Sunday, August 14, 2022

Fantasy Baseball Today: Vinny Pasquantino recalled and shooting up rankings, stash Jarred Kelenic and more

Every time the week rolls around to Tuesday I get excited because Monday always feels like a break in the action. On Tuesdays we rip through a near-complete slate on a frequent basis and often get an afternoon box score to track. And although last night’s action was on the slower side, there were some standout performances we’ll dive into below. But we also want to spend some time talking about two of the top young prospects in baseball — a pair of hitters — one who got the call up to the majors on Monday and one who might be getting the call back up to the majors shortly.

But first, make sure you’re all caught up with everything going on from the Fantasy Baseball Today team over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White broke down several players you’ll want to prioritize adding off your waiver wire in his latest column you can find here. Chris Towers took a deep dive into why Vinny Pacsquantino is a must-add player — and likely more — and you can find that here. We’re also going to talk a little more my cousin Vinny below.

And of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify

Blow your budget on Vinny

If you’re lucky enough to be in a league right now where Royals 1B Vinny Pasquantino is not being stashed or hasn’t already been scooped up — maybe your waiver wire runs on a different schedule — you’ll want to consider spending the rest of your free agent acquisition budget — or damn near close on Vinny P. I’m rolling with Vinny P because it sounds fun to me, but as Frank Stampfl pointed out on the lastest Fantasy Baseball Today, he’s also known as the ‘Italian Breakfast’ and he’s been crushing the minors this season.

Pacquantino slowed down a bit in June after a torrid first two months of the season, but he’s still batting .280 with 18 homers and a .948 OPS on the season. Frank immediately moved him up in his rankings and ahead of former profit pocket first basemen Luke Voit, Nate Lowe and Alex Kirilloff. I don’t think he’s even being aggressive. Swinging for upside is king at this stage of the Fantasy season. 

The Royals traded Carlos Santana to the Mariners after the veteran ripped off a .357 batting average with two homers and 13 walks in the month of June. Santana is just 10% rostered and could be worth a look in deeper leagues. 

Stashing Kelenic

If your league is like some pockets of Fantasy Twitter and they’ve already forgotten about Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic, now might be the perfect time to stash him on your bench. Kelenic entered last season as arguably the best hitting prospect in baseball and then proceeded to struggle with major league pitching in a stint last season and this season. But he showed signs at one point during his first run at it, and the tools that made him an elite prospect didn’t just go away. 

Kelenic is starting to improve and he has totaled a .276 batting average with five homers and an .887 OPS since being sent down to the minors. A recent article on prospectinsider.com from Curtis Christianson highlighted what is arguably the most exciting development for Kelenic. Per Christianson, Kelenic has made mechanical adjustments to his batting stance that have propelled him as a hitter in recent games. He’s just 37% rostered and carries more upside than the majority — if not all of the players currently on your waiver wire.

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Leftover quick hitters

  • Juan Jepez cracked a double dong on Monday; could he be bouncing back? Yepez has quietly started the past eight games and has batted .326 with five homers over his last 13 games overall. With a max exit velocity of 114.4 mph, there’s no doubting he has serious pop. He’s just 32% rostered.
  • Dylan Carlson provided most of his value with his legs in the early going, but he’s been surprisingly hot since the start of May with the bat. He’s hitting .295 with four homers and 12 doubles — and two steals — since the start of May. He’s 61% rostered.
  • Pablo Lopez struggled on the mound on Monday, allowing five earned runs through five innings and he now has a 4.89 ERA over his past five starts. Somehow, Lopez still has a 2.98 ERA overall in spite of the recent struggles. We’ll call it regression.
  • Martin Perez was meh again on Monday — and that’s two middling starts in his past four. Perez allowed four earned runs through six innings on Monday.
  • Carlos Correa hit his eighth homer on Monday — his fifth in June to go along with a .343 batting average. Hopefully you bought low when you had the chance.
  • Gary Sanchez cracked his ninth homer on Monday. These blasts alone make him more valuable than  several catchers drafted ahead of him this past spring.
  • Alex Kirilloff was one of Scott’s favorite sleeper hitters for this week, and he collected three hits and two runs on Monday.
  • Five Orioles hit homers on Monday: Anthony Santander (14), Ryan Mountcastle (13), Austin Hays (11), Jorge Mateo (6)
  • Kevin Gausman racked up a season-high 10 strikeouts.
  • Adam Wainwright got back on track with seven shutout innings with just eight walks/hits allowed and nine strikeouts.

News and lineup notes

Every night the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all of the happenings around the MLB from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must listen for any diehard, if I do say so myself. Tune in to the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.

  • Bryce Harper is expected to undergo surgery to repair his fractured left thumb, but he plans to return this season. Oscar Mercado was claimed off waivers by the Phillies Monday. 
  • Jack Flaherty was placed back on the IL with a right shoulder strain. 
  • Harrison Bader went to the IL due to plantar fasciitis. Dylan Carlson started in center field with Lars Nootbaar in right. 
  • Chris Sale will throw three innings in a rehab start at Double-A Thursday. It looks like Sale is being prepared for a post All-Star break return. 
  • Angels manager Phil Nevin was suspended for 10 games for Sunday’s brawl.
  • Jesse Winker was suspended for seven games.
  • JP Crawford was suspended for  five games.
  • Julio Rodriguez and Raisel Iglesias each got a two-game suspension.
  • Gleyber Torres was out of the lineup Monday after receiving a cortisone shot in his wrist. He’ll miss at least one more game as a result.
  • Aroldis Chapman will make his final rehab appearance at Triple-A on Tuesday. They continue to say that Clay Holmes will operate as their highest-leverage reliever, which could be the eighth or ninth innings. 
  • As expected, both Jarren Duran and Tanner Houck were placed on the restricted list while in Toronto. 
  • Mitch Haniger remains on track for a return sometime around the All-Star break. He’s been out since late April due to a high ankle sprain.
  • Trevor Larnach is expected to miss six weeks after undergoing core muscle surgery Monday. 
  • Brian Anderson was reinstated by the Marlins and it will be interesting to see how they divvy up playing time between him, Jon Berti and the rest of the team.
  • Tylor Megill was transferred to the 60-day IL, which means he will be out until mid August at the earliest. 

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