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From to Farm to Roster: Potential Call-Ups for Week 9


We're almost to the end of the fantasy season, and there is only one FAAB period left to help get our teams over the finish line. With that in mind, there are far fewer impact players that have yet to be called up.

I'll still discuss players on a team's Taxi Squad or Alternate Site Camp who are worth keeping an eye on or stashing in hopes of reaping fantasy goodness. I'll list league sizes where the player could be relevant and give you information on the situation so that you can make the most educated decision possible.

 

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Overview

As a point of clarification: Taxi Squad and Alternate Site Camp are two different things. When teams go on the road, they are able to bring three players who are not on the active roster, in case of an emergency. This is the Taxi Squad. These players cannot appear in games unless there is a corresponding transaction but are clearly those that are the closest to being "called-up," so it's important to keep an eye on those.

The Alternate Site Camp is where all other players in the 60-man pool are and could be seen as this year's "Minor Leagues." They will scrimmage each other and get instruction, but only some of them are potential call-ups this year while others are top prospects who are simply there to get work in. Teams can also add players to their 60-man pool or release them from it, so these will also be fluid.

 

Priority Pickups

These are players I believe you should put in claims for now (depending on your league size) based on their proximity to playing time.

Daniel Ponce de Leon, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

12-team leagues

Ponce was sent to the Alternate Site after his last start against the Brewers, but the speculation is that had more to do with the Cardinals wanting extra relievers for their upcoming doubleheaders than it did with him not being in their plans. After all, he did strike out nine over six innings while giving up only two runs. He's shown strikeout upside in the past and a start against the lowly Pirates could be a tremendous opportunity for teams in their fantasy finals to steal a win and some Ks. The Cardinals haven't announced any starters for the weekend series, but I would be shocked if Ponce wasn't one of them.

Mickey Moniak, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

15-team leagues

EDIT: MONIAK WAS CALLED UP AFTER THE ARTICLE WAS SUBMITTED

After Kyle Garlick was hurt on Tuesday night, there was some speculation that the Phillies would call up their former number one pick. Moniak would join an outfield with Andrew McCutchen, Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley, and Phil Gosselin, so playing time is not guaranteed, but there is a path to it if he performs. The problem is that he hasn't really performed. He was drafted as a high contact hitter, but he has hit above .270 once in the minors and has had a K% over 21% each of the last three seasons. He's begun to add a little power to his game, but he will only ever be average there. The only reason I would consider him in deep leagues is that he has some speed to swipe a few bases, and he could hit in a solid lineup and his singles could turn into a few runs. I'm not overly excited though.

 

Bruce Zimmermann, SP, Baltimore Orioles

15-team leagues and AL-only

Believe it or not, I'm a little bit excited about this one. Zimmermann was on my radar for dynasty leagues after his strong 2019 season, so I'm interested to see him get a start against a Tampa Bay team that is solid but features a bevy of left-handed hitters for the left-handed Zimmermann to work against. After working out at Driveline, Zimmermann worked to perfect his curveball which he hopes to pair with an average fastball but good slider and changeup, which makes him effective against both righties and lefties. He's not going to get a lot of strikeouts, but he's an intriguing arm if you need some WHIP help for the final weeks.

 

Watch List

These are players who I don't believe warrant an immediate add but are guys who should be on your radar for a call-up in the near future. If you're in a really deep league, perhaps some of these guys could act as a bench stash, depending on the size of your roster and health of your team. 

Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles

It seems unlikely now, but I'm going to keep it up because of GM Mike Elias' comments:

Heading into their final game against the Mets, the Orioles are only a game and a half out of a playoff spot. Pedro Severino has been hitting the ball well, so they're in no rush to move on from him behind the dish, but they can also move Renato Nunez back to 1B and DH Rutschman instead of Pat Valaika or Chris Davis. The Orioles' top prospect against played above A-ball and only hit .154 in his 12 games there, but he was taken first overall last year because his bat was so advanced. He's incredibly polished with enticing raw power and consistent contact metrics. He's also, by all accounts, an incredibly hard worker who would adapt quickly to a new level.

Nick Pivetta, SP, Boston Red Sox

I'm not sure you really want to do this to yourself, but in an AL-Only league, you may need to take any opportunity you get. Pivetta was rumored to be starting last week against the Phillies, but the team went with Chris Mazza instead, which means Pivetta may start at some point in the final weeks of the season. This is the same Nick Pivetta that had a 15.88 ERA across 5.2 innings with the Phillies this season. However, we all know that Pivetta has tantalized baseball enthusiasts with his raw stuff for a few years now. Perhaps the Red Sox can unlock some of that talent? It's not necessarily likely, but you can stash him on your bench and find out. Even he goes on a good stretch, he could be a difference-maker in those deep leagues.

Adonis Medina, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Jake Arrieta was hurt earlier this week, which means the Phillies will likely need another starter in the coming weeks. They have both Medina and Cole Irvin starting at the alternate site, but I put Medina here because he'd be a little more interesting for fantasy purposes. A little bit of the shine has worn off his prospect status. He never added the velocity that people expected, but his sinker, slider, changeup combo has allowed him to limit hard contact. The secondary pitches were also hard for him to control, but if he can figure them out, he has enough movement on the pitches to make him a solid risk in the right matchup.

Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox

NOTE: Duran's speed was also on display Wednesday with an inside the park home run at the Alternate Site. Just call him up and see what he can do. SWING CHANGE ALERT! After struggling with high fastballs last year, Duran altered his swing to be able to elevate his hands above the ball. It appears to be working as he's showing home run power at the Alternate Site. Duran is an elite speed outfielder so any added pop to his game would take him from a potential fourth outfielder to a true everyday player. With Andrew Benintendi out and Kevin Pillar now in Colorado, the Red Sox don't have much in the way of outfield depth behind Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. Sure, they can play Jose Peraza, Michael Chavis, and Yairo Munoz there, but why not see what Duran can give them? If he does get the call, he could be valuable for his speed alone.



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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More