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August 5, 2014

Deep Impact

Week 18

by Ben Carsley


I bless the intros down in Africa.

Javier Baez, 2B, Cubs
Lost amid the litany of high-profile Cubs pitching prospects, Baez is a little-known power-hitting middle infielder who’s quietly made his way through Chicago’s system. Praised for his bat speed, raw power, and #rig but decried for his approach, eyesight, and streaky past performances, Baez is someone you should keep in mind in deep leagues nonetheless.

All jokes aside, Baez will be long gone in dynasty leagues but is worth a substantial bid in even in 10-team leagues if you need middle-infield assistance. He’s almost certainly going to struggle at first, as Cubs’ Twitter members Mauricio Rubio and Jordan Gorosh outlined here, but Baez is also capable of altering your fantasy playoff picture if he truly takes off. This is a second baseman with more potential than anyone save perhaps Robinson Cano moving forward, and we could see him start to pay dividends within a few weeks of his promotion to the majors.

If your immediate future hinges on your batting average, show some caution when it comes to picking up Baez in redraft formats. Ditto if you play in a points league, as he’s going to swing and miss at a George Springer-ian rate. But in most leagues, if you need R, RBI, and HR production from the keystone, Baez is worth a solid chunk of your remaining FAAB money. Go chase the unicorn.

Mike Foltynewicz, RP, Astros
There have been a ton of really high-profile promotions in the past few weeks, headlined by the man we just covered above. All the hype has allowed “Folty” to fall somewhat under the radar, but the Astros promoted their fireballing right-hander to the MLB bullpen on Saturday. It’s been a fairly rough year for Foltynewicz, so the promotion came as something of a surprise, but in the role he’s in right now, he’s still well equipped to help those in 20-team or AL-only leagues.

Command and control have always been Foltynewicz’ enemies, and that rang true at Triple-A this year, where Folty walked 11.6 percent of the batters he faced. Thankfully, that number came coupled with a 22.8 percent strikeout rate, which has led to a bad but bearable 4.75 FIP in Oklahoma City. Those numbers won’t put to rest any of the numerous scouts and analysts who believe Foltynewicz’s ultimate future lies in the rotation, but his stuff is indeed good enough to play in the bullpen right now.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Call-Up: Javier Ba... (08/05)
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