Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Promoted prospects Nico Hoerner and Kyle Lewis will play, but will they matter?
From the headline-grabbing debuts of Nico Hoerner and Kyle Lewis to Johnny Cueto's triumphant return, Scott White looks at the biggest potential pickups in Fantasy Baseball
The biggest story from Tuesday was of course Christian Yelich's fractured kneecap, and you can read all about .
Starting in right field, Lewis hit his first career home run. It went an estimated 426 feet and was the hardest-hit ball for the Mariners all night.
Starting at shortstop for the Cubs just a day earlier, Hoerner collected three hits, including a triple, and four RBI. He got his name chanted by the road crowd and was trending far and wide on Twitter.
Both authored cool moments for sure, but does either have enough of those in store for the final 2 1/2 weeks of the regular season? I have my doubts.
It's not that they don't have the opportunity. Hoerner is likely to stick at shortstop with Javier Baez having suffered a season-ending injury, and the Mariners have struggled to fill out their outfield since losing Mitch Haniger and Domingo Santana. It's not that they don't have upside. Both are former first-round picks, with Lewis having gone 11th overall in 2016, and both have some prospect shine.
But their production at the minor-league level was ... lacking, to put it kindly. Hoerner hit all of three home runs in 288 at-bats at Double-A this year. He has a great contact rate and some hope for more power in the future, but only those in the most desperate of circumstances would be taking a glass-half-full approach to him now. Lewis, meanwhile, had his minor-league career sidetracked at the start by a torn ACL, so it's impressive he's already progressed to this point. But he slugged .398 at Double-A Arkansas this year, striking out 152 times in 457 at-bats.
Again, none of this is to say neither will go on to have a great career. But neither deserves the benefit of the doubt either and won't have enough time to win you over this year.
Johnny Cueto SP
SF San Francisco • #47 • Age: 33
Between the velocity readings and the five one-hit innings, Johnny Cueto's return from Tommy John surgery was as complete a success as anyone could hope for, setting him up to be a worthwhile contributor at the most volatile position down the stretch. If the Giants stick to a six-man rotation, he'll only make two more starts the rest of the way, but the second would be at home against A Rockies team that doesn't perform so well away from Coors. And if the Giants remove someone between now and then, he'll get a two-start week before it's all over.
Gavin Lux 2B
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #48 • Age: 21
Despite an unremarkable start to his major-league career, the Dodgers have stuck with Gavin Lux every day at second base, starting him for a seventh straight game Tuesday. And he responded with as many hits in that one (three) as in his previous six combined, including his first home run. He hasn't looked overmatched, putting bat on ball consistently, and the Dodgers' willingness to play him is reason enough for continued optimism.
Wil Myers LF
SD San Diego • #4 • Age: 28
Thought you had heard the last of Wil Myers, didn't you? Turns out the 28-year-old who was once considered Fantasy royalty has a little something more in the tank. Elbow and ankle injuries for Hunter Renfroe, which manager Andy Green confirmed Tuesday would keep the slugger out for "a little while" have opened the door for Myers to play every day again, and he has responded with a 10-game hitting streak in which he's batting .484 (15 for 31) with three home runs. Some good matchups forthcoming against the Brewers and Diamondbacks next week, too.
SEA Seattle • #33 • Age: 23
Justus Sheffield's whifftastic slider wasn't quite as sharp Tuesday against the Reds as in his previous outing at the Cubs, but he has now allowed just one earned run over 11 innings in his past two starts. He'll get a second start this week against the White Sox, for all you daily league owners, but even if you play in a weekly league and can no longer activate him for that favorable matchup, he'll face the Orioles next week. That's two excellent matchups for an up-and-comer with some serious strikeout potential.
MIL Milwaukee • #2 • Age: 22
The direct beneficiary of Christian Yelich's injury in Milwaukee, Trent Grisham just delivered a five-hit game in his most recent start Monday. The 22-year-old rookie hasn't embarrassed himself with sporadic playing time but hasn't lived up to the .300 batting average, 26 homers, .407 OBP and 1.010 OPS he put together in the minors either. More consistent at-bats could help, and it just so happens he has seven games against the Padres and Pirates pitching staffs next week.
OAK Oakland • #12 • Age: 24
An excellent defender who might have already taken over as the Athletics primary catcher if not for a slew injuries this year, Sean Murphy is putting his best foot forward in an audition for next year, homering twice in a three-hit game Tuesday against the Astros. It was only the third start in seven games for the 24-year-old, but if it leads to more to close out this week, he may be worth a flier for those still struggling to fill the thinnest position in Fantasy.
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