Fantasy: FAAB Targets For Week Five

Image credit: Alexander Canario (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

With a month’s worth of data to reference, some of the true minor league breakouts are beginning to show themselves. This week is the beginning of one of the most aggressive buying windows in all formats of fantasy, as redraft players will begin to chase a rash of prospect promotions and dynasty players will start to aggressively target the best available breakout prospects hoping they strike gold with this year’s Elly De La Cruz. We have some hot names and big movers on this week’s list, leading off with a teenage name to get aggressive with in all formats of dynasty.  

Jackson Chourio, OF, Brewers

League Size: 12 Teams or 150+ Prospects Rostered

Promoted to Low-A Carolina earlier this week, Chourio has quickly impressed, going 8-for-21, with four doubles, five runs and a stolen base across five games played. The youngest player in full-season ball, Chourio just turned 18 in early March. Baseball America’s Josh Norris saw Chourio this week and was enthusiastically singing Chourio’s praises, noting his electric bat speed and ability to make adjustments at the plate. With plenty of remaining projection in Chourio’s frame it’s easy to get caught up in dreaming on the upside of the talented teenager. He’s still years away but could be a serious mover if early returns mean anything. I’d be aggressive in acquiring him in even shallow leagues. 

Milan Tolentino, SS, Guardians

League Size: 12 Teams or 125+ Prospects Rostered

The Guardians 2020 fourth-rounder has been on fire to begin the season, and he enters play on Sunday hitting .424/.530/.530 over 16 games. He has yet to homer and his groundball rate of 47.3% is high, but he’s making a lot of contact and walking at a high rate, and his sub-20% chase rate hints to a plus hit tool. His average exit velocity is above-average, so there’s consistent hard contact but his 90th percentile power is just a little under 102 mph. While it hasn’t shown in games, his exit data and age (20) mean there’s plenty of time for that part of his game to blossom. 

Brandon Walter, LHP, Red Sox

League Size: 14 Teams or 150+ Prospects Rostered 

The lefthander’s rapid ascension up the Red Sox minor league ladder has been one of the system’s best stories since the 2020 shutdown. Walter has emerged as one of the two best pitching prospects in the Red Sox system alongside teammate Brayan Bello. Walter has dominated Double-A hitters with a well-commanded three-pitch mix. He possesses not one but potentially two plus secondaries in his slider and changeup. Both miss bats and challenge hitters by consistently landing for strikes. While Walter generates plenty of whiffs, his ability to generate ground balls with his sinker makes him equally effective as a starter. A combination of command, contact suppression skills, and the ability to miss bats makes Walter a worthy add in most formats outside the most shallow dynasty leagues. Walter could be a points league boost as soon as this summer should the need arise in the Red Sox rotation. 

Esteury Ruiz, OF, Padres

League Size: 14 Teams or 150+ Prospects Rostered

It’s rare to see a player this far along in his professional career make a drastic alteration to his identity as a hitter. Ruiz so far in 2022 has done just that. He’s made dramatic adjustments to his chase rate, cutting it by 30% while maintaining good bat-to-ball skills and aggressiveness in the zone. Ruiz is no longer chasing outside of the zone while still swinging at strikes. His exit data isn’t tremendous but he does possess excellent barrel control and strong launch angles. With a new approach and the ability to get the most out of his contact, Ruiz now has the profile to take full advantage of his basestealing abilities. While Ruiz may never be a star, he could be a valuable fantasy asset with full-time at-bats. 

Alexander Canario, OF, Cubs

League Size: 14 Teams or 200+ Prospects Rostered

After years of flashing his huge power upside, Canario is showing some sustained success early on. While his whiff rate is still high, there’s been noticeable improvements to his swing decisions so far, as Canario has rarely chased, and has instead been aggressive on pitches in the zone. There are always going to be whiff concerns but with the on-base ability blossoming and plus raw power showing up in games this is a profile that could work. If you’re in an OBP, OPS, or points style format with more than 200 prospects rostered, Canario should be on your add list this week. 

Darell Hernaiz, SS, Orioles 

League Size: 16+ Teams or 250+ Prospects Rostered

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2019 draft out of the Texas prep ranks, Hernaiz wasn’t ranked on our Orioles list coming into the season but has been a standout early on. His combination of contact and power is rare, and the production backs that as the shortstop is hitting .329/.370/.632. Hernaiz is one of a handful of players with a contact rate above 80% and a 90th percentile exit velocity of 105 or above. While Hernaiz may not be walking at a high rate, he’s not an aggressive chaser, with a chase rate in the average range. He’s still years away, but Hernaiz looks like a legitimate low minors breakout worth buying in on in dynasty. 

Chase Silseth, RHP, Angels 

League Size: 16+ Teams or 250+ Prospects Rostered 

Silseth’s early season run at Double-A isn’t raising as many eyebrows as it probably should be. After five starts the baseball card numbers look great. He’s 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA and 37 strikeouts to seven walks over 26 innings. His 18.5% swinging strike rate is 13th among pitchers with a minimum of 20 innings pitched, while all three of his pitches boast whiff rates above 36%. His fastball sits 96 mph, touching 98-99 mph at peak. He pairs that with a mid-80s slider with over 10 inches of sweep and a split-changeup that generates whiffs at a greater than 45% rate while landing for a strike nearly 70% of the time. His ability to pair the firepower in his four-seam with devastating secondaries makes Silseth look like a potential big league starter.

Nathan Hickey, C, Red Sox

League Size: 20 Teams or 300 Prospects Rostered

A standout during his one season at Florida, the Red Sox took a chance on Hickey’s bat in the fifth round of last year’s draft. While his catching ability raises some questions long term, Hickey has split time between catcher and DH for Greenville. He’s listed here due to his overall balance of power, contact and advanced swing decisions. Hickey’s chase rate is below 15%, while he makes contact at a rate of 75% with a 90th percentile exit velocity just below 105 mph. His season line of .269/.418/.442 is good but the underlying data says it should be better. I’d look to acquire Hickey now, as a good couple of weeks could really boost his line.  

Noelberth Romero, SS, Orioles

League Size: 20 Teams or 400+ Prospects Rostered 

Signed by the Red Sox out of Venezuela back in 2019, Noelberth was acquired by the Orioles alongside Elio Prado in the Andrew Cashner trade. After two underwhelming seasons in complex ball, Romero is breaking out in 2022. He’s hitting .271/.333/.458 with Low-A Delmarva and the data backs up his slash line. He’s making contact at a rate of 78% with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 104 mph and a chase rate of 25%. There’s contact, power and on-base skills present. Romero is an off-the-radar name you can acquire for little to nothing in the deepest of leagues. 

Damon Keith, OF, Dodgers

League Size: 20+ teams or 400+ Prospects Rostered

Another Dodgers draft pick from outside the top 10 rounds that can hit, should we even be shocked any more? Across 24 games with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, Keith is hitting .382/.500/.629 with 14 extra-base hits. The former Cal Baptist star possesses some of the best data in the minor leagues outside of James Wood and Gunnar Henderson. Keith’s combination of on-base skills, swing decisions, power and contact make him a really intriguing sleeper early on in 2022. I’d be adding him in deeper leagues but if this production keeps up upon his eventual promotion, Keith might be one of the most exciting pop-ups this year in fantasy.  

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone