Fantasy: FAAB Targets For Week Four

Image credit: Ezequiel Tovar (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

We’re back for another week of FAAB targets for your dynasty leagues of all sizes as well as another redraft league stash with potential impact in the short term.

Last week’s redraft stash Kyle Bradish performed well in his major league debut, and we hope to make that 2-for-2 this week. Overall, there’s a handful of prospects pushing themselves into 12-to-16-team relevancy, including one prospect I believe should be rostered in leagues with as few as 50-60 prospects rostered. Here is another week of targets, happy FAABing! 

Ezequiel Tovar, SS Rockies 

League Type: All Dynasty Formats

There are four players under the age of 21 currently at Double-A, and three of them are well-known Top 100 Prospects in Francisco Alvarez, Jordan Walker, and Orelvis Martinez. The fourth is Ezequiel Tovar. The Rockies shortstop prospect is currently hitting .333/.422/.639 with five home runs and is a perfect 7-for-7 on the basepaths. Tovar was the No. 9 prospect in the Rockies system before the season and looks to be moving up in not just his organization’s rankings but into the Top 100 Prospect conversation. Based on age, production and current helium, I’d have Tovar within my top 75 or so dynasty prospects, making him a player to roster in all dynasty formats. With the way he’s handled an aggressive assignment, Tovar should be on track for a late 2023 arrival in Colorado.

Evan Carter, OF Rangers 

League Type: 12-Team Dynasty Leagues Or Deeper

Already a well-known prospect in OBP-style formats due to the gaudy walk rates early on in his professional career, Carter missed a large chunk of the 2021 season due to a stress fracture in his back. He’s returned to full health and is performing well as one of the youngest players at High-A. His combination of contact, elite swing decisions and athleticism makes him a player who could break out in a big way over a fully healthy season. His power is fringy at the moment, but there’s some projection for more game power long term.

Bryan Ramos, 3B White Sox 

League Type: 16-Team Dynasty Leagues or Deeper

After an under-the-radar breakout season in 2021, Ramos is solidifying his prospect status with his early 2022 performance. The 20-year-old infielder signed with the White Sox back in 2018 and had a solid showing in his professional debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2019. He followed that up in 2021 by hitting .244/.345/.415 with 16 home runs and 16 stolen bases over 115 games with Low-A Kannapolis. Just 17 games into the High-A season with Winston-Salem, Ramos is hitting .403/.449/.653 with 10 extra-base hits entering play on Sunday. His underlying metrics tell the story of a player with above-average bat-to-ball and plate approach skills with plus raw power. Ramos has a 75.5% contact rate, a 23% chase rate and a 90th percentile exit velocity of 107.5 mph. He has a true combination of approach, contact and power that’s translated to on-field production early. I’d be aggressive in acquiring Ramos in all formats before his helium fills the balloon.

Ken Waldichuk, LHP Yankees 

League Type: 16-Team Dynasty Leagues or Deeper

The 24-year-old former fifth-round pick out of Saint Mary’s had a breakout season in 2021, reaching Double-A in his first taste of full-season ball. In a return trip to Somerset, Waldichuk has taken his pitch mix to another level, adding two miles per hour onto his fastball, as he’s gone from averaging 92.4 mph in 2021 to 94.6 mph so far in 2022. More impressively, the lefthander has better command of his four-seam fastball while mixing in his sweeping slider, a pitch type that’s become en vogue in the Yankees’ system. Waldichuk is throwing his sweeper harder this year, at an average of 81 mph while getting nearly 16 inches of horizontal break to the glove side. This combination of velocity and movement is rare on a sweeper, giving Waldichuk a powerful one-two punch. He mixes in a downer curveball in the high 70s and a low-80s changeup with hellacious arm-side run, making the changeup an above-average pitch in its own right.   

Christopher Morel, SS Cubs

League Type: 20 Teams Or Deeper

After an up-and-down 2021, the former 2015 international signing out of the Dominican Republic is showcasing a new, toned-up approach over the first month of 2022. Here’s a look at Morel’s contact and chase rates year over year.

