Michael Brantley, OF, HOU (CBS: 14% rostered, ESPN: 6% rostered): It has been a long road back for the 36-year-old Brantley, but he’s now back and will do what he does best, put the bat on the ball and get on base. He’ll likely be a platoon player making him a target in AL-only formats.
Jasson Dominguez, OF, NYY (CBS: 54% rostered, ESPN: 13% rostered): A successful season at Double-A led to the 20-year-old Dominguez being promoted to Triple-A. In nine games at Triple-A, he drove in ten runs, stole three bases, and posted an off-the-charts 1.095 OPS. How does he top that feat? How about a two-run homer in his first at-bat with the Yankees? Look, he’s young and possesses great skills but remember, he is still only 20 years old. It’s a great opportunity for Dominguez to get his feet wet in anticipation of a long and successful run in the New York outfield.
Michael King, SP/RP, NYY (CBS: 26% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): He has performed in a setup role, closer, and now the Yankees are giving the versatile King a shot in their rotation. He has been building up arm strength, and with his last outing, a full four-innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts, he is poised to start going deep enough into games and provide those valuable Win opportunities.
Nick Loftin, OF, KCR (CBS: 1% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The Royals #5 prospect got the call this week and got out-of-the-gate doing exactly what was expected. “I think he’ll hit with 20+ stolen base potential and 8 to 12 home runs annually.” The big concern relates to playing time opportunities with the glut of outfielders currently calling Kansas City home.
Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM (CBS: 34% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): “There are fantasy-friendly skills, but there are questions on whether he’ll hit enough despite the contact improvements.” This is what we wrote a month ago about Ronny Mauricio.
Answers to that question can only be found one way. A promotion.” And a promotion it is, as Mauricio got the call Friday. In his first two games, he has gone 4-for-7 with a stolen base and a double that registered 117 MPH. That should guarantee plenty of new friends and a steady diet of at-bats at Citi Field.
John Means, SP, BAL (CBS: 26% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): In what looks like it will be his final rehab start, Means tossed five scoreless innings with six strikeouts on Thursday for Triple-A Norfolk. The question is does he slide into the rotation in a starting role or work out of the bullpen. Let’s hope it’s in a starting capacity.
Kyren Paris, 2B/SS, LAA (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The 44 stolen bases at Double-A this year in 415 at-bats is some impressive. The 151 strikeouts….not so much. Rich has this to say about Kyren Paris. “Kyren Paris appears to be taking another step forward in 2023 as he can into camp stronger, and it’s playing on the field with a higher SLG and more over-the-fence power. He is still a double-plus runner, so the increase in power solidifies his ceiling as a 20-20 performer. The swing-and-miss tendency is still there, but so are the walks.” If you feel the need for speed out of what should be an everyday player, find a home for him this week.
Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, BOS (CBS: 20% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): The big question isn’t the potential. We’ve witnessed the five-category potential. It’s all about the playing time opportunities in September. I’d take a cautious approach, as there are plenty of outfield-eligible mouths to feed in the Boston lineup.
Darius Vines, SP, ATL (CBS: 22% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Rich shares his thoughts on the Braves #7 prospect entering 2023. “Darius Vines is an athletic right-handed pitcher that pounds the strike zone. Last season in Double-A, he walked only 2.5 batters per nine. He doesn’t have the big fastball but pitches with a ton of confidence and polish and two plus secondary pitches in his change-up and curve ball. I heard about his curveball before seeing him over the summer but was equally impressed with his change-up. He also hit 94 MPH several times but generally sat 91 to 93 MPH with excellent location. The ceiling is likely a #4 starter, but I do believe there is upside.” It’s now a sprint to the finish line, and any and all Atlanta starters have the potential to provide value.
Jordan Wicks, SP, CHC (CBS: 48% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): We mentioned Jordan Wicks last week, but after a strong second start, it’s time for a reminder. Wicks held the Reds to one earned run over five innings, making it two consecutive victories to start his career. He has now made 22 starts this season without recording a loss. I’m betting on him extending that streak to 23 starts.
The Closer Report
Jose Soriano, RP, LAA (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The Angels have officially called it a day and, in the process, put Matt Moore and Reynaldo Lopez on Waivers and they are now calling Cleveland home. This then creates an opportunity for Jose Soriano to move into the setup role in Anaheim. In 32 2/3 innings this year, he owns a 3.31 ERA with 45 K’s and 13 holds, making him the perfect candidate to own a high-leverage spot in the Halos ‘pen next season. Why wait for Spring in Dynasty/Keeper formats? Avoid the rush and add him now.
CHC Matt Manning, DET (CBS: 35% rostered) @Garrit Cole NYY and vs. Jesse Scholtens CWS
Brandon Pfaadt, ARZ (CBS: 39% rostered) vs. Kyle Freeland COL and @Kyle Hendricks
Jose Quintana, NYM (CBS: 33% rostered) @ MacKenzie Gore and @ Pablo Lopez MIN
Darius Vines, ATL (CBS: 22% rostered) vs. Miles Mikolas STL and vs. Andre Jackson PIT