By now you probably know that Friday is Yoan Moncada Day. There is always some buzz in Fantasy circles when rosters expand on Sept. 1, but having the minors’ top prospect come up for the final stretch just adds to the level of excitement. More often than not, September callups don’t justify the hype, so […]
September is here and that means rosters in the major leagues are expanding. Dugouts will be packed with players as minor leaguers around the country are promoted to the show. No more 25-man rosters as now clubs can have as many as 40 players on the big league roster. For fantasy baseball players this means there will be a lot of young guys being added to fantasy teams in hopes that they see enough playing time to contribute, but one player making his 2016 MLB debut today isn’t a young prospect as he is already 28 years old. That would be Alex Cobb.
Alex Cobb will make a return from Tommy John surgery today and start for the Tampa Bay Rays. Cobb hasn’t seen time in the majors since 2014 as he has battled his way back from the procedure and the complications he has faced after it. Question is should you be adding him to your fantasy roster in advance of his start or wait and hope you can get him later if he performs well? He is available in over 60% of leagues, but do you want to run the risk of it staying that way?
Over his four seasons in the majors Cobb amassed a 3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.7 K/9 in 498.7 innings. Not bad if you could get those ratios this year, especially considering what the landscape has looked like in the starting pitcher market this season. His best year of the four was 2014 where he had a 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.1 K/9. In his 2016 minor league rehab he has started 8 games and pitched 21.7 innings, with 15 of those innings at Triple-A Durham. His performance in those starts has been less than stellar (6.65 ERA and 1.8 WHIP) which is somewhat expected considering the long layoff he has had, but will a jump to the majors change that?
Tampa Bay has nothing left to play for in 2016 and are bringing Cobb up is strictly to get him time in the majors again before the 2017 season. His control is not there yet and he has been very hittable in his rehab assignments. Rays’ management will likely be cautious with him, yet at the same time they want to get his inning count up regardless of the score to prepare him for next season. He likely will not win you a fantasy title this year, but could kill your ratios if he can’t find his former self by the end of the season. Expectations should be low after such a long time out of competitive situations and because of that I would stay clear of him unless you are a big risk taker and can afford to stash him away in hopes that he does the unexpected.
Instead of adding Cobb I would look to guys like Andrew Triggs (still only owned in 10 % of leagues), Kendall Graveman, Brandon Finnegan, or Alex Reyes. With Triggs being my favorite of the bunch and most available.
If you can’t get enough baseball and have some vacation time coming up in October or November why not take a trip to see the Arizona Fall League. Schedules for this year’s AZL can be found here.
Visiting Arizona in October or November allows you to get away from the snow and cold weather and bask in the sun. Well, maybe not bask, but at least you won’t be freezing. Not to mention you can see some of the top prospects in the game before they make it big. Past rosters included Gary Sanchez, Sean Manaea, Aledmys Diaz and Jurickson Profar and that was just in 2015.
It really is a great time and helps to get over the lack of real baseball being played after the World Series. If you make the trip let us know and share your photos with us at @BBBaseball_Talk.
We originally posted this in June of this year, but in honor of Moncada being called up on Friday here it is again.
If you are a Red Sox fan or an avid fantasy baseball player who tracks prospects then you are likely familiar with Yoan Moncada. Moncada is a Cuban born 2nd baseman currently playing AA Portland for the Red Sox. As the number one prospect in Boston’s organization there is a lot of optimism about what Moncada will do for the team’s future. In Single-A this year Moncada played 61 games and had a .307/.427/.496 slash line with 36 stolen bases in 44 attempts. Now at Double-A he has played in seven games and has a .281/.281/.406 slash line with 1 stolen base in 1 attempt.
Nearly every analyst feels the future is bright for this 21 year old middle infielder, but when will his future with the big league club happen? I believe it should happen next year.
With David Ortiz retiring at the end of the 2016 season Boston will have an opening at the DH spot that they haven’t had in many years. In addition they have a first baseman who would be better as a DH in Manny Ramirez. My suggestion is this, after 2016 move Ramirez to DH. That opens up first base for Travis Shaw who currently plays third. With third open you could bring up Moncada and let him play there as scouts have said he can play second or third.
Not only have you improved your defense by getting Ramirez off the field, but three fourths of the Red Sox infield would be 26 or younger.
It is unlikely that Moncada starts 2017 with the big league club, but if the Red Sox are reading this they really should give it some thought.
I didn’t realize how complicate it was to determine who is and is not eligible to be on a playoff roster. Why am I talking about this today? Because today was the last day a team can trade for a player and have that player be eligible for their playoff roster. Going forward teams can still make waiver trades, but any player acquired would not be eligible for their playoff roster.
I was going to write a great post on the full subject of playoff roster eligibility, but Dave Cameron at fangraphs.com already did it so why reinvent the wheel. To read all about it click here.