Every Monday, I will be running down some of the notable performances from around the Minor Leagues over the past week, or anything that might have caught my eye in general. Here is the 2016 week 1 fantasy baseball Minor League prospect rundown:
Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B – Triple-slashing, .308/.471/.462, with 4 BBs, 1 K and 4 steals in his first 18 PA at High-A. As a lifelong Yankees fan, I still get a sick feeling in my stomach whenever I see his name. He should be ours!
Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Did Tyler Glasnow things in his season debut at Triple-A (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks). It’s only a matter of time before there is an opening for him in Pittsburgh’s rotation.
Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – Picked up right where he left off last season, putting up a .938 OPS in his first 4 games at High-A. He could have easily started the year at Double-A like many of the other top college hitters from the 2015 class, so I would expect Benintendi to continue to put up impressive numbers until he gets his first real challenge at Double-A.
Jose Berrios MIN, RHP – Struck out 9 batters in 5 IP in his season debut at Triple-A. He walked 4 as well, but considering his past history of excellent control and command, I wouldn’t even blink an eye at that. His numbers should look ridiculous this year against overmatched minor league hitters. He is MLB ready.
J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Off to a slow start at Double-A, slashing .235/.316/.235, with 4 Ks and 2 BBs in 4 games played. Obviously a 4 game sample is meaningless, but I’m including him in the rundown just as a reminder that his value in real life is higher than fantasy.
Joey Gallo TEX, 3B – Is now definitely being groomed to replace Adrian Beltre at 3B in 2017. He is off to strong start at Triple-A, putting up a 1.317 OPS in his first 4 games, which is nice to see after he struggled there last season (.739 OPS in 53 games).
Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – Rodgers is the forgotten Colorado SS of the future (hello Trevor Story), but while the present belongs to Story, the future may very well still belong to Rodgers. The uber-talented Rodgers has looked good in his first taste of full season pro ball, slashing .333/.375/.600 and hitting one homer in 16 PA.
Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – Fulmer got absolutely destroyed in his season debut at Double-A, giving up 5 ERs in 2.2 IP, walking 4, and striking out none. He worked the entire game from the stretch, which is something pitchers usually do when they are trying to simplify their mechanics. It is only one start, but this is definitely something to keep your eye on.
Aaron Judge NYY, OF – After struggling with strikeouts at Triple-A last season, it would have been nice for Judge to get off to a better start this year, but it was not to be. He struck out 5 times and walked once in his first 3 games. It is too early to judge Judge (and you thought bad “Story” puns were all you had to worry about, hah!), but improving his strikeout rate will be something to watch for the rest of the season.
Victor Robles WASH, OF – He is dominating full season pro ball exactly like he dominated Rookie ball and Low-A. This kid is looking like a good bet to be the next big thing.
Anderson Espinoza BOS, RHP – 5.0 IP, 0 ERs, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, and 4 Ks in his first start at Single-A this season. The pitching version of Robles. These guys are the not too distant future.
Dillon Tate TEX, RHP – 4.2 IP, 0 ERs, 5 Hits, 1 BB, and 6 Ks in his season debut at Single-A. He is still a bit of an unknown with only one year as a starter under his belt, so the more information we get on him the better. Considering he is much more advanced than Single-A hitters, this might not tell us much either.
David Dahl COL, OF – 2 homers and a steal in his first 4 games at Double-A. If he can stay healthy, this might be the beginning of a monster season for Dahl.
Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS – This is an important year for Mondesi to establish his bat as a legitimate threat. This is the first year he will be repeating a Minor League level (Double-A), and while he is still much younger than his competition, he isn’t so young that his offensive struggles can be completely ignored anymore. He’s been good so far, triple-slashing .313/.353/.688, with 2 homers and a steal in his first 4 games. If he keeps this up, he will be a top 10 prospect by the end of the season.
Jacob Faria TB, RHP – 5.2 IP, 3 ERs, 3 Hits, 1 BB, and 8 Ks in his season debut at Double-A. If he can continue to maintain the strikeout numbers he put up at Double-A in the second half of last season, his prospect status will be on the rise.
Ozzie Albies ATL, SS – Atlanta pushed the 19-year-old Albies all the way to Double-A this season, and he has responded to the tune of a .389 BA in 19 PA. Atlanta is stacked at SS with both Albies and 2015 1st overall pick Dansby Swanson (who started the year at High-A), so it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out down the line.
Tyler Jay MIN, LHP – Minnesota took a shot on the college reliever Jay with the 6th pick of the 2015 draft, and he impressed in his first outing at High-A (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks). He will be a fast riser if he keeps turning in performances like this.
Travis Demeritte TEX, 2B – The 30th overall pick in the 2013 draft, the 21-year-old Demeritte has already ripped 4 homers in his first 4 games at High-A. That now gives him 38 homers in 214 career Minor League games, to go along with 22 steals. He has major strikeout issues, but Demeritte is certainly one to watch.
Edwin Diaz SEA, RHP – Seattle’s top pitching prospect dominated in his first appearance of the season at Double-A (6.0 IP, 0 ERs, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks). He has a 9.3 K/9 in his Minor League career, and will call the spacious confines of Safeco Field his home park. The time is probably now to grab him.
Lucas Sims ATL, RHP – The 21st overall pick in the 2012 draft, the 21-year-old Sims is looking to reestablish his prospect value after a couple of uneven years. He got off to a strong start this season by striking out 9 batters and giving up only 1 hit in 5 IP at Double-A. He has the kind of strikeout potential fantasy owners love, and a pitcher’s park waiting for him in Atlanta.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)