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 9th:
José Miguel Fernandez (1B, Los Angeles Angels, 30 years old)
Call Up Date: June 8th
Role: Strong-side Platoon 1B
Organization Ranking: N/A
Overall Ranking: N/A
Fantasy Relevance: Worth a flier in deeper leagues
José Miguel Fernandez made his debut this week for two reasons. 1) He was having a killer AAA campaign. 2) Shohei Ohtani’s injury allowed Albert Pujols to return to the DH and freed up the strong-side platoon at 1B.Fernandez was a former Cuban star who came into the league last year with the Dodgers. He put up very impressive numbers in the minors before getting injured in July and having a weird split up with the Dodgers. The Angels signed him and he picked up right where he left off. So far this season at AAA, Fernandez has player in 53 games with 203 AB. In that span he’s slashed a very impressive .345/.412/.562 with 10 HR’s and a 0.95 K/BB ratio. Since the call-up, Fernandez has received AB’s in all three games and he should start all games with a RHP on the mound. In those three games he’s gone 4 – 9 with 2 2B. The Angels clearly believe in him if they’re giving him the call-up over their 8th best prospect Matt Thaiss who is also having an impressive minor league campaign so far. Moving forward, Miguel Fernandez may not be a bad add in deeper leagues, especially if he can keep this up.
Sam Howard (SP/RP, Colorado Rockies, 25 years old)
Call Up Date: June 10th
Organization Ranking: 16th
Overall Ranking: N/A
Grades:Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Fantasy Relevance: None
The Rockies currently have the 24th bullpen in baseball both on the season and in the past month. I wish I could tell you that Sam Howard is here to save the day but it looks like he was only added to the team to fill in for Harrison Musgrave who was added to the bereavement list. Howard is a top 30 prospect for the Rockies but it doesn’t appear as if he’s quite ready yet, at least if his AAA numbers are any indication. Howard has started 9 games and has a 4.68 ERA with a 1.65 K/BB ratio. Howard has a low 90’s fastball that can hit 96 but doesn’t have too much movement to it. His changeup is usually his best pitch when he can command it and he has an average slider that projects him to be a back-end starter. For now however, he will likely only be up for a brief stint.
Whereas Sam Howard was called up to fill in for Harrison Musgrave on the bereavement list, it appears as if Vasto was called up to try to better the Rockies bullpen. In 19 appearances and 21 IP at the AAA level this year, Vasto has put up an impressive 1.71 ERA, 2.47 FIP, and 11.14 K/9. However, the flaw so far this year and throughout his career has been his walk rate. It’s at 3.43 this year which is slightly down from the 4.02 he put up in 53.2 IP in 2017. Vasto has a low-90’s fastball with a decent amount of movement but not too much command, a slider and a cutter. His debut itself did not go very well as he worked 0.2 innings giving up 3 H, 3 ER, walking 1 and recording 1 K. Moving forward, I don’t think he will add too much value to your fantasy team.
Missed a player’s debut? Read detailed reports on all 2018 MLB debuts in this spreadsheet.