Note: FanDuel is hosting a one-day Fantasy Baseball league tonight. It's $5 to enter and pays out $100,000 in cash prizes. First place wins $10,000. Sign up now!
So you want to know more about Stephen Piscotty, do you?
He's the most viewed player on CBSSports.com leagues, which would seem to suggest as much. And with news that he's coming up to the big leagues Tuesday, presumably to take over as the Cardinals' starting first baseman given that they need one and he recently moved to the position at Triple-A, it's only natural.
But understand the term "prospect" isn't one-size-fits-all. Piscotty earned the label because he's safe, more likely than the average prospect to stick in the majors, and not because he has the upside of a Corey Seager, Miguel Sano or even Jon Singleton.
Could he be good? Well, he hits plenty of line drives, many of which translate to doubles, but he may not hit enough home runs to measure up in Fantasy, particularly if he winds up at first base and not in the outfield, where he's currently eligible in CBSSports.com leagues. Right now, he has 11 in 320 at-bats in the heavy-hitting Pacific Coast League after hitting nine in 500 at-bats there last year.
In a best-case scenario, I could see him being something like Allen Craig was before all his foot issues, which was still a high-end player in Fantasy, but plenty of other -- and I would say more likely -- scenarios exist for Piscotty.
Is he noteworthy? Sure. Is he worth monitoring in case he shows signs of a breakthrough? Hey, everyone is. But I don't think Piscotty is one of those stop-the-presses-type prospects who you absolutely have to force onto your roster.
Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies (61 percent owned)
Nola is the more notable prospect set to debut Tuesday, making a start for the Phillies after cruising through three levels of the minor leagues in about a year's time.
He barely broke a sweat down there, his highest ERA being the 3.58 mark he put together in six starts at Triple-A, but then again, he also had his best strikeout rate at that level. The effortlessness of his ascension is a testament to his polish. Some evaluators thought he could skip the minors completely when the Phillies drafted him seventh overall last year.
As prospects go, he's a bit like Piscotty in that he's more security than sizzle, but that's a bigger endorsement for pitcher than a hitter at a not-so-premium position. And in Nola's case, you could see him taking that big step forward a little easier given his mid-90s fastball, fully developed arsenal and pinpoint control.
The biggest difference between the two is that, at 60 percent ownership, Nola is already attracting plenty of attention in Fantasy, so if he pitches seven one-run innings Tuesday, striking out six, you may not have another shot at him. He's promising enough and popular enough for you to act now and ask questions later.
Eugenio Suarez, SS, Reds (17 percent owned)
How many times have you heard it this year? Shortstop is miserable, offering only seven or eight legitimately Fantasy-relevant hitters. So if you saw one hitting .311 with a 27-homer pace, how could you pass him up?
A full 83 percent of Fantasy owners have done just that with Suarez, whose triple Monday gives him every kind of extra-base hit in his last two games. The home run Sunday was his fifth in now 106 at-bats. The guy slugged about .450 in the minors over the last two seasons, so it's not like he's doing this out of nowhere. Combine his major- and minor-league numbers this year, and he's still on a 24-homer pace, assuming a 162-game season.
Yeah, he disappointed with the Tigers last year, but he was also 22 and rushed to the majors to replace an injured Jose Iglesias. Even if he didn't have any kind of history and just fell from the sky into a Reds uniform, he'd be worth a flier just for the chance for competent production at a position where everyone needs it.
Joe Ross, SP, Nationals (22 percent owned)
Remember how good Ross was when he became the Nationals' eventual choice to replace an injured Doug Fister in June, putting together a two-start stretch in which he had 19 strikeouts to just two walks in 15 1/3 innings?
He's coming back, claiming the spot of an injured Stephen Strasburg with the Nationals needing a fifth starter again Tuesday. He's not the most notable name -- well, except that he's the brother of Padres righty Tyson Ross -- but he demonstrated the perfect combination of control, stuff and groundballishness (just ... let it go) in his first stint, making him worth a flier in the fleeting hope he keeps a spot even after Strasburg returns.
I mean, what do the Nationals owe Fister, really? With his struggles since returning, he's looking pretty vulnerable these days.