Don't expect them to play every day.
I'm not the first to point it out, but it's easy to overlook amid the hoopla. The reason for promoting such high-profile prospects so late in the season is so they can hit the ground running next opening day, putting them in a position to earn the team extra draft picks as per the new CBA. But it only works if they still have rookie eligibility.
They can't get more than 130 at-bats, in other words, and Carroll was well ahead of that pace after collecting five both Monday and Tuesday. Fittingly, he was out of the lineup Wednesday, ostensibly because the Diamondbacks were facing a left-hander (Bailey Falter), but we know the real reason.
Henderson being a left-handed hitter as well (and one with poor platoon splits at Triple-A, conveniently), the Orioles will make the same excuse to sit him over the next five weeks. Surpassing 130 at-bats simply isn't an option for these two, so in our evaluation of them, we have to factor in the likelihood of them sitting a couple times a week.
BAL Baltimore • #2 • Age: 21
It was a stellar debut Wednesday for the prospect most publications consider the best in all of baseball. He connected on a 429-foot home run, going 2 for 4 overall, and had three batted balls of 97 mph or better. He also started at third base and figures to pick up eligibility at that particularly scarce position in short order. There's power. There's speed. There's on-base ability. Adding Henderson is a must in Rotisserie leagues, with the many lineup spots to fill, and of course, this sort of upside is worth pursuing in all formats. The possibility of him sitting against same-handed pitchers, though, might cause the slightest hesitation in the shallowest leagues.
LAA L.A. Angels • #43 • Age: 26
If Sandoval's whole season had gone like his past three starts, he would have been universally rostered from start to finish. With his latest gem Wednesday against the Yankees, he's now allowed three earned runs in his past 22 innings, striking out 21 and walking just three. That last number is key. His changeup and slider are both big-time bat-missers, so the main way he loses is by beating himself, which he's done time and time again this year. Is a three-start stretch clear evidence that he's turned the corner? No, but considering he's in line to face the Tigers in his next start, now is an excellent time to bet on him.
MIA Miami • #28 • Age: 25
Rogers returned from the IL Wednesday with his best start of the year, allowing one run in six innings with five strikeouts, which tells you a little something about the way his year has gone. It was only his second quality start in 20 chances. But coming on the heels of an absolutely dominant rehab start in which he no-hit a Triple-A lineup over six innings, striking out 12 on 24 swinging strikes, it's possible he's righted the ship. This guy was mentioned in the same breath as Shane McClanahan and Alek Manoah on Draft Day, let's not forget. He said the rehab start was the best he's felt all year and confirmed Wednesday that he used the down time to fix his mechanics. He's a gamble, but the upside is there.
Yandy Diaz 3B
TB Tampa Bay • #2 • Age: 31
Diaz reached base five times Wednesday -- once on a double, twice on singles and twice on walks -- but of course, reaching base is what he does, as evidenced by his .395 on-base percentage for the year. What you may not realize, though, is that since June 26, he's reached base at well over a 40 percent clip, batting .322 (64 for 199) with five home runs and an astonishing 23 doubles. It makes him the No. 4 third baseman in points leagues during that stretch, which is clearly the format he's built for, but also the No. 11 third baseman in traditional 5x5 scoring.
ARI Arizona • #31 • Age: 25
Things have gotten interesting for McCarthy, who seemed like just an also-ran in a year of big promotions for the Diamondbacks. He's become the team's preferred choice over one of those higher-profile call-ups, Alek Thomas, having started 17 of the team's past 19 games, and he's earned that everyday duty by performing just as well against left-handers (slashing .286/.355/.464) as right-handers (.288/.345/.455). He doesn't profile as a big source of power but homered for the second straight game Wednesday, giving him six homers in 234 plate appearances. That's close to a 15-homer pace, to go along with close to a 30-steal pace, making him look something like a poor man's Cedric Mullins.
Joey Meneses 1B
WAS Washington • #45 • Age: 30
Despite having a nine-game hitting streak snapped Wednesday, Meneses hasn't slowed down yet. He just went 3 for 5 with three doubles the day before and is getting plenty of love from Statcast, with expected stats (.289 xBA and .537 xSLG) that just about measure up to the actual ones. The odds are against any 30-year-old rookie, but this one has seen some things, doing tours in both Mexico and Japan to keep his big-league dreams alive, and I'm not detecting any clear flaws in his profile other than a lack of speed. The depleted Nationals will keep giving him chances, and Frank Schwindel showed us last year not to discount the magic of a late-season rebuild placeholder.
Nick Gordon LF
MIN Minnesota • #1 • Age: 27
Gordon is a former fifth overall pick and top prospect who fell out of favor before he ever reached the big leagues, but he suddenly finds himself playing close to every day for the Twins, bouncing between the outfield, second base and even shortstop occasionally. His eligibility at those three spots is only part of his appeal. He has a reputation for being more of a contact-and-speed type, but he impacts the ball more like a power hitter, boasting an average exit velocity of more than 91 mph for the second straight year. His xSLG (.498) is 93rd percentile, for crying out loud. I'm skeptical he can actually deliver on it, but there are clearly some tools here that shouldn't go unnoticed in Rotisserie leagues.
Jimmy Herget RP
LAA L.A. Angels • #46 • Age: 29
The Angels traded Raisel Iglesias without an obvious heir to the closer role and no real candidates either, but all of a sudden, Herget is looking like the obvious choice. The 28-year-old's save Wednesday against the Yankees gives him each of the Angels' past three -- and all in the span of just five days. He's been a multi-inning guy for most of the year, but his last couple appearances have been more like that of a conventional closer. He also has an ERA (2.70) and WHIP (0.94) befitting the role even if the strikeouts are a bit on the low side. At this point, I'd trust him over anything the Cubs or Red Sox are serving up.