Fantasy Baseball Roundtable: Saving space for called-up prospects

by Todd Zola, on June 13, 2012 @ 13:16:54 PDT


Keeping in mind that Super Two status is given to the top 22 percent for service time accrued, which pushes the expected date to mid- to late July if clubs want to avoid having their prized farmhand reach Super Two status, who are you tracking for the next month and what do you expect from them in 2012? Should we be saving FAAB or holding on to high waiver priority spots for anyone? How do you feel the success of last week's subjects, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, will impact the perception of this season's crop of call-ups?

Perry Van Hook with a personal message:

Sadly at least for some of my teams this year, the players I want to see arrive are likely not going to be up until much later - Dan O'Dowd (Rockies GM), I am looking at you dude. You don't have anyone on the roster who should be blocking some on-the-job training for Nolan Arenado.

As far as saving FAAB/waiver priority for specific players I think that is a losing play at this point in the season. If someone did that from opening day, hopefully it was for Harper or Trout because past that we aren't sure who will come up or when and none of them is likely to have even half the impact this year that those hitters did.

Even if/when Anthony Rizzo, Arenado, Travis d'Arnaud, and Wil Myers come up - and it may well be September before that happens - will they be in the lineup every day? I don't think so which means the greatest impact for the remainder of this year might be a pitcher.

The San Diego Padres just called up Brad Boxberger and IF Huston Street spends more time on the DL or is shipped out AND they let Boxberger close he would probably rank #1. While I think Danny Hultzen of the Mariners is the most ready and most likely to succeed when he arrives, the first pitching prospect to be called up now (with Eovaldi and Teheran already up, and Teheran is likely a spot start - Kris Medlen rates to have more impact for the Braves) might well be Jake Odorizzi and that would likely be the Royals rushing him to compensate for all the injured and bad pitchers they currently have.

Lawr Michaels with his view:

Well, Perry noted most of the names that popped into my head.

Actually, first up were Rizzo and Teheran, both of whom have some MLB experience Teheran was up and back down again.

But, I would look for Myers, too, although the tough thing is where does he play? Myers has been toiling in center field lately for Triple-A Omaha so perhaps they are willing to sacrifice some D for some O - not a bad problem to have. Same with d'Arnaud, who might be better than Arencibia, but, J.P. is still not so bad as it is.

Finally, agree on Hultzen just like Arenado with Perry. If a team is going nowhere (or at least treading the mill) at a certain spot, and in the standings, why not simply bring up the future now and give the guy a chance?

Case in point is that the Royals should have started the season with Johnny Giavotella at second. What did they have to lose, especially since they wound up bringing him back up anyway? And, well, who is a better, more fun bet for the Dodgers to start the year: Jamey Wright or Nathan Eovaldi?

Nick Minnix makes it a threesome:

Rizzo is probably the only name that really gets the juices flowing a little. If the Chicago Cubs bring him up sometime after the break, he should hit for some power, but you still have to have questions about his ability hit for average, at least right away.

The Cubs may give Brett Jackson a taste of the majors, too. He hasn't cut down on the whiffs yet, so I'm sure that's discouraging Theo Epstein and Co. right now, but I think the energy he brings, the bit of power and speed he has, and the likelihood that the club won't shackle him in any way once he's up means that he could be an interesting roto play come September.

Ryan Carey and now we're a quartet:

I agree with Nick - I am patiently waiting for Rizzo in a couple of leagues where I could really use a power boost. Cubs have to call him up at some point and get him some AB's to get him ready for next year.

Hultzen is another player that I think we'll see soon so I agree with Perry there, and I am guilty of buying into the Arenado hype as well, so I also am disappointed that we haven't seen him yet with the names the Rockies have been running out to 3B this year.

A guy that really intrigues me is Mike Olt for Texas. He was the breakout star of the AFL and has continued to mash this year in the minors. His biggest problem is he is blocked at his natural position by Adrian Beltre. They have had him playing some first base, so I guess there is a chance he sees some September ABs, but truthfully a trade to another team might be the best thing to get him to the majors quicker.

Lord Zola'a Wrap-up:

The two names conspicuous by their absence are Trevor Bauer and Ryan Kalish. Bauer you probably expected, maybe not so much with Kalish.

Word from the desert is Bauer is ready; the D-Backs are just waiting for an opening in their solid rotation. Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders and Trevor Cahill aren't going anywhere. Daniel Hudson is still fairly fresh off shoulder woes and has been inconsistent, so there is a chance something happens on that front. Rookie Wade Miley is doing nothing to warrant being replaced, so for now it is waiting patiently for Bauer and his owners.

Kalish in interesting as there is definitely some playing time available in the makeshift Red Sox outfield. He has the skills to be a quiet 20/20 guy, just not likely this season, prorating the stats for half a season. But if everyone else is waiting for Myers or Bauer, you can sneak in under the radar and perhaps get a little boost with Kalish.

In general, I am not a fan of saving FAAB or preserving a top waiver spot. I find that can actually be restrictive. I am more likely to make a number of small incremental moves that result in something significant than I am to get the big fish. Not to mention, more often than not, a small, seemingly innocuous move can end up being a game changer. Just ask those that picked up Jose Bautista off the scrapheap a couple of years ago.

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About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

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