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From Farm to Roster: Prospect Call-Ups For Week 3


Every Thursday for the duration of the Major League Baseball season, I'm going to be discussing 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, but remember that this is an unprecedented year, so we don't know for sure how teams will make use of additional players or when exactly players will be called up now that the service time deadline has passed.

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 with them three players who are not on the roster, in case of a medical emergency. This is the Taxi Squad. These players are not on the Active Roster and cannot appear in games unless there is a corresponding transaction, but players on the Taxi Squad are clearly those that are the closest to being "called-up," so it's important to keep an eye on those. They can/will change for each road trip so check them regularly on Roster Resource. 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.

Now that we've covered that, let's look at some guys who should be on your Pick-Up and Watch List radars. Remember that these are players who are NOT on the active roster, so there will be few pick-ups each week since it's rare you would want to grab a lot of guys who aren't active in a season where every game played counts.

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Priority Prospect 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.

Spencer Howard, SP - Philadelphia Phillies

All Leagues

Howard is a holdover from last week's column because the Phillies' proximity to the Marlins basically shut them down for a week. Rumor is he will start on Sunday and be activated before the game. I doubt he's available in leagues since he was supposed to be up last week, but maybe take one last peek at the waivers.

Bryse Wilson, SP - Atlanta Braves

12-team leagues

The Braves went with Touki Touissant to fill Mike Foltynewicz's spot in the rotation, and he was predictably wild. Then, they got more bad news on Tuesday morning when it was revealed that Mike Soroka tore his Achilles and would be out for the year, opening up another spot in the rotation. While many don't think of Wilson as having the same upside as some of the Braves' other pitching prospects (more on that below), he's not some no-name prospect. He features a sinking fastball he can run up into the high-90s with two versions of a slider and an improving change. He spent most of 2019 in AAA with a 3.42 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and an 18.2 K-BB%. He's a ferocious competitor and an innings eater, which could also make him valuable in a short season where bullpens are already being taxed at a rapid rate.

Casey Mize, SP Detroit Tigers 

12-teams with deep benches or 15-team leagues

The rumor was that Casey Mize was being held down for service time manipulation but that date has come and gone and he's still not up with the Tigers. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when they may call up their top prospect, but I believe it's inevitable. Mize may have never pitched above AA, but he's 23-years-old, so he's not some young kid still learning the ropes and the Tigers could call him up and still control his contract through his prime years. He's a smart pitcher with a solid understanding of pitch sequencing and a deep arsenal of pitches; he needs to learn against the big boys. With Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal also nearing the Major Leagues, it makes sense for the Tigers to see what Mize can do against Major League hitters sooner rather than later.

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/OF - Baltimore Orioles 

12-teams with deep benches or 15-team leagues

At some point this season, the Orioles are going to call up Mountcastle, we're just not entirely sure when. He doesn't really have a set defensive position, but he has plus-power and hit 25 HR with a .321 average for the Orioles AAA club last year. He doesn't draw a lot of walks but doesn't have an egregious K% either, so he could profile as a .260 hitter with solid pop. If you have deep benches, you can stash him in 12-team leagues since it's a near-lock that he'll be up eventually, especially with D.J. Stewart starting the year on a 0-for-21 skid. There's no logical reason for the Orioles to trot him out over Mountcastle, but so far they show no indication that they're going to do anything differently.

Dylan Carlson, OF - St. Louis Cardinals

12-teams with deep benches or 15-team leagues

Let's be clear: Dylan Carlson should have been up with the Cardinals at the beginning of the year. Now that his service time manipulation is done, he should be up soon, following in the footsteps of Jo Adell, Nick Madrigal, Daulton Varsho, and other bats who are behind Carlson in terms of readiness. Carlson hit .281 with 21 HR and 18 SB in 108 AA games last year and then .361 with 5 HR and 2 SB in 18 AAA games to end 2019. He was hitting the ball well in Summer Camp and has enough defensive ability to play anywhere around the outfield. He's certainly a bat that the Cardinals can use and when we learn more about the COVID outbreak in their team, could be among the first wave of call-ups to fill any gaps in the outfield when the Cardinals play on Thursday for the first time since last week. If he's not in that group, he might not be far behind. Tyler O'Neill is hitting .200, and Harrison Bader is batting .091, so it's not like they're really making it hard for the Cardinals to call up their best prospect.

Alex Reyes, RP - St. Louis Cardinals 

12-teams with deep benches or 15-team leagues

NOTE: Reyes was promoted to the active roster prior to publication

Oh, boy. Here we go again.

There has never been any doubting Reyes' talent. He's a dynamic arm who was downright electric in his one MLB season. However, that was back in 2016 because the 25-year-old has dealt with myriad arm issues since then. Now that he appears to be healthy again, it would seem to be a given that the Cardinals would stick him in the bullpen and not tax him too much. That's the only reason why I'm not overly excited about Reyes for this year. Yes, he might be the best arm in the Cardinals bullpen, but the Cardinals' handling of their bullpen is confusing to say the least. I have no faith that they will just give the closer's job to a guy who has seven Major League innings since 2016. Even if he does work his way into high leverage innings, the organization is going to be cautious with his workload to ensure that his arm stays healthy. So what that says to me is that you're rostering him for the strikeouts, hopefully, the ratios, and maybe a handful of saves. If that's your expectation going in, and you can get him without going overboard on FAAB, he could be as valuable as a guy like Matt Barnes.

