Perhaps there's nothing more tantalizing in fantasy baseball than drafting an up-and-coming prospect or rushing to the waiver wire to bid on a Triple-A call-up. With no minor leagues this year, our favorite prospects are now playing on taxi squads, making it difficult for us to fantasize about since we can't get eyes on their progress. However, that doesn't mean we don't know who's on the cusp of making the big leagues.
Last week we saw a couple of big-name hitters make their major-league debuts with the Phillies bringing up Alec Bohm, and Dylan Carlson finally able to play as the Cardinals retook the field. We also got some exciting news on Monday with the promotion announcement of Casey Mize, who'll make his much-anticipated debut this Wednesday. It's certainly an exciting time for dynasty owners who have waited on these prospects for a few years.
It's not only Mize who will be making his big-league debut for the Tigers this week as we'll look at two of his teammates who also received the promotion on Monday. We'll also analyze some lower-end prospects with low ownership who have already started their careers off on the right foot and will help us out during this frustrating fantasy season full of injuries and postponed games.
Eye On The Tigers
Tarik Skubal - SP, Detroit Tigers
Although Casey Mize is receiving the majority of attention in the Motor City, fantasy managers shouldn't ignore the team's top left-handed pitching prospect Tarik Skubal. After owning a 0.40 ERA and striking out 33 batters through 22.1 IP in 2018, Skubal followed that up with an equally as impressive 2019 season spent between High-A and Double-A. He finished the campaign with a 2.42 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and a 179/37 K/BB over 122.2 IP, helping him earn a top-50 spot on MLB Pipeline's rankings list.
Skubal has the profile to become a middle of the rotation arm at the big-league level, making him an intriguing player to watch now that he's likely here to stay. We'll get our first glimpse of the 23-year-old Tuesday night versus the White Sox, and you may want to add him before his FAAB price skyrockets.
Isaac Paredes - 3B/SS, Detroit Tigers
Ranked directly behind Skubal in the Tigers system is Isaac Paredes, whom the team acquired from the Cubs in 2017 for then-closer Justin Wilson. The right-handed swinger doesn't excel in any one fantasy category, but he produces sturdy numbers across the board after hitting .282 with 13 homers and five steals in Double-A last year. He does stand out in his plate discipline metrics, however, where his 57 walks almost outpaced his 61 strikeouts thanks to highly touted hand-eye coordination and feel for the strike zone.
Paredes hit out of the eighth spot in his debut on Monday, and recorded his first hit with a two-run single in his second at-bat of the game. The 21-year-old isn't a must-add for fantasy purposes despite the good start, but he is a player to monitor since he should receive regular playing time with his defensive versatility.
Andres Gimenez - 3B/SS, New York Mets
Andres Gimenez has quietly posted sterling fantasy numbers since the calendar flipped to August and he began playing nearly every day for the Mets. The club's third overall prospect has recorded a hit in five of his last seven starts this month, while showing his defensive prowess at all infield positions except for first base.
Gimenez is up to a modest .263 BA for the year with eight runs, but you won't find much power production in his small frame and high-contact approach. However, he will boost your stolen base category since he swiped 28 bags in 117 games in Double-A a year ago, and is 6-for-6 so far in the majors. Managers looking for an SB helper should look no further than Gimenez.
David Peterson - SP, New York Mets
Speaking of the Mets, their 13th ranked prospect David Peterson is finding his groove in the starting rotation since filling the void left by Marcus Stroman. The left-hander owns a 2.91 ERA and 1.15 WHIP through four starts this season, and has looked increasingly comfortable on the mound with every outing.
Peterson isn't the most overpowering arm with a low-90s fastball, but his wicked slide piece has finished off batters with a 36.7% whiff-rate and a .143 BA. Peterson seems like a lock to remain in the rotation for the duration of the 2020 season, and while he'll undoubtedly experience some troubling outings in the bigs, his arm is serviceable in deeper fantasy formats.
Jordan Romano - RP, Toronto Blue Jays
Although Jordan Romano is the team's 30th-ranked prospect, he's provided the Jays with the best numbers of all pitchers on the big-league roster so far this season. Through 10 innings, the hometown kid has 13 punch outs with only one earned run and three hits allowed, cementing himself into a high-leverage role with the club. Romano was slated to pitch the ninth in Monday's game after anointed closer Anthony Bass worked the eighth against the bottom of the order, but the Jays offense blew the game open before he could get a chance to finish off the contest.
With Bass not providing overwhelming stuff and blowing his latest save opportunity, Romano has forced his way into the conversation for the ninth-inning role with Ken Giles still sidelined. The way manager Charlie Montoyo utilized his bullpen on Monday was a strong indication that Romano will take over closing duties, and his decision is not all that surprising. With a high-90s fastball and a wipeout slider that both have whiff-rates above 39%, the right-hander has fantasy value no matter what his defined role is.
Keibert Ruiz - C, Los Angeles Dodgers
Keibert Ruiz made an immediate impact in the big leagues by hitting a home run in his first career at-bat on Sunday, marking another prized Dodgers prospect who came out of the gate hot. The 22-year-old excelled at every minor league stop during his development but fell off a bit with a .261 BA and six homers in 2019. This drop in production after entering the year with a career .309 BA allowed teammate Will Smith to surpass him on the depth chart last season.
With Smith now sidelined, Ruiz has a chance to stick around on the major league roster if he can keep swinging a hot bat. His switch-hitting ability is a plus, and his elite 9.5% K-rate over his minor league tenure should translate to the majors and keep him out of extended slumps. With Austin Barnes not moving the needle offensively, Ruiz could force his way into a long-term role, giving him two-catcher league value.
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