Prospect Buy and Hold
Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco was called up last week by the Pirates, so who will be the next top prospect called up to the big leagues who could impact fantasy rosters this season? Could it be Andrew Heaney 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.
Andrew McCutchen having another MVP season
We hear more about the hitting performances of guys like Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig, but Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is quietly putting up another MVP-like season in 2014. Heading into Saturday's action, he had the sixth highest fWAR (3.1) in the game, behind only Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson.
On Saturday, McCutchen went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in the Pirates 8-6 win over the Marlins. He is now hitting .323-.434-.554 with 11 home runs, 37 runs scored, 41 RBI and 8 stolen bases on the season. He is on pace for another 20 home run, 20 stolen base season, and should he reach it, it would be his fourth straight 20-20 season.
He has hit well in each month this season, but is absolutely on fire on June, hitting .408-.473-.959 with 7 home runs, 12 runs scored and 19 RBI in just 53 at bats. The Pirates are only 6.5 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central, and two games behind the Cardinals for second place, and McCutchen is one of the big reasons why they are in the race at all.
For more on McCutchen and the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates fan site.
Reds starter Mat Latos came off the disabled list to make his first start of the season, and he looked like the Latos we saw last season. Latos shutout the Brewers on 2 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts in 6 innings last night, and left with a 1-0 lead with a chance for a win, but the Reds middle relief let him down in the Reds 4-2 loss. Latos was coming off knee surgery when he dealt with an arm injury that slowed his return this season.
I think it might be time for fantasy owners to grab Royals starter Danny Duffy off of their league waiver wire. Duffy has been a surprise this season, and yesterday he shutout the White Sox over seven innings, giving up 5 hits, a walk and striking out 9 in the Royals 9-1 win. Duffy is now 4-5 with an excellent 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a 42-22 strikeout to walk rate in 54 innings. He has made eight starts this season, giving up one run or less in five of those starts. He is available in 96% of leagues right now and is an excellent streamer option for leagues that allow streaming.
What happen ed to Jason Kipnis' power? I ranked Kipnis as my #1 fantasy second baseman coming into the season, but he has been a pretty big disappointment to date. On Saturday, Kipnis went 3-5 with a stolen base, raising his slash line to .261-.350-.363 with 3 home runs, 20 runs scored, 21 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 43 games. He suffered a strained right oblique in early May, so that might explain some of the power loss, but his stat line is down across the board this season. He usually has a hot month or two that makes his season stats look very good, so maybe he is on the cusp of that hot streak.
Tigers rookie shortstop Eugenio Suarez was not in the team's plans this season, but injuries have led to his call up last week, and he is making the most of it. On Saturday, he went 3-4 with a double, triple, home run, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI in the Tigers 12-9 win over the Twins. Suarez looks like he will keep the Tigers shortstop job, as he is hitting .400-.500-1.000 with 3 home runs, 8 runs scored and 6 RBI in just 8 games since his call up. He is available in 98% of leagues right now, so grab him while he is hot if you are in need of a shortstop.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has won the last two American League MVP awards, but he isn't going for the three peat this season. That is because teammate Victor Martinez has been probably the best hitter in the AL this season. On Saturday, VMart went 3-5 with a home run and two RBI in the Tigers win over the Twins. Martinez raised his season slash line to .329-.381-.605 with 17 home runs, 30 runs scored, 43 RBI and an insane 17-23 strikeout to walk rate. Yes, he has as many home runs as strikeouts right now.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout had another big game at the plate on Saturday, going 3-6 with a home run, double, 2 runs scored, 4 RBI and a stolen base in the Angels wild 11-6 win over the Braves. Trout is now hitting .299-.387-.573 with 13 home runs, 44 runs scored, 49 RBI and 7 stolen bases. I am surprised his stolen base total is down this season, and we may have seen the last of his 30+ stolen base seasons already. He is on pace for a 30-100-100 season, so the drop in stolen bases is more palatable as the power numbers are up this season.
After the offseason trade that sent Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for Prince Fielder, I felt the Rangers won on the deal, and for fantasy purposes, Kinsler would see a drop in production moving out of Texas to Detroit. Well, so much for using ball park analysis to predict how a player will perform in the coming season. Kinsler had a nice day at the plate on Saturday, going 3-5 with a run scored and 3 RBI in the Tigers 12-9 win over the Twins. Kinsler is now hitting .285-.317-.441 with 6 home runs, 44 runs scored, 31 RBI and 7 stolen bases. He is on pace for 100+ runs scored and 70+ RBI, which is pretty valuable from the second base position.
If you are looking for more fantasy baseball, and football, content, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, as they provide links to some of the best fantasy content on the internet on a daily basis.