Weekly Dynasty Roundup
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Matt McLain Promoted (Link)
McLain has obliterated Triple-A to the tune of .348/.474/1.184 with 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases over 38 games. He was a first-round pick in 2021 and hit well over his first two seasons, but not like he has hit this year. He is running a career-high walk rate and career-low strikeout rate. He is actionable in all leagues since he will likely get a chance to start immediately and has a very favorable home ballpark to hit in. In my opinion, this promotion does not necessarily signal that the Reds are going to start promoting their top prospects; both Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Elly De La Cruz are about 100 Triple-A at-bats behind McLain.
A.J. Puk to IL (Link)
Puk has been pitching well out of the Marlins bullpen collecting 6 saves over his first 14.2 innings pitched, while striking out 11.66 batters per nine innings. Depending on the severity of the injury, this could be a tough blow for those who have stuck with Puk through his injuries. There is no current timeline. Dylan Floro got the first save opportunity after Puk was transferred to the IL. Despite a revolving door at closer for the Marlins over the past couple of seasons, Floro ran into double-digit saves in 2021 and 2022 and it is increasingly likely that he will do so again in 2023.
Brandon Crawford Activated, David Villar Demoted, and Casey Schmitt Remains with Giants (Link)
Schmitt was promoted on May 9th and has raked over six games, his .464 with two homers. Of course, Schmitt is known for his defense, but he did hit 21 homers across three levels in 2022. Notably, Schmitt has started five of seven games at short, but with Crawford’s return, Schmitt will spend more time at the hot corner (Note that Schmitt started at second base in the game after Crawford’s return). For those that roster Schmitt, a transition to shortstop would be great, since the offensive bar is lower at short. For instance, Schmitt’s 21 home runs in 2022 would have been eighth in baseball at shortstop, while he would have ranked 11th at third base.
David Villar was a trendy pick going into 2023 after hitting nine home runs in 52 games with the Giants in 2022. However, he has struggled mightily so far in 2023 and will need to get back to his mashing ways to earn himself another shot. The Giants have a plethora of corner infield options (J.D. Davis, Lamonte Wade, Jr., Wilmer Flores) and with Schmitt’s defensive versatility, the Giants can afford to be patient with Villar and see whether he returns to the guy who had a 148 wRC+ at Triple-A in 2022 and a 141 wRC+ in 2021.
Jazz Chisholm to See Specialist Regarding Turf Toe (Link)
It is unclear whether Chisholm will have to miss time due to the injury. Chisholm’s defensive adjustment has been strong, however, he has struggled offensively, putting up a 92 wRC+. Note that even with a below-average offensive output, he is still on pace for 26 home runs and 52 stolen bases over 600 at-bats. Jazz continues to provide strong power/speed output and it appears that the only thing that can hold him back is his health. At this point, I think Jazz may be a buy-low candidate, as long as managers can stomach a lower batting average. His average should climb though, as he has batted .248 and .256 over the past two seasons and is currently batting .229 in 2023.
Luis Campusano to Miss Two Months (Link)
Campusano peaked as Fangraph’s 37th overall prospect, but has struggled at the major league level, including this year where he is batting .238/.227/.656 (he has yet to take a walk). Having to miss two months will cost Campusano important development time at the major league level while he looks to find his offensive stroke. Even though Campusano is highly regarded, dynasty managers may already be on to the next big thing, before he even takes a swing of competitive, professional ball: Ethan Salas. Fangraphs already has him listed as the 39th overall prospect, almost surpassing Campusano’s peak ranking. I would certainly recommend reading the thinking behind the ranking.
Lodolo suffered a calf injury and is expected to miss four weeks. After beginning the year with three straight strong starts, Lodolo has scuffled since. He is striking out hitters at a prominent clip (47 Ks in 34.1 IP), but is also sporting a 6.29 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. Calf injuries can certainly linger, but dynasty managers have to be happy that Lodolo did not suffer an arm or shoulder injury.
Being called up to seemingly replace Lodolo is Brandon Williamson. When he appears in the majors, the 25-year-old will be making his MLB debut. Williamson was traded to the Reds in the Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suarez deal and at that time, he was the No. 61 ranked prospect on Frangraphs. Williamson showed strong swing-and-miss stuff with the Mariners, including the season before he was traded (12.56 K/9), but those strikeout numbers have dipped since joining Cincinnati. Williamson has struggled in 2023, averaging just over four innings per start. It seems unlikely to me that Williamson will figure it out in the majors as a starter.
Drew Rasmussen Shut Down for 60 Days (Link)
Rasmussen has been dynamite to start the season and now the Rays will be without him for at least 60 days. The natural replacement would be Taj Bradley, who is pitching in Triple A. But Bradley has been struggling mightily, so perhaps the Rays will continue to utilize openers and bulk appearances while Tyler Glasnow continues his rehab. For dynasty managers, a forearm injury is scary and Rasmussen may be at heightened risk to miss time down the stretch. For those competing this year, it may be an opportune time to move him for an older, but healthy pitcher to maximize the 2023 season output.
Marlins Promote Eury Pérez (Link)
Pérez was promoted directly from Double-A to make his debut against the Reds in Miami. At 6’8”, Pérez is an imposing figure on the mound who regularly pumps fastballs in the upper 90s. Pérez is one of a handful of prospects who have the potential to reach Ace™ status. With Pérez debuting after the Marlins rotation suffered a couple of injuries (Jonny Cueto, Trevor Rogers), it is feasible that Pérez is sent back down once one of the two injured starters return. In his debut, Pérez gave up two solo home runs, but not much else. He struck out seven in 4.2 innings, showing the tantalizing potential of Pérez, but also the variability of a rookie pitcher.