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Fantasy: FAAB Targets For Week 15

The weeks leading up to the all-star break are a great time to take some gambles on prospects with up-arrow production and potential to see increased helium in the second half. There’s also the promise of blocked 40-man roster players in Triple-A getting shipped out from the deep rosters of contenders to rebuilding clubs. This is where potential wins can be had for a short investment in fantasy leagues of all sizes and shapes.

These players may come in the form of post-hype sleepers, underrated prospects, or even highly valued prospects the average dynasty manager doesn’t value enough. Below is a list of some players who could prove to be dynasty gold, spanning a variety of league sizes and scoring types.

Heston Kjerstad, OF Orioles

League Size: 12 Team Dynasty or 100+ Prospects Rostered.

An older college hitter should beat up on Low-A pitching—that’s hard to debate. Should he hit .468/.558/.649, though? That’s good enough for a 232 wRC+ over 21 games. After a few years off due to injuries and medical issues, Kjerstad is back on the field and raking. If he’s available in shallower dynasty leagues he's likely worth a bid this week.

Colson Montgomery, SS White Sox

League Size: 12 Team Dynasty or Less Than 100 Prospects Rostered.

Since May 14 Montgomery is hitting .366/.462/.536 with nine doubles and five home runs. He’s been one of the hottest hitters in the minors over the last two months and has quickly entered the conversation of the best prep shortstop from the 2021 high school class alongside Marcelo Mayer, Jordan Lawlar and Edwin Arroyo—though Montgomery is likely to move off the position to third base long term. Two weeks into his promotion to High-A, Montgomery is walking more than he’s striking out and topping his Low-A slash line. He has a standout combination of bat-to-ball skills, plate discipline and power projection. From a pure fantasy standpoint owners should clamber to add Montgomery.

Estevan Florial, OF Yankees

League Size: Deep Redraft / AL-Only Leagues / 16 Team Dynasty Leagues or 200+ Prospects Rostered

I’m going to ring the bell again on Florial as he’s continued to show nice progression at Triple-A this year. He has a similar vibe to last week’s recommendation Will Benson in that he’s a highly touted name making good on his promise. Florial’s game still has a healthy bit of swing and miss, as he’s still a below-average bat-to-ball hitter. He’s showing improved discipline as he’s gone from making good to great swing decisions and has seen a jump in all of his exit velocity data from above-average to plus. For example, the average of the top 10% of his balls in play has improved nearly 3 mph in 2022.

It’s still a three true outcome skill set, but Florial has enough supporting skills to see everyday at-bats in the major leagues. Could Florial be an attractive trade target for a rebuilder? If so, he could be up in the majors later this summer with the upside to provide power and speed. His 26 stolen bases and 11 home runs pass the sniff test. In average leagues he’s going to be a negative for walks and on-base percentage and is best suited for a manager looking to boost his stolen base output.

Casey Schmitt, 3B Giants

League Size: 16 Team Dynasty Leagues or 200 Prospects Rostered

Few players have the versatility of the Giants' Schmitt, and the organization certainly knew that when it drafted him. As a collegiate player at San Diego State and in the Cape Cod League with Cotuit, Schmitt played a variety of positions and pitched in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen. While his two-way days are long over, Schmitt has a variety of skills on both sides of the ball that could one day translate to a productive everyday third baseman. While his approach, contact and power are just average, it’s a culmination of a lot of good offensive traits that have translated to improved production in 2022, as he’s raised his entire slash line by a good bit this season. If Schmitt can get on base, hit for a solid average and provide average in-game power production he’s likely to be a solid source of counting stats in dynasty leagues of moderate depth.

Jarlin Susana, RHP Padres

League Size: 16 Team Dynasty Leagues or 200+ Prospects Rostered

Susana is good, so good that he’s receiving a recommendation despite being a complex ball pitcher. It’s rare that a pitcher signs in the international class and skips the Dominican Summer League altogether. While over his last few turns some cracks have shown, the reports overall have been really good. Susana’s three-pitch mix consists of fastball, slider and changeup, with his fastball and slider seeing the majority of his usage. The heater sits 96-98 mph and has been up to 101 this summer with 2,400-2,600 rpm of raw spin. He generates whiffs due to his elite velocity, spin and average or better command of the pitch. While it doesn’t have tremendous ride, sink, or arm-side run, it does have multiple traits that portend whiffs at higher levels. His slider is a tight high-80s-to-low-90s offering with a cutter-like profile. His changeup is still a work in progress, but that’s to be expected from an 18-year-old on the complex.

