Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Rhys Hoskins living up to hype; Chase Anderson, Jeurys Familia nearing return
After a slow start, Rhys Hoskins is performing exactly as hoped, according to Scott White. Meanwhile, Dinelson Lamet and Cory Spangenberg continue to exceed expectations.
Stashing prospects is a low-probability move in Fantasy Baseball.
The rewards are potentially huge but the timeline for seeing them unpredictable. And even when they do reach the majors, there's no guarantee they stick. It's why I wasn't terribly surprised Rhys Hoskins was owned in less than half of CBS Sports when he finally got the call after months of speculation, hyping and hoping by yours truly.
And when he started out 0 for 10, it would have been easy to dismiss him as another Lewis Brinson or Franklin Barreto-level fakeout, but now that he has three homers in his past two games, the 24-year-old's introduction to the big leagues is suddenly looking like exactly the kind we hope for.
And he's still available in half of CBS Sports leagues.
The most encouraging part about Hoskins' introduction to the majors isn't the home runs. He ranked second in all the minors with 38 last year and set a Lehigh Valley record with 29 prior to his promotion this year, so those were inevitable. It's the fact he has struck out just four times in 21 at-bats, continuing to demonstrate the all-around hitting ability that defined his last two years in the minors. Say what you will about his 0-for-10 start, but it wasn't a case of him being overmatched. And now that he's outfield-eligible, you can find a spot for him on your team.
Of course, not even Hoskins could solve the dominant force the Philadelphia Phillies faced Tuesday -- the one who struck out seven over seven three-hit innings. But then, that's been the norm for Dinelson Lamet lately, judging by his five straight starts with two earned runs or fewer. He has more or less ditched his experimental changeup during that time, which showed promise early but ultimately just detracted from his wipeout slider.
"It was a very similar story to what he's been the last number of times out," manager Andy Green told MLB.com. "Slider's real. He threw some down in the zone that were filthy, that nobody had a chance on."
With a swinging strike rate on par with Carlos Carrasco and no real innings concerns on the horizon, he's a nice find this time of year.
Of course, the ultimate pitching find, provided you're in one of the 24 percent of CBS Sports leagues where he's available, would be Chase Anderson , who's set to return from a strained oblique Sunday at Colorado. You may not want him for that particular start at that particular venue, but rest assured you want him. He was as instrumental to the Milwaukee Brewers ' early success as Jimmy Nelson was, having picked up 2 mph on his fastball and increased the use of his best two swing-and-miss pitches, the curveball and the changeup, to give him seven starts leading up to the injury in which he looked like a front-line starting pitcher.
Anderson isn't the only notable pitcher on the verge of making his return. Jeurys Familia is set to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday after losing the past three months to a blood clot in his right armpit. He'll likely have to prove his effectiveness before reclaiming his job from A.J. Ramos, but he was considered a top-10 closer coming into the year, having led the majors in saves last season, and is an ideal DL stash in leagues where saves are scarce.
Wilson Ramos ' recovery from a torn ACL has been slow going, but the 30-year-old has shown real progress of late, not only homering in back-to-back games but also making louder contact whenever he has the bat in his hands. He reportedly put on a show in batting practice Monday and nearly had a second home run, hitting the ball 381 feet, in the contest.
"He had some good swings," manager Kevin Cash told MLB.com. "The just-missed home run, the home run and then also a couple foul balls where he was right on some pitches."
It wouldn't be enough to elicit a response from me at any other position, but at catcher -- which was thin even before Willson Contreras , Brian McCann and Evan Gattis went on the DL -- it's reason to roll the dice.
The best thing Cory Spangenberg has going for him is the triple eligibility (second base, third base, outfield), but the second-best thing he has going for him is the newfound power that has resulted in four home runs in his last three games. It's a departure from the skill set that got him to the majors, which was more that of a table-setter, but this current version measures up a little better in this environment. Offensively, he's sort of like a poor man's Whit Merrifield , also providing an element of speed, so owners in deeper leagues should take notice.
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