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Fantasy Baseball Prospect Watch: Orelvis Martinez, Carson Whisenhunt, Carson Palmquist

Kyle gives an update on four prospects you need to know for your fantasy baseball teams.

FORT MYERS, FL- MARCH 23: Orelvis Martinez #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays fields during a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on March 23, 2023 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Welcome to Fantasy Baseball Prospect Watch! This weekly feature will list and give updates on the best minor-league prospects who are trending up with a chance to make an impact in the MLB – and for your fantasy baseball teams – sooner rather than later.

Fantasy Baseball Prospect Watch

INF Orelvis Martinez, Toronto Blue Jays

Matt Chapman’s free agency departure leaves a void, if you will call it that, at third base for the Blue Jays. They have used placeholders early in 2024, but prospect Orelvis Martinez can be the shot in the arm Toronto needs at the hot corner. The former 2028 international free has come into his own, posting two-straight 28+ home run seasons in 2022 and 2023. Early into this season at AAA Buffalo, Martinez is slashing .296/.367/.574 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. A shortstop by trade, Martinez has spent most of this season at second base and third. He does not possess the footwork, nor speed, to play short in the Majors, but he is adequate to play third, given his strong arm, and fill the void the Blue Jays have on their Major League roster. Offensively, Martinez’s power is off the charts, although he has racked up the swing-and-misses over his first few seasons in the minors. However, he finished last season with a 25% K-Rate and has posted an identical rate so far in 2024. There will be growing pains as Martinez gets acclimated to Major League pitching, but when he figures it out, he will be a hot commodity for all fantasy leagues.

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3B/OF Matthew Lugo, Boston Red Sox

Yet to land on Boston’s Top-30 prospect list, Lugo should see his name firmly planted there soon should he continue his hot start at AA Portland. The 2019 second-round pick has posted a .354/.432/.815 slash line with seven home runs and 22 RBIs through 65 at-bats. He has only one stolen base early on, but Lugo has above-average speed as he registered 15+ stolen bases in back-to-back years prior to 2023. Lugo’s quickest path to the Majors will undoubtedly be at a corner outfield position. He possesses good bat speed and drives the ball to all parts of the field. An under-the-radar prospect, Lugo is worth monitoring as he could be a solid fourth or fifth outfielder on fantasy teams.

LHP Carson Whisenhunt, San Francisco Giants

With arguably the best changeup in the minors, Whisenhunt will make his anticipated Giants debut in 2024. The southpaw is off to a slower start at AAA Sacramento (5.40 ERA/1.62WHIP) after finishing the 2023 season with a 2.45 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and 83 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. Accumulating a healthy 39 strikeouts in 23.1 IP, his slow start can been attributed to getting too much of the plate and giving up nearly a hit per inning pitched. As the AAA season progresses, Whisenhunt will become more precise with his pitch locations. With a low-to-mid 90s fastball, Whisenhunt projects as a mid-rotation starter with a high floor. This is the lefty’s first taste of AAA ball, and a few adjustments should see him reach San Francisco after the All-Star Break. There have already been a plethora of pitching injuries to hit fantasy teams, and a top prospect arm will be a welcomed addition to all fantasy leagues when the Giants decide to give Whisenhunt his call-up.

LHP Carson Palmquist, Colorado Rockies

A true side-arm pitcher, Palmquist is off to a fast start at AA Hartford, posting a 2.00 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts in 27 innings. A starter during his entire Minor League career, the Rockies would love to see him stick in the rotation when he arrives in Denver, but he could be more valuable out of the bullpen. While his low-90s fastball isn’t electric, his arm slot garners swings-and-misses, and his slider/changeup combination gives him two secondary pitches he’s mastered early on. It is always difficult to project a Rockies pitcher, especially one who does not have an elite fastball, but Palmquist has shown a knack for getting batters out. I recommend a wait-and-see approach when Palmquist gets his call from Colorado, but should he fare well in his first few starts/appearances, he will be a quick add off the waiver wire.