We have seen many rookies already this season that are giving fantasy managers plenty of reason to be excited! As we head towards the middle of the season, there continue to be more names looming in the rumor mill of potential call ups. Some players have appeared here before but others are pushing their way into the scene and could certainly be ready to help managers willing to make the investment.
Jo Adell (OF) – Los Angeles Angels
Simply put, Jo Adell has been crushing the baseball so far in the minor league season. Interestingly enough, the HR totals aren’t necessarily the reason I have him on the list however. We are no strangers to Adell’s power potential but what has caught my eye is the fact that he might finally be showing some signs of turning a corner with his atrocious approach. Over the last 7 days, Adell has managed to hit 4HR while only striking out 3 times across 18 PA. While yes of course it is a tiny sample size, this is a significant trend to follow as Adell’s approach or lack thereof seems to be the only major obstacle between another chance at the major league level. With Mike Trout still set to miss significant time on the IL and the lack of overall production from others in the Halos outfield, don’t miss out on an opportunity to stash this power bat if the plate discipline continues to point in the right direction.
Vidal Brujan (2B/OF) – Tampa Bay Rays
While Brujan has cooled down considerably in the power department, realistically we never expected that to be the type of player he is. What we do expect is elite speed and that is exactly what he has continued to showcase. After bouncing around positional early into the minor league season, Brujan has spent significant time learning to play the outfield recently and could be up soon should the Rays decide to promote the young speedster. This is the type of player who can single-handedly win the steals category for fantasy managers.
Wander Franco (SS) – Tampa Bay Rays
ETA: Late June to Early July
There really is not much to add from my last update with Franco. He continues to be one of the hottest hitters in the league, hitting .385 with a 1.147 OPS over the last 15 days and it remains to be a waiting game to see when he finally gets the long-awaited promotion. If you have a roster spot available, this is the type of player you want to continue to stash as the return on investment for a prospect can’t be much better than what Franco could theoretically bring.
Logan Gilbert (RHP) – Seattle Mariners
Logan Gilbert has strung together consecutive promising starts after a slow start to his Major League career. Gilbert has displayed his great FB/SL combo and veered away from his CB which has been his least effective offering. He has also shown the ability to induce more grounders and continues to showcase the command that he was praised for as a prospect. The hype was certainly there when Gilbert first got called up but if an owner cut bait too quickly after the cool start, Gilbert should be scooped up before it is too late.
Jarred Kelenic (OF) – Seattle Mariners
ETA: Late July
Well, that did not go at all as we expected… Jarred Kelenic was the biggest buzz in the sport just a few short weeks ago after getting what some would describe as an overdue call-up. But after struggling significantly to the tune of a .096/.185/.193 line and enduring a brutal 0-39 streak at the plate, the M’s decided to send their potential future star back to Triple-A Tacoma. Fellow outfield prospect, Taylor Trammell, has experienced a similar trajectory this season and has returned to the Major League club after a brief stint in Triple-A. Kelenic is one of those players that has the upside to be a game-changer down the stretch for fantasy managers and right now is the cheapest that he will likely be all season if not even available for free in some leagues.
Jackson Kowar (RHP) – Kansas City Royals
After absolutely dominating in Triple-A allowing only 3 runs across 31.2 innings with 41 punchouts and only a 0.88 WHIP Kowar was promoted last week to face the Angels and A’s in a two-start week. Simply put, it wasn’t pretty as he struggled mightily to locate his pitches and only made it through two innings combined across the two starts. Kowar is mostly a FB/CH pitcher so finding a feel for his command and control are going to be vitally important if he is going to succeed. Until then, Kowar should remain on the wire despite the incredible Triple-A numbers early on.
Josh Lowe (OF) – Tampa Bay Rays
As the third Tampa Bay player to appear on this list, it is no surprise that Josh Lowe often gets left in the shadows of a loaded system. However, Lowe deserves some attention as he has been crushing the baseball thus far in Triple-A Durham and is up to 9 HR with 6 SB through 28 games. Lowe has a tendency to strikeout at a high rate that raises some questions about his ability to give value in rate stats but the power/speed combo is certainly exciting from a fantasy perspective. Much like the other two Rays on the list, the biggest mystery with Lowe is when he is going to be given the call.
Brendan Rodgers (2B/SS) – Colorado Rockies
I might be cheating some here as Rodgers may not be viewed as a prospect anymore having debuted all the way back in 2019, but he has grabbed my attention after finally getting back to the field. Rodgers has posted a 105 wRC+ and a .345 wOBA across his first 70 PA this season and has also shown the ability to hit the ball hard (112 maxEV / 40.4 HardHit%). The former 3rd overall pick has seen a lot of the shine come off after a few seasons of perpetual injuries and struggling stints, but the expectations were sky-high for a reason when Rodgers first came into the league. He has previously shown real potential of being an excellent hitter and being in Coors should certainly help the hard contact turn into more power. Right now is more of a time to put him on the watchlist than add him, but keep your eyes peeled because the talent is there to be an impact player and if you feel like you need the push now it's always better to be too early than to miss out.
Jesus Sanchez (OF) – Miami Marlins
Early on Tuesday when I was working on this article, I had written “I’m not really sure why they have not called Sanchez up”. But within just a few hours, I can now say, “It is about time!” instead. After starting out the season on a tear, Sanchez has cooled down at the plate some thus far into June but with the way that he came out of the gates coupled with some news that fellow Marlins outfielder, Corey Dickerson, is dealing with an injury seemed to have opened the door of opportunity for Sanchez. The biggest obstacle for him in the past has been his decision-making and overall pitch selection while in the box. However, with huge raw power and elite bat speed, Sanchez has the tantalizing tools that give him plenty of upside and easily worth taking a dice roll on in most leagues to see how he fares.