg it seems that Lopez’s spot in the National’s rotation is fairly safe as he slides up to the 4th spot as A.J. Cole takes the 5th slot behind him.

Speaking of A.J. Cole, he will take the hill today, Monday the 22nd, in place of Strasburg. While it’s unknown if he’ll stay in the rotation, there is a chance that he could. His Minor league numbers for Triple-A Syracuse weren’t anything to write home about this season as he compiled a 4.26 ERA and 1.33 WHIP across 33 starts. It’s worth noting that Cole struggled mightily in 2015 at the MLB level as he allowed 11 runs on 14 hits over 9 and 1/3 innings pitched. Available in 100% of Yahoo leagues and 99% of ESPN leagues, Cole shouldn’t be added unless you’re in the deepest of leagues, an NL-only league, or are absolutely desperate for pitching.
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Also worth noting is that if Cole struggles again there is the very real chance that top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito could get another crack at pitching in the big leagues. Currently available in 85% of Yahoo leagues and 90% of ESPN leagues, Giolito has the skill set to be a dynamic force if he’s able to find any consistency should he be afforded another chance. As I’ve noted before in this very column, Giolito has all of the skills to be a true front of the rotation ace and a difference maker in both the real and fake games. If you’re in a deep league or have an available bench spot, consider adding the young hurler now in the hopes that he gets a chance to return to the big leagues this week or next. He could certainly struggle again, but if he doesn’t then watch out. You’ll be glad you took the risk and added him ahead of time.

Speaking of top pitching prospects with front of the rotation skills, the Dodgers Notebook” href=””>Dodgers young stud pitching prospect, Julio Urias, has returned to their rotation from the bullpen. While the move is likely to be a temporary one, Urias pitched quite well on Sunday as he held the Reds Notebook” href=””>Reds scoreless across 6 innings while striking out 6 in a win. If Julio stays in LA’s rotation, he would be in line to face the mighty Cubs Notebook” href=””>Cubs offense on Friday, August 26th, at home at Chavez Ravine in LA. It would be no doubt be a tough test, but Urias should be a good source of K’s in the contest. I’d consider using him in deeper formats and also in DFS if he’s dirt cheap because he’s be a contrarian option in GPP’s and I love to gamble. Currently available in 77% of Yahoo leagues and 80% of ESPN leagues, you should consider adding Urias if you need some help with pitching. Even if he returns to the bullpen, he could be a multiple-inning option that gives similar value as a player like Raisal Iglesias. No matter what the scoring is, those innings should come with K’s and a decent-to-solid ERA with a handful of wins and holds as the Dodgers go down the stretch.
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Yulieski Gurriel made his MLB debut on Sunday and went 1-2 with a hit and a walk before he had to leave the game with a tight hamstring. There was a lengthy rain delay that certainly didn’t help the situation as Yulieski’s hamstring tightened up during that delay. Although he’s considered day-to-day, Gurriel was confident that he would be back in the Astro’s lineup on Monday. Although he ended up slashing an underwhelming .250/.252/.429 with 14 hits including 4 doubles and 2 HR across 61 plate appearances in the minor leagues, Yulieski was an impact bat in Cuban and International play and could be in the major leagues as well. Currently available in 77% of Yahoo leagues and 82% of ESPN leagues, he’s out there for the majority of you fake gamers if you’d like to pick him up for free. I would advise adding the Cuban slugger in all leagues that are 12 teams and up or any size league that has CI or multiple UT slots. While Gurriel could be hampered by this injury or fall on his face against tough MLB pitching, it is most likely that he’ll be a solid contributor that plays nearly every day for the Astros Notebook” href=””>Astros and your fantasy team. If you need a bat and he’s available, you should make the addition.

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