Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Prospect Report: Getting a PhD in Soroka-nomics

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Hello Prospect Report faithful, newbies, and everything in between.

Going into this week I was, of course, very excited about Ronald Acuña Jr.’s progress. I was also excited to see how Nick Kingham followed up on his masterful MLB debut, how Gleyber Torres is holding up, what the Dodgers were going to do with Walker Buehler after Hill came back, and if Soroka was going to stay up. So, I am happy to answer all these questions for mine and your benefit and curiosity.

I’m also glad to be doing this while drinking a dark and stormy. I’m not much of a rum guy, yet another very nice booze that college killed for me. What makes dark and stormies amazing, for me, is the ginger beer. In this case, I’m using Farmer Willies, which is an alcoholic, fresh, and tasty ginger beer. Just about as refreshing as it gets as the weather get warmer, the bats get hotter, and the pitching gas lights up. I’m totally patting myself on the back for that last sentence.


Let’s settle in to get the big perspective on rookies and prospects while Gleyber Torres settles into major league at-bats and becomes the youngest Yankee in at least 110 years to hit a walk-off HR and see how his teammates celebrated that:

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Prospect Report

News & Notes

For all your rookie and prospect news.

Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves

He’s living up to the hype in obvious and not obvious ways. He blasted his second HR on Thursday and has five doubles. His wOBA is a handsome .395 and over 40% of his batted balls are hard hit with an ISO of .262. Acuña has stolen one bag and gotten caught one time. What I like most (keep in mind this is all very small sample) is that he is striking out 17% of the time versus the 28% he was striking out in the minors. I’m sure he’s owned but he is as exciting as it gets alongside Ohtani.

Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Soroka took an L on Sunday giving up four runs, three walks and striking out three at home versus San Francisco. In the minors, Soroka has a good (not amazing) K%, a good (not great) SwStr%, and really good command. He relies on his good fastball that has great sinking action and continues to develop his breaking balls. He walked three on Sunday which is not great and only got 40% ground balls. So, without dirty nasty pitches, his ceiling is not super high for this year but his repertoire should provide a high floor.

Like Buehler, I think Soroka is very rosterable in a 12-team league. Just keep expectations in check.

Shohei Ohtani, LHP/DH, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Ohtani is back from his ankle injury and he is owned in your league. So, I’ll be brief. He is back hitting and has five hits in his last 17 at-bats with two doubles. For pitching, he went six innings, gave up two, and struck out six on Sunday. He looked good.

Nick Kingham, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

I’m really liking Kingham who followed up his one hit historical debut with a seven-strikeout start against the Brewers on May 5th. He was cruising through five before giving up a two-run homer. He has now struck out 12 and only walked one in 12 innings. I’m on-board still and recommend picking him up.

Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees

Gleyber is being Gleyber. He is just doing it in the bigs now. The dude is a hitting machine, including his three-run homer on Sunday. He has recorded a hit in 11-of-14 games since being called up hitting .333 with a .349 wOBA. His BABIP is almost .400 and has just 25% hard-hit rate. I’m not worried because he is a skilled hitter with a good eye. His average may come down some but not a ton.

Domingo German, RHP, New York Yankees

German is not ranked in the top 100 overall and is the 18th ranked prospect in the Yankee system. His fastball has some nice action and his breaking stuff is improving in generating some swings and misses. He really showed up for his first start on Sunday striking out nine and giving up no hits against Cleveland. This is an exciting start. He has some control issues and scouts generally see him as a bullpen guy.

That said, these strikeouts are legit and he is a must add in AL-only leagues. I’m in a bit of a wait-and-see otherwise but can’t fault you if you add and speculate here since this start will make some noise.

Quick Notes

Franchy Cordero is still starting every day for the Padres and only has one extra-base hit in his last 25 plate appearances. He may be kind of up and down with his aggressive approach.

Eloy Jimenez, an elite prospect for the White Sox, is raking in Double-A with sixth straight multi-hit games. He has tallied five HRs to boot in just 17 games.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit his third home run of the season for the Blue Jays Double-A squad and is hitting .388/.452/.654 with 12 walks. So excited for him.

Alex Verdugo, since getting called up for the Dodgers, is hitting .333 with a .500 slugging including four doubles. He’s only not recorded a hit in two of his seven games.

Tyler O’Neill is raking now that he’s isback in AAA including two three-hit games and a HR.

The Next Big Thing

Guys you really need to know about.

Josh Naylor, 1B, San Diego Padres (AA)

One of the hottest hitters in the minors right now is the 15th ranked prospect in the Padres system. Don’t tell him that he’s only ranked 15th, though because he has eight HRs and a ridiculous .461 wOBA. He also has a 12.5% walk rate and a .275 ISO.

His prospect report is all about his left-handed power and ability to make hard contact. His history of struggling with pitch selection and poor walk and K rates may be getting ironed out as he works on his approach. Naylor is showing improvements in his walk-rate, making me believe his approach, pitch selection, etc. are improving.

Plus, I mean, the dude has EIGHT homers. Keep an eye out and say yay to Naylor.

Waiver Pick Ups

Players worth your team’s consideration.

Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Walker was going to go back down. Then, between delays in Rich Hill coming back from the DL, Hyun-Jin Ryu going out of 2-3 months with a full groin tear (ouch), and Walker waking up in beast mode, he looks to be up for good.

There are two important things to highlight, here. One, Buehler has not had very difficult match-ups in terms who and where he is playing. Check this out:

  1. Miami: 18th in team strikeouts; last in runs per game
  2. San Francisco: 21st in team strikeouts; 21st in runs per game
  3. San Diego: last in team strikeouts; 25th in runs per game

Two, there is plenty to be excited about anyway with his 10.0 K/9, wonderful 63% groundball rate, and 3.27 SIERA. He also no-hit San Diego over six innings. Control still remains a place where he has plenty of growth (nearly 4.0 BB/9).

Because of his upside though, he is a must-own and available in more than 50% of ESPN leagues. There may be some growing pains but add now and fast.

Risers and Sinkers

Highlighting players whose stock is rising and falling.

Riser – Anthony Alford, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

Alford was recalled from AAA and is the 45th ranked prospect. I like Alford. He has an advanced approach to the plate, good bat speed, and know how to take a pitch. He got dinged in his ranking after a knee injury. As he grows and gets better he will be a great top-of-the-order hitter getting on base, stealing some bases, and providing a little pop.

Sinker – Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians (AAA)

Mejia has been bad and unlucky. He is the 11th overall ranked prospect well regarded for his switching hitting hit-tool that generates hard hits and a good average. That said he is hitting .193, still striking out too much, and not walking enough. The bright side may be his .222 BABIP without any significant drop in his LD% and his three HRs.



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Thanks for reading.

About Kyle Megrath

I care about lots of stuff. I'd like the world to be more just, equitable, and peaceful. I'd also like the Red Sox to win the world series every year. I would also like to win all my leagues and help you win all yours. I want the first one more than the second, yes, I'm not a butt. I also love reading about, writing about, and participating in Fantasy Baseball. I also love zombie movies.

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