The Post All-Star break, the inevitable time when fantasy owners anticipate their favorite prospects to finally get that phone call. Should these call ups be so anticipated though? Now I know what you’re thinking, there are plenty of examples of prospects coming up and making an immediate impact on your fantasy roster. Cody Bellinger comes to mind on that short list of players.
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Beyond that, Aaron Judge has been one of the best players in the Major Leagues. Speaking of Aaron Judge, this is not his first year playing Major League Ball, he got called up for a cup of coffee in 2016. His batting line? .179/.263/.345. A very small twenty-seven game sample size, but an unsightly batting line just the same.
So why does this matter? After all, that is just one example of a player who came up and did not produce right away. Then you start thinking of some of the brightest stars in baseball, Mike Trout, Marcell Ozuna, Jonathan Schoop, Anthony Rendon and more. All these players have one thing in common, they didn’t come out of the gate swinging. Of course fantasy owners know the risk when it comes to prospects, not everyone is a can’t miss star. We do seem to treat them that way despite that knowledge. At the heart of this discussion is Amed Rosario, who finally got the call from the Mets and will play his first game August 1st. Rosario has a very solid .328 average with seven homers and nineteen steals in the Pacific Coast league. While these numbers speak to the skill that Rosario has, even assuming he hits .300 and comes close to those numbers the rest of the way, it doesn’t make him much of a viable shortstop in standard leagues. So why the excitement?
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The excitement is a simple answer, the unknown. These prospects have not played any Major League Ball, the excitement and the ceiling is sky high until this player shows what he can do. The unfortunate side effect is that these players don’t show their upside right away (or at all, but that’s a different story) Rosario’s seven home runs this season is a career high in the minors and is likely a product of the Pacific Coast League, notorious for boosting minor league players numbers. Currently in 74 at bats in the Majors, Amed Rosario has three home runs, six RBIs and 4 SB while maintaining a .257 batting average, so not exactly lighting the world on fire. Prospects are a necessary part of a successful fantasy team, the addition of young blood can boost what could be a mediocre team, but putting your hopes on a guy like Amed Rosario to save your season is misplaced.
Now in Dynasty Leagues where rosters are long and waiver wires are short, Rosario could really be the piece you need to get that trophy. This piece isn’t meant to trash prospects, but rather caution fantasy owners not to ride the hype just because a top prospect got his phone call.