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.
With just under two weeks remaining in the season, big-league clubs are trying to punch their tickets into the playoffs, while fantasy managers aim to bring their squads over the finish line in first place. MLB teams in contention will ride hot bats and arms down the stretch run no matter what credentials they may have, while teams out of the race may look to give way to some players of the future. If you own a rookie already in the bigs, it's important to know where they stand in the lineup with the end of the season in sight.
Today we'll point out some hot hitters and pitchers who will continue to impact their real-life clubs and their fantasy owners down the regular season's stretch run. 2020 is providing us with a plethora of rookie call-ups, but it's essential to filter through which ones can help win us the fantasy gold.Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Get access to our exclusive articles, rankings, projections, prospects coverage, 15 in-season lineup tools, daily expert DFS research, powerful Research Station, Lineup Optimizer and much more! Sign Up Now!
Hot Prospect Arms
Deivi Garcia - SP, New York Yankees
The injury-ravaged Yankees have leaned on their top-three prospect Deivi Garcia over the past two weeks, and he's lived up to expectations. Over three starts, the right-hander has compiled an excellent 18/2 K/BB with a 3.06 ERA and 0.91 WHIP and has now notched his first win in his most recent outing versus the Jays. At 5'9", Garcia doesn't have the intimidation factor on the mound, but he gets his outs effectively with a knee-buckling curve that makes his low-90s four-seamer look much faster. It appears the Yanks are going to keep the Dominican in the rotation for the remainder of the year, and with their offense coming back to life, he can undoubtedly rack up a few more wins before the season ends.
Ian Anderson - SP, Atlanta Braves
Ian Anderson has filled the shoes of the several Braves starters who've hit the shelf this season, helping keep the club in first place in the division. With a perfect 3-0 record through four starts, Anderson has allowed just four earned runs in 22 innings (1.64 ERA) while striking out 27 in his debut season. The bad is that we have seen him struggle at times with command in the bigs with 10 walks to date after having a history of getting a bit wild in the minors. However, Anderson will miss bats and that ability has brought him to where he is now as the team's top pitching prospect. He's still available in 35% of Yahoo leagues, but if you've already rostered Anderson, continue to ride his strikeout arm.
Dane Dunning - SP, Chicago White Sox
The White Sox may have found another promising young arm with Dane Dunning flashing signs of excellence through his first four career starts. He's most recently thrown six shutout frames against the Pirates and is sitting at a 2.70 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through 20 IP while holding a 21/7 K/BB. Dunning finds his success by mixing it up with a five-pitch arsenal that has generated above-average numbers in whiff rate (34.9%) and ground-ball rate (52.8%). The right-hander has historically kept opposing batters in the ballpark throughout his minor league tenure (0.61 HR/9), and with only one long ball allowed so far in the majors, Dunning can continue to find success with the Pale Hose.
Hot Prospect Bats
Ryan Mountcastle - 1B, SS, OF, - Baltimore Orioles
The bat of Ryan Mountcastle has helped keep the Orange Birds in contention for a playoff spot this season since his call up in late-August. The 23-year-old is hitting .396 with five homers, nine runs, and 17 RBI over his last 15 games while batting in the meat and potatoes of the lineup. Mountcastle has impressed the most in his plate discipline by holding a respectable 19.2 K% and 10.3% BB%, numbers that have slightly bettered his minor league rates. It remains to be seen if he can keep up these stellar figures over a larger sample, but with consistent results lately, Mountcastle doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Joey Bart - C, San Francisco Giants
Joey Bart struggled a bit out of the gate for the Giants when he was called up on August 20, but the backstop has started to find his swing of late. The team's top prospect is 12-for-36 (.333) over his last 11 contests with eight runs and four RBI, although he is still searching for his first big fly in the majors. Bart is spanking the ball to a 47.5% Hard Hit% and a 32.5% line drive rate, but once he inevitably elevates the ball more than his current 10.0% fly-ball rate, some homers will come. The 23-year-old is still experiencing some growing pains with a 34.7% K%, but his bat is still playable in two-catcher formats at a minimum.
Nick Madrigal - 2B, Chicago White Sox
Nick Madrigal has lived up to his hype as a hitter, but we're still waiting for him to show off his speed. After stealing 35 bags in 120 games in 2019, Madrigal has just one theft in 17 games with the White Sox this season despite getting on base at an outstanding .375 clip. The speedster is at a .355 BA for the year with five runs and eight RBI, but his numbers would be much more appealing with a few more steals on his resume. Perhaps he's protecting his injured shoulder, but managers looking for a batting average helper and potential base stealer should look at adding Madrigal for the stretch run.
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