Sunday, August 14, 2022

Fantasy Baseball Today: Top prospect Max Meyer promoted, sell high on Triston McKenzie and more

Fantasy Baseball Today: Top prospect Max Meyer promoted, sell high on Triston McKenzie and more

News, notes and analysis from a busy pre-break Thursday of baseball.

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Happy Friday, everyone! It was a not-so-happy Thursday for Yankees fans as they saw the Bronx Bombers lose a rare series — this time to the Reds. The opposite effect was true for Seattle fans as the Mariners picked up their 11th straight victory. With Thursday’s win, the Mariners move to six games over .500 but are still 11 games back in the division. Oh and Yankees fans really don’t have much to worry about either when it comes to the division right now. Despite losing the series to Tampa, the Rays remain 13 games back. 

We’ll dive into all of the action from Thursday, but first we hope you had a chance to watch Pirates phenom prospect Oneil Cruz rip a 97.8 mph dart across the diamond registering Statcast’s fastest infield assist. If not, here’s the clip.

Meyer gets the call as an immediate must add

Depending on who you ask, Max Meyer is one of the five best pitching prospects in baseball. Period. By some rankings, he’s the second-best pitching prospect overall. And now he’ll be making his major league debut. Meyer will make his debut for the Marlins on Saturday against the Phillies. In 13 minor league starts this season, Meyer boasts a 3.69 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 69 strikeouts over 61 innings. He has a big-time fastball, a nasty wipeout slider and solid command. Meyer has done a great job generating groundballs and missed bats. He’s 38% rostered in CBS leagues, but that number will jump fast. This is the priority prospect for whom you’ve hopefully been saving your Free Agent Budget.

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Might be best to sell high on McKenzie

Guardians pitcher Triston McKenzie was lights out on Thursday en route to racking up a career high 12 strikeouts. On one hand, McKenzie was a dominant pitcher in the second half of last season and has shown he can do this for stretches. On the other, there is nothing in his 2022 profile that suggests he will break out, and now is as good a time as ever to sell high.

McKenzie finished with eight shutout innings, allowing five hits, zero walks and striking out 12 (with 18 swinging strikes). His fastball velocity was up as was his slider velocity. McKenzie’s curveball usage was up, and that’s a pitch that has delivered a .106 batting average against with a 19% swinging strike rate. McKenzie is still allowing a lot of hard contact and fly balls, and that’s what scares me most about his profile and value moving forward.

Waiver targets

  • Drew Rasmussen turned in his first quality start since June 4, and it came with him opting to fade his slider and instead throwing more cutters. He now has a 3.22 ERA and is SPARP eligible. He’s 69% rostered. 
  • Johnny Cueto now has a quality start in nine of 11 outings after Thursday’s six innings of one-run ball. He has thrown five different offerings at least 13% this season on route to a 2.80 ERA. He’s 58% rostered.
  • Reid Detmers delivered a quality start against one of the best teams in baseball when he held the Astros to two runs over six innings. He’s 34% rostered and has been a completely different pitcher since leaning on his slider.

Injuries, news and notes

  • Jacob deGrom threw four innings while allowing an unearned run and striking out four in his latest rehab start at Triple-A. He got up to 42 pitches in this outing and is expected to throw a simulated game at some point during the All-Star break. 
  • This one came out of nowhere, but Shane Baz was placed on the IL with a right elbow sprain after he experienced discomfort playing catch Tuesday. He’ll receive a PRP injection for his elbow and will rest and rehab for a month before being re-evaluated. 
  • Fernando Tatis update: Doctors are “not in total agreement” regarding the next steps. It sounds like they’re going to continue being extremely cautious with him. 
  • Jose Altuve exited Thursday after being hit by a pitch on his left knee. 
  • Mike Trout did not start Thursday but is expected to return Friday against the Dodgers.
  • After missing four games, Starling Marte returned and was batting second for the Mets on Thursday.
  • Luis Severino was indeed placed on the IL with a low-grade right lat strain. He missed most of the 2019 season with a lat strain. With that, Domingo German is scheduled to make his fifth rehab start Friday at Triple-A. If that goes well, maybe he gets a shot in the rotation with Severino on the shelf. 
  • Christian Yelich has missed three straight with mid-back tightness, but it sounds like he could be back Friday. 
  • Luis Patiño will likely be reinstated to start Friday against the Orioles.
  • Nationals manager Dave Martinez labeled Kyle Finnegan as “the guy” for the closer role. 
  • Jon Berti exited Thursday due to a mild left groin strain. 
  • Steven Matz is targeting a return for Sunday’s game against the Reds. He’s 55% rostered.
  • We had two returns from the paternity list: Kris Bryant and Jeff McNeil
  • Aaron Civale was placed on the IL with a right wrist sprain. 
  • Tyler O’Neill was reinstated from the IL and batted sixth against the Dodgers. 
  • Frank Schwindel was activated from the IL Thursday. He’s 47% rostered.
  • Stephen Strasburg was transferred to the 60-day IL with that stress reaction of his ribs.
  • Brusdar Graterol was placed on the IL with right shoulder inflammation. 
  • The Rangers called up outfielder Elier Hernandez, who was having a pretty good year at Triple-A: .295, 11 HR, 9 SB, .910 OPS, He was once a top prospect in the Royals organization.

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