Tue Mar 19 9:27am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
As I continue to look for interesting things from Spring Training games that could become relevant to your fantasy team, here’s some observation from this weekend’s games.
Batters: Tigers rookie Christin Stewart continues to rake, hitting his third home run to go with 10 RBI and a .300-plus average. His path to regular playing time makes him a Rookie of the Year candidate.
Rockies Garrett Hampson sat out with a bad hamstring but returned Sunday to collect two hits. Ryan McMahon is still red hot, and probably leading in the second base race. Tampa Bay rookie Austin Meadows, who faded from top prospect status while injured last year, has done a nice job at leadoff and is hitting .343. His battle with Avisail Garcia, who also is hitting well, continues. Victor Robles stole his sixth base, is hitting over .350 and showing some power. With Michael Taylor out till May, he’s a lock to play centerfield, and perhaps lead off for the Nationals. Get him if you can, and enjoy his 30-plus stolen bases.
Jung Ho Kang has five hits, all home runs this spring. Expect him to be the Pirates third baseman, hit 25-plus home runs but bat .230. Another prospect who lost his luster is Austin Hays. The Orioles outfielder is hitting .350 with five home runs and has a clear path to playing time. Everyone is talking Vlad Guerrero Jr., but Bo Bichette is hitting .441. He’ll replace Freddie Galvis as the Blue Jay shortstop by June. Robinson Cano is hitting .486. The Mets second baseman looks ready to return to New York. I wish I had more shares of him. Twins catching prospect Mitch Garver finally came alive with three hits Sunday. Keep an eye on him the next 10 days. He could be a good second catcher. Yasiel Puig had quite a day Sunday with two homers and six RBI, raising his spring average to .385. What’s impressive about it is the home runs came off Corey Kluber and Brad Hand.
Pitchers: Brad Peacock took another step in his quest to lock down the No. 5 spot in the Astros rotation with five strikeouts in four innings. The potential Red Sox closers, Tyler Thornburg, Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier all struggled in their outings. Is a call being made to Craig Kimbrel? If Shane Greene falters or gets traded, it looks as if Joe Jimenez is ready to take over the closer role for the Tigers. Smoking Joe has nine strikeouts in seven innings while only giving up a run and a 0.43 WHIP.
German Marquis looks to be a bottom of the first tier pitcher after 10 strikeouts in six innings of a B game. Tanner Roark has impressed his new Cincy employers with an eight strikeout, one-hit performance, giving him 14 strikeouts in 14 spring innings, matching teammate Anthony DeScafani. Both look to help the staff in Cincinnati this year. Former Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League hurler Trevor Richards looks to have locked down a starter spot in Miami with six perfect innings and six strikeouts, lowering his spring ERA to 1.86.
Pirate opening day starter Jameson Taillon had a five inning, six strikeout performance, lowering his ERA to 3.00. Hoping to earn the opening day starter role for the Braves, Julio Teheran pitched five innings giving up four hits and a walk with six strikeouts to lower his ERA to 3.00. The Giants got a positive performance from Madison Bumgarner with six and two-third innings and six strikeouts, giving up five hits and a run. Jonathan Loaisiga might have pitched his way back in the Yankee rotation with three scoreless innings giving up only one hit and a walk.
Robbie Ray struck out eight in three and a third innings, but the Diamondbacks could not have liked what followed him to the mound. Archie Bradley, pitching for the first time since a sore neck shelved him a week ago, could not complete an inning getting torched for three hits, a walk and two runs, raising his spring ERA over 10. With Greg Holland having an ERA over 12, they might want to rethink using Yoshihisa Hirano as their closer. The former a Japanese League saves leader has two scoreless innings this spring.
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.