Max Schrock, 2B/3B - St.Louis Cardinals

15-team leagues

NOTE: Schrock was promoted to the active roster prior to publication

Schrock could be another Cardinal to get an opportunity in the wake of the team's recent COVID outbreak. The 25-year-old has been at Triple-A the last two years, so he's the readiest to go if a middle infield spot opens up. The left-handed hitter made great strides with his plate discipline last year, bumping his BB% from 5.3% to 12.2%. It coincided with the largest FB% of his career (39.2%) and the highest K% (16.2%). It didn't quite work as he hit only two home runs, but his average was still .275 with a .366 OBP and 12 SB. He's likely never going to be a power bat, but he makes a fair amount of contact, gets on base a lot and can swipe a bag. He's basically a poor man's Nick Madrigal. While Schrock has mainly played 2B in his career, he did play 56 games at 3B and seven in LF last year, so perhaps the Cardinals can move him around.

 

Prospects 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. 

Corey Ray, OF Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers need outfielders. After Lorenzo Cain opted-out for the season and Ryan Braun went on the IL, the Brewers called up two infielders. That means that the only back-up outfielder they have on the active roster is utility man Brock Holt. With Ben Gamel now holding down RF, that turns one of the Brewers' supposed strengths into an area of weakness. While Gamel has been hitting well this week, he's a career .264 hitter who averages about six home runs a year and offers little in the way of stolen bases. He's also been a relatively average defender, with a career UZR of 0.9 in RF. At some point, it would seem likely that the Brewers call up another outfielder, and Corey Ray could be that guy. He's not without flaws, after only hitting .188 in 53 games in AAA last year with a 38.7 K%. However, the tools for fantasy goodness are there, as evidence by his 27 HR and 37 SB season in AA in 2018. If he gets the call, he's the type of player that can put up great fantasy lines in two to three hot weeks, even if needs to iron out some kinks in his real-life game.

Seth Beer, 1B/DH, Arizona Diamondbacks

I'm likely dreaming on this one a little bit since Beer has never played above AA, but the Diamondbacks are struggling on offense and might be aggressive in trying to remedy that since this was a season they were built to compete. Also, there has never been a more perfect year to call-up Beer since he's a below-average defender who will benefit greatly from the DH position where Jake Lamb is currently slotted in and hitting .063 in seven games. As a former college player, Beer has a mature approach at the plate. He's yet to register the walk rate in the minors that he displayed in college, but he demonstrates good patience and is not a major strikeout bat. He has always been relatively pull-centric in his approach and has the power to be a consistent force as a middle of the order.

MacKenzie Gore, SP San Diego Padres

The Padres called up Luis Patino this week but claim that he will be pitching out of the bullpen for now. That's most likely because the team is saving the first rotation spot for its top prospect. Joey Luchessi has been struggling out of the gate with an 8.44 ERA in 5.1 innings across two starts. His success has always been a little bit predicated on his funky delivery, and he's never quite mastered the third pitch to take him to the next level. It's possible that the Padres give him one more start before turning the reins over to the 21-year-old Gore, who struggled slightly in 21.2 innings of AA last year but still had a 10.38 K/9 on the back of plus command and great spin rates on his secondary pitches. Expectations should be tempered at his age in his first taste of the big leagues, but you'll definitely want a piece of him.

Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B, Boston Red Sox

I'll keep Dalbec on here because the reasoning is still the same. This is what I wrote last week:

"Dalbec is the Red Sox number three prospect and the closest to a Major League call-up. He has tremendous power, clubbing 27 HRs across two levels last year, but he also has inflated strikeouts to go along with it. He's displayed good patience throughout his minor league career, and the Red Sox giving him work at 1B shows that they want to find ways to get his bat in the lineup with Rafael Devers entrenched at third. One way to do that is at the expense of Michael Chavis. A rookie last year, Chavis was a less highly-regarded prospect with a similarly high K% and less power. Now that Chavis has been beaten out for the 2B job by Jose Peraza, he is really only getting playing time at 1B against left-handed pitching. If he continues to struggle to be productive, the Red Sox could try Dalbec in that role, and he has the power to be a difference-maker if he gets on a hot streak."

Stephen Gonsalves, SP Boston Red Sox

Another Red Sox move that is more of a deep cut. Their rotation is nauseating; that's not a surprise when you roll out Matt Hall, Ryan Weber, and Zack Godley. With Eduardo Rodriguez still recovering from the ramifications of his battle with COVID, the Sox need a more long-term answer for the rotation and may have found it when they claimed Gonsalves off waivers from the Mets this week. The 26-year-old has yet to find success in the Major Leagues, but he was a former highly regarded prep prospect who has a 2.50 career minor league ERA and put up a 2.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 8.52 K/9 in AAA in 2018. After missing most of last year with an elbow injury, he appears back to full strength and could be a much better option in the Sox rotation than the aforementioned pitchers. If he gets a job, he could be rosterable in deep leagues given the offense behind him or streamable in certain match-ups.

