Prospect Stock Report 9.6.17
September 6, 2017 | Justin Klein
Buehler? Buehler? Buehler? Walker Buehler will be called up by the Dodgers on Wednesday the sixth as he will join the team and work out of the bullpen. With the team losing a string of games recently and their bullpen and pitching staff being there downfall in those loses they need all the pitching help that they can get right now. Help is on the Way in the form of the 23 year old Buehler (he turned 23 just over a month ago) as he aggressively climbed through three levels of the minor leagues this season before arriving in the major leagues. While he only tossed 16 an 1/3 innings in high A ball Walker notched a spectacular 14.88 K/9 with a 2.76 BB/9 and a 1.10 ERA and 1.71 FIP. At Double-A Buehler made 11 starts and posted 49 innings where he notched a 11.76 K/9 and 2.26 BB/9 with a 3.49 ERA and a 2.95 FIP with a 2.35 xFIP. Then at Triple-A he managed just three starts and nine relief appearances across 23 and 1/3 innings pitched as the Dodgers moved him to a relief role with the anticipation that they’d call him up in September. In those innings at Triple-A Walker notched a 13.11 K/9, but saw his BB/9 rise to 4.24. While his ERA was a bloated 4.63 it appears that he was pretty unlucky as his 2.78 FIP and 3.22 xFIP suggest that he pitched much better. For the Dodgers Buehler will work out of the bullpen exclusively and could even work in high leverage situations and or a multiple inning role. Seeing as how the Dodgers bullpen has struggled of late (especially Pedro Baez) they need all of the reinforcements that they can get to help halt the slide and turn the tide as they go down the stretch and into the playoffs. I don’t want to overstate Buehler’s potential or role this season, as there is almost no chance that he closes out games with Kenley Jansen at the back end. While he could work his way into high leverage late innings relief he will likely start in middle relief and work his way from there. Because of Walker’s skill set it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him earn a late inning high leverage role. At midseason Baseball Prospectus named him the 19th best prospect in baseball and the best prospect in an absolutely loaded Dodgers farm system. This is because of his fastball that touches 99 MPH and the two advanced breaking pitches that make up the best of his arsenal. Currently available in 97% of Yahoo leagues Buehler should be added in all keeper and dynasty leagues if he’s available. In NL only leagues, deep mixed leagues and all holds leagues Walker should be considered and probably added depending on the scoring. He could provide a good amount of K’s and solid ratios along with a few wins and holds down the stretch of the regular season for the Dodgers and your fake baseball team as well.
Luke Weaver has been phenomenal of late but is somehow still available in 35% of Yahoo leagues. I only want to touch on him here because he’s long gone in most leagues, but if you’re in one of the leagues where he’s magically available you should add him post haste. In his last three starts Weaver has notched 29 K’s in 19 and 2/3 innings pitched while also posting three wins and two quality starts. In two of those outings he posted a WHIP under one (0.89 and 0.57 to be exact) so he’s helped in every single category possible for a starting pitcher. Pick him up immediately if you can. If someone made the mistake of dropping him (it happened in one of my big money leagues so it could happen anywhere) be sure to use whatever waiver claim or FAAB it takes to secure him.
Jorge Alfaro is only playing every other day at best and 3-4 days a week, but he’s a catcher during a season where the position has largely been a black hole, so he’s worth discussing. I say this because I have a share in one of my super deep two catcher leagues and he’s positively affected my fake baseball team’s batting average. It probably has something to do with Jorge’s .362 AVG. Currently available in 98% of Yahoo leagues Alfaro is a good pickup in keeper or dynasty leagues because of his hitting profile and the fact that catchers are weird man. There just aren’t that many that can help your fantasy team so one that potentially can is valuable. Jorge also has value in two catcher leagues that run 15 teams or deeper. Just be aware that the strong batting average might not last. He could fade regression the rest of the season, but at some point in September or next season the fact that he has struck out in 29.5% of his plate appearances will have a negative effect on his batting average. Also worth noting is his .513 BABIP thus far. If that slides down a couple hundred points, his average will come down with it.
Tyler Glasnow has been talked about by several fantasy analysts of late as the Pirates said they were considering a six man rotation so that Glasnow and Steven Brault both into the major league rotation. Despite those words Glasnow still hasn’t been called up and we’re nearly a week into September (when major league rosters expand). Tyler had his fair share of early season struggles at the big league level this year. To be honest he was quite terrible. He was striking guys out, but walking them too and he was a WHIP disaster and ratio wrecker. Then he was sent down to Triple-A and he seemed to settle into his abilities as he posted an impressive 9-3 record across 15 starts and 93 and 1/3 innings pitched. In those innings Tyler notched a 13.50 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 with a 1.93 ERA and 2.23 FIP with a 2.17 xFIP. Currently available in 76% of Yahoo leagues Glasnow is likely long gone in all keeper and dynasty leagues by now. If he’s not you should immediately scoop him up. As far as other leagues go Tyler has the skills and abilities to be a difference maker in all of them regardless of size or scoring. That’s how good he can be. Of course he could struggle again, and obviously possess some risk, but his upside is enormous. That said, if he isn’t called up soon it could be too little too late. In most leagues I believe that he’s worth speculating on. That would especially be the case if he were to have two starts in a head to head matchup in the semifinals or finals of your league.
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