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 11:
LeBron James CLE, SF – My bad, wrong sport. But did you see those blocks and dunks LeBron was swatting/throwing down last night? I think he can fly.
Willson Contreras CHC, C – The Cubs game was on a smaller TV at the bar I was at for Game 7, and I was probably the only one keeping an eye on it. Actually, I know I was the only one, because when Contreras homered on his very first Major League pitch, I was the only idiot in the entire place to jump up in celebration. Contreras will be rewarded with his first Major League start in tonight’s game.
Travis Demeritte TEX, 2B – I hyped Demeritte in my very first Fantasy Prospect Rundown in week 1 of the season, and he has hit only 14 more homers since then. His breakout season got him ranked #3 on the 2016 Mid-Season Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakouts post that I wrote on Friday, and to celebrate, he hit two more homers the night of that article.
Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Smashed 2 more bombs this week, and now has a 36/24 K/BB with 14 homers in 67 games at Double-A. It is seriously hard to think of another prospect in the entire minor leagues with a better power/contact profile than Willie.
Alex Bregman HOU, SS/3B – Oh wait, I found one. Bregman has a 21/34 K/BB with 14 homers in 56 games at Double-A. He has maintained his power surge all season, and it is becoming clear that he is one of the very top hitting prospects in the minors.
Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – I was smelling a hot streak coming on in week 9’s Rundown, and right on cue, Benintendi started to fill up the box score at Double-A. He slashed .333/.370/.667, with 2 homers, and 1 steal this week. He has only 4 homers on the season, but 3 of them have been in his last 9 games, so it looks like the power is coming.
Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Pitched a 6 BB no hitter through 6 innings this week in classic Glasnow style. Control problems and all, I still have him as the third best pitching prospect in baseball behind Urias and Giolito.
Alex Reyes STL, RHP – Did someone say control problems? It took Reyes 100 pitches to throw 4.1 innings in his start on Saturday, racking up 6 K’s and walking 2. He now has a 15.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 26 IP at Triple-A.
Kolby Allard ATL, LHP – 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 5 K. It looks like the top high school pitcher chosen in last year’s draft is starting to shake that rust off after off-season back surgery.
David Dahl COL, OF – Double-D crushed two more homers this week, giving him 13 on the season, and made an over the fence, home run saving catch in the OF too. Please don’t pay any attention to the fact the fence looks a little on the small side.
Josh Bell PIT, 1B – Answered the Bell 3 times this week, giving him 10 homers and a .319/.408/.520 triple-slash in 67 games at Triple-A. He is doing this in one of the tougher parks and leagues for hitting, so this certainly looks like the power surge we have been waiting for.
A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – Reed is starting to heat up, slashing .357/.357/.607, with 1 homer, and 4 doubles this week. It brings his OPS up to .826 on the season, and I still believe he has the potential to make a major impact in fantasy leagues in the second half.
Austin Meadows PIT, OF – Promoted to Triple-A this week, and knocked 3 hits in his first game and then drilled a homer in his second. Not bad for a 21-year-old kid.
Max Kepler MIN, OF – Kepler has quietly been having a very nice season. He slashed .381/.435/.714, with 1 homer, and 1 steal this week for the big league club, and he now has a very respectable .750 OPS on the year in the majors. He isn’t going to have the eye popping homer or steal totals, but he will do a little bit of everything.
Chris Paddack MIA, RHP – Paddack no hit the Rome Braves at home last week, striking out 11 and walking 1 over 5 IP. He clearly wasn’t satisfied with that, though, as he faced them again on the road this week and threw 5 perfect innings with 8 K’s this time. Apparently the Braves don’t believe in hitting on any level. They also took pitchers with their first 6 picks of the draft this year! Either way, Paddack’s pitching line looks stupid so far on the year, 1.16/0.47/39 in 23.1 IP at Single-A, and if you have the space on your roster, I would definitely scoop this guy up.
Byron Buxton MIN, OF – Buxton went back to hitting like the worst kid on your little league team, collecting 4 hits in his last 12 games. As frustrating as it is, you just have to give him more time.
Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – This season has been nothing short of a disaster for Fulmer. He gave up 6 ER in 4.1 IP this week, bringing his ERA up to 5.82 at Double-A. I had high hopes for him coming into the year, and the stuff is still there, but he is one of the biggest top 100 prospect fallers for me. He is also not helping the reputation of small right-handed starters everywhere, and just when they were starting to shed the negative stigma attached to them too.
Dillon Tate TEX, RHP – Tate is doing his very best to not be outdone by Fulmer, as he is having an awful season of his own. He went 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BB, 2 K in his start this week, and now has a 5.58 ERA at Single-A.
Dominic Smith NYM, 1B – Smith went ice cold this week, hitting .136, and his season triple-slash has now fallen to .260/.311/368 with 4 homers in 64 games at Double-A. With a bunch of other 1B prospects taking a step forward this year, Smith’s prospect stock has certainly taken a hit.
Brayan Hernandez SEA, OF – That isn’t a typo. Brayan with two a’s was a highly touted international free agent in 2014, signing with Seattle for $1.85 million, and he is the early breakout in Rookie Ball this year. He leads the Dominican League with 4 homers, to go along with a .358/.393/.660 triple-slash and 5 steals in 12 games. I wouldn’t jump on him quite yet, but you should definitely remember the name (which should be pretty easy considering the whole two a’s thing).
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)