Ian Anderson, SP Atlanta Braves

Anderson also stays on for this week with the loss of Soroka: If you took everything I said about Bryse Wilson and were not convinced, then keep an eye on Ian Anderson, the Braves top pitching prospect. He still needs to refine his curveball, but the 21-year-old has a dynamic fastball and changeup pairing that, if he finds that consistent third pitch, could make him another dynamic young arm in the Braves staff. The key is that curveball, so keep your eye out for news on how he's throwing it in camp, and if you start to read that it's looking legit, it might not be long before he gets the call, especially with Kyle Wright struggling in his first start.

Dane Dunning, SP Chicago White Sox

There was a rumor that Dunning would be called up to start on Saturday, and while that rumor proved to be false, it does signal that Dunning is on the team's radar. With Carlos Rodon going down with an injury, there are likely to be opportunities in the near future. The only reason Dunning isn't on the pick-ups list is that he missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery. The right-hander has a lot of talent, as evidenced by his 2.76 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 10.02 K/9 in AA in 2018, and K-BB% that are over 20% combined across multiple levels in 2017 and 2018. He has good movement on his fastball and shows good pitchability, which could help him avoid getting blown up by opposing offenses. It's hard to find out exactly how he's throwing at the Alternate Site Camp, but I need to see him face major league hitters given his injury year last year before I'm throwing down any real FAAB on him.

Lewin Diaz, 1B Miami Marlins 

Diaz is another player who could get an opportunity for the Marlins now. Acquired in the Sergio Romo trade in July, Diaz is a left-handed pull hitter who had 27 HR and a 31.9 Hard% during the 2019 season, which demonstrates a little of his upside. His .188 BABIP with Miami last year skews his overall numbers, but the offensive ability is there for him to be a steady contributor. The Marlins are currently left with only one first baseman, Jesus Aguilar, and may look to add Diaz to form a platoon while also giving them a left-handed DH option. While not as well-known as Harrison, there are those who believe Diaz has evolved into a better prospect over the last couple of years, and he certainly appears safer. He's listed as less of a priority than Harrison because I'm less confident that he gets the call, and he's likely to find himself in a platoon situation, but he is the future at 1B for Miami.



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Things are starting to get difficult for fantasy football managers. Indianapolis, Minnesota, Miami and Baltimore all have the week off, so fantasy managers are already playing shorthanded. Fielding a full lineup is going to be tough as it is if you have a few injuries. If one of your key guys is listed as questionable... Read More


Week 7 Stream Team - Shallow and Deep-League Pickups

Welcome to Week 7 of the NFL season. Each week we will be providing streamer advice for all of those who need it, which is pretty much anyone and everyone. Streaming players with the best matchups each week as well as during your stud's bye weeks is an integral part of winning a fantasy championship... Read More


Lies, Damned Lies, and Fantasy Football Statistics (Week 7)

The more data we get as the season goes on, the better equipped we are to interpret matchups and make informed decisions. Then Week 6 comes along and blows it all to hell. The unpredictability of sports is what keeps us intrigued, as frustrating as it may be at times. Numbers are supposedly to be... Read More


The King's Week 7 Fantasy Football Lineup Rankings (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers!  Below you will find my Week 7 fantasy football lineup rankings. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions. Skill Position analysis is primarily based on the PPR ranks. The rankings are powered by... Read More


Slow Starters Ready to Break Out in Fantasy?

We are now more than a third of the way into the fantasy football season and a seemingly clearer picture is available across the landscape. After a pandemic-shortened offseason and lack of preseason exposure, there were plenty of worries headed into the first month specifically. Thus far, one of the most prevalent topics with regards... Read More


Fantasy Football Warning Signals for Week 7

The warning signals get brighter by the week since we have more data to work from. The larger the sample size the easier it is for us to connect the dots from the latest trends. Football is a game of small samples and many variables, making it one of the hardest sports to predict. How... Read More


How to Value Clyde Edwards-Helaire with Le'Veon Bell in KC

Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Jonathan Taylor? Coming into the season this was the biggest question for fantasy GMs, both dynasty managers who were thinking long-term and redraft managers who wanted to know who would be better for this season. There were many different theories and believe me when I say, both sides thought they were 100%... Read More


NextGen Stats - Quarterback Breakdowns and Takeaways

It's been a month since the last time we took a look at our beloved quarterbacks. Numbers are numbers, and numbers don't lie. You can twist them, but looking at them objectively, numbers say that no matter what, rushing the ball is almost always a worse option than passing it in today's game. That's why... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Improve From Week 6

This series continues into its sixth week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. In Week 6, we saw performances such as Ryan Tannehill throwing for 364 passing yards, the Houston Texans running backs combining for 66 rushing yards, and the New... Read More


Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right? Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift. Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 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 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 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 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 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 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 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 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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