Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Sean Newcomb most impressive of newcomers, but don't ignore Lewis Brinson, Mallex Smith

With the Super Two "deadline" passed, we're going to start seeing more and more top prospects get the call. Three joined the major-league fraternity this weekend, with Baseball America top-100 prospects Francis Martes (No. 17 in their last update), Lewis Brinson (20th) and Sean Newcomb (72nd) getting their first calls.

All three have star potential in the long run, though we all know how hard it is to project that for young players, even when they have succeeded in the upper minors. You should already know all three, but what's interesting is, at least in the short run, the lowest ranked of the three definitely deserves to be the hottest commodity in Fantasy at this point. Let's take a look at what this trio represents:

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Sean Newcomb ATL • SP • 15

Fantasy success isn't all just about talent; opportunity is just as important. Newcomb has plenty of talent, but he isn't quite considered a can't-miss prospect these days, thanks to ongoing control issues. However, he could have plenty of opportunity ahead of him, especially if he continues to pitch as well as he did Saturday.

Newcomb limited the Mets to just one run on four hits over 6 1/3 innings, with seven strikeouts and, perhaps most notably, only two walks. Newcomb threw 70 of his 96 pitches for strikes, including 12 of the swinging variety. It's not yet guaranteed that Newcomb will get another turn in the rotation, however with Bartolo Colon on the shelf, I'd bet on it.

 Newcomb was impressive enough to be worth adding in all formats.

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Lewis Brinson MIA • CF • 9

Playing time is a much bigger concern for Lewis Brinson, especially in the long run, with Ryan Braun eventually returning to an already-crowded Brewers' outfield. However, the Brewers found room for him in the lineup Sunday when Brinson batted leadoff in his MLB debut, drawing a couple of walks and stealing a base. Like we've seen with Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger, if you hit enough, teams will find a place for their blue chippers to play, and with a .312/.397/.503 line to go with six homers and seven steals in 45 games at Triple-A, Brinson has more than enough talent to force the issue.

Don't be too scared off by the playing time concerns, even if he's not necessarily a must-add player yet either.

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Francis Martes HOU • RP • 58

In prospect circles, Martes might be the most highly regarded of this group, but Fantasy owners shouldn't be running out to grab the highly touted 21-year-old just yet. Even if he sticks around for the Astros, it is likely to come in a bullpen role. His four-run debut certainly doesn't inspire much confidence, especially coming off a 6.68 ERA and 2.10 WHIP in Triple-A. The Astros may have an ace on their hands eventually, but Martes doesn't look ready to contribute for Fantasy. He's only worth the deepest flier. 

Odubel Herrera Philadelphia CF
More like O-Double Herrera. Because he 11 doubles already in the month of June. Get it? Herrera added another in a three-hit effort Sunday. Herrera got off to a decent start to the season, but was one of the worst hitters in baseball in May, sporting just a .453 OPS that dropped him off most Fantasy radars, with good reason. However, he is pulling a Devon Travis of late, racking up a ton of extra-base hits, though not of the variety Fantasy players are typically looking for. However, Herrera did hit 15 homers to go with 25 steals last season, and already has more doubles than he did all last season, a power spike backed up by his career-best 32.0 percent hard-hit rate. Herrera isn't a star, by any means, but he seems to be maturing as a hitter, and there aren't always players with 20-20 potential still sitting on the wire in June. Especially not when they're this hot.
Seth Lugo N.Y. Mets RP
Seth Lugo is an interesting pitcher for a lot of reasons. He impressed with a 2.67 ERA in 64 innings last season – partially as a starter – and really impressed in the World Baseball Classic, before suffering an elbow injury that got his season off to a slow start. His secondary stuff is often dazzling – especially that curveball – but he had just 6.3 K/9 last season, so you just hope to see the stuff match up to the results before long. He picked up 10 swinging strikes on 90 pitches Sunday in his debut against the Braves, and the results followed, with six strikeouts and only one earned run allowed on six hits in seven innings of work. Lugo has the stuff, and it's worth seeing if he is starting to those flashes together into something more consistent.
Felipe Rivero Pittsburgh RP
We've been waiting for it, and the Pirates finally pulled Tony Watson from the closer's role Friday. Manager Clint Hurdle didn't immediately name a closer, but it's pretty clear who has the job after just two days, as Felipe Rivero got the first two opportunities to close Saturday and Sunday. And, of course, he did what he has been doing all season long, dominating the Marlins with three strikeouts, no walks, and no hits allowed over 2 2/3 innings in his two saves over consecutive days. For the season, Rivero has allowed just two runs in 33 2/3 innings – both on solo homers – with 37 strikeouts and only six walks allowed. He doesn't have a huge track record of elite production backing him up, but Rivero sure looks like one of the best relievers in baseball these days, and is a must-own pitcher as long as he is working the ninth in Pittsburgh.
Cameron Maybin L.A. Angels LF
Well, it's good to see that an oblique injury hasn't slowed Cameron Maybin down. He returned from the DL Friday and went 3 for 4 with four runs and four stolen bases, and came back after a scheduled day off Saturday with two more hits, two more steals, and three more runs Sunday. The Angels have let Maybin run wild this season, with 21 steals in his first 47 games, and is a must-own player in all category-based formats. And, if he's going to keep walking like this (16.2 percent), he's probably worth a look in points leagues to boot.
Mallex Smith Tampa Bay CF
If Maybin isn't available, Mallex Smith can do a passable imitation, it seems. Smith has appeared in three games for the Rays since being recalled to replace Kevin Kiermaier, going 8 for 17 with four steals, two walks, and six runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Smith struggled with the Braves last season, but is still a .294 hitter with 51 steals in just 102 games in his Triple-A career, and shouldn't be given up on so quickly. He's worth a look in all category-based leagues where you might need help in steals.
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Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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