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Evaluating MLB Rookie Performances for Fantasy Baseball - Week 8


We’re in the final month of the MLB regular season, meaning that the fantasy regular seasons for many of us will be over soon with playoffs right around the corner. It may be slightly harder for recently called-up rookies to make an impact the rest of the way given the short schedule to establish themselves and get comfortable in the majors.

However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see a few exceptions to the rule, a few rookies who can help play important roles down the stretch this year.

This week’s batch of recent call-ups could feature a few of the potential difference-makers down the stretch, depending on whether you need some backend rotation help or if you can take a shot on a high-upside hitter to provide depth to your lineup.

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Deivi Garcia (SP, NYY)

New York Yankees pitcher Deivi Garcia made his highly-anticipated MLB debut on August 30 against the New York Mets and left Yankees fans with a debut to remember. Garcia pitched six innings and allowed four hits and one unearned run while striking out six and walking none. He became the first pitcher in Yankees history to go at least six innings and not allow a walk or an earned run in his debut.

Garcia’s second start, against the Baltimore Orioles this past Friday, wasn’t quite as encouraging. He allowed four earned runs on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings, but still struck out six batters in the game.

The 21-year-old Garcia leads with a low-90s four-seamer that has induced a 23.7% put away percentage and averaged 13.6 inches of vertical drop, over three inches more than league average. He threw the pitch 61.8% of the time in his first two starts. However, it’s his curveball that has been the key to his success so far. Inducing a whiff rate of 50%, Garcia’s curveball has been simply lethal. He threw the pitch 21.8% of the time in his first two starts and it averaged a vertical drop of 65.1 inches, almost six inches more than league average.

Here’s a quick look at that beauty of a pitch:

via GIPHY

While Garcia’s next start hadn’t yet been announced at the time of this writing, it’s nearly inconceivable that the Yankees wouldn’t make a rotation spot for him, given the struggles we’ve seen from all non-Gerrit Cole starters on the team. Garcia should continue to take the rotation spot vacated by James Paxton (flexor strain), who is likely to remain on the Injured List for at least two more weeks. Once Paxton returns, J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery, who sport ERAs of 4.68 and 5.76, respectively, could very much be expendable in the rotation.

Garcia should be added in all leagues. His upside is too significant to ignore. He has elite strikeout potential, demonstrated by his 13.3 K/9 over 111 1/3 innings in the minors last year. Plus, he has the vaunted Yankees offense supporting him, which should give him ample opportunities for wins.

 

Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B, PIT)

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes got off to a hot start to his MLB career, going 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three runs scored in his MLB debut this past Tuesday. In Friday’s double-header against the Cincinnati Reds, he continued to impress, going 3-for-6 with a walk and a triple.

Hayes is one of the top hitting prospects in the Pirates’ organization. While he didn’t excel in any one statistic during his career in the minors, he showed glimpses of having the ability to contribute across the board.

As a 20-year-old in High-A in 2017, he stole 27 bases in 108 games. The following year, over 117 games at Double-A, he had a solid slash line of .293/.375/.444. Last year, over 110 games at Triple-A, he hit 10 home runs and tallied 55 RBI.

Hayes should be part of the Pirates’ lineup for most games going forward. Erik Gonzalez leads the team in starts at third base, Hayes’ primary position, but Gonzalez might be playing more second base going forward, splitting time with the struggling Kevin Newman.

Third base is one of the deepest positions in fantasy, which makes Hayes far from a must-add in any league, but if you have an open spot in a deep rotisserie league or head-to-head categories league and need someone who could contribute in a variety of statistics, Hayes is worth monitoring going forward.

 

Luis Campusano (C, SD)

San Diego Padres catcher/designated hitter Luis Campusano followed the lead of Hayes by going yard in his MLB debut this week. Campusano got the call on Friday and went 1-for-3 with a home run and two runs in the game.

Campusano primarily played catcher in the minors, but most of his playing time with the Padres this year should come at designated hitter as the team appears to be content with the Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia combination behind the plate.

Campusano had a fantastic year at High-A last season, slashing .325/.396/.509 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI over 110 games. He showed elite plate discipline with 57 strikeouts compared to 52 walks over the season.

Campusano is just 21 years old. His future is extremely bright, but he may not have much value in redraft leagues this year unless the Padres sustain a few more key injuries. Tommy Pham (hamate bone) could be back before the end of the month if he continues to progress, making the playing time situation even more complicated for Campusano.

Campusano is a great target for anyone playing the long game in dynasty leagues, but for redraft leagues, he can be left on waivers for now.

 

Bobby Dalbec (1B, BOS)

After trading first baseman Mitch Moreland to the San Diego Padres, the Boston Red Sox called up first baseman Bobby Dalbec for his major league debut. Dalbec quickly became a near regular in the team’s starting lineup, despite struggling at the plate.

Through his first six MLB games, Dalbec, went just 4-for-22 with 12 strikeouts. He did show a glimpse of his power production over that stretch with two home runs. Just like the above two hitters, Dalbec went yard in his MLB debut.

Dalbec hit a total of 59 home runs in the minors over the past two years, so there’s certainly plenty of reason to buy in to his power potential. The two main questions for him right now are in regards to playing time and strikeout concerns. He struck out a whopping 176 times over 129 games at High-A and Double-A in 2018, so the fact that his strikeout rate over six MLB games was north of 50% is really no surprise.

As for his playing time, Dalbec will primarily be splitting time with Michael Chavis, who has a very similar prospect makeup to Dalbec. Both players have shown elite power potential, but enormous strikeout concerns. Chavis had a strikeout rate of 33.2% over 95 games in the majors last year. This year, his strikeout woes have gotten even worse as he’s whiffing at a 41.3% clip. He’s also slugging just .352 this year compared with .444 last season.

If Dalbec can deliver at the plate in the coming weeks, he should be able to earn a higher share of the first base starts than Chavis. First base has been a weak position in fantasy this year, so fantasy owners in deep leagues and AL-only leagues should monitor the situation going forward. If Dalbec continues to see the bulk of the starts and does adequately well with them, he’s a worthy add.



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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