Every Monday, I will be running down some of the notable performances from around the Minor Leagues, or anything that might have caught my eye in general. Here is the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Extra Innings:
Remember when I said I was going to shift over to fantasy football? Fuck it, I’m sticking with fantasy baseball prospects. I’m sure I will sprinkle in some football stuff here and there, but I have too much fun writing about prospects to stop.
Yoan Moncada BOS, 3B – Is Byron Buxton’ing himself in his MLB debut, going 4 for 18 with 11 K’s. Like Buxton, just have to stay patient.
Alex Bregman HOU, 3B/SS/OF – Has been red hot for about a month now as I’m sure you know, but just wanted to note it hasn’t been on the back of his elite minor league contact skills, as he is carrying a 23% MLB K rate. That is why I value bat speed, exit velocity, and power at least equal to plate approach and contact skills in the minors. Everybody is striking out in the majors, so when you do make contact, better make it count.
A.J. Reed HOU, 1B/Aaron Judge NYY, OF – On the flip side of the coin, if you are already striking out a lot in the minors, it could get even worse in the majors. A 22.6% K rate for Reed has turned into a 33.1% rate in the majors (.175 avg) and a 24% K rate for Judge has turned into a 43.8% rate in the majors (.177 avg). I’m still on board with both players, but the risk is obvious.
Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – Has turned it up another notch in the playoffs, launching 3 homers in 4 games. He also carried Team Canada in the Pan-Am games last year, as I noted in the off-season sleeper post I wrote for him. I’m one of those crazy humans who believes that “clutch” is a real thing, and it’s becoming clear that O’Neill is clutch. He is starting to have all the makings of a big time Major Leaguer.
Victor Robles WASH, OF – Carried over his hot hitting from the end of the season into the playoffs, going 6 for 14 in 3 games. His season line at High-A doesn’t stand out, but that’s just because he ran out of time.
Jose Berrios MIN, RHP – It’s been only 44.2 IP, but Berrios’ MLB debut has been an absolute disaster. He couldn’t get out of the 3rd inning in his start this week, going 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BB, 1 K. This certainly doesn’t doom his MLB career, but I am starting to question how high his upside is.
Luke Weaver STL, RHP – I’ve been preaching that changeups are underrated in the prospect world, and Weaver is showing why they deserve more respect, spinning 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 8 K this week. He now has a 39/8 K/BB in 31 MLB IP.
Franklin Barreto OAK, 2B/SS – The 20-year-old Barreto is dominating the Triple-A playoffs, slashing .421/.500/.947. What started off looking like a solid but unspectacular year has ended up being a major step forward.
Renato Nunez OAK, 3B/1B/OF – Drilled 3 homers in 5 post-season games. He put up only a .690 OPS in Triple-A this year, but I like him a lot as a buy low/bounce back candidate for next season.
Kevin Gadea SEA, RHP – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 11 K in his playoff start this week. On the season, he has a pitching line of 68.2 IP, 18 ER, 56 Hits, 14 BB, 95 K. Who is this guy? Baseball America had him as an international sleeper back in 2013 after signing with Seattle for $42,000. He is 6’5’’, 190 pounds with a low 90’s fastball and a legitimate curveball and changeup. I don’t know much about him, but anybody his size putting up those kind of numbers with 3 legitimate pitches should be on our radar. Hat tip to bp42810 in the comments section at Minorleagueball.com for bringing him to my attention.
Jason Martin HOU, OF – In the same comments section, check out what Revilo wrote about 2013 8th round pick Jason Martin. At 5’11’’, 190 pounds he will almost surely remain underrated throughout his entire minor league career, but what he has done this year deserves to put him on the map. He slashed .270/.357/.533, with 23 homers, 20 steals, and 108/55 K/BB in the Cal League. He has a short, quick lefty swing that is geared more towards line drives than homers, but as evidenced by his power surge this year, there is definitely plenty of pop in his bat too. And oh yea, he has had two multi-homer games in the playoffs already.