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Fantasy Roundtable

Roundtable: Rising Stars

by Drew Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This is the weekly Fantasy Roundtable, where the writers of Rotoworld Baseball let the readers of Rotoworld Baseball in on a quick staff discussion. It's water cooler talk ... that we've decided to publish. Look for it every Tuesday.

Drew Silva: We're exactly two weeks from June, when major league teams will stop worrying so much about things like service time and arbitration clocks and start calling up their top prospects. Let's get a jump on those promotions here by identifying some of our favorite fantasy stashes. Give me a young prospect you're really looking forward to seeing, and what kind of impact can that guy have?

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D.J. Short: I talked about Pirates prospect right-hander Jameson Taillon in Waiver Wired last week, but it bears repeating under this topic. We’ve been hearing about the No. 2 overall pick from 2010 for a long time, but he’s sort of been off the grid for the past couple of years following Tommy John surgery and hernia surgery. While Tyler Glasnow has been stashed in more fantasy leagues, Taillon has been fantastic in his return to game action this season, posting a 2.08 ERA and 43/5 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings across seven starts in Triple-A. I’m curious how far the Pirates will push him after two years away due to injury, but the velocity has been there and he’s pounding the strike zone. Jeff Locke and Jonathan Niese haven’t made the best case to keep rotation spots, so there could be room for both Taillon and Glasnow in this rotation before long. I’d expect a change by mid-June or so. Given the league and home stadium, there’s a lot to like in this situation.

Ryan Boyer: I like Astros first base prospect A.J. Reed. Reed is currently on Triple-A Fresno's disabled list with a strained hamstring, but he should be ready to go in a couple weeks. The 23-year-old was probably the best slugger in the minors last season, putting up an absurd .340/.432/.612 batting line with 34 home runs and 127 RBI between High- and Double-A. Things haven't gone as smoothly for him this year in his first taste of Triple-A, as he's batted .229/.333/.457 with six longballs and 21 RBI. However, Reed has still shown power and has also been drawing plenty of walks. With Evan Gattis turning some of his attention to catching duties, Preston Tucker back in the minors, and Tyler White having fallen back to earth after a hot start, there are certainly at-bats to be had for Reed. We'll almost surely see him in June as long as he's healthy, and he can be a difference-maker in the power department right away.

Jesse Pantuosco: I’ll go with the really obvious one, Trea Turner. The 22-year-old has already outgrown the International League, where he’s hitting .324 this year with a league-high 31 runs. Turner checks off all the boxes. He hits for average (.322 lifetime in the minor leagues), he’s a demon on the base-paths (a perfect 14-of-14 on steal attempts this season) and he plays shortstop, which is a relatively weak fantasy position. The only reason he’s stuck in Syracuse right now is because the Nats are waiting until May 30 so they can delay his free agency by adding an extra year of team control. Turner looked a little over his head in his first stint in the majors last year but so did Mike Trout when he got his first taste in 2011 (.220 AVG in 123 at-bats). Danny Espinosa is barely hitting his weight right now and manager Dusty Baker seems open to giving Turner a try if Espinosa's struggles continue. Turner is still widely available (only 24 percent owned on Yahoo) but that’s sure to change as May 30 draws closer.

David Shovein: The one guy that I'm anxiously awaiting is Dodgers prized left-hander Julio Urias. The 19-year-old southpaw is flat-out dominating at Triple-A Oklahoma City (in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League), compiling a 1.25 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 39/5 K/BB ratio through 36 innings. He'll make his way to the big league club at some point this summer. Unfortunately from a fantasy perspective, he may be used out of the bullpen initially. Urias has never logged more than 87 2/3 innings in any professional season, and the Dodgers will do their best to limit his workload this season. Whatever role he's thrown into, though, I have no doubt that he'll excel. Even if he isn't in the rotation, he could be a useful arm in NL-only formats or mixed leagues with innings caps for the ratio relief and high strikeout potential he provides.
Drew Silva: Cardinals top pitching prospect Alex Reyes has fallen off the radar some as he serves out a 50-game suspension for marijuana, but the 21-year-old right-hander is currently dominating low-level minor leaguer hitters at extended spring training as he readies for his return to live affiliated games and needs to be back on the mind of fantasy owners. Per beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the tentative date for his 2016 debut at Triple-A Memphis is May 22 -- this coming Sunday. Reyes registered a 2.49 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 101 1/3 innings last season between the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, High-A Palm Beach, and Double-A Springfield. He then opened even more eyes in the talent-packed Arizona Fall League. Reyes should have 130-150 innings in him this season, and his season hasn't even really started. The hard-throwing young starter can work as a secret weapon in the second half for the Cardinals and his patient fantasy owners.

You can follow these @Rotoworld_BB writers on Twitter: @drewsilv@djshort@RyanPBoyer@JessePantuosco@daveshovein.

Drew Silva

Drew Silva is a longtime baseball writer and editor for Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter.