Episode 5 – Razzball Prospect Podcast

If you didn’t get enough of us from yesterday’s Razzball Baseball Podcast, you are in luck, because we are back for more in Episode 5 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast. We start by creating a reality TV show for Tim Tebow, then move into some MLB Draft sleeper talk, and finally we dive into a top 10 middle infield ranking. It’s Ralph and Halp back on the mic!

Click here for Episode 5 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast

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

Razzball Baseball Podcast

Grey is on vacation, so that means Ralph Lifshitz and I take over the Razzball Baseball Podcast this week (JB stuck around to host this shindig). We talk September call-ups, and have a moment of silence for one of the best comedians ever, Gene Wilder.

Click here to listen to the Razzball Baseball Podcast

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 21

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

Episode 4 – Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast

We’re back for more prospect bullshitting in Episode 4 of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast. Ralph Lifshitz and I talk Alec Hansen, A.J. Puk, Hunter Greene, Yermin Mercedes, Steven Duggar, and Harol Gonzalez, before getting into our top 10 corner infield rankings with a few sleepers mixed in at the end. But first, I try to get to the bottom of Ralph’s many personalties by playing some clips from his new Fantasy Football Youtube show, “The League.”

Click here for Episode 4 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 20

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 20:

Tom Murphy COL, C – Strikeout problems? What strikeout problems? Murphy has a 16/9 K/BB in his last 31 games, and only 4 K’s in 14 August games. The power has been just fine too, swatting 10 bombs over that 31 game span. Not only is his stock in Dynasty Leagues on the rise, but he can make a serious impact on re-draft leagues in September.

Gary Sanchez NYY, C – Talk about a catcher making a serious impact on fantasy leagues, Sanchez crushed 4 more bombs this week. With Sanchez and Willson Contreras already making their mark in the majors, and Murphy not far behind, fantasy catcher production is going to get a major boost next season.

Yermin Mercedes BAL, C – If you are looking for a deep league catcher sleeper, Yermin Mercedes is one to keep your eye on. And I guarantee it will be the cheapest Mercedes you will ever buy. Mercedes was an Independent League find by Baltimore in 2014 after he absolutely destroyed the league as a 21-year-old, crushing 17 bombs and hitting .380 in 60 games. He had a solid debut season with Baltimore last year, but be has really broken out this season, slashing .337/.402/.571 with 19 homers and a 78/43 K/B in 109 games split between Single-A and High-A. He is old for the level at 23 years old, but a lot of that has to do with the unique circumstances of his career, and he has hit well at every league he has played in since 18 years old. The power is also definitely very real, as he is built like a little pit bull, and has plenty of bat speed. He might not stick at catcher, especially with Baltimore, but he is a deep sleeper bat to watch at any position. 

Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP – It’s about damn time Giolito had a statement game like this, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BB, 10 K. Even with all of the consternation surrounding him this year, he still has a pitching line of 3.22/1.36/109 in 106.1 IP.

Josh Hader MIL, LHP – Hader had a statement game of his own last night, going 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BB, 12 K. Surprisingly, this is his first double-digit K game of the season, but it just goes to show how consistent he has been all year maintaining an 11.6 K/9.

Jose De Leon LAD, RHP – Continues to impress in the PCL, spinning 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BB, 10 K. Dodger Stadium will be the perfect park for his fly ball tendencies.

A.J. Puk OAK, LHP – 5 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BB, 5 K. Control was the major question with Puk coming into the draft, and he has done everything he could in pro ball to answer those questions with a 32/6 K/BB in 25 IP at Low-A. Keep in mind that Low-A (or more accurately named short-season A ball) is a glorified Rookie Ball league, so I would take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Speaking of grains of salt, the too small to be good Calhoun just keeps ripping it up, knocking 2 more dingers this week to give him 27 on the year.

Brendan Rodgers COL, SS – The #3 ranked prospect in my mid-season top 100, Rodgers exploded for 4 homers this week, giving him 19 on the season in 103 games. I ranked him one spot ahead of Alex Bregman, who has started to turn it on himself this week, knocking his first 3 homers of his MLB career.

