Hello, Fantasy friends and foes and Welcome to the Week 7 Rookie Report.
The weather is heating up and so are the influx of rookies into the big leagues. I will analyze three starting pitchers who have made Fantasy impacts and will look into whether they can continue to help their teams and fantasy owners. I’ll also include three players who are on the verge of making Fantasy owners aware of their potential impact.
Who are these three pitchers that will affect Fantasy owners? Will Vladimir Guerrero Jr. play in the big leagues this season? Should Vlad Jr. play with the Jays this season? Will Kyle Tucker help the Astros this season? Do the Braves have another young stud to help them in this breakout season?
Let’s find out the answers to these questions and more discussion on impactful rookies in the SCFE Week 7 Rookie Report.
Week 7 Rookie Report
In The Show
Freddy Peralta, SP, Brewers
Freddy Peralta is ranked as Milwaukee’s #9 prospect by MLB Pipeline and was leading the PCL in winning decisions (5), strikeouts (46), and ranked first among starting pitchers with an 11.9 K/9 before his call-up after Chase Anderson was placed on the disabled list.
The 21-year-old struck out 13 batters with two walks over 5 2/3 innings. He earned the victory in his major league debut as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Rockies in Colorado. He threw 98 pitches against the Rockies, 90 of which were fastballs.
Peralta is not an imposing figure on the mound. The diminutive right-hander stands just 5’11” and is listed at 175 lbs. Regardless, he has been exceptionally successful as a minor league pitcher, compiling a 3.31 ERA across 400 professional innings. Peralta really caught the eyes of evaluators with his performance during the 2017 season. He struck batters out at a clip of 12.7 K/9. Batters registered only 5.8 H/9 and Peralta has allowed only eight home runs in his 25 appearances.
Freddy Peralta is making a strong case to remain in the Brewers’ rotation, and now both Chase Anderson and Zach Davies are on the disabled list. He should have a solid hold in the rotation and I would recommend adding him.
Fernando Romero, SP, Twins
The 23-year-old Fernando Romero has given up just one run with 20 strikeouts through 16.2 innings in his first three career starts. Romero (2-0, 0.54) has given up almost as many walks (nine) as hits (11). Romero is just the 20th pitcher ever to go the first two starts of his career without allowing a run.
He has a fastball that reaches 98 mph and a hard-biting slider that has led him to own a cumulative 2.83 ERA and 314 Ks to 102 BB in his six seasons with the Twins’ minor-league affiliates. He had pitched 21 innings at Triple-A Rochester, going 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 20 strikeouts before his promotion. In four spring training outings, Romero didn’t allow a run over eight innings.
The Twins have major holes in their rotation, and Romero has shown that he is capable of being more than effective in his first three MLB starts. Romero should be owned and started in all Fantasy formats.
Domingo German, SP, Yankees
Domingo German joined the Yankees rotation last week after lefty Jordan Montgomery went on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his left arm. German fired six innings of brilliant no-hit pitching including nine strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians. He is the only Yankee to throw at least six hitless innings in his first career start.
An afterthought in the Yankees loaded farm system, German failed to come anywhere close to the effectiveness in his second MLB start. He was tagged for six runs over five innings and registered a no-decision after being pulled after throwing 75 pitches. He entered his second start with a 2.66 ERA but now holds a 4.26 ERA on the season, with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks in 25.1 innings.
German was essentially a non-prospect and wasn’t ranked among the top Yankees prospects. He was pushed through to Triple-A. He actually produced a 2.88 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 109 innings, before earning a pit stop in the majors, posting a 3.14 ERA in seven relief appearances.
With the Yankees not in need of a fifth starter this week, German will work out of the bullpen this weekend. German is best utilized as a streaming option in AL-Only leagues. With the recent news of Montgomery being out for up to two months, look for the Yankees to trade for a possible replacement, therefore making German Fantasy irrelevant.
On The Brink
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B, Blue Jays
The No. 2 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline and the most highly regarded talent still in the Minor Leagues, the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero is hitting .407/.456/.676 with seven homers and a 1.137 OPS at Double-A. He is the youngest player at 19 years old in Double-A and has as many walks as strikeouts (15).
Vlad Jr. has looked unstoppable but he still has played a total of 21 games above A ball. A promotion to Triple-A seems imminent. When he dominates Triple-A, then the inevitable dilemma of bringing him to Toronto will face the Blue Jays management. A 2018 promotion starts his service-time clock, which means that the Jays would lose a year of control.
He already exhibits an MLB-ready hit tool but where does he fit in the Blue Jays lineup? There isn’t anywhere for Vlad Jr. to play in Toronto with Josh Donaldson the everyday third baseman. The Jays do have a black hole at DH with Kendry Morales hitting a meager .146. Do you bring him up just to DH and possibly hinder his development? Playing in arguably the toughest division in baseball, the Jays are battling several teams for a Wild-Card slot. Does Guerrero Jr. provide enough of a boost in the short-term to start the service clock?
I believe that if and when Guerrero goes to Triple-A and dominates at the plate, the Jays need to explore whether Vlad Jr. can play a different position. Most major scouts believe he will end up at first base, left field, or maybe even DH. If he can play another position effectively, he should be brought up this summer. Without a doubt, Vlad Jr. should already be owned in all leagues.
Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros
The Astros don’t have many holes on their team, but their outfield is not producing sans George Springer. Right fielder Josh Reddick is hitting .228 and left fielder Derek Fisher is hitting only .181. Jake Marisnick also comes into the mix, as he’s the squad’s fourth outfielder. At best, he’s a late-inning defensive substitute. At worst, he just can’t hit.
Kyle Tucker came into spring training to compete for a starting job and batted .409/.438/.818 in 44 at-bats. The Astros decided that Tucker was not ready and he was sent down to Triple-A, despite only playing 72 games at Double-A last season. Despite being one of the youngest position players in both minor leagues last season, Tucker was one of just 10 players in all of the Minor Leagues to record at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 2017.
In 35 Triple-A games this season, Tucker is hitting .292 with 11 doubles and three homers. In a 10-game stretch ending Sunday, he tallied nine RBI and hit .333. The Astros continue to win but as we head into summer, they can not afford to have near to zero production from their outfielders. Enter Kyle Tucker. I believe he gets called up and will be a difference-maker for the Astros down the stretch and into the playoffs. If you have dead weight on your bench, pick up and stash Tucker for the inevitable impact.
Kolby Allard, SP, Braves
The Atlanta Braves are progressing ahead of schedule behind a cast of flourishing stars, including Ozzie Albeis, Ronald Acuna, and Mike Soroka. Kolby Allard is another star waiting in the wings. Ranked as the No.7 Braves prospect by Baseball America, Allard has posted a 3-1 record with a 1.71 ERA in Triple-A Gwinnett. In 42 innings, he has recorded 32 strikeouts and walked 13. He has held opposing hitters to a .211 average.
The southpaw possesses one of the best curveballs in the minor leagues. He also has a low-90s fastball while mixing in a newly developed changeup. He attributes his recent success to the inclusion of the changeup to his arsenal. While his strikeout rate will never be overly high, he has a solid command of his repertoire.
Kolby Allard looks to be the on the fast track to join his former teammate Mike Soroka in Atlanta. Dynasty/keeper owners should be jumping all over Allard. Those in yearly leagues will have to wait and see if the Braves are still in contention around the All-Star Break. If so, the Braves could go all in and grab a seasoned vet to push them deep into the postseason. If they are not in contention, look for Allard to be in the rotation after the All-Star break.