2021: contact% 64.5%, chase% 27.2%

2022: contact% 71.4%, chase% 19.9%

That’s drastic improvement in the areas of bat-to-ball skills and swing decisions, which is a very important development for a player who already possessed plus power and speed. To go a step further, Morel is an above-average defender at multiple spots in the infield and outfield, including the up-the-middle positions of shortstop and center field. It’s early, but Morel looks like a player who’s taken a significant step forward in a prior area of weakness.

Leody Taveras, OF Rangers 

League Type: Redraft League Stash

To say Taveras has been around for a while is an understatement. We ranked Taveras among the Rangers’ top three prospects for five consecutive years, including a No. 1 ranking entering the 2017 season. Taveras saw over 120 plate appearances in the majors in each of the previous two seasons, but hit just .188/.249/.321. He’s off to a fast start in 2022 and has showcased increased power at Triple-A, slugging .635 on the season. Still just 23 years old and on the 40-man roster, Taveras could see an opportunity with the Rangers in 2022. He’s in the midst of a 12-game hit streak entering play on Sunday. 

Ricky Tiedemann, LHP Blue Jays 

League Type: 16 Team Leagues Or Deeper

Assessing value on young pitching prospects in the lower minors for dynasty purposes is always difficult. Tiedemann, however, is a worthy stash in leagues with 200 or fewer prospects. He’s been dominant early this spring, pitching to a 3-0, 0.90 record with a 0.75 WHIP and 33 strikeouts to 10 walks over 20 innings. He mixes a mid-90s fastball with a low-to-mid-80s sweeping slider and a mid-80s changeup that features heavy run. The whiff rates on all three of his pitches are above 40% and he looks ready to see more advanced competition. It will still likely be a few years until Tiedemann is contributing for your team, but the lefty could ascend in dynasty value over the next few seasons.  

Edwin Arroyo, SS Mariners 

League Type: Leagues with 200 Prospects Rostered 

Yet another talented shortstop from the 2021 prep class, Arroyo is hitting .288/.395/.479 with three home runs and six stolen bases in 2022. He’s known for his defensive abilities but his bat speed and ability to make contact from both sides of the plate as a switch-hitter make him an exciting add in dynasty leagues. He has the all-around sort of abilities that can fit into a variety of roles for a big league club one day. There are bound to be some valleys and peaks due to the switch-hitting, but to his credit he has above-average contact rates from both sides of the plate without sacrificing approach in his splits. His biggest questions revolve around whether the power plays long term or if he can add more strength, but Arroyo has been able to flash at least average game power in the early going. 

Hudson Haskin, OF Orioles 

League Type: 250 Prospects Rostered

I’ve been asked a few times about whether Haskin’s early season numbers are real. So far, they look very legit. While Haskin lacks high-end power, he consistently hits balls 90-plus mph. He has shown elite swing decisions early and average bat-to-ball skills. There’s a strong underlying foundational approach as well as an average combination of contact and power skills. So while his current line of .376/.476/.706 is unsustainable, his first 15 games at Double-A are a good indicator of Haskin’s abilities at the plate. He’s likely to spend the majority of the season in Bowie before seeing some late season action in Triple-A. He could be a good bet for an early 2023 call-up if things break right. 

Justice Thompson, OF Reds 

League Type: Dynasty Leagues with Over 300 Prospects Rostered

An early standout in 2021 with North Carolina, Thompson hit .304/.386/.444 in his single season in Chapel Hill while showing power and speed, hitting seven home runs and stealing 15 bases. In a seven-game stint in the Arizona Complex League out of the draft, Thompson hit 316/.435/.526 as he overmatched the competition. Assigned to Low-A Daytona out of camp, Thompson produced underwhelming numbers over his first nine games at the level but still saw a promotion to High-A Dayton on April 22 and hasn’t looked back. Over his first seven games in the Midwest League, the center fielder is hitting .375/.483/.500 with three doubles and three steals. There are still some questions around Thompson’s bat-to-ball skills as he has a 67% contact rate this season. Despite those concerns, Thompson has shown a strong approach with a low chase rate of just 21% on the season. If Thompson can make slight improvements to his contact ability over the next few seasons, he could be a cheap source of power and speed by the summer of 2024. 

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