Two prospects have recently been called up to fill holes in their respective rotations. While Jungmann was once a highly regarded prospect (ranked 70 overall by Baseball America in 2012) and has since fallen off, Wisler is across the board a top 100 prospect. Despite their different paths to the majors, both are up and are performing, so let’s take a look and see if either or both are worth adding.
What caused scouts and prospect gurus to turn on Jungmann was a severe lack of control. As only a two pitch pitcher with serious command problems, the likely destination was, and still might be, the bullpen for Jungmann. However, through six starts he has averaged more than six innings per start with a non-terrible 6.6% walk rate. Manager Craig Counsell knows Jungmann’s command is his main issue and I imagine their sole focus in bullpens is maintaining some semblance of control of his fastball-curveball combination. It also does not hurt to have Jonathan Lucroy, noted exceptional pitch framer, behind the plate.
As of right now I would look at Jungmann as a streaming option, as the years of command problems still trump the decent start to his major league career. Even with a 2.43 ERA and his stellar eight inning outing last night at a difficult ballpark in Cincinnati, you would be better off tempering expectations with Jungmann. If you need pitching help and are willing to take a gamble, he is a decent streaming option and is available almost across the board. I am a proponent of picking up almost any pitcher who throws eight plus innings or strikes out 10 batters in a game, so if you have room and need some pitching help he is worth an add.
I have a bit higher hopes for Wisler, even though he is not a high strikeout pitcher. I am thinking he can evolve into what Henderson Alvarez was last year, as a command heavy pitcher that succeeds due to pounding the zone. Even though Wisler’s fastball averages over 92 miles per hour, expecting more than six strikeouts per nine is probably being a bit optimistic. While strikeouts are obviously a huge part of both the fake and real game, Wisler could be a quality rotation member as a contact-heavy pitcher with a quality defense behind him.
Chris Mitchell wrote about tempering expectations with Wisler last week, which I think is fair. I do not look at him as a pitcher with an extremely high upside, but as a guy owned in only 9% of fantasy leagues he is certainly attractive if you need help with rate stats. Wisler is a two start pitcher this week with both of his starts coming in hitter havens. The Brewers have been hot lately and he will travel to Colorado later this week, so we will have a good understanding of what Wisler is made of after this tough week. I am buying him ahead of these games in a daily league but may keep him on the bench against the Rockies depending on how his start against the Brewers goes. If you have room on your bench, adding Wisler as a potential long term middle rotation member is a wise idea.
Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.