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“Gehlbach on the Farm” – When The Majors Come-a-Calling

It’s that time of the year when guys are getting their first taste of major league action, or at least getting the call (again) early in their career. We’ve seen some performances with varying results, let’s check ’em out!

Daniel Ponce de Leon

Leon is a bit older for a prospect (27), but is relatively inexperienced as far as major league experience. His minor league #’s aren’t overwhelming for his career, but they were fairly solid last year. Even in the majors last year he was good. He looks like a guy who can stick around a k per 9 and a good ERA, but the walk rate leaves a bit to be desired.

The lone start was a good one, 5 innings pitched, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, and 7K. That’ll do. I think it’s pretty clear he’s the next guy up whenever the rotation needs an arm, and given his track record, I think he can be a solid option on fantasy squads.

Taylor Hearn

Hearn is more exciting as a prospect than a guy like de Leon is, but man, sometimes it’s not about more exciting. Hearns major league debut on Thursday night couldn’t have been much worse. Failing to make it out of the first inning he recorded only 1 out, 3 hits, 4 walks and 4 earned runs. The silver lining, if any, was he didn’t give up any long balls? That’s reaching a bit, I’ll admit.

Hearn has great stuff, but control in a concern. Thursday night did nothing to alleviate those concerns. If he can’t learn to work in the strike zone then he’s a guy you can safely avoid in nearly every format.

Nick Margevicius

Raise your hand if you thought Margevicius would be one of the next Padre prospect arms up when prepping for the upcoming fantasy season. Now take that raised hand and whack yourself in the back of the head, that’s for fibbin.

Margevicius is a guy you like a lot more when you read the results instead of watch him pitch. I do love he doesn’t put guys on base for free. I don’t love that he’s a soft tosser that gives up a pretty high rate of hits. He is able to keep a solid enough K-rate that he can work out of damage. I always wonder how long a guy who lives on craft and location can survive, especially early in their careers. Right now, he’s rolling, and I think he can keep up what he’s doing.

Erik Swanson

Swanson has had an up and down minor league career. It’s hard to believe Seattle is the third professional organization he’s been a part of (TEX, NYY also). His fastball can get into the upper 90’s and has a high spin rate. He has a solid slider and change up and has good velocity differences with them. He’s got good control. He’s the captain of unheralded arms for me this year. Guys like this are the reason I love to stay on top of prospect stats. He was likely “free” in just about every league, and probably still is in many.

Swanson should get every chance to stay in a rotation just starving for real talent. The third piece in the James Paxton deal may be just what the doctor ordered for the Mariners rotation this year.


Chris Paddack

Hard to write an article talking about prospects in the majors and not mention a guy who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Paddack fits my mold of high-K/low-BB guys that I covet (like Bieber). Paddack is giving up an <em>unreal</em> 3.3 hits per 9. That’s simply not sustainable. The bb rate of 2.7/9 is. Paddack is a 2 pitch pitcher who may struggle as the league sees him more. There have been only 12 at bats across 5 games where a guy has seen him for the third time in a game. To be fair, guys are 0-12 in those 12 at bats, with 3 K’s. It’s a small sample, but it’s worth mentioning that he’s done what he’s done essentially only facing guys twice.

To also be fair to Paddack his insanely good control really helps his deadly fastball/changeup combo play up. If anyone is going to excel while primarily throwing 2 pitches, it’s a guy like Paddack. I won’t be chomping at the bit to sell high, but if you’re in a redraft league you should be listening. His innings will be limited and guys will love to overpay on a fella like this early on.

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel live on Sunday April 21st, 2019 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #153 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. We will discuss spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.

Our guest this week is Joe Iannone. Joe is a writer for majorleaguefantasysports.com, his articles publish every Sunday, and is a frequent radio guest.

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join host Cole Freel, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 25th, 2019 from 7:30-9pm EST for episode #154 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Cole and Kyle will discuss the latest happenings in the world of MLB and fantasy. They will take a look back on the previous few days and a preview of the coming weekend. Including spot starts, bullpens, offense, and minor league players.

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Husband and father of three. Have a love of all things baseball. When not burying myself in baseball (especially fantasy) I enjoy fishing, farming, hydroponics, woodworking, and teaching the kids to tinker with microcontrollers and building robots.

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