Top 100 Hitting Prospects
Brian Creagh has returned to Fake Teams after a brief hiatus and he takes a look at the Top 100 Prospects, and how they have performed relative to non-top 100 prospects over the last few seasons.
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 Heaneyor 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.
Jonathan Lucroy: #1 Fantasy Catcher
Last week, Jasper Scherer wrote this piece on Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, opining that he is one of the more underrated hitters in the game, and that he is the top fantasy hitter at the catcher position. i have to agree. Especially after what he did on Tuesday night in Arizona. In case you haven't heard, there was a bit of a beanball contest between the two teams. After Brewers starter Kyle Lohse hit two Diamondbacks, one of which hit Chris Owings in the helmet, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson had seen enough. Later in the game, Diamondbacks reliever Evan Marshall took matters into his own hands....not really....and first he threw a pitch behind Ryan Braun, and then hit him with the next pitch.
Mind you, Braun was hit with runners on second and third, so the hit by pitch loaded the bases. After Marshall was ejected, Brad Ziegler was called in to get out of the mess. Up stepped Lucroy who crushed Ziegler's first pitch for a grand slam home run. The grand slam turned a one run deficit into a three run lead, which the Brewers would not relinguish.
Lucroy finished the game going 3-5 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI, and is now hitting .340-.401-.537 with 8 home runs, 34 runs scored, 37 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 68 games. Lucroy currently leads all catcher in fWAR, batting average, and runs scored, ranks second in RBI and third in home runs. It's not like he hasn't hit in the past, and is shouldn't surprise anyone, maybe it will, that he will be in the conversation for #1 fantasy catcher in our midseason rankings coming in July.
For more on Lucroy and the Brewers, make sure you check out Brew Crew Ball, SB Nation's Brewers fan site.
Orioles young pitching prospect Kevin Gausman is being counted on to provide stability to the Orioles pitching staff and he is coming through with high marks. Yesterday, Gausman shutout the struggling Rays lineup on 5 hits, a walk and 5 strikeouts in 6 innings of work in the Orioles 2-0 win. Since his May 13th start against the Tigers, where he gave up 5 runs in 4 innings, Gausman has tossed three quality starts in a row, giving up just 2 runs o 14 hits, 5 walks and 14 strikeouts over his last 19 innings. He has given up one run or less in his last three starts, two of them against the two hottest teams in baseball at the time, Oakland and Toronto, so he has been pretty impressive since his call up back on June 7th.
Everyone knows that the Phillies overpaid first baseman Ryan Howard two seasons before they needed to, and now that contract is looking like one of worst in the game. Howard didn't make our top 12 fantasy first baseman back in March, and I don't think he even made the top 15. Anyway, not much was expected from Howard this season, as he was coming off two injury-filled seasons, and hits in the middle of one of the worst lineups in baseball. But, Howard has quietly had a productive season at the plate. Yesterday, he went 3-5 with a double, a run scored and 2 RBI in the Phillies 10-5 win over the struggling Braves. Even with the low .238-.315-.427 triple slash line, Howard has hit 13 home runs, scored 35 runs and drove in 47 runs thus far, and is on pace for another 30 home run, 100+ RBI season. Not bad for a late round pick in most mixed league drafts.
If you are hesitant to pick up Cubs starter Jake Arrieta because he has burned you in the past, I wouldn't blame you. But sometimes, you need to give pitchers a second chance, especially when they move from the American League to the National League. Yesterday, Arrieta continued to baffle hitters and amaze his owners by dominating the Marlins, giving up just one run on 5 hits, a walk and 11 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Cubs 6-1 win. The win moved his record to 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 55-15 strikeout to walk rate in 50 innings. He is owned in 20% of leagues right now and is a solid streaming play going forward.
Another starter who is an excellent streaming play going forward is Twins young starter Kyle Gibson. Gibson stepped on the mound in Boston and dominated, shutting the Red Sox out on just one hit, no walks and 8 strikeouts. The former top pitching prospect is now 6-5 with a 3.25 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a 46-25 strikeout to walk rate in 83 innings. He has made 14 starts this season, and is prone to the disaster start, but has given up one run or less in NINE of his 14 starts this season. Gibson is having a breakout season and is owned in just 4% of leagues right now. That has to change.
Fantasy Sports Network is Coming Soon!!
That's right, there is a new Fantasy Sports Network that is close to going live, and will be available on your cable providers real soon.
FNTSY Sports Network is the first television network to have live studio programming, call-in shows, panels, celebrity and expert drafts, reality programming and on-site commentary from sports venues, all specifically targeted towards the estimated 40 million people who play fantasy sports annually and on a daily basis.
Make sure you check out their site Fantasy Sports Network and check out all they have to offer.
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.