Fantasy Baseball: What do we make of these high-profile rookies?

·3-min read

A few recent call-ups get their moment in the fantasy sun on this edition of Closing Time. Settle in, settlers.

The Red Sox will eventually get Enrique Hernandez off the injured list, but perhaps they’re better off with Jarren Duran anyway. Duran had a day in the win over Detroit on Monday, with two hits, two runs, a walk and two glorious stolen bases.

Duran had a robust .305/.379/.531 slash over 43 games at Triple-A (with six homers, 11 steals), and his slash is almost identical for the tiny eight-game sample in Boston. He’s 25, so he should be ready. The Red Sox have led him off in five of the last six games.

There’s plenty of time to kick some tires, with Duran a mere 10 percent rostered in the Yahoo world.

C.J. Abrams returns to the Majors

C.J. Abrams didn’t hit in his first San Diego trial this year, but he’s back for another try. The Padres lost Manny Machado over the weekend, and obviously, Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t ready.

If you see the Abraham cup as half full, you love his .314/.364/.507 line from Triple-A, with seven homers and ten steals. That plays. But he’s also had 21 games at the MLB level, and hasn’t hit a lick: .271/.258/.259. The Padres batted him eighth on Monday, and watched him go 0-for-3.

There’s no magic answer to when the light goes on with buzzy prospects. Abrams is still just 21. Maybe he can sneak into fantasy relevance at some point this summer. He’s 18 percent rostered at the Y.

What a debut for Oneil Cruz

I’m not leading with Oneil Cruz because he’s been written about plenty in the past few days. Buzzy prospect. And man, he fills out the uniform — 6-foot-7, 220 pounds. That’s a mammoth athlete for any position, but especially for a shortstop.

Oneil Cruz #15 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his fantasy debut
Oneil Cruz is a big fantasy prospect. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Cruz had a day in his seasonal debut, with a single, double and four RBIs against the Cubs. What’s interesting is that Cruz wasn’t having a great Triple-A season when he was recalled; a .232/.336/.422 slash, with nine homers and 11 steals. The category juice is fun, the slash line more ordinary. But we have to respect the pedigree, and of course, we love some category juice.

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Yahoo managers see the plausible upside and have already reacted. Cruz quickly jumped to 59 percent rostered over the last couple of days.

Andrew Vaughn makes a statement

I’m old enough to recall when Tony LaRussa was considered one of the geniuses of baseball. No one is saying that today. But at least LaRussa eventually got it right with Andrew Vaughn, Chicago’s surging slugger.

Vaughn was getting some ninth-slot run earlier in the year, but LaRussa finally bumped the kid to the No. 2 position about a month ago. That’s become Vaughn’s happy place, as he’s slashing .345/.405/.540 from that ignitor position. Vaughn had four hits, including a homer, as the White Sox got past Toronto on Monday.

Sometimes Vaughn plays first base, sometimes, he’s in the outfield, sometimes he DHs. It doesn’t seem to matter — he always hits. Yahoo players have picked up the scent, pushing Vaughn over the 50-percent roster tag. With Tim Anderson back in the Chicago lineup, this underachieving club might be ready to take off as the summer kicks in.

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