TDG Weekly Report, April 28-May 4, 2018
This year, The Dynasty Guru will provide a weekly report every Saturday. The weekly report will link to TDG articles for the past week, touch upon notable player developments, and preview upcoming TDG articles for the next week.
This Week at TDG
TDG Weekly Report, April 21-27, 2018 – last week’s report
The Dynasty Guru’s Triple Play: The Philadelphia Phillies! – analyzing Maikel Franco, Adonis Medina, and Vince Velazquez
Monitoring Hot and Cold Starts: A Year Long Exercise – examining cold starts (i.e., Anthony Rizzo) and hot starts (i.e., Didi Gregorius)
TDGx2: First Month Review – checking in on early results in TDGx2
TDG Podcast, Episode 33: Keaton DeRocher: Fantasy Baseball Doula – discussing notable happenings around the majors and minors
Post-Hype Watch: Jorge Soler – assessing the return to relevance of Jorge Soler
Are these eight SP breakouts for real? – analyzing Patrick Corbin, among others
HOLD OPPORTUNITIES: DON’T OVERLOOK RELIEVERS (HODOR) PT III – examining the true value relievers bring to the table
Each month, The Dynasty Guru will provide a prospect update that includes notable performances (good and bad), assignments, promotions, trades, injuries, and suspensions. Most importantly, the monthly update will examine prospects with increasing and decreasing fantasy value, from the elite to the obscure.
Notable Player Developments
- The first true elite player casualty of the 2018 season, Corey Seager is out for the year with Tommy John surgery.
- Beginning on Tuesday, Bryce Harper has hit leadoff in each game for the Nationals. During that time, he hit 2 home runs and the Nationals went 3-0. Since Harper leads the majors in walk percentage by a wide margin (27.9%), hitting leadoff might make sense.
- Miles Mikolas is a top 40 starting pitcher. His repertoire is deep and solid, including a mid-90s fastball (the four-seam averages 94 mph, while the two-seam averages 93 mph), an upper-70s curveball, an upper-80s slider, and an upper-80s changeup. The fastball, slider, and curveball are playing average to above-average, with the fastball closest to average. Meanwhile, Mikolas leads the majors in swings outside the zone (39.5%) while also leading the league in BB% (1.5%, just 2 total walks) and placing among the league leaders in pitches in strike zone (48.4%). With a solid repertoire (50/55) and excellent command and control (55/60), he is a legitimate 3- or even 2-starter.
- Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rendon, and Steven Souza returned from the disabled list this week.
- Corey Knebel began rehab assignments this week.
- The up-and-down rollercoaster of promotions for Walker Buehler and Jack Flaherty continues. Eventually, both will stick in the majors.
- With J.P. Crawford hitting the disabled list, Scott Kingery presumably will receive expanded and steady playing time at shortstop.
- Jacob deGrom has an elbow scare, but it appears he is day-to-day. Stay tuned!
- In addition, Johnny Cueto is receiving multiple opinions on his elbow, meaning he could be heading toward a lengthy absence or even surgery.
- The Rockies finally demoted Ryan McMahon. He was not receiving regular playing time and was struggling. McMahon will look to right the ship in Triple-A.
- The notable injuries: Joe Panik (torn UCL in left thumb, out 6 weeks); Yasiel Puig (bruised hip); J.P. Crawford (right forearm strain); D.J. LeMahieu (right hamstring strain); Miguel Sano (left hamstring strain); Yonny Chirinos (right forearm strain); Keynan Middleton (right elbow inflammation); Johnny Cueto (right elbow inflammation); Austin Hedges (right elbow tendonitis); Jordan Montgomery (flexor strain, out 2 months); Hyun-Jin Ryu (groin strain); Zach Davies (rotator cuff inflammation).
- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated Walker Buehler is now a fixture in the starting rotation.
- The Braves called up Mike Soroka for his debut and he performed very well (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, 6 H, 0 BB). During the start, Soroka worked primarly off a mid-90s (averaged 94.1 mph!) sinker, while incorporating an upper-80s slider (averaged 86.9 mph) and mid-80s changeup (averaged 83.9 mph). His repertoire is safely above-average and, when paired with his excellent command and pitchability, elevates him to a potential 2- or 3-starter.
- Meanwhile, the Dodgers promoted Alex Verdugo to take the place of Yasiel Puig. It is unclear if the move is permanent or only temporary. Considering Corey Seager is out for the season, causing Chris Taylor to shift to shortstop, Verdugo could seize semi-regular playing time across all three outfield positions. Regardless, he is a promising bat, with a potential plus hit tool and borderline average power.
- Nick Kingham debuted on Sunday. In last week’s report, I recommended him as a streaming option. In his debut, Kingham threw 7 scoreless innings with just 1 hit and 9 strikeouts. After missing time in 2015 and 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, his velocity is back, averaging 94 mph with his fastball. Further, his slider (85 mph) elicited an impressive whiff rate (37.5%). Add Kingham in all deep formats where available and employ him in favorable matchups as a streamer in shallow formats.
- The Twins called up Fernando Romero for his major league debut. Expect gas!
- Meanwhile, the Rangers promoted Yohander Mendez despite a rough start to the season.
- In lesser prospect promotion news, Austin Slater finally received a call up from the Giants. He performed admirably in his debut last year (.282/.339/.402). This year, Slater is off to a tremendous start in Triple-A, hitting .358/.435/.642 with 11 extra-base hits in 14 games. Hopefully, the Giants provide him an extended look. With borderline average or better tools across the board, Slater could be a solid fantasy contributor.
Next Week at TDG
- TDG’s Triple Play
- Dr. Mike’s Injury Report
- Holds The Door: Jose Alvarado & Craig Stammen