Happy Wednesday, everyone! We led off yesterday's newsletter with a downer -- Adam Duvall going down with injury -- so today we'll lead with optimism and hope. News broke Tuesday that two big prospects will be getting the call up to the majors. These are players you should be looking to your waiver wire now to scoop up and at least add to the back end of your Fantasy Baseball benches. But there is room for more production with both players. Those two prospects getting the call are Rays SP Taj Bradley and Twins 2B Edward Julien.
What to know about Bradley & Julien
Taj Bradley gets the call for Tampa with Zach Eflin heading to the IL with lower-back tightness. Bradley has a big-time fastball and a cutter that might be an even better pitch and he displayed strong command at the minor-league level. Bradley made 28 starts last year between Double-A and Triple-A ,and here are the stats: 2.57 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 141 K over 133.1 innings.
The big question regarding Bradley is whether he has lasting power and that impacts how much of your free-agent budget you'll want to allocate to him. The good news is that Chris Towers provided an instant and in-depth reaction to the news on CBSSports.com/Fantasy and you can find that. Chris answered the big questions about Bradley and what kind of investment you should make to acquire him now.
Twins infield prospect Edouard Julien also put together some nifty minor league numbers last season: .300 average, .441 OBP, 17 HR, 19 SB. He's an electric prospect with only modest power but the ability to go to all fields and real speed on the basepaths. He also put together a very strong World Baseball Classic that opened a lot of eyes. Julien has experience at 2B, 3B, LF and 1B during his minors career and that could help him stick in the Twins lineup.
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Buy or Sell: Early hot hitters
There's nothing quite like a good overreaction in any Fantasy sport. Scott White aimed to figure out whether we should or shouldn't be overreacting -- or I guess in that sense reacting properly -- to some of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. After all, we're not even halfway through April yet!
Scott provided actionable advice on whether or not to buy, sell or hold these hot hitters: Bryan Reynolds, Wander Franco, Matt Chapman, Xander Bogaerts, Gleyber Torres, James Outman, Brian Anderson, Orlando Arcia, Garrett Cooper, and Jorge Mateo. You can find his complete analysis on these hitters .
A few hitters stood out:
Chapman: "Matt Chapman has a lengthy track record of being one thing. Sometimes he's a better version of that thing, like in 2018 and 2019. Sometimes he's a lesser version of it, like in 2021 and last year. But that thing has always kept his batting average on the wrong side of .250. True, his strikeout rate is closer to 20 percent than 30 so far, which is more like it was during his good years, and there were reports this spring of him working with Bo Bichette to develop a two-strike approach. But it's also possible that players who impact the ball as hard as Chapman does sometimes just get really hot like this, as happened last July, when he hit .325 with nine homers. He went on to hit .196 the rest of the way."
Mateo: "I mean ... Jorge Mateo led the AL with 35 stolen bases last year, so if you're asking if he can sustain his current steals pace in the most stolen base-friendly environment we've seen in decades, the answer is yes ... provided he keeps his job. It's the hitting that seems like a poor bet to continue. Even with the success he's found at the plate so far, his Statcast page is all lit up in blue, much like last year. True, his strikeout rate is slightly improved, and he's putting the ball in the air less, which is probably for the best for someone with low quality-of-contact readings. None of these improvements are dramatic enough to think they'll stick over a larger sample, though, and we're still talking about a guy who reached base at a .267 clip last year."
What's going on shortstop?
Shortstop looked like the deepest position in Fantasy Baseball just two weeks ago, but that has certainly changed. No position has been hit harder by injuries so far. Let's recap:
- We already lost Oneil Cruz for four months.
- Tim Anderson was placed on the IL with a sprained left knee and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Lenyn Sosa was recalled.
- Corey Seager left his game on Tuesday with hamstring tightness.
- Dansby Swanson left Tuesday night with cramping (David Ross didn't sound overly concerned).
- Carlos Correa has missed two straight with back spasms and was off to a terrible start at the plate.
Most added replacements for injured shortstops
News & notes
- Brandon Woodruff will be placed on the IL with shoulder inflammation. Janson Junk is likely to start Wednesday.
- Justin Verlander was still limited to flat-ground throwing as of Tuesday. He's said publicly that he expects to return before April ends.
- Earlier today we heard that Carlos Rodon is now dealing with back stiffness. Then later in the day, they said Rodon threw on flat ground Tuesday and is slated for a bullpen session Wednesday. It sounds like they've ruled out April as well, so perhaps early-mid May.
- Robbie Ray hasn't started throwing yet but is feeling better. He's on the IL with a grade 1 flexor strain.
- Max Fried took part in field drills Tuesday and could return without making a rehab start.
- Tyler Glasnow threw a 15-pitch bullpen session Tuesday. It was the first time he's thrown off a mound since suffering the oblique strain.
- Gleyber Torres was removed after tweaking his right hip flexor. Aaron Boone didn't sound too worried.
- Eloy Jimenez could return to action this weekend.
- Bryce Harper took grounders and performed modified sliding drills Tuesday. He has a follow-up appointment later this month as he rehabs that surgically-repaired UCL.
- Starling Marte returned to the lineup Tuesday after dealing with a minor neck strain.
- Seth Brown will be sidelined 4-6 weeks after being diagnosed with a grade 2 left oblique strain.
- Daniel Bard faced live hitters Tuesday for the first time since landing on the IL with anxiety.
- Jesse Winker has missed two straight with an illness that has kept him away from the team.
- Yoan Moncada is likely out until Friday at the earliest.
- Ranger Suarez threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, using all of his pitches. He's 35% rostered.
- Johnny Cueto could be sidelined for several weeks, which would keep Braxton Garrett around longer than expected.
- German Marquez's MRI revealed that he has a right forearm strain but no structural damage.
- Elehuris Montero was scratched Tuesday.
- Scott McGough was placed on the paternity list.
- Francisco Alvarez started against lefty Ryan Weathers Tuesday night. He went 0-4 with three strikeouts.
- Mike Soroka tossed four innings of one-run ball in his second start at Triple-A.
- Ian Anderson will require Tommy John surgery.
- Scott White alert! Alex Kirilloff began a rehab assignment with Single-A Tuesday. He continues to work through off-and-on wrist troubles.