The shortened MLB 60-game season has handed us multiple surprises. Many players who likely wouldn’t reach the majors this year have had opportunities on teams hindered by positive COVID-19 tests. In addition, the expanded rosters allow teams to be more flexible and easier to call up top prospects.
Many prospects have made their MLB debuts this season with more still to come. For this article, the focus will be on prospects that are available to add off waivers in the majority of standard fantasy leagues. Therefore, players like Nate Pearson are not mentioned due to his 70% ownership. The following players will make an impact for your team now.
The St. Louis Cardinals are finally returning to play on Saturday with a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox. They are calling up top prospect Dylan Carlson to the major leagues. The 21-year-old switch-hitter has big power upside and excels at constantly bashing hits for extra bases. The Cardinals will likely slide him into an everyday outfield role. He should get plenty of playing time, considering the Cardinals will have many inactive players due to COVID-19. Furthermore, the Cardinals have a heavy workload coming up as they try to make up as many games as possible. This will result in all Cardinals’ position players, including Carlson, to receive ample playing time and plate appearances. He is an addition that can push your contending team to a fantasy championship.
Philadelphia Phillies top prospect Alec Bohm debuted Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. He recorded a double in the 2nd inning in his first major league at-bat. Bohm was drafted third overall in 2018. For two years in the minors, he hit for power and average. Last year, he batted .305 and crushed 21 homers while driving in 80 runs. Bohm will make an immediate impact because he will get to start most days at third base.
In response to Bohm’s call up, Phillies GM Matt Klentak said, “The plan is that he’s going to play regularly. That’s been the case for a while now. If we’re going to call up a player like Alec, we want him to play every day.”
In addition to starting at thirdbase, he will hit behind the trio of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Didi Gregorius, creating many at-bats with RISP for him. He is a player that can boost a contending fantasy roster to a championship this year as long as he cements himself as the everyday third baseman.
Sticking with the Phillies, Spencer Howard is still available to add in most leagues after being called up last weekend. Philadelphia needs a lot of pitching help and they are looking for Howard to help immediately in the rotation. His first start in the majors was nothing more than mediocre surrendering a pair of home runs in a loss to the Atlanta Braves. However, a positive is that he struck out four while only walking one. He only allowed ten home runs in over 200 innings pitched in the minors, so allowing a couple to Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman in one start isn’t alarming.
Howard generates high swing and miss rates on his fastball and breaking ball, which resulted in a 12 K/9 rate in the minors. If he is able to command the strike zone, he could offer a lot of strikeouts for your fantasy team. The 25-year-old righty will get his next start on Friday against the New York Mets.
Fantasy owners rightfully acted in making Jo Adell one of the most added players when the Los Angeles Angels called him up a couple of weeks ago. However, his lackluster start has now led him to be one of the most dropped players in leagues. Regardless, it’s baseball, and not everyone can get out to amazing starts. For example, teammate Mike Trout had a slow start in his limited rookie season, and now he’s the best player in baseball. In no way am I saying Jo Adell will be like Trout, but many fantasy owners overreact to small sample sizes.
Adell has too much talent to bust, and he will figure it out. It’s just a matter of when, and how much can he impact fantasy teams this season in standard redraft leagues. He may be hitting .122, but only for 22 plate appearances in six games. The 11 strikeouts are scary to see, but he was still able to hit just shy of .300 in the minors with a fairly high strikeout rate. Adell ranks below the other three listed above to add, but if there is an open spot on your roster don’t be afraid to take a shot on MLB Pipeline’s sixth overall prospect.
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