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 3:

Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – And so it begins. Rodgers is dominating Single-A, triple-slashing .313/.380/.594, with 5 homers, and 2 steals in 16 games. The bandwagon is not going to be big enough to hold everyone if he keeps this up.

Tyler O’Neill SEA, OF – I gave you a Tyler O’Neill Sleeper post in February, and he has checked every box and then some at Double-A this season. He is triple-slashing .311/.386/.557 with 4 homers in 16 games. His K% is down a bit and his BB% is way up. I’d be thinking about buying right about now.

Yoan Moncada BOS, 2B – Triple-slashing .350/.474/.483, with 13 steals, and no homers in 17 games at High-A. I mean, for $63 million you would think the guy can hit at least one homer already 🙂

Andrew Benintendi BOS, OF – .333/.390/.623, with 4 steals, and no homers in 17 games at High-A. What are with these Red Sox prospects destroying High-A but not hitting a single homer? More power, please.

Victor Robles WASH, OF – Just keeps raking. Assuming he is owned in all dynasty leagues, don’t sell unless you are getting a premium return. And if he is not owned, pick him up already!

Ian Happ CHC, 2B/OF – The Cubs seriously don’t need any more stud prospects, but Gee Wilikers, they have one. Happ is crushing High-A with a slash line of .313/.450/.547, to go along with 3 homers and 3 steals in 18 games. Who the fuck knows where he is going to fit in on Chicago’s overstuffed roster? That’s right, I just dropped a “Gee Wilikers” and “fuck” in the same paragraph. I’m crazy like that!

Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP ­– Control has been choppy in the early going as he builds his pitch count up (8 BB in 11.2 IP). I would expect to see Giolito in the majors at some point this season, but the Nats are going to treat him with kid gloves all year.

Julio Urias LAD, LHP – Bounced back from his shaky 2nd start by going 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, and 8 K in his start this week. He is destroying the PCL as a 19-year-old. It doesn’t get much more impressive than this.

Jose Berrios MIN, RHP ­– It took him a couple of starts to get that signature command and control going, but it’s back, as he went 7 shutout innings, striking out 7, and walking only 1 in his last start. Expect continued dominance until he gets called up.

Blake Snell TB, LHP – If you needed any more reassurance that Snell is a stud, he delivered a gem in his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium (5 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 6 K). He has a 13.2 K/9 in Triple-A this season as well.

Aaron Blair ATL, RHP – If you needed any more reassurance that Blair is an uninspiring fantasy prospect, he delivered a dud in his Major League debut at Turner Field (5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BB, 1 K). To his credit, he was dominating Triple-A before the spot start (19 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 5 BB, 22K).

John Lamb CIN, LHP – Has a 19.06 ERA in his first two rehab starts coming back from off-season back surgery. Yes, you read that right. 19.06 ERA! He will have to pitch much better than this before Cincinnati gives him his rotation spot back.

Josh Bell PIT, 1B – Hello there, power stroke. Nice of you to show up. Bell’s 3 homers this year is already almost halfway to the total number of homers he hit all of last season. Combine that with his already strong contact skills, and the arrow is pointing up.

Hunter Renfroe SD, OF – Finally got it going in a big way this week, hitting his first four homers and stealing his first bag of the season. He is knocking on the door of the majors, and is about as exciting as a Padres hitting prospect gets these days.

Javier Guerra SD, SS – I didn’t fully believe in the power he displayed last season, but smashing 3 homers in his first 16 games at High-A is proving it might be for real. It has come with an increase in strikeouts, though, and he still does not have much speed. Guerra isn’t my favorite prospect, but the guy has talent.

Orlando Arcia MIL, SS – The 21-year-old Arcia is holding his own in Triple-A to begin the year, hitting .295, with one homer, and an 8/5 K/BB in 16 games. He hasn’t stolen a base yet, but the hit tool is more important at this point anyway.

Alen Hanson PIT, 2B – Hitting .327 and has swiped five bags in his first 11 games of the season at Triple-A. The speed looks great, but he has struck out 16 times and walked only twice, so I’m expecting that average to come down pretty quickly.

Francis Martes HOU, RHP – Has been struggling in the early going at Double-A (10.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 8 BB, 9K). It seems his meteoric rise through the minors might be hitting a temporary roadblock.

Edwin Diaz SEA, RHP – Since I told you to pick up Diaz in my week 1 rundown, he has continued his assault on Double-A, and his season line now stands at 2.45/0.86/32 with only 3 walks in 22 IP.

Justus Sheffield CLE, LHP – The 19-year-old Sheffield has been excellent in his first 4 starts at High-A, putting up a pitching of 2.45/1.09/18 in 18.1 IP. The control hasn’t been great, but he walked only one batter in his last start.

Jameson Taillon PIT, RHP – Continues to mow down Triple-A hitters (16 IP, 3 ER, 13 Hits, 0 BB, 16 K) and is proving his arm injuries are behind him.

James Kaprielian NYY, RHP – Another start, another gem. Struck out 9 batters in 6 IP.

Kohl Stewart MIN, RHP – The 4th overall pick of the 2013 draft, Stewart might finally be adding some strikeouts to his profile. His K/9 is way up this year to 10.9, and his pitching line stands at 2.60/0.81/21 in 17.1 IP at High-A.

Lucas Sims ATL, RHP – Sporting a ridiculous 14.2 K/9 in 19.2 IP. Problem is, the walk rate is just as ridiculous (6.4 BB/9), and if he can’t get his control, um, under control, he might be destined for the bullpen.

Yusniel Diaz LAD, OF – The Dodgers paid $31 million to get Diaz this off season, and he is starting to show why. The 19-year-old has gone nuclear this week at High-A, and his season line now stands at .267/.314/.600, with 3 homers, and 2 steals in 12 games. He wasn’t known as a big power hitter in Cuba, but if the power is developing, he can be one exciting fantasy prospect.

Ryan O’Hearn KC, 1B/OF – An 8th round pick in the 2014 draft, O’Hearn has done nothing but rake in the minors. He jacked 27 homers last season between Single-A and High-A, and is off to a blazing start this season, slashing .380/.430/.718 with 6 homers in 18 games at High-A. He has a sweet lefty swing with power to all fields. He strikes out too much, and he doesn’t really have a position, but if you are looking for a dirt cheap power prospect to take a shot on, O’Hearn should certainly have your attention.

Josh Ockimey BOS, 1B – Ockimey is another dirt cheap power hitting 1B you should have your eye on. A 5th round pick in the 2014 draft, the 20-year-old Ockimey has already blasted 5 homers in his first 16 games at Single-A. He is your prototypical power/strikeouts/walks 1st baseman.

By Michael Halpern
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

2 thoughts on “2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 3

  1. Hi Michael,

    Great breakout article on Travis Demeritte. My pick is up in our minor league draft and I’m thinking of grabbing this guy. The K rate scares me, but the upside is just too enticing to pass up. Really impressed with the bat speed. Amazed he’s still able to work the count despite being such an agressive hitter. Any comps for him at Major League level? Can you see him developing a little more patience? Thanks!

    1. Thanks! I do think this is probably as good as it is going to get in terms of patience for him. Usually in the higher levels of the minors and then majors the pitchers can control and command their pitches better, so my guess is his walk rate will probably drop as he climbs the ladder. I think Story is pretty a good comp for what you can expect from him in the majors. A streaky hitter who will hit 5 homers in a week, and then strikeout 10 times with 2 hits the next week.

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