Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Don't overlook these post-hype prospects
The prospect shine is off Tom Murphy and Aldaberto Mondesi, but they can still help your Fantasy team.
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Not everyone is Juan Soto. In fact almost no one is. So when a top prospect comes up, scuffles, and gets sent back down, it shouldn't be that surprising. But when they do come back, it is funny to see the reaction (or lack thereof) from the Fantasy community. We've had a couple of those guys over the last week and I'm looking to add both of them in categories leagues.
The Tom Murphy hype peaked around the start of the 2016 season. He was coming off a minor league season that saw him hit 26 doubles and 20 home runs in 105 minor league games. We all thought he was ready, but the Rockies preferred the tandem of Todd Hundley and Tony Wolters. From 2016-17 Murphy battled injuries and struggled mightily whenever he was called to the big leagues, hitting .191 in 75 plate appearances. But the Rockies look like they're ready to give the now 27-year-old Murphy an extended look, and Fantasy owners need to take notice.
Murphy has started five of six games since being recalled and while he has a .300 average over that tiny sample size the most important thing is the number of starts. No matter who it is, if a catcher is going to play five games a week and has Coors Field as his home park, that catcher has Fantasy appeal. When it's someone like Murphy, who had 16 home runs in 49 games at Triple-A this year, that catcher needs to be owned in far more leagues than he currently is. I'm looking to add him any league that is NL-Only, 16 teams or deeper, or requires two catchers. There's absolutely top-12 upside here.
While Murphy has aged out of prospect status, Aldaberto Mondesi is somehow still just 22 years old. Mondesi has bounced around between Kansas City, Omaha, and the disabled list over the past three years, but with Jorge Soler's injury he's getting another shot in the majors. Mondesi still has elite steals upside and has flashed the ability to hit for average in the past. For the time being he's going to play three-to-four games a week, but good performance could dictate more playing time in the future. At the very least you should be adding Mondesi in any categories league where you're looking for speed. He has 31 steals in his last 118 minor league games.
Shane Bieber, SP, Indians
Shane Bieber doesn't quite fit the narrative above. But it's close enough for a transition. Bieber was roughed up early this year by the Twins and sent back to the minor leagues. He returned on Sunday and held that same lineup to one runs over 5.2 innings, striking out seven and walking just one. He did this in a game where the Twins hit over .500 on balls in play. Dancing around that type of bad luck only makes the performance more impressive.
Bieber will stick in the rotation for at least one more start, and if he pitches like that I suspect he'll stick longer. His performance the last two years in the minor leagues leaves little doubt that he's ready for a new challenge.
Jonathan Loaisiga, SP, Yankees
I wrote on Friday that Jonathan Loaisiga before his major league debut just in case he flashed. Boy did he. The Yankees' rookie struck out six and generated 14 swinging strikes over five innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was enough to leave little doubt that he'll get a chance to build on this while Masahiro Tanaka recovers from his hamstring injury, though it wasn't perfect.
Loaisiga struggled to keep the ball in the strike zone, with four walks, but that's not a concern I would worry about. In 160.1 innings in the minor leagues, he had an elite 1.5 BB/9. Couple that with the strikeout upside he's shown this year and it's hard not to get excited. It's far too early to speculate on what will happen when Tanaka returns, but for now you should be making sure Loaisiga is owned in any league 12 teams or deeper.
Don't look now, but Delino DeShields has broken out of his slump. In his last six games DeShields has eight hits, six walks and only three strikeouts. After a miserable May he's seems to be finding his groove at the plate and, most importantly, stole three bases over the weekend. This is a player who missed three weeks on the DL, has underperformed at the plate, and is still tied for the fifth most steals in baseball. He's now swinging the stick better, and consistently back near the top of the order. I expect him to be one of the best steals sources in baseball from this point forward, as well as a help in runs and on base percentage.
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