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 12:
Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B – Promoted to Double-A this week and proceeded to collect 8 hits and a homer in his first 5 games at the level. I ranked him as the very best fantasy prospect in baseball in my 2016 Mid-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings: 1-10 post on Friday. The rankings will continue on Tuesday.
Victor Garcia IFA, OF – I was going to rank the top international free agents for fantasy baseball, but there really isn’t much for me to add that the team at mlbpipeline.com didn’t already cover. They have great content over there, and all of it is free, which is awesome. The one prospect that deserves a legitimate bump for fantasy is 12th ranked Victor Garcia. He has elite bat speed and the best raw power in the class. Of course the St. Louis Cardinals are the team rumored to sign him. Why am I not surprised? Garcia should be considered one of the very top fantasy bats in the 2016 international free agent pool.
Tim Anderson CHW, SS – Anderson’s sneaky power hasn’t been all that sneaky, as he blasted homers in his last 2 games, giving him 3 homers, 5 doubles, and a triple in his first 16 MLB games. He does have a 24/0 K/BB, so there is still plenty of work to do.
Trea Turner WASH, SS – I know we are all sick of waiting on Turner, but he continues to make his case in Triple-A, slashing .385/.484/.769 with 2 jacks this week. Danny Espinosa has been hitting well at the Major League level too, so we will just have to continue waiting.
J.P. Crawford PHI, SS – Finally got it going a little bit in Triple-A, racking up 5 multi hit games in his last 8 games. There might not be a more boring top prospect to follow than Crawford, but we can’t let that affect his value. His advanced plate approach with decent power (for a SS) and speed is a valuable fantasy commodity, especially in an OBP league. Plus, he is still just 21 years old.
Jose Berrios MIN, RHP – Had his best start of the season this week, going 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BB, 9 K. I’m still on the bandwagon even with his terrible MLB debut last month, and now is probably the time to try to pry him away from his current fantasy owner.
Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Judge Dredd is back, laying down the law 6 times in his last nine games. He’s hit 15 homers in 72 games in a pitcher’s park this season, and has officially ripped that fork out of his back that more than a few people stuck in him when he was badly slumping earlier this year.
Ian Happ CHC, OF – We now come to the Chicago Cubs portion of the list, because they don’t have enough young talent already. Happ immediately carried over his High-A success into Double-A this week, slashing .667/.692/1.083 with 1 homer. I know Joe Maddon is creative, but he might have to invent a new position to get Happ on the field any time in the near future.
Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – Jimenez is firmly entrenching himself as one of the top fantasy breakout prospects this season. He smacked 2 more homers this week, and is now slashing .342/.380/.551, with 10 homers, and 5 steals in 69 games in Single-A. He is still only 19 years old, so I wouldn’t start worrying about the Cubs logjam for him quite yet.
Willson Contreras CHC, C – Did Contreras just take over Kyle Schwarber’s life? Contreras is now the new talk of the town catcher playing all over the field to get his bat in the lineup. It ended so well for Schwarber, I guess the Cubs decided it was a good idea to repeat it with Contreras.
Chris Paddack MIA, RHP – I think it’s time to start getting a little excited about Paddack. He had another dominant start this week, going 5 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BB, 9K, which was his third no hit 5 IP start in a row. Miami has a history of moving high school pitchers very fast, so even though he is in Single-A, he might not be that far off if he continues dominating. Tip of the hat to HipsterDoofus31 for bringing him to my attention in the comments section of my week 10 rundown over at Reddit’s fantasy baseball forum.
Reynaldo Lopez WASH, LHP – Lopez has had an absolute K explosion this season. He had his 4th double-digit K start in his last six outings, and now owns a pitching line of 3.18/1.23/100 in 76.1 IP. He has major bullpen risk, especially in the first few years of his career, but any prospect putting up those kind of K numbers will get fantasy owners to raise an eyebrow or two.
Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B – Went deep in back-to-back-to-back games this week, and now has 20 homers in 71 games at Double-A. He’s 23 years old and in a hitter’s park, but the power breakout is clearly for real.
Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Doubled his homer total this week … from 1 to 2. He has displayed an advanced plate approach all year for a 19-year-old, and has surpassed expectations in the speed department with 25 steals. Overall, Tucker’s first season in pro ball has been a resounding success.
Franklin Barreto OAK, SS/2B – While the 20-year-old Barreto hasn’t stood out this year in a pitcher’s park at Double-A, he has done well enough to maintain his prospect shine. He slashed .318/.400/.545 with 1 homer and 2 steals this week, and now has 7 homers and 16 steals in 74 games on the season.
Jacob Faria TB, RHP – Impressed in his first start at Triple-A, going 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 6 K. He doesn’t have the huge fastball, but I think his strikeout stuff will still play at the next level.
Brent Honeywell TB, RHP – Returned to the mound this week after being out for 6 weeks with a sore arm, and picked up right where he left off, going 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 4 K. He doesn’t have ace upside, but if he can remain healthy the rest of the season, his prospect stock will certainly be on the rise.
Dominic Smith NYM, 1B – Went deep in back-to-back games this week and has now tied his career high in homers with 6. His overall numbers have been lackluster in Double-A so far, especially for a first baseman, but he has maintained his BB and K rates against the tougher competition, and his value probably isn’t that far off from where it was in the off-season.
David Washington STL, 1B/OF – Cranked 2 homers in one game this week, giving him 17 on the season (12 in Triple-A) in 69 games. I wouldn’t bank on him being able to find consistent playing time in the majors, but if a spot does open up for him, he will definitely hit for power.
Trey Mancini BAL, 1B – Another player who will have to battle for a starting spot in the majors. He went deep twice this week, and now has 15 homers in 76 games split between Double-A and Triple-A.
Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – Finally a power hitter who has a starting position in sight. He smacked 2 more homers, as well, and now has 17 on the season in 74 games at Double-A. His 102/36 K/BB is starting to become a serious concern, though.
Javier Guerra SD, SS – Homered in back-to-back games this week (8 on the season). It is nice to see his power surge from last season showing up this year, but his K rate has also exploded to 31.2%.
Tom Murphy COL, C – One of my favorite sleepers heading into this season, Murphy has not impressed in the early going. His already weak plate approach has actually regressed this season as a 25-year-old in the PCL. He is still jacking homers and will play at Coors Field, but his prospect stock has certainly taken a hit.
Kyle Lewis SEA, OF/Will Craig PIT, 1B/Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – None of the top college bats (Corey Ray and Zack Collins have not played in a game yet) from the 2016 draft class are off to a good start. It’s still too early for it to mean anything, but it would have been nice if at least one of them played like a house on fire right from the get go. Ray will soon debut in High-A, so maybe he will be the first guy to breakout from this class.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)