Dansby Swanson ATL, SS – On Ep. 3 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast, Ralph Lifshitz and I talk about our modest expectations for Swanson in fantasy (.250/.294/.313 in 17 MLB PA’s), and also talk about some of the other buzzy prospect names of the week. We finish the show with a Milwaukee Brewers’s top 10 fantasy prospects ranking in honor of our first ever guest, JB Gilpin.

Joey Gallo TEX, 3B/1B – 3 more dingers and 14 more strikeouts. His improved K rate has slowly deteriorated as the season has progressed, but I’m still betting on his unrivaled power.

Alen Hanson PIT, 2B/3B/OF – .309/.374/.495 with 3 homers and 7 steals in the last month. Pitt has him starting all over the field (2B/3B/OF), so it certainly looks like they are preparing him for a utility role, at least for September. I still like Hanson for fantasy, but he is more of a sleeper at this point who is going to have to earn playing time in the majors, as opposed to a guy who gets a starting job with some leash right out of the gate.

Josh Ockimey BOS, 1B – Has fallen into a deep slump, slashing .136/.313/.212 in his last 20 games. Not exactly the lasting mark you want to leave on your breakout season.

Mitch Keller PIT, RHP – Threw his third shutout in a row this week, going 18 IP, 0 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BB, 21 K over that span. He doesn’t have lockdown #1 starter stuff, but his control is impressive, walking a grand total of 16 batters in 119.1 IP.

Jacob Faria TB, RHP – Had his first 0 BB game in Triple-A, going 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 8 K. He hasn’t had the best statistical season, but he has kept the K’s up all the year, and he might even earn a spot MLB start or two in September.

Grant Holmes LAD, RHP – First 4 starts with Oakland have been a disaster, going a combined 19 IP, 19 ER, 36 Hits, 4 BB, 11 K. I wouldn’t be too worried as he is establishing new highs in IP, but it does bring up the concern of if these stud pitching prospects can maintain their stuff for 180+ IP. You can’t really know for sure until they do it.

Wladimir Galindo CHC, 3B – The 6’3’’, 210-pound Galindo was a top prospect from the 2013 international signing period who was known for his raw power. And that raw power has continued to develop this year, knocking 8 homers in 54 games at Low-A as a 19-year-old. He is still raw, as evidenced by his 29.6% K rate, but his potential to become a fantasy beast is obvious.   

Tommy Edman STL, SS/2B – Like clockwork, St. Louis has another mid-round draft pick (6th rd pick this year) who has immediately excelled in pro ball. Edman is slashing .305/.416/.473 with 4 homers, 5 triples, 12 doubles, and 14 steals in 52 games at Low-A. He has elite contact skills, putting up a 22/37 K/BB, which backs up his 57/76 career K/BB in 168 games as a 3-year starter at Stanford. His upside isn’t sky high, and he may top out as a utility infielder, but I know better than to bet against St. Louis draft picks.

Ryne Birk HOU, 2B – It’s no wonder Birk got no respect coming into the draft this year (13th rd pick) being a small 2B and all, but he put up very solid numbers in the SEC, slashing .310/.378/.478 with 7 homers and 8 steals (he hit 10 homers his Sophomore year), and is now carrying that success over to pro ball (.293/.385/.455 with 4 homers and 5 steals). Like Edman, his best skill is his plus hit tool (16/21 K/BB in 43 games split between Low-A and Single-A) and as you know from his college stats, there is some pop in his bat too. Even though he was picked 7 rounds later, I might actually prefer Birk to Edman, although I like them both.

Harol Gonzalez NYM, RHP – Gonzalez leads the NYPL (short season A ball) in K’s, putting up the lights out pitching line of 1.72/0.93/77 in 68 IP. He is a small righty, and doesn’t have a big fastball (88-94 MPH), but he already has a great feel for pitching, using two different plus changeups, to go along with solid command, and a developing curve to lay waste to Low-A hitters. If he fills out a little more and tacks some extra velocity on his heater, the Mets could have themselves another fast rising pitching prospect.

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

Episode 3 – Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast

Aaron Judge! Gary Sanchez! Dansby Swanson! Ralph Lifshitz and I talk about all the buzzy prospects of the past week, and then bring in our first ever guest, Razzball’s resident Milwaukee Brewers fan, JB Gilpin, to help us rank Milwaukee’s stacked farm system.