Maximo Castillo, RHP Blue Jays

League Size: 16 Team Dynasty Leagues or 200+ Prospects Rostered

This is a fairly aggressive designation to give Castillo, but I feel he’s potentially on the cusp of being roster worthy in even shallower dynasty leagues, particularly where pitching depth is of importance. Castillo is currently in the bullpen pitching in long relief. So far he’s shown the ability to get outs in a variety of fashions against major league hitters. With Toronto currently in need of major league-caliber starting pitching, Castillo may step in and prove he’s worthy of starting down the stretch this summer. He’s been a starter throughout his time in the minor leagues, throwing 100 or more innings in a season three times and 130 or more innings twice. He’s certainly capable of handling 140-plus innings this season, and he’s armed with three average or better pitches, with enough velocity and power to play as a starter. I’d make a speculative bid on Castillo in leagues where starting pitching is valued. He’s even worth a flier in deeper head-to-head redraft points setups.


Colson Montgomery: White Sox 2022 Minor League Player Of The Year

Colson Montgomery handled every challenge the White Sox threw at him in a full-season debut that culminated in a stint at Double-A. The 22nd overall pick in 2021 is shaping up as a draft steal.

Wilyer Abreu, OF Astros

League Size: 20+ Team Dynasty Leagues or 300+ Prospects Rostered

An under-the-radar performer worth your attention in deeper dynasty settings, Abreu doesn’t look the part of an athletic outfielder but he’s surprisingly quick in the outfield. At the plate he’s a lefthanded bat with plus on-base skills and above-average power. Despite the higher strikeout totals he rarely chases and runs an average contact rate. He works deep into counts, takes his time, walks and looks to elevate the ball hard in the air. With a well-balanced skill set, Abreu might be a player who finds his way into everyday regular status and provides some upside with the bat.

Tyler Gentry, OF Royals

League Size: 20 Team Dynasty Leagues or 300+ Prospects Rostered

It’s been a great season for Gentry early as he tore apart the Midwest League before seeing a promotion to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Since his Double-A debut on June 14, Gentry has hit .342/.411/.684 with seven home runs in just 20 games. His production has actually jumped with the bump up in level, though some of this is surely due to the improvement in hitting environments when moving from the Midwest League to the Texas League in June and July. Regardless, Gentry has displayed elite plate discipline with above-average bat-to-ball skills (75% contact rate and an 80% zone-contact rate) and above-average to plus in-game power. A good defensive outfielder who's best in a corner, Gentry has the all-around skill set of an everyday regular with offensive upside.

Jaime Melendez, RHP Astros

League Size: 20 Team Dynasty Leagues or 300+ Prospects Rostered

The young Astros righthander dealt with some growing pains over the first two months of the season, but as the calendar flipped to June Melendez has been strong. Since June 1, Melendez has made six starts, pitching to a 2.16 ERA, 3.63 xFIP, 0.84 WHIP and .158 opponent batting average while striking out 37% of the batters he’s faced. The biggest gains have come in the way of command, as Melendez has seen a nearly 14% jump in his strike rate and subsequently a 61% decrease in his walk rate since June 1. As a 20-year-old in Double-A it’s not unreasonable to think something clicked for Melendez over the last month and a half. He’s armed with a hoppy fastball that sits 92-94 mph, running it up to 95-96 mph at peak, that generates whiffs at an above-average clip. His secondary stuff is deep with three offerings in a changeup and two breaking balls. The slider and curveball don’t miss many bats but they do act as groundball-inducing weapons, as each boasts a groundball rate above 60%. He has the profile of a back-end starter ceiling with a high-leverage reliever floor. When you factor in age, level and the Astros pitching development he’s a worthy flier in deeper dynasty leagues.

Dominic Hamel, RHP Mets

League Size: 20 Team Dynasty Leagues or 300+ Prospects Rostered

The Mets had a good draft last July even if the Kumar Rocker pick may get all the publicity. Outside of round one the organization added several pitchers who have performed well early in their professional careers, including Calvin Ziegler, Carson Seymour, Mike Vasil and Nick Zwack—all worthy pickups depending on your format. The space in this article is reserved for Dominic Hamel, the Mets' third-round pick last July out of Dallas Baptist. Hamel had one of the better fastball shapes in the college draft class, getting heavy bore from a lower release height, creating a flatter plane and giving Hamel the ability to locate his fastball high. The pitch sits 91-93 mph but plays up due to its shape. His secondary stuff consists of a low-to-mid-80s slider, a changeup and a curveball, all of which rate fringe-average to average, but he has the ability to mix a few looks to play off of his fastball which misses bats. It’s a fastball-driven sum-of-its-parts profile that may have some value in deeper dynasty leagues where pitching is valued.

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