Every Monday (or Tuesday in this case), 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 18:
David Dahl COL, OF/Alex Bregman HOU, 3B/SS – The Bizzaro World version of Byron Buxton and Corey Seager. This time, the toolsy outfielder with some K problems is thriving (Dahl: .382/.404/.600), while the more contact oriented infielder is struggling (Bregman: .135/.196/.173). Just goes to show that every prospect, regardless of their profile, has risk, especially in their MLB debut.
Nick Senzel CIN, 3B – Senzel is answering questions about his power potential, smashing homers in back-to-back-to-back games this week. That gives him 6 homers and 15 steals in 45 games on the season. With Kyle Lewis’ knee injury, and Ray struggling at High-A, it is hard to argue for anyone but Senzel as the top pick in first year player drafts, although you know I’ll try 🙂
Lewis Brinson MIL, OF – My top rated prospect traded at the deadline, Brinson is making a good first impression with his new team, slashing .448/.448/.690 with 1 homer and 3 steals in 7 games at Triple-A. My prospector in crime, and co-host of the first ever Razzball Prospect Podcast, Ralph Lifshitz, disagrees, and thinks Clint Frazier is #1. Along with ranking the top 20 prospects traded at the deadline, we also discussed some of the recent studs called up to the majors. And oh yea, I’m now contractually obligated to mention that this blurb was brought to you by Flo from Progressive, Verizon Fios, and Omaha Steaks.
Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Having a late season power surge, doubling his season homer total by smoking 3 of them this week. That gives him 6 on the season for all you Communications/English majors out there.
Justus Sheffield NYY, LHP – Seriously impressed in his first start for New York at High-A, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 11 K. It was the most K’s he had in a game this season, and just his 2nd double digit K game.
Alex Reyes STL, RHP – The PCL has not been kind to Reyes, but he flashed his massive upside on Saturday night, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BB, 8 K. His numbers on the season aren’t pretty, but his stuff still is.
Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Cleveland may have traded their #1 real life prospect, but they hung on to their top rated fantasy prospect in my mid-season top 100. Since being promoted to Triple-A, Zimmer is slashing .327/.431/.429, with 1 homer, 2 steals, and a 16/9 K/BB in 13 games. That gives him 15 homers and 35 steals on the season.
Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – Another Cleveland prospect who I ranked over Frazier for fantasy, Bradley crushed 3 homers since the calendar turned to August, giving him 22 on the season. Now that I’m thinking about it, the Yanks passed on Jimenez (#43) for Torres (#63), and presumably passed on Zimmer (#17) for Frazier (#38). Yes, fantasy is different than real life, but I really hope the Yanks picked the right prospects.
Kolby Allard ATL, LHP – These next 4 pitching prospects are some of my favorites in the entire minor leagues. Allard went 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 11 K in a dominating performance as an 18-year-old in Single-A. Considering this is basically his rehab year after back surgery, his stock is back on the rise.
Thomas Szapucki NYM, LHP – I told you to pick up Szapucki last week, and he rewarded you with a 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hit, 4 BB, 11 K gem of a performance. Well, it wouldn’t have rewarded your fantasy team, but it always feels good when your prospects are dominating.
Yohander Mendez TEX, LHP – Called up to Triple-A this week and threw 5 shutout innings as he continues to build on his breakout season.
Yadier Alvarez LAD, RHP – 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 7 K. Stat line speaks for itself.
Aaron Judge NYY, OF – Yesterday, I gave you this video of Judge hitting a beastly Grand Slam off Reynaldo Lopez on Sunday Night as a mea culpa for being one day late with the Rundown. I also gave you an apology courtesy of Larry David for the minor inconvenience it may have caused you. And if the Grand Slam didn’t give it away, Judge has looked no worse for wear since returning from a knee injury, slashing .318/.375/.545 in 6 games.
Ronald Guzman TEX, 1B – Called up to Triple-A and homered in his first game at the level. Then proceeded to get 2 singles in his next 17 at-bats.
Dylan Cozens PHI, OF – 5 homers in 2 games this week. It’s kinda funny that it doesn’t matter what Cozens does in Reading, everyone will still be skeptical. I haven’t heard one person say they are really buying in. The universal agreement actually worries me a bit. Maybe we all can’t see what is right in front of our faces.
Isan Diaz MIL, 2B – Showing no signs of slowing down, cracking 3 homers this week to give him 18 on the season. He will start to get some respect on top 100’s this off-season, but his small second baseman status will still inevitably keep him underrated.
Francis Martes HOU, RHP – Just as exciting and upsidey as my favorite pitching prospects I mentioned above, Martes went 13.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BB, 19 K in his 2 starts this week. I really don’t have a good explanation for why he isn’t one of my favorites.
Renato Nunez OAK, 3B – Nunez went into a deep mid-season funk, be he has started to come out of it, hitting 6 homers in his last 17 games, and is slashing .348/.400/.783 this week. His overall slash line isn’t impressive, but he has 19 homers on the year, and I still really like his swing and natural feel for hitting.
Chase Vallot KC, C – A little rusty after returning from a few freak injuries, but he is starting to heat up again, cracking homers in back-to-back games. He is the epitome of the bat speed/power/strikeout sleepers that I love, and he has a puncher’s chance of sticking at catcher.
Edwin Rios LAD, 1B – 2 homers this week and his 3rd in 9 games at Double-A. The more the power shows up away from Rancho Cucamongo and the Cal League, the better he looks.
Triston McKenzie CLE, RHP – I actually like this next group of pitching prospects a lot too. McKenzie got promoted to Single-A this week, and struck out 11 batters with 0 walks over 5 IP, albeit with a homer and 3 ER. He looks like a lock to sit comfortably within most top 100’s this off-season.
Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BB, 9 K. He had struggled in his previous 3 starts, so having one of his best starts of the season this week was encouraging.
Luke Weaver STL, RHP – Promoted to Triple-A (PCL) last night and went 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BB, 4 K. He has given up more than 2 ER in only one start this season.
Max Wotell CIN, LHP/Lucius Fox TB, SS/Erik Swanson NYY, RHP – Wrote a deep sleeper post for these guys on Thursday when technical difficulties delayed the release of our Razzball Prospect Podcast. We talked about them on the podcast too. I don’t think there is any corner of the internet that has hyped up these guys in the last week more than we have.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)