Nate Schierholtz | San Francisco | OF | 10 percent Yahoo ownership
Oliver ROS: .274/.325/.434
Schierholtz ended the first half of the season in Jeterian fashion with a 4-for-4 performance and has been arguably the best performer in a struggling Giants outfield. As a lefty he is being shielded from exposure to left-handed pitchers, but in the past Schierholtz has shown the ability to hit lefties, so if his role expands in the second half to that of an everyday player, he does not necessarily need to be platooned.
Recommendation: Should be owned in mid-to-deep mixed leagues and NL-onlys. Can be considered for shallower mixed leagues based on your team’s outfield and overall hitting situation.
Cody Ross | San Francisco | OF | 7 percent Yahoo ownership
Oliver ROS: .271/.328/.454
Keeping with the theme of Giants outfielders, Ross has had a fairly productive season at the plate but absolutely crushes lefties to a .917 OPS. Despite their lack of production at the plate, Andres Torres‘ and Aaron Rowand‘s gloves keep them in the lineup often enough to make Ross a platoon player. In non-weekly leagues Ross can be a surprisingly valuable player to own, even though his overall line might not look as impressive.
Recommendation:Should be owned in any league when you can platoon him and owned in deep mixed leagues and NL-onlys regardless of whether you can platoon him.
Aroldis Chapman | Cincinnati | RP | 40 percent Yahoo ownership
YTD: 4.57 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 13.29 K/9, 1.45 K/BB
Oliver ROS: 4.75 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 9.8 K/9
I am admittedly late to the Chapman party as it has already been a month since he’s been recalled from the minors after struggling horribly with control in the beginning of the season. Since his promotion Chapman has been scarily dominant. In 8.2 innings, he has given up two hits and two walks, and struck out 17 batters. That’s a WHIP of 0.46 and a K/9 of 17.7 for those keeping score. As just a relief pitcher his value is limited but personally, I’ve never been more excited to own just a reliever before.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues, especially any league with a relatively strict innings cap (something like 1,300 and less).
Tommy Milone | Washington | SP | 0 percent Yahoo ownership (not yet in player universe)
YTD (AAA): 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.35 K/9 15.3 K/BB
Oliver ROS: 4.08 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
Milone in Triple-A this year has been filthy—striking out over a batter an inning while walking less than one per nine. According to John Sickels, Milone is not your typical pitching prospect, featuring a mid-80s fastball and various offspeed pitches as opposed to blazing heat. Milone has shown the ability to dominate batters despite his lack of “stuff,” instead employing strong command and molecular accuracy.
Even though the Nationals rotation is surprisingly sturdy from top-to-bottom, an opportunity will arise for him to join the rotation without the need for injury to strike one of their starters since Jordan Zimmerman has a 160-inning cap placed on his season total. So far Zimmerman is at 115, meaning after seven or eight more starts he is likely done for the year and Milone can step in and strut his stuff.
Recommendation:Owning Milone in any league without minor league rosters is still premature but he can be picked up in any league as Zimmerman gets close to 160 innings later in the season.
Paul Goldschmidt | Arizona | 1B | 0 percent Yahoo ownership (not yet in player universe)
YTD (AA): .312/.432/.624
Oliver ROS: .262/.331/.499
When Juan Miranda just isn’t cutting it at first base, it is nice to know you have a prospect like Paul Goldschmidt in the minors. Goldschmidt has erased any doubts about his impressive 35-homer, 40-double season last year in Single-A by adding another 25 home runs in Double-A this year while also nearly doubling his walk rate to 17 percent and significantly cutting down his strikeout rate to 19 percent.
As a competitive team, the D-backs cannot play the “prospect service time” game in good conscience knowing that Goldschmidt could be helping the major league club make a push into the playoffs right now. Interestingly in Triple-A the D-backs have another solid prospect at first in Brandon Allen, so when they call someone up to replace Miranda, which is certain to happen soon, Goldschmidt won’t even necessarily be given the call.
However, Allen has been given major league chances before and mostly disappointed so Goldschmidt is right now considered the more likely of the two to get the next chance despite his lack of experience.
Recommendation: Should be added in NL-only and mid-to-deep mixed leagues when he is available to be added.