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 week 2 2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown:
Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Control issues? What control issues? Glasnow struck out 9 batters and walked none over 5 IP in his 2nd start of the season. This obviously doesn’t mean he is Greg Maddux now, but it’s a start.
Julio Urias LAD, LHP – After dominating in his season debut at Triple-A (5 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BB, 9K), Urias had a rocky 2nd outing (5 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BB, 3K). He gave up 2 homers, but one was a PCL, windblown cheapie, and he finished strong by retiring 9 of the last 11 batters he faced. His fastball reached 96 MPH, and he relied on a hard slider that acted like a cutter at times as his breaking pitch. His changeup wasn’t working for him at all.
A.J. Reed HOU, 1B – Reed finally got on the board this week launching his first 2 homers at Triple-A. He has also struck out 11 times in 9 games, and is hitting .237. Tyler White has thrown a monkey wrench in Reed’s quick ascent to the majors, but spending a little extra time at Triple-A won’t hurt him anyway.
Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Zimmer began to fill up the box score this week as well, hitting his first 2 homers and stealing his first 2 bases at Double-A. Like Reed, it has come with strikeouts (13 K’s in 9 GP) and a low average (.222).
Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – More power and strikeouts. Bradley knocked his first 2 dingers at High-A, and has struck out 15 times in 9 games.
Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Hader carried his strong Spring Training performance into the regular season, as he has dominated Double-A hitters to begin the year (9 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BB, 12 K in 2 GS). He doesn’t have much left to prove at the Double-A level at this point.
Joey Gallo TEX, 3B – With the Rangers signing Adrian Beltre to a 2-year contract extension, the prospect crunch got even tighter in Texas. Gallo is destroying Triple-A in the early going, slashing .333/.432/.778 with 4 homers in 10 games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the top trade chip at the deadline this season.
Trea Turner WASH, SS – Hitting .424, with 1 homer, and 4 steals in his first 9 games at Triple-A this year. Meanwhile, Danny Espinoza and his .161 AVG is doing one of the best prospect blocking jobs I have even seen, and I lived through the Stephen Drew fiasco in New York.
Alex Bregman HOU, SS – Double-A hasn’t slowed Bregman down at all, as he is completely tearing the level up to the tune of .400/.467/.800, with 5 homers, 1 steal, and only 3 K’s in 10 games. The only question left is where is he going to play in Houston’s stacked infield?
Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – Triple-slashing .341/.408/.477, with 6 doubles (no homers), and 3 steals in 11 games at High-A. No homers? High-A? Step your game up guy who was picked before Bregman.
Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – Fulmer’s second start (5 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BB, 3 K) did not do much to quell the concerns after his horrible season debut. It is still very early, and he is likely just working out some early season kinks, but it is definitely something to watch.
Sean Manaea OAK, LHP – The hype has started to roll for Manaea, and for good reason, as the 24-year-old has struck out 17 batters and walked only 2 in 12 IP at Triple-A. Health is still the biggest concern here, as the talent has never been an issue.
Dillon Tate TEX, RHP – Followed up his strong season debut by striking out 10 batters in 6 IP in his 2nd start at Single-A. I think it is time to see him against tougher competition.
Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS – It might be time to start getting excited. Mondesi built on his strong opening week at Double-A with an equally impressive week 2. His season line now stands at .314/.400/.686, with 3 jacks, 6 steals, and a 6/5 K/BB in 9 games. I would say the time is now to buy, but it might already be too late.
David Dahl COL, OF – The power explosion has arrived! Dahl has smashed 5 homers and is slugging .609, to go along with 3 steals, in 11 games at Double-A. That power/speed combo is sure going to look nice at Coors.
Forrest Wall COL, 2B – Wall is off to a hot start at High-A, triple-slashing .381/.447/.571, with 1 homer, and 3 steals in 9 games. I thought I was already very high on all of Colorado’s prospects, but man, maybe I should have been even higher on them.
Harrison Bader STL, OF – One of my favorite sleepers heading into 2016, Bader has responded to St. Louis pushing him to Double-A to open the season (unlike someone else I know, cough-Willie Calhoun-cough). He is triple-slashing .350/.366/.516, with 1 homer, and 1 steal in 9 games. He has also struck out 13 times and walked only once, so it is not all roses.
Grant Holmes LAD, RHP – After tiring down the stretch last season in August and September, it is nice to see Holmes off to a strong start this year at High-A (11 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BB, 12 K in 2 GS). His ETA is a few years down the road, but the strikeout potential is worth the wait.
Willson Contreras CHC, C – Contreras is proving his 2015 breakout is for real, as he hasn’t missed a beat at Triple-A this season. He is hitting .429, with 3 K’s, and 2 BB’s in 9 games. The only thing left for him to do is to add some more home run power.
Trey Mancini BAL, 1B – Another player who is making his 2015 breakout stand up. Mancini has already launched 5 homers in 10 games at Double-A, and has maintained a .324 AVG while doing so.
Jameson Taillon PIT, RHP – Taillon exceeded all expectations in his first start since 2013, putting up a line of 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BB, and 6 K at Triple-A. His fastball was hitting 94 MPH. At this rate, the 24-year-old Taillon might jump back ahead of Glasnow if a rotation spot opens up in Pittsburgh.
Brent Honeywell TB, RHP – Honeywell has been lights out to start the season at High-A, putting up a line of 0.50/0.72/19 in 18 IP. It is nice to see the K’s tick up after they took a dip when he was promoted to High-A in 2015.
Clint Frazier CLE, OF – In my 2016 Top 100 Fantasy Prospects post, I said Frazier is a breakout waiting to happen, and well, it might be happening. He is slashing .325/.386/.575, with 2 homers, and 1 steal in 9 games at Double-A. The sky is the limit for this kid.
Renato Nunez OAK, 3B – Nunez homered in back to back games, and has now put up an .890 OPS in his first 9 games at Triple-A. And oh yea, Nunez was the other guy I called a breakout waiting to happen in my top 100 prospects post.
Jorge Alfaro PHI, C – Triple-slashing .500/.526/.750 and hit 1 homer in 8 games at Double-A. The talent has always been there, it was just a matter of putting it together. He is putting it together.
Michael Fulmer DET, RHP – 11 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BB, and 14 K’s in 2 GS at Triple-A. The 2015 breakout was for real.
Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – Smashed 2 homers yesterday, and now has 3 homers and a .953 OPS in 10 games at Double-A. He hit 23 homers in only 80 games last season in the Cal League, so seeing the power show up in a less hitter friendly environment is good to see.
James Kaprielian NYY, RHP – The buzz is starting to build around last year’s 16th overall pick in the draft. Kappy (as Girardi is sure to call him, if he hasn’t already) followed up his terrific season debut (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 9 K) with a 1 hitter in 7 IP in his 2nd outing. His season line stands at 0.75/0.50/13 in 12 IP and he is drawing rave reviews from everyone that sees him. He is currently at High-A, but expect him to move fast through the Yankees system.
Travis Demeritte TEX, 2B – Wrote a Travis Demeritte, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Breakout post. He tacked on another homer since that post, as well.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)