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The Prospect Pod: Fantasy Baseball Prospects’ MLB Assignments

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Top MLB Prospect Debut

Joey Wiemer MIL (Ranked 80) – The Brewers called up Joey Wiemer to make his major league debut on Saturday slapping a double for his first major league hit. Wiemer has shown great fantasy upside over the last two seasons. Last season the right-handed Wiemer slashed .256/.336/.465 with 34 doubles, 21 home runs, 77 RBI, and 31 stolen bases in 127 games across two levels (AA & AAA). Wiemer saw his best success last season at AAA where he had a 12.1% walk rate and the best strikeout rate of his minor league career to this point (19.5%). Wiemer blends a power and speed profile with the ability to draw walks and has been limiting the strikeouts leading us to believe he could be a fantastic addition to any dynasty managers squad.

Injury Report

Bobby Miller LAD (61st Ranked) – The Dodgers currently sidelined Bobby Miller with shoulder soreness to start the season. When healthy Miller will start the season at AAA.

Royce Lewis MIN (45th Ranked) – Has been clear to run bases and take batting practice. Royce Lewis could be playing in minor league games by mid-April with a possible season debut with the Twins before the All-Star break.

Player Assignments

Masyn Winn STL (43rd Ranked) – The 21-year-old Winn put together a stellar year in 2022 ascending two levels (A+ & AA). Combined, Winn slashed .283/.364/.468 with 36 doubles, 8 triples, 12 home runs, and 43 stolen bases in 119 games played. Winn hit his stride in AA, raising his walk rate to a solid 12.4% and holding a below-MLB average strikeout rate of 21.3%. With a strong spring, the Cardinals promoted Winn to AAA to start the year, making the possibility of a late-season call-up a possibility for Winn.

Tanner Bibee CLE (76th Ranked) – One of the best pop-up pitchers of 2022 was Tanner Bibee. Taken in the 5th round of the 2021 draft, Bibee ascended two levels during the 2022 campaign (A+ & AA). Bibee held a 2.17 ERA over 132.2 innings pitched striking out 167 batters and holding them to a .211 average. The 24-year-old right-hander has a 9.90 K/9 in AA with a low 1.71 B/9 showing a strong starter’s pitch mix with two plus pitches in a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider with good movement. Bibee is thought to be one of the next great Guardians pitching factory success stories. Tanner Bibee was assigned to AAA Columbus to start the 2023 season, meaning we stand a good chance to see Bibee make his major league debut this summer.

Connor Norby BAL (32nd Ranked) – Coming out of the gates in 2023 Norby has impressed, making several strong defensive stops and crushing a three-run home run to open the AAA season. Coming out of ECU in 2021 Norby rose 3 levels in 2022, seemingly getting better at every level. In 121 combined games Norby slashed .279/.360/.526 with 23 doubles, 29 home runs, 73 RBI and 16 stolen bases. I was able to talk to Norby in A+ Greensboro early in the season and was able to talk to him about his approach at the plate. Norby is aggressive on first-pitch fastballs and showed it on the first pitch of the game crushing a fastball over the wall with a level swing and quick hands through the zone. Norby starts the 2023 season at AAA Norfolk and should see his MLB debut this season for the Orioles making himself one of the core players locking down the infield at Camden yards for years to come.

Bryce Miller SEA (70th Ranked) – The Seattle Mainers will have Bryce Miller open the season at AA Arkansas. The 24-Year-old right-hander ascended three levels in 2022, finishing the year in AA Arkansas. Miller had a 3.16 ERA in 133.2 combined innings, striking out 163 batters and holding them to a .195 average. In 50.2 innings pitched at AA Arkansas Miller had a strong 10.84 K/9 and a 3.38 BB/9 leaving me to believe this assignment will be a short one before getting the opportunity to move to AAA.

Kyle Manzardo TBR (15th Ranked) – The Tampa Bay Rays have assigned Kyle Manzardo to AAA Durham to start the 2023 season. Manzardo’s rise through industry rankings was swift in 2022 as the 22-year-old slashed .327/.426/.617 with 26 doubles, 22 home runs, and 81 RBI in 93 combined games at A+ & AA. Manzardo showed elite plate recognition, walking no lower than 11.5% and striking out a staggeringly low 16.7% at his highest in 2022. The similarities to Vinnie Pasquantino are uncanny as a first baseman with plus bat-to-ball skills and above-average power that will help dynasty managers in OBP and counting stats in what projects to be a solid Rays team in 2023.

Prospect Check In

Grant Hartwig NYM – The Mets have been able to produce many internal pitching prospects as starters and relievers such as Drew Smith and Tylor Megill. Grant Hartwig no doubt is a name not known by many though with recent events to closer Edwin Diaz he should be on the deep dynasty manager’s radar. The 25-year-old right-hander was a fifth-year senior at Miami (Ohio) that went undrafted in 2021 before being signed by the Mets after the draft. In 2022 Hartwig took the Mets minor leagues by storm rising four levels to finish the season at AAA Syracuse. Hartwig had a 1.75 ERA in 39 combined game appearances striking out 83 batters in 56.2 innings holding batters to a .187   average against notching 13 saves. At no stop in 2022 did Hartwig have a strikeout percentage below 12% showing strong strikeout numbers thanks to a plus slider that had Hartwig leading the Mets minor league system with a 35.5% strikeout rate. Starting the year at AAA Syracuse look for Hartwig to get an opportunity to make his major league debut this season.

Ethan Salas SDP – One of the marquee international prospects of 2023 Ethan Salas has made his mark starting in one of the Padres’ spring training games. Salas has shown his elite defensive skills behind the plate as well as the plus hit tool and advanced understanding of the strike zone. Salas has an easy swing that is smooth and should have natural power as he fills out. It’s easy to dream on Salas as he seems poised to start the season in the DSL

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