The dog days of Summer are definitely here. We’ve already seen some fantasy baseball players make the switch to their fantasy football research and stop keeping up with the MLB news. This is when we pounce on prospects, especially in dynasty leagues, that can help us not just down the stretch but also next year and beyond. With the influx of injuries this week from Shane McClanahan to Josh Jung to Zach Neto to Bryan Woo and Carlos Rodon, there are plenty of rookie call-ups coming to bolster MLB lineups that could help your fantasy baseball rosters down the stretch. There have already been two big name prospects called up this week with Curtis Mead and Emerson Hancock joining the major league club and Davis Schneider making MLB history already. Let’s talk about them and more in this week’s Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report.

The only reason we’re not talking about a replacement for the Tampa Bay Rays rotation is that Taj Bradley is the likeliest replacement for the Shane McClanahan injury.


Recent MLB Rookie Call-ups

Davis Schneider — 2B/OF Toronto Blue Jays

What an historic start to an MLB career. No one in the history of baseball had ever had nine hits and two or more home runs in their first three MLB games…ever. Until Davis Schneider took the field in Toronto this past weekend that is. For a guy buried in the prospect lists of the Blue Jays’ system, he’s making quite the impact. Prior to going berserk in his first few games in Toronto, the 24-year-old righty was slashing .275/.416/.553 with 21 HR, 64 RBI, 61 R, and nine SB in 87 games and 309 at-bats in Buffalo. At 5’9” and 190 pounds, Schneider uses his compact frame to get the bat to the ball quickly and improve his Power from the scouting grades typically given to the trait. Overall, he’s a professional hitter who has big value in OBP leagues that comes with average power and a handful of stolen bases while being a utility right-handed bat as a ceiling.

Curtis Mead — 2B/3B Tampa Bay Rays

Called up about the same time as Schneider, Curtis Mead may not have had the same impact in three games as him, but the talent far surpasses Schneider’s. The 22-year-old Australian native has had a weird start to his MLB career with just one hit in eight at-bats but he has a walk and HBP to bring his OBP up to .300 in 10 PA. Overall though, Mead comes with a double-plus Hit tool, above-average Power, and solid Speed and Fielding grades. The advanced Hit tool is certainly the calling card while we wait on the other traits to fully develop — Mead had just three homers at Triple-A Durham, in 46 games, before the call-up. He will get run with Tampa who needs all the help they can muster at the moment but you’ll have to endure some growing pains with him the rest of the season.

Emerson Hancock — RHP Seattle Mariners

Stop me if you’ve heard this before…Seattle has a young starter they’re calling up who can be an impact arm in a big league rotation. You would think after developing George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, and Bryan Woo they’d be done for a while but nope, here comes Emerson Hancock. Straight from Double-A too. But who can blame them when that’s worked well for them in the past a few times. When Hancock was drafted in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft it was thought that he’d be in line with Logan Gilbert in terms of strikeout potential or even Bryce Miller but that hasn’t borne out. He still has great stuff and is average just over a K/IP in his minor league career but Hancock is more of a command-control guy somewhere between Gilbert and Kirby. The fastball sits in the mid-90s and anchors the repertoire while the slider and changeup are arguably his two best pitches, both being out pitches. The curveball is an average pitch that is distinct enough from the slider but not as much of a true out offering. The righty is taking the spot in the rotation of the injured Bryan Woo but we’ll have to see if he sticks the rest of the way or is only there until Woo is healthy again.

Prospects Close To Being Called Up To MLB

Ceddanne Rafaela — OF/SS Boston Red Sox

It’s been one of the streakiest Red Sox seasons in a long time and the same can be said for some of their top prospects too. One of them is Ceddanne Rafaela who has been streaking in the right direction at Triple-A Worcester as he closes in on a promotion to the majors. The 22-year-old, mainly outfielder, has split 92 games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A, 32 games at the latter. In those 92 games he’s slashing .303/.345/.522 with 17 HR, 67 RBI, 64 R, and 33 SB with 11 of those long balls coming in the 32 Triple-A games. Overall, Rafaela brings an average-to-slightly-above-average Hit tool to go with average, burgeoning, Power, and plus traits in Speed, Arm, and Fielding to the table. That’s a hard combo of tools to ignore, especially for an offense that’s as streaky, and generally down, as the Red Sox have been this year. There are a few bench guys that could get the boot, like Adam Duvall or Rob Refsnyder, when they decide to promote Rafaela to Boston.

