FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Pitchers): 6/6/2014
As the Super Two deadline passes, top prospects have one less obstacle to the Show. And as the quality of available pitchers on the fantasy market dwindles, spending remaining FAAB dollars on speculative plays becomes vital. So even though arms profiled in FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets may need an injury or ineffectiveness to break into a major league rotation, astute fantasy owners will be ahead of the curve. This week features a top prospect making his debut tonight, a trio of top-100 prospects on the verge of graduating to MLB, and a pitcher producing historic numbers who’s still available in most fantasy leagues. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across the three major fantasy platforms.
Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees
$8 (35% Yahoo / 33% ESPN / 42% CBS)
Relievers who don’t close are rarely worth roster spots unless the league counts holds. But numbers like 15.4 K/9 and a 255 ERA+ are anything but normal. Dellin Betances is reminding many of Mariano Rivera’s legendary 1996 season, but Betances has been even more dominant. With David Robertson a free agent in 2015, Betances is positioning himself as a candidate to close in the future. ROTOscouting’s Joe Pytleski urged owners to pick up the former Yankees starting pitching prospect in March, finding a top-10 closer (based on WAR) between 2010 and 2013 averaged 11.61 K/9 and 2.70 BB/9. Betances is averaging almost four more strikeouts per nine than the K/9 benchmark, while walking only 2.6 batters per nine. Since being profiled in the April 11th edition of this column, Betances’ price tag has climbed. But judging by his ownership numbers, it’s not to late to act in many leagues. Bid aggressively now to secure the future closer of the New York Yankees.
Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies
$4 (12% Yahoo / 1% ESPN / 24% CBS)
Eddie Butler was an unheralded prospect heading into 2013. Fast forward a year and his heavy sinker has earned top-50 prospect status on every major top-100. Debuting tonight, ROTOscouting’s Mike Newman was one of the first in the prospect community on Butler’s bandwagon predicting his rise into the Top-100 in April of 2013. Butler’s arsenal is heavy and lends itself to ground balls. At the minor league level, Butler’s ground ball percentage has never dropped below 49%, meaning his arsenal is built for Coors Field. In 2014, Butler’s strikeout percentage has dropped, but he averaged more than eight per game in 2013. As Newman notes, a splits strategy can always be employed if Butler struggles pitching in Coors, mitigating a modest investment risk.
Michael Foltynewicz, RHP, Houston Astros
$2 (<1% Yahoo / <1% ESPN / 6% CBS)
The Houston Astros rebuilding effort is beginning to bear fruit. George Springer is making an impact and the Astros have paired him with Jonathan Singleton [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] this week. Mike Foltynewicz [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] is next in line. “Folty” owns a true, plus-plus fastball which explodes on hitters. The velocity, combined with late movement is Foltynewicz’s ticket to the show. The Astros will prep him as a starter for as long as possible, but Foltynewicz is a top internal option for Astros closer of the future. With a bullpen sporting the third-worst ERA (4.64) in the AL and no established closer, a contending Houston team will need a reliable option. A minimal bid today will afford the proactive owner a prospect with the floor of an elite closer with a ceiling of mid-rotation starter. Not a bad investment as an FAAB fantasy baseball target.
Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins
$2 (2% Yahoo / <1% ESPN / 16% CBS)
While Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have had their seasons derailed by injuries, Alex Meyer is closing in on the majors. The Twins find themselves in fourth place, only four games behind the division-leading Detroit Tigers, but their starters’ ERA (4.87) is by far the worst in the American League. With the resurgent Phil Hughes the only starter with an ERA under 4.00, the rotation needs reinforcements. In 2012 Mike Newman [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] scouted a 6-foot-9 monster with a plus fastball, projectable slider and developing changeup. A tweak this year from a circle change to a three-finger change has given Meyer a reliable third pitch he can trust. While Meyer continues to struggle with his command (4.3 BB/9), his 10.6 K/9 and 49% groundball rate point to a quality MLB starter who’s not far away. Bid on this FAAB fantasy baseball target before he gets the call to run-suppressing Target Field.
Matt Wisler, RHP, San Diego Padres
$2 (<1% Yahoo / <1% ESPN / 7% CBS)
Matt Wisler lost out to Robbie Erlin this spring for the final spot in the San Diego Padres rotation. He proceeded to dominate Double-A and earn a May promotion to the the Pacific Coast League. After surrendering at least four earned runs in each of his first four Triple-A starts, Wisler’s made adjustments and has had more success in his two most recent starts. In 13 innings, he’s given up one earned run, seven hits, and four walks, while striking out nine. In 2013 Mike Newman opined Wisler’s “well-rounded arsenal with ground ball tendencies and room to fill out” was the perfect mix for a top-100 pitcher. The Padres starters have the sixth worst ERA in the National League and a productive Wisler would be a welcome addition. However, the Padres are 11.5 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants and have little reason to force the issue with Wisler. Owners in redraft leagues can pass the right-hander up. but dynasty and keeper league owners will want to act now.
FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets:
By June, fantasy owners have an idea whether their team will contend or pretend. It also offers owners the opportunity to reload or rebuild as top prospects debut. By analyzing the trajectory of a team, owners can more efficiently spend FAAB dollars. While teams in contention may not have the flexibility to roster a pitching prospect on the verge, teams sliding out of the hunt have the luxury of stockpiling as many young, impact arms as possible. either way, ROTOscouting’s FAAB fantasy baseball Targets keeps owners ahead of the curve.
6 Jun 2014 / Brian Molter / 7
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