In both fantasy and MLB, teams are starting to identify their weaknesses and how to address them. At the same time, teams are also learning if they are well enough equipped for a run to the postseason, or if they are going to be a team who will be watching from the sidelines. In this edition of the ODC, I am taking a look at two prospects that do not have much blocking their way to the majors, and helping both fantasy and real life teams increase their chances at the playoffs. First, we will take a look at Phillies bopper Rhys Hoskins. In the second slot, we profile Giants top prospect Tyler Beede.
After being a fifth round pick out of Sacramento State in 2014, Hoskins has shown a capable bat in every level of the Minors. Early on, it was clear the Phillies scouting department did their homework on the 24-year-old, as evidenced by his Class – A line of .319/.395/.518. Add 17 homers and 90 RBI in 135 games and it was also evident the run production was there as well. Double – A was more of the same for Hoskins with a .281/.377/.566 with 38 bombs and 16 RBI in 135 games. Hoskins’ power has matured as he has moved through the Phils’ system, and 2017 has been no different, with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 30 games for Triple – A Lehigh Valley. The slugger profiles as a prototype first baseman: 6’ 4”, 225 lbs., a run producer, very little speed, and an average to slightly above average defender, so there will not be any positional changes for him during his career. The Phillies currently sit third in the NL East, and while it’s likely they will not make the playoffs, they have a shot as four of the five teams in the division rank 22nd or worse in team ERA, Phillies included. Washington is far and away the best team, however, we figure to see Hoskins soon no matter the scenario. Tommy Joseph is the current starter at first base, and his .216/.271/.341 line are doing very little to hold off Hoskins. Spring Training feel good story Brock Stassi is the backup, and has done even less than Joseph. The main knock on his game is the team would like to see him strike out less. His current 18% strikeout rate is down from his 21% clip in 2015, but a career OBP of .376 shows he can draw a walk as well, which makes the strikeout rate acceptable. At this point, have Hoskins on your watch list, and if you have room on your bench, he could be worth a speculative add as he has little standing in his way to receive that call.
The Giants farm system has not been known for producing strong Major League talent for a few years now, but Tyler Beede is attempting to buck that trend with a solid start to 2017. Being one of just 20 players in the history of the MLB draft to be selected in the first round twice, it is clear the youngster has the chops to be a consistent starter at the Major-League level. The 23-year-old owns a 3.33 career ERA, to go along with a 15-19 record, a 1.28 WHIP, and 260 strikeouts in 319 innings pitched. So far in 2017, Beede has posted a 3.38 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, with 21 strikeouts in 32 innings. It is clear Beede is not a power strikeout pitcher. However, his .231 batting average against shows he is able to get hitters out. While he is talented, there is not much else to choose from in the organization from a pitching standpoint, and this makes him clearly the top arm, and top overall player in the Minors for the Giants. He shares the link with the aforementioned Rhys Hoskins that Beede has very little in front of him at the Major-League level. With Madison Bumgarner out for a while, the Giants rotation has been unimpressive at best. With the team ERA of 4.79 ranking 28th in the league, and the team leader Johnny Cueto having a 4.50 ERA, it is clear the rotation is not getting it done. Even if Beede does get a shot, I am not as optimistic about him impacting fantasy as much as I believe Hoskins can. The young righty will be an add in deeper leagues and NL only leagues, mainly due to opportunity more than talent, until he shows he belongs. The Giants also rank second to last in the league in runs scored, so there will not be many wins to be had either. Keep an eye on Beede, but no need to jump on him just yet.