There are two notable pitching prospects making their season debut on Wednesday and both could end up sticking in the Big Leagues for a while if they perform. The Baltimore Orioles will call upon Kevin Gausman while the New York Mets will bring up Rafael Montero for his first taste of the Show.
Gausman has been up with the big club before as he made five starts and a total of 20 appearances last season and was 3-5 with a 5.66 earned run average. The former No. 4 overall pick in 2012 started this season in Triple-A and has been sharp with a 2.08 ERA in six starts. He has walked 14 hitters in 26 innings thus far and it certainly is a concern.
With that said, the 23-year-old should fare a lot better this go around as he is poised to make an impact in Baltimore’s rotation as Miguel Gonzalez has been pushed to the bullpen. He will draw a very difficult matchup in the Detroit Tigers, so it will be interesting to see how he does, but don’t base your judgment of talent solely on this start.
Fantasy owners in deep leagues should pick up Gausman immediately if he is still available. Owners in 12 and 10-man mixed leagues could also use his services depending on what pitchers they already own.
The Mets will also bump a starter from the rotation to give way to a prospect as Jennry Mejia will move to the pen and Montero will make his Major League debut. The 23-year-old Dominican has a 32-17 career mark in the minors with a 2.63 ERA and an average of eight and a half strikeouts per nine innings. He has been impressive so far this season with a 4-1 record and 3.67 ERA playing home games being in Cashman Field, an ultra-friendly hitter’s ballpark home to the Las Vegas 51s.
The young righty possesses electric stuff with a fastball in the mid-90s, which is complimented by a nasty slider and an above average changeup.
In terms of fantasy, Montero is definitely worth a look in deep leagues but owners in shallower leagues may want to hold off initially. He will start the third and final game of this year’s first Subway Series as the Mets look to take three in a row from the Yankees. One thing is for sure – the lights will be extra bright in the Bronx for the kid’s first dance.