Fantasy baseball rookie report – Reds and Royals land some young talent

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline has passed and several top-100 prospects that fantasy managers in dynasty formats were well aware of switched organizations (including the likes of Robert Hassell and Noelvi Marte, for example). Today, we look at some of the other prospects involved in trades that you may not know too much about, for they are not quite as publicized, but they may well matter to fantasy managers at some point this season — and certainly in 2023 and beyond.


Logan O’Hoppe, C, Los Angeles Angels: The return in the Brandon Marsh trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, O’Hoppe has developed nicely as a hitter at Double-A Reading this season, smacking 15 home runs and improving his plate discipline from lower levels. Clearly blocked by JT Realmuto with the Phillies, O’Hoppe (22) now has a relatively clear pathway to the majors with his new organization. Expect the Angels to push O’Hoppe to Triple-A ball soon and perhaps we see him in the majors as a potential top-10 catcher in fantasy in 2023.

Spencer Steer, SS, Cincinnati Reds: Part of the return in the Tyler Mahle trade with the Minnesota Twins, Steer has played second base, shortstop and third base for Triple-A St. Paul this season. He’s 24 and showed intriguing power in 2021, hitting 24 home runs at two minor-league levels, and he already has 20 home runs this season with a solid walk rate between Double-A and Triple-A. The Reds dealt Brandon Drury and picked up numerous shortstop prospects recently, but Steer may get a shot in the majors either this summer or next at third base.

Christian Encarnacion Beach, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: The 22-year-old came over in the Mahle trade as well, and Encarnacion-Strand already has mashed 25 home runs across two minor-league levels this season. He has only had a few weeks in Double-A, so he will not be in the majors in 2022. However, be sure to watch for this power option in future seasons. He may end up as a corner outfielder or DH.

Jordan Groshans, 3B, Miami Marlins: Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for relief pitchers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop, Groshan’s hit one home run over 279 plate appearances at Triple-A Buffalo, slugging a poor .296. Obviously, that’s not good enough to entice any big-league team, or a fantasy one. Groshans, 22, is tall and thin and the Marlins can be patient, so it will be interesting to see if he develops power next season. The plate discipline and contact rates are solid, and he isn’t blocked in Miami’s organization.

Samad Taylor, 2B, Kansas City Royals: The diminutive Taylor is listed at 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, but he delivered one of the more overlooked minor-league seasons of 2021 when he hit 16 home runs and stole 30 bases at Double-A New Hampshire. Considered more of a utility option than intriguing prospect, the Royals got him from Toronto in the Whit Merrifield trade and, well, perhaps Taylor delivers similar statistics. His batting average is down to .258 at the Triple-A level, but he has 23 steals in 29 chances. The Royals should just let him play.

Mark Mathias, 2B, Texas Rangers: One of the players picked up from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Matt Bush trade, Mathias is no prospect anymore at 28 years old. He has 53 big-league plate appearances. Still, Mathias was hitting .318 with a .421 on-base percentage at Triple-A Nashville. Mathias can play third base, though one would think the Rangers would prefer to see what Ezequiel Duran can do. Anyway, maybe Mathias can hit in the big leagues and entice fantasy managers.


Jay Groome, San Diego Padres: The Padres got Groome, once a very promising high school prospect when he went in the first round of 2016 draft, in the Eric Hosmer trade from the Boston Red Sox, but injuries have derailed his career. He’s made only three starts at the Triple-A level and the Padres are going all in, but he should pitch in the majors in 2023.

Max Castillo, Kansas City Royals: He joined Samad Taylor in the Merrifield trade and, while he may end up in the Kansas City bullpen, the Royals should be open to the possibility. The sturdy Castillo (he’s listed at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds) tossed 20 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays in June and July, making two starts. He had a 0.66 ERA over 27 1/3 innings at Triple-A Buffalo.

Clayton Beeter, New York Yankees: He came to Gotham from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Joey Gallo trade and, while it’s unlikely he debuts in the majors this summer (since he has yet to hurl at the Triple-A level), there’s much to watch. Beeter throws hard but may not know where the baseball is going all the time, as evidenced by his having high strikeout other walk totals. Still, if he figures things out, there is tangible upside.


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