Please see our player page for MJ Melendez to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Atlanta Braves’ rookie flamethrower-slash-hotshot-slash-heartthrob, Spencer Strider turned in his best outing of the year Friday night, pitching five and 2/3 innings, allowing just five baserunners and punching out eight Pirates en route to his second win. Spencer finally hitting his Stride-er! He lowered his ratios to a real nice 2.35 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with the start and his 57/19 K/BB in just 38.1 innings was the exact same number I had on the vision board I made for my positive affirmations class. You just can’t find that kind of strikeout potential on the waiver wire, over-the-internet friends. He’s got a 36.8 K% and a 13.38 K/9. Mhmm. Oh my, is it hot in here? I need to calm myself down, I’m getting excited. *bites knuckles, does ice bucket challenge, thinks about baseball players* Wait! No to that last one! Spence, can I call you, Spence? No? OK, Spencer’s biggest knock is that he’s currently being stretched out after serving in somewhat of a long relief role, so he may not pitch deep enough into games initially to get you those sweet dubs, but Braves manager Snitker seems to be ramping him up quick. He threw 72 pitches in his first start, followed by 87 last week and 92 Friday night. That’s progress, y’all! The five and 2/3 innings was the longest outing of his young career, and even though it was the lowly Bucs, he produced a swinging strike rate of 34%. That’s 18 swings and misses, 11 of those on his stinky, stinky cheese, which topped out at 100+ mph multiple times. Yup, guy’s got gas to spare during a nationwide shortage. Basically, Braves have been ramping him up and he’s taking it in Stride-er. Sure, he’s had some cushy matchups so far with Arizona, Colorado and Pittsburgh, but he gets another juicy one next week versus the Nats. If you are looking to buy unfunny gag gifts, fart pills, embarrassing sex toys or lava lamps, I’d check out Spencer’s Gifts, but if you need starting pitching help with massive strikeout upside on a team that can’t seem to lose right now, I’d buy Spencer Strider. Maybe buy the fart pills, too, those sound fun. Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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…And then I say, “Shane!”
Shane Shane bo bane, bo-na-na no faux number one! Shane!
And then I say the name McClanahan!
McClahananananana bo-ana! McClahananananana no faux number one! McClanahan!

The superlatives will be lacking when it comes to Shane McClanahan (8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.87, yeah, and you don’t stop). On the Player Rater, he’s the best starter. On the Rest of the Season Player Rater — that’s right, we have a Player Rater that knows the future, Shane’s number three. Even the stats thinks McClanahananananan will be at worst the third best starter the rest of the year. I wrote a sleeper post about him coming into this year. I love, love, lurve him. Yet, I didn’t even think he would be this good, this fast, but me mi mo whoa he’s been good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Astros are destroying the ball (unless the player’s jersey says “Bregman” on the back; no, my dynasty team isn’t frustrated at all). Everything Yordan hits is a nuke and the ‘Stros probably scored a financial coup signing him to “only” $116 million for the next six years. Kyle Tucker is still on pace for […]

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This first published restructuring is always fussy to navigate. Even waiting longer than I wanted to didn’t even clear much space via prospect graduations. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Oh and here’s a link to Wednesday’s article, Prospect News: Dahian Santos is Coming to Town or Commencement Day, in which I discussed the graduates. 

We’ve got a new name atop the list and some fresh powder further on down the mountain.

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Studs are starting to look like studs and most of the hot wavier guys have already been snapped up. That means we need to start looking at some names that may have flown under the radar in your league but can provide an immediate boost to your team. This is where you make your move folks, finding the diamond in the rough, or at least the guys that are better than the rest of your league thinks they are. And away we go…

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Thanks the the new collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the players union, teams are no longer hiding their top prospects in the minors to delay their service time and ability to hit arbitration and free agency earlier in their careers.

The Mariners (Julio Rodriguez) and Astros (Jeremy Pena) have had top rookies in their starting lineup since the start of the season. Meanwhile, a host of other teams have featured rookies in their lineup from day one or already promoted them from the minors.

A TRIO OF ROOKIES

One team that has been aggressive in calling up top players from the minors is the St. Louis Cardinals. I talked about one of those rookies, Juan Yepez, last week. You can read about him here. The Cardinals also have two more rookies in their lineup, and both are readily available in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.

Rookie Brendan Donovan is rostered on 22% of Yahoo leagues and only 5.4% of ESPN leagues. Nolan Gorman, the other rookie, has the attention of a few more Yahoo and ESPN fantasy players as he is rostered on 63% of Yahoo rosters and 30% of ESPN rosters.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals realized that Salvador Perez can’t play in every game, like he nearly did last season by appearing in 161 contests. The Royals thus turned to top catching prospect MJ Melendez and called him up from Triple A. Melendez is currently on only 37% of Yahoo rosters and 10.2% of ESPN rosters.

It’s time to take a look at these three players and discuss if they are Top Dynasty Keepers or not.

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When you think of comfort food, mac-n-cheese is always at or near the top of the list.  Who can resist the temptation of that four-cheese goodness your mom used to make on holidays or special occasions?  Maybe it’s the Kraft mac-n-cheese variety that comes to mind first…the one in the blue box that was a […]

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)

Me and seven guys who I picked up in a Home Depot parking lot are bringing home a life-sized cutout of Grayson Rodriguez in a wheelbarrow. “Cory, please help me get my make-believe son, Gray, uh, son, onto my couch.” Cory and my new Home Depot friends, who I paid with Venmo, manage to lean the 6’5″, 220-pound cutout onto the couch.

Later, me and Cougs are watching The Staircase and between us is my make-believe son, Grayson. “Say hello, Grayson,” I say. I nudge the Grayson cutout with my arm, and it falls over crushing my wife’s foot. At the Urgent Care, I explain to Cougs that Grayson Rodriguez is the best pitcher the Orioles have right now. As a horsey might say, nay, he’s a top five arm in the AL East right now. If he’s healthy, it’s stuff you’re not seeing from many pitchers in the major leagues. Five above-average to plus-plus pitches with control. Through nine starts in Triple-A as the 9th youngest pitcher at the level: His K/9 is 13.7; his BB/9 is 2.9; his FIP is 1.77.

I shush Cougs’s sobs. I ask, “Are you sobbing from your broken foot from my make-believe son cutout falling on you or are you worried about his slider?” Before she can answer, I anticipate and tell her his fastball sits 95 MPH with a plus whiff rate, and his two plus secondaries are his curveball and changeup with whiff rates above 50%. Oh, and by the by, he has a slider and cutter that grade as average or better too. Is this man a hydra? What kind of water do they have in the Rio Grande that they’re giving this Texan? He’s unreal, like an alien. He just needs a nickname to play off Grayson, and being an alien. Oh, I know! Call him Spawn. Grayson’s going to be the best thing you’ve seen since the last future Hall of Famer was promoted. A chip right off the old block that fell on Cougs, that’s my Spawn!

Also, here’s me talking about Grayson Rodriguez (please subscribe to this friggin Youtube channel — click that and click subscribe):

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