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Fantasy: FAAB Targets For Week Eight

Michael Harris, OF, Braves 

League Type: Redraft

Even the most ardent Harris fans were likely taken by surprise on Saturday morning, when Atlanta’s top prospect was given his first big league callup. Even so, the move fits the Braves’ reality: Ronald Acuña Jr. is not fully healthy, and being regulated to DH duties keeps him in the lineup. Beyond that, Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall have been bad, and the Braves are sacrificing a lot defensively. Enter Harris, a standout defender with contact, power and an overall exciting skill set to impact the game in a variety of ways.

Warming Bernabel, 3B, Rockies 

League Type: 14+ Teams or 200+ Prospects Rostered

While Bernabel’s teammates in Adael Amador, Yanquiel Fernandez and Victor Juarez have gotten a majority of the press in Fresno, Bernabel might not be that far off from them. In fact, Bernabel’s production is nearly equal to Amador’s. Entering Sunday, Bernabel was hitting .311/.390/.500. His 76% contact rate, 14.5% strikeout rate and 10.5% walk rate show that his baseline approach is fairly strong. He can get caught chasing, but his bat-to-ball skills are strong enough to make it work. Beyond the approach, Bernabel boasts above-average raw power with more projection remaining. He has some holes in his swing toward the lower outside part of the zone but he does an excellent job owning the inner half and the upper quadrants.

Michael Massey, 2B, Royals 

League Type: 14+ Teams or 125+ Prospects Rostered

Dating back to the beginning of last season, Massey, a former fourth-round pick out of Illinois, has hit .302/.359/.538 with 29 home runs, 106 runs, 131 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts. That sample is over 140 games and 632 plate appearances. While a majority of that came at High-A last season, Massey through Sunday was hitting .333/.378/.556 with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Beyond his offensive prowess, Massey was awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove last season at second base. With strong defense and well-balanced offensive production, Massey is an under-the-radar name to target in all but the shallowest of dynasty leagues.

Gabriel Martinez, OF, Blue Jays 

League Type: 16+ Teams or 250+ Prospects Rostered

Added to the Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects list earlier this month, Martinez has impressed with his combination of bat-to-ball skills (77.8% contact rate) and projectable power. He’s been on fire in the month of May, hitting .380/.418/.728 with eight doubles and eight home runs. He’s still years away from impact, but the early returns from Martinez’s first full stateside season say he’s worth a flyer.

Spencer Steer, 2B, Twins 

League Type: 16+ Teams or 250+ Prospects Rostered

After hitting .307/.385/.591 over 35 games to start the season with Double-A Wichita, Steer was promoted to Triple-A St. Paul. A 2019 third-rounder out of Oregon, Steer has a well-balanced offensive skill set. He hits for contact at a high rate, rarely expands the zone and shows above-average power in games. After struggling with swing and miss for the first time in Double-A last season, Steer has gotten back to the player he’s been since entering pro ball. Now that he’s just an injury or two away from a debut in the majors, Steer is worth wrangling.

Hunter Gaddis, RHP, Guardians 

League Type: 16+ Teams or 350+ Prospects Rostered

Targeting players in organizations with top-tier player development isn’t a new strategy in dynasty leagues. Players from organizations like the Dodgers, Rays and Guardians are always a little more interesting than their draft pedigree might dictate. With this idea in mind, Guardians pitching prospects are a strong target. Gaddis was featured in the Best Changeups Outside The Top 100 article this offseason and the results at Double-A have followed. Currently, Gaddis has a 3.68 ERA, 2.72 xFIP, 2.46 FIP and a 29.8% K-BB rate. In other words he’s been dominant. Gaddis sits 92-93 mph and touches 95 mph with a fastball that shows above-average ride and vertical shape. He pairs it with a changeup with a 13-15 mph velocity separation from his fastball. Gaddis also throws a mid-80s slider and a curveball and has shown the ability to miss bats with all of his pitches.

Mason Montgomery, LHP, Rays 

League Type: 20+ Teams or 350+ Prospects Rostered

A two-pitch lefty with average velocity on their fastball isn’t an archetype that pays dividends in dynasty. Despite this, Montgomery has a few things on his side. First, he’s a Rays pitching prospect, and trusting good player development programs is always wise. Second, Montgomery has great fastball shape. Armed with plus vertical break, Montgomery generates whiffs at a greater than 30% rate on his fastball despite only pedestrian velocity. His primary secondary is a mid-80s slider that sits around 83-85 mph with a shape somewhere in between a slider and a cutter. He throws a changeup but it’s not frequently used, and it lacks the same swing-and-miss upside of his fastball or slider. Montgomery has been missing bats in High-A this season and pitching well. While he lacks the power typical of a pitching prospect worth rostering in fantasy, he has the often underrated skill of knowing how to pitch.

Ezequiel Tovar Billmitchell

2022 MiLB First Half Offensive Breakout Performers

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Chayce McDermott, RHP, Astros 

League Type: 16+ Teams or 350+ Prospects Rostered

The 2021 fourth-round pick out of Ball State jumped into the Astros Top 10 last week and has been especially hot in May. Over five appearances in the season’s second month, McDermott has a 1.88 ERA, 34 strikeouts and just nine walks over 24 innings. Here’s what we wrote in McDermott’s May update: “His four-pitch mix is led by a fastball that sits 93-94 mph, touching 97 mph with heavy ride and a flat approach angle. He primarily utilizes two different breaking balls as his secondaries, a mid-80s slider and a mid-to-high-70s curveball. He'll flash a changeup but it's rarely used. His combination of two above-average pitches in his fastball and slider with an average third offering and average control give McDermott a shot to develop into a back-of-the-rotation option long-term.”

Kerry Carpenter, OF Tigers

League Type: 20+ Teams or 400+ Prospects Rostered

Drafted in the 19th round in 2019 out of Virginia Tech, Carpenter entered the professional ranks as a contact-over-power bat. After spending all of 2021 at Double-A Erie, Carpenter returned to the level in 2022 and is showing newfound power. After trading some of his contact skills for pop, Carpenter has already matched last season’s total of 15 home runs. It’s a corner-only profile, but Carpenter is showing the ability to make adjustments and improve. Still, he’s not a player you should be looking to add outside of leagues with tremendous minors depth.

Jose Salvador, LHP Angels 

League Type: 20+ Teams or 400+ Prospects Rostered

Acquired from Cincinnati during the 2020 trade deadline, Salvador is a lefty who gets by on deception and feel for his arsenal. His fastball sits 89-91 mph and touches 93-94 mph with heavy ride from a vertical slot with a high release. He pairs the fastball with a low-80s slider that does a majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to his gaudy strikeout totals. It’s not a pitch that stands out for its movement but his deceptive arm action and ability to command it make it a plus breaking ball. He mixes in a changeup as well, and it’s a fringy third offering, but still has enough on it in games that he will throw it around 10-14% of the time. Salvador is a low-minors lottery ticket based on his high strikeout totals.

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