MLB Debuts – Weekend of June 15th

Hundreds of baseball players make their debut over the course of a season. However, for every Ronald Acuña and Scott Kingery, there are dozens of lesser-known prospects making their debuts who aren’t as frequently discussed. To remedy that, Alex Fast, Adam Garland, Ben Palmer and I will be doing a write-up on every single player making their MLB Debut. Inspired by the Effectively Wild podcast and Andrew Perpetua, we’ll discuss each debut’s skill set, how long they will likely remain in the majors and any other pertinent information you need to know. Each player will also be stored in a spreadsheet featuring further information (bio, D.O.B, player ID’s, etc) that can be accessed at the bottom of the article.

Here are the debuts from the weekend of June 15th:

Jonathan Loaisiga (SP, New York Yankees, 23 years old) 
Call Up Date: June 15th
Role: Rotation Fill-In
Organization Ranking: 12th
Overall Ranking: N/A
Grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50
Fantasy Relevance: Streamer vs weaker teams

The Yankees have a slew of pitching prospects in their farm system but when they were bit by the injury bug, they decided to go with Jonathan Loaisiga to fill out their rotation. This is despite the fact that Johnny Lasagna – yes, that is his nickname – hadn’t thrown in AAA at all this year. However, he did throw 45 IP across High-A and Double-A with a 3.00 ERA and an impeccable 58/4 K/BB. There was a lot of hesitation as to whether or not fantasy owners should risk it with Lasagna. After all, Boone had admitted before the game that it would likely be a short outing for the 23 year old. Those who did take the risk however were rewarded with a 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K performance. Lasagna showcased a really good fastball and his changeup is legit. He recorded 17 whiffs on 91 pitches but struggled a bit with his curveball which I think needs a little bit of work. The walks were solely due to nerves and should go away with more expererience. At this point, it looks like Loaisiga will be back in the minors with Masahiro Tanaka‘s return. The only way he stays up is if Domingo German struggles mightily. Either way, Johnny Lasagna is worth a stream.

Jose Trevino (C, Texas Rangers, 25 years old) 
Call Up Date: June 15th
Role: Injury Fill-In
Organization Ranking: 20th
Overall Ranking: N/A
Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 35 | Run: 35 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 45
Fantasy Relevance: None

Trevino is somewhat of an interesting case. He was supposed to just be up for the weekend and was to be sent back down when Chirinos returned from the DL. What’s that thing they say about the best laid plans? Carlos Perez has hit the DL with a sprained ankle and Trevino has been a hero. He delivered a game-tying hit on Saturday and a game-winning two-run bloop single in the bottom of the 9th on Sunday. At the moment, there is no fantasy value for Trevino unless you’re in a deep two-catcher league and want to take a risk. However, if his bat continues to stay hot, there is a chance he could vulture a start or two from Robinson Chirinos who is slashing .194/.307/.382 on the year. Even if that is the case though, Trevino would have to be on one heck of a tear to be worth owning, and considering his 45 hit tool and 35 power tool, I just don’t see that happening any time soon.

Jake Jewell (RP, Los Angeles Angels, 25 years old) 
Call Up Date: June 16th
Role: Bullpen Depth
Organization Ranking: 25th
Overall Ranking: N/A
Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Fantasy Relevance: None

A former 5th round pick from 2014, Jewell has bounced between starting and relieving in his minor league career but is starting his major league career in the bullpen. He’s known for a heavy sinking two-seam fastball that generates lots of groundballs, and he also has a few secondary options including a slider that flashes plus. For the season, Jewell has a 3.28 ERA with 32 strikeouts against 18 walks in 35.2 innings pitched split between AA and AAA and is supporting that with an 11.5% swinging-strike rate which is slightly above-average. The walks this year are of concern, and he likely isn’t going to be pitching in high-leverage roles soon so he’s likely best left on the wire in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues.

Brett Graves (RP, Miami Marlins, 24 years old) 
Call Up Date: June 17th
Role: Injury Fill-In
Organization Ranking: NA
Overall Ranking: N/A
Grades: N/A
Fantasy Relevance: None

A rule 5 draft pick from December, Graves made his long awaited MLB debut this weekend after starting the season on the DL with a left oblique injury. Graves has been pitching in the minors for the last month on a rehab stint, and has struggled to a 5.59 ERA with 17 strikeouts against 7 walks in 19.1 innings pitched split between A+ and AA. He’s got a fastball that can reach 96 and an above-average changeup and a curveball. The plan is to use him in a long-relief role with the Marlins for now and that likely limits his appeal in fantasy baseball to all but the deepest of leagues.

Missed a player’s debut? Read detailed reports on all 2018 MLB debuts in this spreadsheet.

Alex Fast

Alex Fast is Head of Operations at Pitcher List. Co-host of On The Corner, and host of the weekend edition of First Pitch, Alex received his masters in interactive telecommunications from NYU's ITP. He dedicated his time there on bringing new, interactive tech to the game of baseball and created a thesis about how the sport is under-utilizing data visualization. All opinions are Alex's and Alex's alone. A die-hard Orioles fan, Alex is well versed in futility and broken pitching prospects.

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