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.
As we enter the final week of the shortened regular 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.
Today we'll look at some two-start rookie pitchers who could help managers catch up in the strikeout column or lower some ratios with the finish line in sight. We'll also point out a few hitters who can help you out in a specific category of need down the final stretch run of the season. Good luck to everyone the rest of the way and congratulations in advance for those of you who are one your way to a championship title.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!
Keegan Akin - SP, Baltimore Orioles
Fresh off a nine strikeout, five-inning scoreless performance versus the Braves last week, Keegan Akin is trending into a decent final week two-start streamer. Other than one disastrous outing versus the Yankees, the lefty hasn't allowed a run over his remaining three starts and has struck out 23 over 14 2/3 IP. With the struggling Red Sox and Blue Jays set to oppose Akin this week, the rookie is in a prime spot to finish the season on a high note.
Brady Singer - SP, Kansas City Royals
Although Brady Singer has struggled to find a groove for much of his time in the majors, he's looked like a seasoned veteran over his previous two starts. Combining for 14 IP, the club's top pitching prospect has surrendered just three hits and three walks in this span while striking out 16 with zero runs allowed. He'll square off against a couple of beatable lineups in the Cardinals and Tigers this week, making him a player who can undoubtedly help seal your numbers in the pitching categories down the final stretch.
Tarik Skubal - SP, Detroit Tigers
Tarik Skubal has had an up-and-down debut season for the Tigers, so he's on the riskier end of the two-start rookies this week. He did have an excellent showing in his most recent outing versus the Royals (6 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K), but he has also failed to make it through three innings in half of his starts this year. Skubal is a bit of a desperation dice roll for his matchups against the Twins and Royals this week, but managers chasing first place may have to take the gamble.
Ke'Bryan Hayes - 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Since the Pirates recalled Ke'Bryan Hayes at the beginning of the month, the 23-year-old has provided sturdy fantasy numbers despite being a part of an underwhelming lineup. He's slashed .323/.391/.597 through 18 games while providing some appealing counting stats with three homers, 11 runs, and eight RBI. With a recent promotion from the third spot to the two-hole in the Bucs batting order, Hayes can help boost your RBI and batting average categories with a full slate of games this week.
Bobby Dalbec - 1B, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Managers looking to add a few more dingers to their yearly total should look no further than Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec. The right-handed slugger has belted seven bombs in 17 games so far in his major-league career, including a stretch where he hit a homer in five-straight contests earlier this month. Strikeouts are an issue for Dalbec (47.8% K%), but if you can afford the batting average risk, he's worth taking a shot on for the final week.
Leody Taveras - OF, Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers have leaned on their third-ranked prospect Leody Taveras as their everyday leadoff hitter over the final month, and yet he's still available in 98% of leagues. The switch-hitter hasn't hit all that well (.214 BA), but he has made an impact with six thefts and 16 runs since he can thankfully take a walk (11.7% BB%). Coming off a 32-steal campaign in 2019, Taveras seems like a good of choice as any to log a couple more before his season finishes.
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