The Atlanta Braves called Newcomb up and he will make his MLB debut against the Mets on Saturday. It’s probably just a quick cup o’ coffee, but a good measuring stick for the 23-year-old prospect. Now, at first glance, his K/9 rate north of 11.00 leaps off the page. He’s struck out five-or-more batters in all 11 starts. However, his 2017 BB/9 is north of 5.00 with a 1.35 WHIP.
Bonus: Rays prospect Jacob Faria aced his MLB debut as he allowed only one run with five strikeouts in 6 1/3 IP. He was sent down after his cup.
Reinhold MatayReinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Rafael Devers - Red Sox (BOS)
2017 Stats (AA): 10 HR | 29 R | 34 RBI | .302 BA (51 games)
Devers, 20 (!), continues to marinate in the Red Sox farm system - currently at Double-A Portland where his batting average is up 20 points from where he left it at the end of 2016. His next home run will match his career-best of 11 set in 2015 and 2016. After stealing 18 bases last season, he’s yet to swipe a bag on only three attempts. Devers' .233 ISO has the Red Sox and prospectors licking their chops. The only person standing in the way: Pablo Sandoval. Hmm. This promotion can happen, like in the next month. Panda is hitting .225 with a strikeout rate near 21 percent. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Devers earn a Triple-A promotion in the near future to get a little more seasoning.
Yoan Moncada - White Sox (2B)
2017 Stats: 6 HR | 37 R | 12 SB | .287 BA (47 games)
Baseball's top prospect missed a chunk of time in mid-May with a sore thumb, but still leads Triple-A All-Star voting behind the impressive numbers you see above. He is, however, fighting through a 5-39 slump over his past nine games. Without question, Moncada needs to clean up the 28 percent strikeout rate, but that stat alone shouldn’t delay his impending MLB promotion all that much. The guy starting over him in the bigs, Yolmer Sanchez, is carrying a .300 average through 45 games. Sanchez’s .368 BABIP should allow for some future regression, which could create Moncada’s first opportunity with the White Sox. Despite a 25-32 record, the White Sox are only five games out of first.
Amed Rosario - Mets (SS)
2017 Stats: 6 HR | 38 R | 42 RBI | 11 SB | .339 BA
It is required by fantasy law to note Rosario currently plays in the Pacific Coast League for Las Vegas. The PCL is known to inflate some offensive stats.
The Mets prospect hits the list because a fellow Tweep inquired about his future. The Tweep was ready to move on from Addison Russell and looking to stash a minor leaguer behind Didi Gregorius on his roster. At time of publication, the Mets are 11.5 games out of first place in early-June. The 21-year-old Rosario is a sound baseball player and top five prospect on MLBPipeline.com, but I think interested owners need to compete in leagues with a middle infielder, NL-only or be outright desperate to work him into a mixed-league WHEN he does get called up. Veteran Asdrubal Cabrera is currently ahead of him on the depth chart, but don’t let his .248 average fool ya. He has a tendency to find lightning in a bottle production at random times. Plus, his BABIP is 20 points below his career norm, which indicates some lack of luck. Rosario could live up to this top five prospect status in MLB terms, but I don’t see him winning fantasy titles for owners in 2017.
Butch DillButch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Austin Meadows - Pirates (OF)
2017 Stats: 3 HR | 38 R | 9 SB | .252 average
Since he was drafted in 2013, Meadows has missed time due to various injuries including a broken orbital bone, which he has since fully recovered. Still only 22 years old, Meadows is already starting at Triple-A Indianapolis, which is very rare for an organization that really likes to take things slow with their minor league development. In what was supposed to be a lost season following Starling Marte’s suspension, the Pirates are only 5.5 games out of first in the NL Central. Still, if the team at some point punts on the season – Meadows could work his way to a big league debut with or without Andrew McCutchen on the roster. There were hot stove talks to move on from McCutchen and roll out the red carpet for Meadows. The fantasy play here is a combination of BA/AVG and stolen bases as his power stroke is still developing.