Heralded MLB fantasy baseball rookies Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa surprised nobody when they came up to the majors this season and produced immediately for their teams and fantasy owners. But there have been many rookies who have been putting in solid production without much fanfare after joining their teams this summer.
Whether it be to replace an injured starter on a contending team or basement-dwelling team giving a young prospect the chance to show if he is ready, these five players are making impacts and are available in most fantasy leagues. You have to stay on top of your game if you win the fantasy baseball championship belt and be your league’s champ.
Top 5 Under the Radar Rookies
Taylor Jungmann, Min SP
Called up on June 9, Jungmann has quietly been a consistent and solid player for Milwaukee, posting a 2.48 ERA while going 8-5. Overlooked by many for pitching for a Brewers team 20 games under .500, Jungmann has been the ace of the staff. It will be increasingly difficult for Jungmann to get wins with the Brewers trading away three starting hitters this summer, but he can still eat innings and have quality starts.
Francisco Lindor, Cle SS
Called up on June 14, the highly-touted prospect struggled when he arrived in Cleveland, batting just .211 in June. He has progressively adapted to the big leagues since, hitting well above average at .295 in July and an incredible .381 in August. Overall he is hitting .309 with flashes of both power and speed. He will be the Indians’ starting shortstop the rest of the season. The Indians offense is mediocre, but he will still get hits and can be an upgrade for many fantasy owners.
Stephen Piscotty, StL OF
Called up on Jul. 21, Piscotty has been hitting ever since he has gotten playing time with injuries to Matt Holliday and Randal Grichuk. He has added extra-base hits along with his .322 average to become one of the better hitters on the best team in baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals handle injuries to key players better than anybody and Piscotty is just the latest player to produce so well he won’t be headed back to the minors anytime soon. Holliday and Grichuk will get their at-bats when they return, but Piscotty has played well enough to stay in the lineup when they do.
Kelby Tomlinson, SF 2B
Called up on Aug. 3, Tomlinson got his chance when Joe Panik went down with back pain and has delivered instantly. While he has only had 55 at-bats by Aug. 29, he his hitting .364, and getting clutch hit after clutch hit. A grand slam against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 27, followed by a walk-off hit the next night, Tomlinson will be sending fellow backup infielder Ehire Adrianza back to the minors when Panik gets back. Hasn’t stolen a base yet, but with his speed and ability to get on base, the stolen bases are sure to come.
Trayce Thompson, CWS OF
Called up on Aug. 4, playing in only 12 games is a rather small sample size. Hitting 14-for-27 is however a .519 batting average and shows Thompson has the ability to put the ball in play. The White Sox outfield is average with no all-star caliber player getting guaranteed playing time. Chicago could fall out of the American League Wild Card chase with one or two bad series, so look for Thompson to get more at-bats in September soon once the White Sox wave the white flag for the season.
Hopefully these rookies will help improve your fantasy baseball roster and if not, make sure to keep tabs on them to see how they’re performing.