Fantasy Baseball Update: September Callups
The next two weeks will be made up of our column focusing on September call-ups. This week we focus on a few guys who have been called up for today, the first day eligible.
Look back next week for the names we see called up in the next week. Also, check out our fantasy football positional reviews.
First Day of Call-ups
J.R. Towles C (Astros): Towles is up for the third time in Houston, and I have been as much of a believer in him as anybody. However, he looked totally overmatched at the plate during his last stint, and he may not get a ton of at-bats the rest of the way. Overall, he is somebody I would take only as a flier for the future if I had nothing to lose at catcher.
Wade LeBlanc SP (Padres): During spring training LeBlanc looked like he might steal a rotation spot in San Diego. Instead, he was sent to Triple-A and got knocked around for much of the year. He is going to be put straight into the Padres rotation, but I would take a wait and see approach. LeBlanc still has good upside, but he does not look ready at this point.
Taylor Teagarden C (Rangers): Teagarden got a cup of coffee earlier this season and
will not play a ton this time either. He is still considered a top catching prospect, but has been completely overmatched this season at Triple-A. He should only be considered in keeper leagues that allow you to have minor leaguers on your roster; even then there are better options.
Luis Valbuena 2B (Mariners): Valbuena had a very solid year split between Double and Triple A for Seattle. He has a chance to be a regular someday and is worth a shot in a keeper league. He looks like a very similar player to Alexi Casilla in Minnesota. He should have solid OB skills, decent speed, and very little power. Worth a spot for the future if you have a spot to give.
Argenis Reyes 2B (Mets): Reyes is back with the Mets again, but this time Luis Castillo is healthy. Reyes will have no value in leagues the remainder of this year. However, in the same way that Valbuena is intriguing Reyes could be interesting for the future. He has a similar skill set to Valbuena and Casilla, though probably a bit more speed for him than the other two. The Mets have no other in house long-term options, so Reyes is worth a chance (plus how cool would it be to have a Reyes/Reyes double play combo in New York).
Mat Gamel 3B (for now) and Alcides Escobar SS (Brewers): These two Brewers are among the elite prospects in baseball. Both will probably not get a chance to contribute too much the rest of the way. However, if you have any way to stash them in a minor league spot for the future grad them as fast as you possibly can. They should both prove to be elite fantasy players at some point. Gamel probably has no chance to start next season in Milwaukee unless he can secure remaining at third (which I doubt). Escobar has a chance to play early (even opening day perhaps) next season for the Brewers if he can master second base. The Brewers are beginning to sour on Rickie Weeks and Escobar would be an excellent replacement.
Brent Lillibridge SS (Braves): Lillibridge is hard to figure out. He came into the season as one of the top prospects in the NL at short. He had a terrible year, even getting a chance to play in the majors. The oddity about Lillibridge is that he is a middle infielder with decent speed, not a ton of power, who has terrible on-base skills. It is an unusual problem for a player like Lillibridge to have, and I would not bet on him long-term. He looks to be a utility infielder at best, but maybe he can rebound next season.
James Parr SP/RP (Braves): The Braves are starved for young pitching, and Parr is only 22. He is not considered one of their top pitching prospects, but he has been solid all year between Double and Triple-A. He may not get a chance to start this month, but he will get a chance out of the pen. Keep an eye on how he does, because he has a chance to get a look next spring with a solid finish.
Andrew Miller SP (Marlins): Miller is back in majors after struggling for much of the year with the Marlins. He is still considered one of the top pitching prospects in the NL, but he will pitch out of the pen for the remainder of this season. All of that should lead to him being an excellent value next season in all leagues. Keeper league players looking for a young starter to take a chance on for next season cannot do a whole lot better than Miller.
Levale Speigner RP (Nats): Speigner got hammered last season as a Rule 5 pick for the Nats. This season he bounced back to post a 1.82 ERA out of the bullpen for Double and Triple-A. He has a chance to establish himself as a solid set-up man for an empty Nats bullpen. If Speigner can put up solid numbers the rest of this season he could be a serious sleeper for saves next season in a wide-open Washington bullpen. Again, worth a shot if you have a spot for him.
Chin-Ling Hu SS (Dodgers): Hu struggled for much of the season with Dodgers. He was then sent to Triple-A where he put up solid numbers. He has a chance to be a solid regular at short, but he is never going to be a fantasy stud. That said, if he can continue to improve he should have a chance to win the Dodgers starting shortstop next season.
Lou Marson C (Phillies): Marson has a very similar situation to the above duo of Gamel and Escobar. He is an excellent prospect who should be immediately grabbed if your league allows minor leaguers. Marson does everything well and should be a great option in the long-term as a fantasy catcher.Again, check back next Monday for more reports on September call-ups that occur during this week.
By Brian Chmielewski
Fans can contact Brian via email at bchmfantasybaseball @ yahoo.com
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