Surviving FAABageddon | More Prospects to Stash!
Whether you appreciate it or not yet, we just went through one of the craziest adventures that will be talked about for years to come. But, no, I am not talking about Game of Thrones (sadly) coming to an end, I am talking about the first ever FAAbageddon. This past Sunday was the craziest FAAB period I have experienced in my time as a Fantasy baseball player. I came away with two shares of Nicky Lopez, one of Oscar Mercado for very cheap, and one share of Keston Hiura, for not that cheap. Meaning I missed out on Austin Riley, Brendan Rodgers and Willie Calhoun, but for no shortage of trying.
These prospects are no sure thing to produce, as we have recently been reminded by Carter Kieboom, after plenty of people spent a ton of FAAB on him. However, each of these players do possess season changing upside, it is just a matter of if they hit. You should not view buying these prospects as guaranteed production, but rather as a lottery ticket. You now have a shot at getting a breakout player off the waiver wire, and that is something only a select few teams in your league can say.
Am I nervous because I (along with co-owners) spent $202 on Hiura in an industry league, full well knowing that Travis Shaw is nearing a return? Very much so. But Hiura also possesses a ceiling that not many on the waiver wire possess. I viewed Nicky Lopez as the safest of all these call ups, as the Royals cleared a spot for him and called him up because they think he is ready. While he does not possess the upside of the big four prospects, he is safe and is still a fine addition to my fantasy teams.
For those who are freaking out because they did land one of the prospects for big FAAB bucks and are short on funds going forward: don’t be. Yes, it will be much easier to swallow if the prospect hits. It will be frustrating if you paid up for Kieboom 2.0. But, FAAB allows you to take one, maaaaybe two, big shots all year long. Taking a shot on one of these prospects gives you at least a chance at owning this year’s Juan Soto. Additionally, if one of these players does hit, you will have them for over four months of the season.
Hopefully you still have enough FAAB to keep making some maintenance moves to your team. What I mean by that is picking up some hot hitters here and there, think like a Tommy La Stella, or allowing you to pick up some pitchers to stream. For those curious, this is how much FAAB I have in some of my leagues: $62, $42, $34, $218, $260.
I have been starting some my articles with a quote lately and I heard one on my drive home today that perfectly sums up why you should be ok spending money on these prospects:
“I never really been one for the preservation of money, I’d rather spend it all while I’m breathing”
That is a line from Drake, old Drake, the better Drake (sorry kids!). While it may be some terrible financial advice, it works with FAAB bids! You would rather spend your FAAB now and make a push while your fantasy team is still competing. You do not want to be stuck with a ton of FAAB at the end of the season, and taking a shot on upside is a smart investment at this point in the fantasy baseball season.
More Prospects to Stash
But now that you spent your FAAB, you may be out of ammo for the next big callups. How can you combat that? By stashing these players now!
Yordan Alvarez is tearing up the minor leagues. He currently is batting .411 with a .494 OBP, plus he has 18 homers, 55 RBI, and 38 runs scored in JUST 170 plate appearances. He is not the son of a hall of famer so he doesn’t get the same hype, but what he is doing is just as impressive as what Vlad Jr. did last season. It sucks he is on the Astros, who have tended not to give their prospects a fair shot recently, but Alvarez will be different. He could be up soon as he has nothing left to prove in the minors and is the top stash of any player in the minors.
Zac Gallen could join a very young and talented Marlins rotation soon. In nine starts at Triple-A he pitched to a 1.79 ERA, with a 3.05 FIP and 3.31 FIP. He has averaged 11.04 K/9 and allowed just 1.49 BB/9. Of all the pitchers in the minors right now, Gallen is the top stash.
Kyle Tucker’s callup may be near. The Astros prospect is only batting .245 in Triple-A but he is displaying his tools with 11 home runs and eight stolen bases. The one negative is he has a career-high 24.4 percent strikeout rate in the minors. While Alvarez can take over first base, DH or either of the corner outfield spots, he is not yet on the 40-man roster, meaning they would need to move someone to the 60-day DL or DFA someone to make room. Tucker is on the 40 and can play the same positions except for first base. He doesn’t have the same upside, but he is a prospect worth stashing.
Bo Bichette is currently batting .250 in 14 games at the Triple-A level. Yet, he has showcased the ability to hit for a high average at every level in the minors, so expect that to improve. Plus, last year at Double-A he hit .286 with a .343 OBP, 11 homers and 32 stolen bases. I picked him up this weekend in a number of leagues where I have a minor league spot and would recommend stashing him if you have the spot.
Forrest Whitley is the third Astros player on this list. Whitley hasn’t pitched great in Triple-A this season, but his past track record speaks for itself. He has pretty much dominated every level of the minors before reaching Triple-A. He’s also allowed four or more earned runs in the three times he has been used in relief in the minors, so that may help explain the numbers. The Astros gave Corbin Martin a shot before Whitley, but if he struggles or if they want to move Brad Peacock back to the bullpen, Whitley could get his shot. The hurler throws gas and has very high strikeout upside.
Mitch Keller has pitched to a 3.83 ERA, 4.40 FIP and 4.11 xFIP in Triple-A this season. Those won’t blow you away, but he has averaged 11.25 K/9. His walks need improvement, as he’s allowed 4.28 BB/9 this season. He may not have the upside of the other pitchers, but there rumors that he could start for the Pirates as soon as this week.
Casey Mize has a 2.19 ERA, 3.12 FIP and 3.23 xFIP at the Double-A level this season. He has averaged 8.39 K/9 and allowed just 1.46 BB/9. You may have heard Mize threw a complete game shut out with seven strikeouts a couple of weeks ago. The Tigers may elect to leave him down and not start his service clock, but he may press their hands and get called up in the second half. Our own Eric Cross had the chance to see Mize recently and did a live scouting report.
Anthony Kay has pitched to a 1.24 ERA, 3.11 FIP and 3.76 xFIP while averaging 9.27 K/9 in Double-A for the Mets this season. The reason I am including him on the list is the Mets have been throwing out hot garbage as their fifth starter all year. If they want to salvage their season, they may attempt to call up the 24-year-old and see what he has.
Also, if any owners dropped Carter Kieboom or Nate Lowe I would look to stash them if I have a spot.
All stats entering Monday, May 20th.
Follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
Michael Florio is the winner of the 2018 FSWA Baseball Article of the Year and was a finalist for the 2017 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year. He has hosted video/radio shows, written for a number of print and web publications including the AP, NY Daily News and much more!
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