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 13:
Corey Seager LAD, SS/Byron Buxton MIN, OF – A tale of two top prospects, ranked 1st and 2nd, respectively, in my off-season top 100. Seager has lit the majors on fire, slashing .303/.362/.536 with 17 homers in 83 games. Buxton has lit himself on fire, slashing .201/.235/.347 with 1 homer and a 61/6 K/BB in 45 games. I’m glad I made the decision to rank Seager ahead of Buxton, and I am far from giving up on Buxton, but this is the perfect illustration of the risk of holding onto prospects. You should constantly be looking to flip these guys whether you are in win now mode or in a rebuild. Don’t make bad deals for average major leaguers, but be a hawk and constantly on the lookout to snag already made MLB studs.
Forrest Wall COL, 2B – Imaginary Brick Wall’s first cousin, Forrest Wall, has been hot for about a month now, and stayed that way this week, hitting .391 with 1 homer and 2 steals. Way to rep the family name.
Alex Bregman HOU, SS/3B – Ranked him 4th on my 2016 Mid-Season Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings due to his power surge at Double-A, and his promotion to Triple-A hasn’t slowed him down at all. He is off to an absolutely scorching start at the level, slashing .471/.526/.941 with 2 homers. If he was sure to stick at SS, he might have climbed even higher than #4.
Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 8 K. It’s not like one start with a good BB rate is going to change anything, but better than another 4+ BB outing.
A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – Launched his first of many MLB homers on Saturday. Unfortunately, that was one of only two hits he has collected in 22 AB’s.
Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – Smoking hot at Double-A, slashing .429/.520/1.000 with 2 homers and 2 steals. The power is starting to come around now, and it is not out of the question to see Benintendi in the majors later this year.
Jose De Leon LAD, RHP – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BB, 6 K. He has quietly been dominating the PCL with a 13.5 K/9 in 23.1 IP. Los Angeles is taking it super slow with him due to his past injury history.
Michael Gettys SD, OF – Promoted to High-A a few weeks ago, and has recorded a hit in 10 of his first 11 games at the level (7 multi-hit). Gettys did not crack my mid-season top 100, but he is a favorite of RotoRX’s prospect contributor, and my boy over at Reddit, Kevin O’Hara (aka fawkesmulder). If you want to hear more about him, check out Kevin’s analysis on Episode 9 of MLB Roto RX (54:26 min mark).
Lewis Brinson TEX, OF – Back in action in Rookie ball for some rehab outings after returning from a shoulder injury, going 2 for 9 with 1 K and no homers, which continues his low K, low power season from Double-A. I don’t know who told him to stop striking out and hitting bombs, but I don’t love this new slap hitting Brinson. I do think he will get back to being a beast again, though.
Max Kepler MIN, OF – In last week’s rundown I mentioned Kepler has been having a quietly good season, but he turned it up a notch this week, and it isn’t very quiet anymore. He jacked 2 dingers on Saturday with 7 RBI, and he is now slashing .256/.328/.479 with 5 homers and 2 steals in 39 MLB games.
Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS – Is starting to heat up after returning from his 50 game suspension, jacking a homer this week and collecting 7 hits in his last five games. He is still working on putting it all together, but the talent is there to be one of the best fantasy players in baseball. Don’t sleep on Mondesi because of the PED suspension.
Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Tapia is a hit machine, racking up 106 hits in 78 games at Double-A, to go along with solid pop and above average speed. Only problem is that he is still very raw on the base paths, going 13 for 26 in stolen base attempts on the year, which continues his poor stolen base percentage in his minor league career. It does bring into question just how often he will get the green light in the majors if he doesn’t massively improve his efficiency.
Ozzie Albies ATL, 2B/SS – Moved down to Double-A to work with his future double play partner, Dansby Swanson. Atlanta’s developmental strategy with Albies has been head scratching, to say the least.
Rafael Devers BOS, 3B – Put together one of his best weeks of the season, slashing .400/.500/.800 with a homer and 1/4 K/BB. Hopefully this is the beginning of an extended hot streak.
Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – Homered in 3 straight games this week (20 on the year) and continues to prove the power is very real. The strikeouts are real too (104).
Dominic Smith NYM, 1B – Has been tapping into his power more and more this year in Double-A, and went on a 3 homer binge this week (2 in one game). His .280/.339/.446 triple-slash with 10 homers and a 51/25 K/BB in 79 games as a 21-year-old is starting to look pretty good.
Chris Shaw SFG, 1B – Promoted to Double-A this week and slashed .389/.389/.556. If he can repeat his High-A numbers in Double-A, my #93 ranking of him might look a bit light by the end of the year.
Justus Sheffield CLE, LHP – Sheffield responded to me dropping him in the rankings by going 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BB, 10 K. As I wrote in the mid-season top 100, although he dropped, his overall potential remains the same.
Dylan Cozens PHI, OF/Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B – The homer barrage continues for these Philly sluggers, with Hoskins knocking 2 out and Cozens 4. I’m not really full believers in either of them (relative to their stratospheric numbers), but it looks like a good bet that both of them will at least be fantasy relevant in their careers.
Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – Has thrown 2 straight shutouts, going a combined 14 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BB, 12 K. It brings his season ERA down to … 4.83.
Triston McKenzie CLE, RHP – The lanky 6’5’’, 165-pound McKenzie is a name to watch who did not crack my mid-season top 100. He is breezing through short-season A ball in the early going, dominating in his 4 starts (22.2 IP, 1 ER, 14 Hits, 3 BB, 25 K). He has a projectable body (room for more velo) and already has an advanced feel for pitching as an 18-year-old.
Dylan Cease CHC, RHP – Cease is another name to watch not on my top 100. Unlike McKenzie, Cease does throw the big fastball, with reports having him up to 100 MPH this season, but needs work on his command and secondary pitches. Baseball America had an excellent write-up on his Spring debut if you want to read more about him.
Sandy Alcantara STL, RHP – Let’s make it a hat trick with high end lottery ticket arms in the lower minors. Alcantara dominated in his start this week, going 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 3 BB, 10. He’s got a huge fastball with K upside for days (12.3 K/9), but has major control issues (4.9 BB/9) and needs to refine his secondaries. And oh yea, he is another guy that fawkesmulder has been on me to like more for weeks now.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)