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: Week 10:
Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP – It was already obvious that Giolito was back, but he put the final nail in the coffin on his slow start this week, dominating the Akron RubberDucks by going 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 12 K. If the RubberDucks were going for the least intimidating nickname possible, I think they nailed it.
Josh Hader MIL, LHP – With nothing left to prove in Double-A, Milwaukee called Hader up to their dreaded (for a pitcher) Colorado Springs PCL affiliate, and Hader didn’t even blink an eye. He went 6 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hit, 4 BB, 9K. I’ve been turning trade offers down for him left and right this season, most notably for two cheap years of Todd Frazier, so he better pan out.
Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Willie has been smoking hot for a few weeks now, and after hitting 2 bombs in one game this week, I just couldn’t help myself but to write a Willie Calhoun, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout article. If that wasn’t enough, he has hit homers in back-to-back games since that article, as well.
Tim Anderson CHW, SS – I gave you Anderson as a Top 3 Buy Low Dynasty League Prospect back on May 4, and wrote, “With Jimmy Rollins not doing much of anything at the Major League level, we might see Anderson take over the White Sox SS job sooner rather than later.” Well, “sooner” has come this week, as the Sox designated Rollins for assignment, and called up Anderson to take over the SS role. Stolen bases will be his calling card, but he has some sneaky pop too.
Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – I feel like Bradley hits 2 homers every single week, and if that first line didn’t give it away, he hit 2 more homers this week. He is now slashing .243/.362/.518, with 15 homers, and a 81/37 K/BB in 59 games at High-A.
Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Stole 3 bases this week, and now has 8 steals in his last 15 games. He hit another dinger too, and Fisher is basically replicating in Double-A the breakout season he had last year in High-A. Maybe even topping it.
Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Swanson’s numbers have taken a nose dive in Double-A, and after going ice cold this week, he is now slashing .242/.327/.383 at the level. I mentioned back in Week 5 that I would be sniffing out some sell high opportunities, but at this point, it is probably best to hold.
Julio Urias LAD, LHP – Urias has now strung two good starts in a row on the Major League level this week, going a combined 9.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BB, 14 K. He is doing this as a 19-year-old! For comparison’s sake, the Yankees just took a high school kid, Blake Rutherford, in the first round of the MLB Draft, and he is also 19.
Francis Martes HOU, RHP – Martes is starting to turn his season around, and he threw an absolute gem this week, going 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BB, 9 K. The reports on his stuff have been excellent all season, so this turnaround is not exactly unexpected.
Luke Weaver STL, RHP – Weaver has been shot out of a cannon since returning from a wrist injury, dominating in his first two starts of the season to the tune of 12.1 IP, 1 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BB, 19 K at Double-A. After putting up a K/9 of 7.5 last season, it is great to see the early spike in K’s.
Jack Flaherty STL, RHP – It’s a hat trick for Flaherty, as he makes the Rundown for the third week in a row. This week’s start was arguably his best of the season, throwing 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BB, 10 K. He remains one of my favorite pitching prospect sleepers.
Jacob Faria TB, RHP – Speaking of my favorite pitching prospect sleepers coming into the year, Faria went off this week as well, putting up a line of 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BB, 9 K. That brings his K/9 up to 10.0 on the season at Double-A.
Riley Pint COL, RHP – Pint lost the game of MLB Draft Russian Roulette after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night. He was my top pitching prospect coming into the draft, but I have no interest in investing in a Colorado pitcher, at all. He falls completely out of my Post-Draft 2016 Top 30 MLB Draft Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings, and you can check out that article for a few more of my thoughts on the MLB Draft as it pertains to fantasy, as well.
Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – O’Neill smashed 2 more homers this week, giving him 12 on the season, to go along with a .318/.378/.559 triple-slash in Double-A. And now with the premiere power hitting prospect in the MLB Draft, Kyle Lewis, falling into Seattle’s lap at #11, Seattle’s offensive future is looking very bright … that is until they trade them all for the chance to maybe play in a one game playoff.
Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Judge’s prospect stock has taken a hit this year as a 24-year-old with mediocre numbers in Triple-A, but I wouldn’t completely write him off yet. He hit homers in back-to-back games this week, which gives him 9 on the season in 60 games. You also have to remember that he has been playing in pitcher’s parks basically his entire minor league career. He is still a beast who is going to hit homers on the next level.
Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B – 7 homers in his last 10 games! That will definitely get you on the Rundown. Hoskins is now among the minor league leaders in homers with 16, and he could be battling for Philadelphia’s 1B job in the not too distant future.
Jorge Alfaro PHI, C – Alfaro continued his strong season in Double-A, slugging .609 with 2 homers this week. His 36/3 K/BB in 38 games is concerning, though.
Dylan Cozens PHI, OF – Cozens cannot be stopped, as he crushed 4 more taters this week, giving him 19 on the season. He doesn’t possess my favorite type of swing (short and quick), but not everyone is going to fit that profile.
Anderson Espinoza BOS, RHP – Espinoza hasn’t made the Rundown since week 1, but he has been solid all year, putting up a pitching line of 3.35/1.23/54 in 53.2 IP as an 18-year-old in Single-A. He’s also thrown shutouts in 3 of his last 4 starts.
Tyler Viza PHI, RHP – The 21-year-old Viza was promoted to Double-A this week, and he was excellent in his first start, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BB, 3 K. If you are looking for under the radar mid-rotation dynasty prospects, you should be able to grab Viza for nothing.
Kolby Allard ATL, LHP – Allard returned from pretty serious back surgery this week, and he has not looked good in either start (7 IP, 11 ER, 13 Hits, 4 BB, 7 K). He is still basically in Spring Training mode, and he is an 18-year-old in Single-A, so I wouldn’t read too much into the bad start.
Kevin Padlo TB, 3B – Padlo’s been having an odd statistical season all year, slashing .186/.330/.383, with 8 homers, and 6 steals in 52 games at Single-A. We in Yankees land like to call that, “pulling a Stephen Drew.” I liked him as an intriguing power/speed combo sleeper when he was with Colorado, ranking him 90th in my top 100, but considering his mediocre at best numbers this year and his new home in Tampa, I’m definitely off the bandwagon.
Drew Ward WASH, 3B – I think it is fair to say that the 21-year-old Ward has been one of the top breakout hitting prospects this season. He is slashing .297/.396/.528 with 10 homers in 54 games at High-A. The only problem is, there are doubts he can stick at 3B, and he won’t look nearly as enticing as a 1B prospect.
Ronald Acuna ATL, OF – Acuna is an 18-year-old performing very well in Single-A right now. He is slashing .300/.389/.391, with 2 homers, 12 steals, and a 20/15 K/BB in 30 games. Think of him like a Victor Robles-lite. He has plus speed and projects for average to above average power, to go along with his absurdly advanced plate approach for such a young player. Acuna has the chance of shooting up prospect lists everywhere this year and should be on the radar in Dynasty Leagues of all sizes.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)