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 21:
Gary Sanchez NYY, C/Alex Bregman HOU, SS – Remember when people said last season’s rookie class was a huge anomaly and this year’s class wouldn’t have much of an impact? Um … yea. Sanchez and Bregman have just destroyed Major League pitching for the past couple of weeks, which continued the very strong play of this year’s rookies. When people say the same thing about next year’s rookies that they did about this year’s, don’t believe them.
Heath Quinn SF, OF – If you are looking for “the next Willie Calhoun,” you may have to look no further than Heath Quinn. Quinn mashed for 3 straight years at Samford, not exactly a baseball powerhouse, but still D1, and is now ripping it up in his first year of pro ball, slashing .335/.424/.552 with 8 homers. I had him ranked as the 14th best fantasy prospect coming into the draft, and San Francisco managed to steal him in the 3rd rd (95th overall). In the past, you might have been able to scoop him for nothing in off-season drafts, but I get the feeling fewer and fewer people are going to be sleeping on these later draft round sleepers. Either way, definitely target Quinn and you should still get good value on him.
Bryan Reynolds SF, OF – Promoted to Single-A last week and has continued to rake, slashing .395/.410/.579. Reynolds is another sleeper who I ranked much higher than he was drafted, but isn’t quite the sleeper Quinn is, because many people were surprised he fell to the 2nd rd. Like Quinn, he is still a guy you should be able to get at a good value in first year player drafts.
Ronnie Dawson HOU, OF – I had Dawson pegged as one of the better power/speed combo sleepers in the draft, and he has displayed those skills in pro ball, slashing .360/.385/.560 with 1 homer and 2 steals this week. That gives him a season slash line of .237/.363/.388 with 7 homers and 12 steals in 63 games at Low-A. The hit tool has lagged behind, but you should be able to grab him very late in drafts.
Alec Hansen CHW, RHP – Got roughed up a bit in his first start out of Rookie ball at Single-A, going 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BB, 6 K. Ralph Lifshitz and I discussed on Episode 4 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast just how much we should trust his dominant rookie ball numbers, so this start wasn’t exactly encouraging in that regard.
Jason Groome BOS, LHP – Groome began his professional career this week, going 4 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 8 K over two starts. He throws an already plus 12-6 curve which he has good command over, to go along with a low 90’s heater. He has the upside to be worthy of a top pick in a first year player draft, but I still prefer the safety and proximity to the majors of the top college players from the class.
Tom Murphy COL, C – Murphy’s assault on the PCL continued, slashing .444/.444/.889 with 2 homers this week. I ranked him 4th in my pre-season Dynasty League Prospect Sleepers article, which also featured Trevor Story, Josh Hader, Willie Calhoun, Tyler O’Neill, Derek Fisher, Harrison Bader and Bobby Bradley, among others. Not bad, if I say so myself.
Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Has come alive in Triple-A recently, bringing his OPS up to a very respectable .752. He has has also cut down on his K’s, striking out “only” 21% of the time.
Bobby Bradley CLE, 1B – Has consistently mashed all season in a pitcher’s park, and tacked on 3 more homers this week … ho hum.
Eloy Jimenez CHC, OF – Putting the finishing touches on his breakout season, cracking two more homers. The hype machine will be working overtime for this kid all off-season.
Kyle Tucker HOU, OF – Launched his first homer at High-A this week, and has impressively been nonplussed by the advanced competition at only 19 years old, slashing .297/.409/.514. Pretty sure that is the first time I have ever written “nonplussed” in my life.
Dylan Davis SF, OF – Homered in 3 straight games this week to give him 26 on the season. I doubt he will keep up the .294 average in Double-A, but the power isn’t going anywhere.
Jose De Leon LAD, RHP – Only in baseball do teams consistently not play their best players in order to finagle things like their 40-man roster, team control rules, arbitration etc … But Jose of Leon’s recent performance is not making it easy on Los Angeles, going 14.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BB, 23 K in 2 starts this week. If LA ever decides to give him a shot, I would give him a shot on your fantasy team too.
Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Don’t forget about Glasnow. He is on the comeback trail returning from a “minor” shoulder injury, and could rejoin Pittsburgh’s rotation sometime in the next week or two. His control has been off (even more off) since returning, but his stuff has looked great and I would still roll with him down the stretch if you need K’s.
Lewis Brinson MIL, OF – Brinson’s “down year” is quickly not looking all that down. He exploded with 3 more homers this week, including 2 in one game, and his season line now stands at a solid .265/.303/.468 with 15 homers and 17 steals in 98 games.
Jesse Winker CIN, OF – Wrist injuries have completely sapped Winker’s power this year (3 homers), but he has continued to display his elite plate approach and hit tool (.303/.392/.382 with a 54/52 K/BB). I’m still betting on the power coming when he gets completely healthy.
Michael Kopech BOS, RHP – 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 BB, 10 K. As excited as I am about his 14.2 K/9 and 100 MPH fastball, I am equally as worried that Tommy John surgery is right around the corner. That is just the life of a flame throwing youngster.
Triston McKenzie CLE, RHP – 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 9 K. Doesn’t throw 100 MPH but is still putting up the eye popping K numbers (13 K/9).
Dylan Cease CHC, RHP – The hard throwing Cease continues to rack up K’s, striking out 7 batters in 4 IP this week, which comes off an 8 K in 3.2 IP outing last week. He should certainly start to crack top 100’s this off-season.
Kolby Allard ATL, LHP/Brady Aiken CLE, LHP – There seems to be a split over which lefty phenom is the better prospect. Allard went 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BB, 9 K this week at Single-A, while Aiken slung 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 5 K at Low-A, which is his third consecutive start with a basically identical line. I still prefer Allard, but Aiken’s recent surge as he gets further away from Tommy John surgery certainly has him catching up.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)