Prospect Buy and Hold
Marlins pitching prospect Andrew Heaney was called up last week, so who will be the next top prospect called up to the big leagues who could impact fantasy rosters this season? Could it be Oscar Taveras or Alex Meyer?
Here is Jason Hunt's list of the players who could be called up in the next few weeks, or later this season. His weekly Buy and Hold series takes a look at players you should look at grabbing off your league waiver wire before they are called up, and before your league mates grab them.
It was around this time last season that Giants starter Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres, and he duplicated that feat on Wednesday afternoon. Last year, he needed 148 pitches to complete the no-hitter, striking out 13 and walking 4. Yesterday, he needed just 113 pitches to no-hit the Padres, striking out 6 and walking just one in the Giants 4-0 win. The win moved his record to 6-5 with a 4.42 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 1.34 WHIP and a 83-36 strikeout to walk rate in 91.2 innings. He is still available in around 64% of leagues right now, which surprises me, actually. I had no idea his ownership percentage was so low, but I would hold off grabbing him off your waiver wire unless you are in a very deep league and need a starter.
I am sure you have heard the rumors that the Rays may be trading starter David Price by the July 31st trade deadline this season, and he is doing his best to make sure Rays GM Andrew Friedman gets the best possible return. Yesterday, Price dominated the Pirates, limiting them to a 9th inning home run by Andrew McCutchen in the Rays 5-1 win. Price gave up just the one run on 5 hits, a walk and 11 strikeouts in 8.1 innings. The win moved his record to 6-7 with a 3.63 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 1.09 WHIP and an outstanding 144-14 strikeout to walk rate in 124 innings this season.
Over his last six starts, Price has gone at least 7 innings in each start, giving up 12 runs on 38 hits, and a 60-6 strikeout to walk rate. He has struck out 10 or more batters in each of his last five starts. That's dominating.
Reds starter Mat Latos looks like he is already in midseason form, as he dominated the Cubs last night, giving up just one run on 5 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Reds 4-1 win. Latos has given up just 6 runs in his three starts, with 5 of them coming in his last start vs the Blue Jays. I would not hesitate to deal for him for a strong second half run.
Latos' teammate Devin Mesoraco has been on a huge power tear of late. Prior to Wednesday night's game, Mesoraco had homered in five straight game, and is now batting cleanup for the Reds. For the season, Mesoraco is hitting .318-.384-.656 with 14 home runs, 10 doubles, 26 runs scored, and 40 RBI in 46 games this season. Among catchers with 150 or more plate appearances, Mesoraco ranks second in batting average, home runs and RBI right now, and should be the starting catcher for the National League in the All Star game based on his performance to date. Sometimes it take catchers longer to reach their potential and Mesoraco is doing just that after struggling in his first two years in the big leagues.
Another catcher who is starting to reach his potential after struggling in his rookie season is Mariners catcher Mike Zunino. Zunino homered for the fourth time in his last five games last night, and is now hitting .234-.292-.454 with 11 home runs, 29 runs scored and 27 RBI in 63 games played. He is striking out in more than a third of his at bats right now, but fantasy owners can accept that as long as he is hitting for double digit power. He is on pace for 23 home runs and 55 RBI right now, and is available in 97% of leagues right now.
A week ago the A's purchased starter Brad Mills from the Brewers for $1. Yes $1, as his contract stated he would have to be placed on the major league roster by last week or he could opt out of his contract. So, the Brewers sold him for less than the cost of a soda out of a vending machine. Mills has made that investment look profitable as he limited the Mets to 3 runs on 9 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts in the A's 8-5 win last night. The win was his first major league win. Good for him, and a great story for sure.
Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg endured his worst outing of the season yesterday afternoon, as he was knocked around by a Brewers lineup that was missing Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez. Strasburg lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up 7 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks, just 2 strikeouts and served up two home runs. The loss moved his record to 6-6 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and an excellent 123-23 strikeout to walk rate in 104,.2 innings. Maybe I misspoke when I labeled him an ace, as he isn't pitching like one this season. He has made 17 starts this season and has yet to pitch into the 8th inning this season. He has pitched 7 or more innings (but less than 8 innings) in just 6 of his 17 starts this season.
Aces should pitch into the 8th inning, right?
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