Gavin Stone — RHP Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers’ pitching staff is run ragged and with Michael Grove hitting the IL this week, it’s even more so. Stone has been up and down between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles a couple of times this year but he’s coming off a no-hitter at Oklahoma City in his last start. Over 80.2 innings at Triple-A he’s posted 95 Ks and nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio. If there’s been a knock on his stuff this year it’s that the walk and home run rates have gone up this year compared to last year at Triple-A, granted in a big sample size, but keeping the ball in the park will be key to keeping his ratios down in the majors. He does have the upside of a mid-rotation starter if he can add swing-and-miss to his fastball and keep the ball in the park better.

Justin Foscue — 2B/3B Texas Rangers

With the injury to Josh Jung, there is a need at the hot corner for Texas, and perhaps a bench bat for the stretch run trying to hold off the Houston Astros. Foscue, a 2020 first round pick, has been smoking the ball for the better part of the last season and a half. Over that span, in the upper minors, Foscue has played 185 games between Double-A and Triple-A with 26 combined HR, 127 RBI, 122 R, and 12 steals thrown in too. In 84 games at Triple-A this year he’s slashing .262/.383/.445 with 55 BB and 46 Ks and 21 XBH outside of 11 HR. That’s more than enough to prove that he should be a replacement option on the roster for Jung’s spot as either a starting option or a qualified bench bat at third and second base.

Blaze Alexander — SS/2B/3B Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are in the midst of an unexpected playoff contention and a just outside the NL Wild Card picture. The offense has been struggling since the All-Star break and they could use some reinforcements or new life. Alexander can help in a few different spots defensively and could probably add outfield to the mix too. At Triple-A Reno, the 24-year-old prospect is slashing .289/.387/.497 in 44 games with six homers, 33 RBI, 24 R, and a steal. The only downside to his offense right now is striking out more than once per game but he’s walking enough to make up for it with 21 in 44 games. At 5’11” and 160 pounds he still packs above-average pop and average speed to go with his Gold Glove defensive ability. If he’s called up soon, expect him to be a utility option to spell starters down the stretch.

Connor Phillips — RHP Cincinnati Reds

Received as part of the return in the 2022 trade with Seattle for Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker, Phillips has now progressed to Triple-A Louisville. The 22-year-old righty has been having a heck of a year between Double- and Triple-A with 93.2 innings over 21 combined starts, a 3.36 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 145:49 K:BB ratio. At Triple-A specifically he’s started seven games with a 3.41 ERA and 34 Ks in 29 innings. The walk rate has gone up from Double-A but the league he was in, the Southern League, was using a tackier ball and so there’s an adjustment being made. The righty has a four-pitch mix that’s anchored by an upper-90s fastball with run and is followed by two breaking pitches, both low-80s, that are distinct and consistently above-average. The changeup rounds out the arsenal in the upper-80s but learning to throw it more is part of his development this year. The Reds need help in the rotation if they’re hoping to hold onto a playoff spot in the NL and Phillips could help with that, as long as the Reds find a way to add him to the 40-man roster.

Everson Pereira — OF New York Yankees

The Yankees need a bunch of everything right now but with Randy Vazquez likely to take Carlos Rodon’s spot in the rotation, we’ll focus on the offensive side of things. Pereira has been lighting the ball up between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre this year with a .306/.367/.549 slash line in 71 games, 25 at Triple-A, with 15 HR, 56 RBI, 44 R, and seven steals. He has plus-Power, average-Hit, and above-average-Speed tools at his disposal and would add a boost to a Yankees lineup in desperate need of one. Pereira would likely take the spot of Oswaldo Cabrera or perhaps Greg Allen if the promotion was made.


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