Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday, FAAB-a-palooza 2022, and happy Mothers’ Day to all of the moms out there! We have had nine games postponed due to weather so far this weekend; therefore, we may not have all of the information we could have had this morning. We’ll speculate a bit and hope this leads to opportunities to save some FAAB dollars this evening. Let’s get to some names!
MJ Melendez (60% ME, 16% OC) – Right off the bat we have a hot new prospect called up this week by Kansas City, and … they haven’t played since Wednesday. Melendez had a base hit in each of his first two games with the Royals earlier this week, but this isn’t about base hits — it’s about 41 HR, 103 RBI, and 95 R in just 123 games across Double-A and Triple-A last season. The question is what happens when Cam Gallagher and Carlos Santana return from the IL, both of whom could return as early as next weekend. Salvador Perez’s struggles of the past couple of weeks make the situation even more perplexing — not that the 2021 MLB home run leader will lose his job, but I really wonder if the vision issues that Perez has experienced in the recent past are bothering him again. All of this is to say that I think there are multiple paths for Melendez to stick with the MLB club if he performs well over the next few games. He’ll be expensive tonight, undoubtedly going for triple digits in many $1,000 FAAB leagues. This will be a common theme with several of the players mentioned this week — I’ll bid a little higher than I typically like at this time of year, but I’m not going crazy. The hope is I’ll land one of the exciting young players for less than they go in other leagues as the bids are spread around amongst them.
Juan Yepez (0% ME, 0% OC) – Yepez had 9 HR and 26 RBI in just 22 Triple-A games before getting the call to St Louis early in the week. He’ll most certainly DH vs. right-handed starters and already has a game in right field when Albert Pujols was the DH vs. a lefty. He has at least a hit in each of his first four games, multiple in three of four, and three doubles. The Cardinals face a left-handed starter in half of their six games this week, but we do not have the luxury of waiting to see if Yepez is in the starting lineup against the southpaws. I tend to believe he will be in at least two of the three.
Christian Walker (100% ME, 39% OC) – Walker is hitting an abysmal .170 coming in to Sunday, fueled by a .154 BABIP. He’s smoking the baseball and is on pace to return to the 30-HR hitter we saw in 2019. He appears to be heating up with four hits, including a home run, in his last three starts (.286). Grab him in the 12-team leagues where he’s available while that batting average scares others away.
Luis Urías (100% ME, 99% OC, 61% Yahoo) – 3B, SS – This is obviously a shallow league play, but due to starting the season on the IL, Urías is available in nearly 40% of Yahoo leagues. He could easily sneak under the radar of some fantasy players this week as they concentrate on all of the prospect call-ups, and he’s picked up right where he left off in 2021 with a home run, hits in four of five games, and a .353 BA out of the gate.
Jose Miranda (11% ME, 1% OC) – The situation in Minnesota is tricky. Carlos Correa’s finger injury may not be as bad as originally thought, Louis Arraez could return from the COVID-19 IL at any time, and Alex Kirilloff already returned for the weekend. Miranda is off to a 3 for 22 start, but he isn’t striking out and is sporting just a .100 BABIP. It appears the Twins would like to see what he can do at the major league level, so I have more confidence in him sticking than I do with the former number one draft pick next on the list.
Royce Lewis (0% ME, 0% OC) – Still just 22 years old, the 2017 number one overall draft pick missed all of 2021 with a torn ACL after no minor league games were played in 2020, and a disappointing 2019. Lewis only had 24 games at Triple-A, slashing .310/.430/.563 with 3 HR and 8 SB. With Correa potentially avoiding the IL, it will be interesting to see if the Twins hang on to Lewis and get him ABs at second base or in the outfield, where they seem to always be dealing with injuries. That uncertainty could keep the price down a bit this evening for a potential superstar we haven’t seen on the field since he was 20 years old.
Jarren Duran (2% ME, 0% OC) – Duran could be a bargain tonight. He was sent right back to Triple-A after only one game when Enrique Hernández returned from the IL this weekend. However, after struggling in his 2021 MLB debut, he’s slashing .397/.478/.638 with a couple of HR and 7 SB in just 15 games at Triple-A to start 2022. I really believe he’ll be back very soon. It appears his mindset is back to being a contact hitter with speed and a little bit of pop rather than pressing to hit for power because 16 balls had left the yard in 286 PA at Triple-A in 2021. I’m attempting to stash him on the cheap everywhere I have the room on my roster.
Brady Singer (2% ME, 1% OC) – It appears Singer will return to the Royals’ rotation this week at Texas. He threw five scoreless innings in his most recent Triple-A start, and more importantly, was using a pretty good change-up. The schedule is favorable as well, as he’ll miss the trip to Colorado and line up for two starts the following week — both at home vs. the White Sox and Twins, 28th and 15th in the league in runs scored.
José Quintana (13% ME, 0% OC) – Quintana has been quietly good for the Pirates this season with a 3.38 ERA and 20 K in 24 IP over five starts. It’s the Pirates, so we’re not looking at much run support, but he has gone 5 IP in his past two starts, at least giving him an opportunity to qualify for a win. I’ll leave him on my bench vs. the Dodgers this week, but take the risk in his two-step the following week with a start at Wrigley vs. the Cubs and the other back home vs. the Cardinals.
Short and sweet this week! Once again, happy Mother’s Day, moms! Don’t forget to get your bids in!
Good luck tonight, and enjoy the games!
Photography by Keith Gillett & Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter)
A.Ashby or S.Strider for next week?
I lean Strider. 13 K in last 2 over 7 2/3 IP and looks to get a start vs San Diego while Ashby went 82 pitches today, so he won’t be available until the weekend and with an off-day this week Woodruff probably goes next Sunday on 5 days rest. That would mean hoping for a couple of innings with Lauer, Burnes, and Woodruff starting the 3 games in Miami.