Juan Soto (OF-WAS) - Soto made his official big league debut on May 20, striking out as a pinch-hitter. He went on to go 2-for-4 with a home run in his first start the following day and the rest has been history. To add to his legend, Soto now has a May 15 home run despite not making his official debut until five days later? No, he didn't utilize Doc Brown's DeLorean, but instead, the Nationals and Yankees Monday finished up a May 15 suspended game, and Soto went 1-for-2 with a home run and will be credited with a "pre debut" home run. Just crazy. Soto is now hitting .316/.407/.608 with six homers in 91 PA in a year in which he has progressed from Low-A to the big leagues, decimating pitching at every level as a teenager. He's not Mike Trout (no one is), but as context, Trout hit just .220/.281/.390 in 40 games in his age-19 season before taking his game to an elite level in the seven subsequent seasons. Soto then went 2-for-4 in the "real" Monday game to raise that line even further.
Clay Buchholz (SP-ARI) - Buchholz had been quietly one of the better stories in baseball this year. He put up a 4.78 ERA in 139.1 innings for Boston in 2016, pitching his way out of that city and ultimately landing in Philadelphia last year where he got hurt in his second start of the year and ultimately missed the rest of the season with a torn flexor tendon. He then washed out of the Royals organization in April before landing in Arizona last month. After putting up a not-so-impressive 5.2-6-3-3-4-4 line for Triple-A Reno, Buchholz got the call, and in six starts, he has a solid 2.94 ERA and 26:7 K:BB in 33.2 innings. He's had one poor start, but in his other five, Buchholz allowed two or fewer runs. As unreliable as he's been in recent seasons and considering his 3.91 FIP, it's really tough to see this sort of ERA continuing for the balance of the season, but perhaps he's found a home in Arizona. Buchholz has also surprisingly held LH hitters to a .188 BA (it's .256 for his career), so if he can continue that success, perhaps he'll continue to have some deeper mixed league value. Buchholz is averaging just 90.5 mph these days, so his fantasy value will be limited due to the lack of strikeouts, so he'll have to keep those ratios down to have continued value.
Peter Alonso (1B-NYM) - The Mets recently promoted Dominic Smith to the big leagues and Alonso to Triple-A, but make no mistake, Alonso is their first baseman of the future. Smith had a .713 OPS in AAA before his promotion, including just two home runs in 248 PA a year after hitting nine in 183 big league PA en route to a .198/.262/.395 rookie season. Meanwhile, Alonso has been great in Double-A this year, batting .314/.440/.573 with 15 homers, a 15.8% BB%, and 18.3% K% in 273 PA. Given that and the fact he's 23, Alonso may not need much Triple-A time before he's deemed ready. The big knock on Alonso prior to 2017 was his splits - he destroyed lefties and was mediocre versus RHP. This year in Double-A: .316/.357/.658 vs. LHP and an equally-good .315/.460/.577 vs. RHP. Given the big raw power and solid plate discipline, Alonso has well above-average offensive potential, and depending on Smith's performance over the next month or so, Alonso could see big league at-bats this summer.
Erik Fedde (SP-WAS) - Fedde predictably struggled a bit against the Yankees on Monday, allowing three runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings to record the loss. He walked two and fanned four in seeing his ERA drop from 5.91 to 5.63. Over 16 innings as a National, Fedde has a 1.44 WHIP and so-so 13:4 K:BB while averaging an impressive 95 mph with his fastball. Fedde is helping fill the void left by injuries to Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson, but both are due back soon, leaving Fedde destined for Triple-A after perhaps another start or two. Long term he's likely a back-end of the rotation type of starter, but the raw stuff offers a slightly higher ceiling. He's also 25, so he's a bit older than a traditional prospect.
Trevor Williams (SP-PIT) - It's tough to find a deserving All-Star on the Pirates, so perhaps if Williams goes on a nice run, he'll get the nod. Williams entered Monday's start against the Brewers scuffling mightily, putting up an 8.57 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in his last five starts to take his ERA to 4.38. Monday though, Williams turned things around with seven one-hit innings with a 7:2 K:BB against the Brewers to improve to 6-4 with a 4.00 ERA and 58:28 K:BB in 81 innings. In re-thinking my Pirates All-Star pick, it's probably Francisco Cervelli, but Williams has nonetheless provided 81 quality innings already this season, beating most projection systems. It's a bit curious and concerning to see his fastball averaging 90.5 mph this year after it checked in at 92.1 mph in 2017, and it seems like the league has caught on after Williams recorded a 2.29 ERA through his first six starts. Nonetheless, he has solidified his spot and should be a solid NL-only league / deep-mixed option the rest of the way.
This is just a small sample our daily analysis, join our member area for over 80 daily player updates sent to your inbox every morning and track your team online. Click here for details: https://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/sal