Giovanny Urshela & Nolan Reimold: Deep League Wire

The Indians and the Orioles entered 2015 with higher expectations than the mediocre showings they’ve had so far this year. So it comes as no surprise that both teams have made some roster shakeups in June, calling up our two candidates this week who will get a shot to prove they can not just help their clubs, but fantasy owners as well. As usual, the players highlighted in this column are better suited toward mono leagues, and the ownership percentages are by way of CBS.

Giovanny Urshela / 3B / Cleveland Indians / 7%

Lonnie Chisenhall never came close in 2015 to regaining his first-half form of last year, earning him and his .209/.241/.345 slash line a ticket to Triple-A last week. In his place comes Urshela, one of the Tribe’s most heralded minor league prospects. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, much of Urshela’s real life value is due to his glove, but he’s already bashed a home run in his first week in the majors, and if his defense keeps his name in the lineup on an everyday basis, he deserves a look in the deep league player pool.

Urshela, 23, signed with the Indians as a 16-year-old international free agent in his native Columbia. His bat developed slowly as he worked his way up Cleveland’s minor league system, but had improved by last year, when he slashed .280/.334/.491 with 18 homers and 84 RBIs between Double-A and the International League. He may have arrived sooner in the majors had it not been for a couple of injuries over the offseason, namely a sprained left knee that cut short his solid performance in winter ball and a swollen disc in his back that ate away most of his spring training, but he had compiled a .776 OPS in Columbus in 21 games at the time of his call up.

Urshela doesn’t walk, which is going to badly suppress his OBP, but he also showed a tidy 13% strikeout rate in his minor league career, so the contact ability is there. How or when the power develops is another story; the upside I keep seeing is for 15-20 home run power, but we’re also talking about a kid getting his feet wet in the majors who is likely to keep hitting down near the bottom of the Indians’ lineup.

On the other hand, the Indians’ lineup has enough weapons to provide support for the rookie, and the team’s defense has been shoddy enough to give Urshela a role on the team. And he’s probably no worse than any other 3B flier out there right now in deep AL-only formats.

Nolan Reimold / OF / Baltimore Orioles / 5%

I had forgotten that Reimold has actually played for teams other than the Orioles (the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks), because it seems as if he’s been in the Baltimore organization forever. But although whatever prospect value he had years ago has been ruined by injuries, Reimold, when healthy, has proven to be a competent, if unremarkable, major league hitter.

He’s back with the Orioles after being called up last week, and has immediately taken over as the team’s left fielder, starting six of the last seven games. Thanks to a solid lifetime walk rate and a .351 OBP at Triple-A, Reimold is a candidate to hit near the top of the lineup, though so far he’s seen most of his action hitting in the second part of the order, and it’s unclear whether he’ll earn a more prominent role in the team’s offense.

But with a full-time job, he could be a contributor. At 31, Reimold is no pup but he does have a couple of double-digit home run seasons on his resume, and even stole five bases in 46 Triple-A games this year. Camden Yards and the AL East in general remains a great environment for hitters to stretch their claws, and with left field having been something of a weak spot for the team’s offense — Orioles’ left fielders have hit a combined .238 this season — Reimold, who can’t be sent down without clearing waivers, will at least get an opportunity to prove he can contribute as a regular player.

Karl, a journalist living in Washington, D.C., learned about life's disappointments by following the Mets beginning at a young age. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he has contributed to the 2014 and 2015 editions of The Hardball Times Annual. Follow/harass him on Twitter @Karl_de_Vries.

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baltic wolf
baltic wolf

Reimold is a decent player to add in deep leagues or even an AL only format. He always had some pop to his bat and since he’s a much better fielder than Delmon Young (no more jokes about him, just tears when I see him starting in RF for the Birds) so he should get playing time .
Camden Yards will boost his stats.
Just don’t expect to have him for very long. He’s had just about every injury imaginable—from a ruptured Achilles heel to a bulging disc in his neck. A once promising career has been derailed by one injury after another. Maybe you get lucky and he helps your team for two months before the injury woes return.