Click here for Episode 3 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 19

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 19:

Raul Mondesi Jr. KC, SS/Orlando Arcia MIL, SS – They can’t all be Francisco Lindor, a light hitting shortstop in the minors who ripped it up immediately upon stepping foot in the majors (and hasn’t stopped ripping it up). Mondesi and Arcia have both predictably struggled since being called up, slashing .196/.211/.250 and .184/.259/.245, respectively. If I was going to put my money on one guy to be the next Lindor, it would be J.P. Crawford, but I wouldn’t bet on that either.

Francisco Mejia CLE, C – The hit streak is over at 50! But it was really kinda already over at 49 after the umps gifted Mejia a hit on Saturday night by overturning a correctly called error after the game had already ended. Hit streak or no hit streak, it doesn’t change the fact that Mejia has exploded onto the prospect map, and might have the best hit tool of any catcher in the minors.

Willie Calhoun LAD, 2B – Big Willie Style (yes, I actually owned that CD back in the day) launched 2 homers last night, and continues to add to his cult-like status in the fantasy prospect world. I can’t wait for him to actually get the call to the bigs, hopefully sometime next season.

Lucas Giolito WASH, RHP – The inconsistent Giolito looked good this week, going 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 5 K. He isn’t exactly Stephen Strasburg’ing his way to the Majors, but not many do.

Ian Anderson ATL, RHP – Promoted from Rookie ball to Rookie ball, but the better Rookie ball, and looked good over 3.2 IP. Here is an excellent scouting report from Kyle Glaser over at Baseball America on the start.

Michael Kopech BOS, RHP – Exploded this week, going 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BB, 11 K. His only plus pitch is his fastball right now, but damn is it a plus pitch, carrying him to 60 K’s in 38.1 IP.

Kyle Lewis SEA, OF – If you want to know why Lewis’ knee injury scares me so much, just watch this video he posted on Twitter of some of his early rehab work. I’m far from a doctor, so feel free to ignore my concerns, although I have been known to be one helluva internet diagnostician.

Corey Ray MIL, OF – Showing a pulse at High-A, hitting 2 homers and stealing 2 bases this week. The power/speed combo isn’t going anywhere, but the hit tool still needs improvement.

Aaron Judge NYY, OF/Gary Sanchez NYY, C – Judge and Sanchez both knocked their 2nd career Major League homer last night. I don’t own these guys in any fantasy leagues, unfortunately, but I’m just excited as a Yankees fan. I know it’s hard to believe, but watching declining veterans chug their way to 80 something wins isn’t very exciting.

Kolby Allard ATL, LHP/ Sean Newcomb ATL, LHP – Who is the best pitching prospect in Atlanta’s minor league system? Ralph held my feet to the fire on this question in Episode 2 of the Razzball Prospect Podcast (we also talked about the Gourriel brothers and swapped childhood WWF stories), and I stuck to my guns and went with Allard. He rewarded my faith with a gem of a performance this week, going 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BB, 9 K. Newcomb is his biggest competition, and he had his 3rd dominant outing in a row, going 17.2 IP, 2 ER, 10 hits, 6 BB, 25 K over that span. The 23-year-old Newcomb is much closer to the majors, but the 19-year-old Allard already has better control and command.

Derek Fisher HOU, OF – Promoted to Triple-A and smacked 2 homers with 8 K’s in 6 games. The power/speed combo looks great, but his already weak hit tool has regressed this year, striking out 29% of the time.

Raimel Tapia COL, OF – Promoted to Triple-A and hasn’t missed a beat, slashing .444/.464/.741. He has quieted a lot of the doubters by not only thriving in the upper levels of the minors, but also drastically cutting his K%.

Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – 3 more homers this week, giving him 29 on the season in a pitcher’s park. He is never going to hit for average, but he is a sure bet to stick at 3B, and there doesn’t look to be a doubt that his power will play in Oakland Coliseum.

Travis Demeritte ATL, 2B – Finally got on the board for his new team, knocking out 2 homers in one game. That gives him a .218/.394/.473 triple-slash in 16 games outside of the High Desert.

Jake Junis KC, RHP – His name makes him sound like a talented but troubled musician who died too young, but he is really just a boring future number 3/4 starter. I mentioned him way back in Week 9, and he has continued to pitch well, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BB, 7 K in his first start at Triple-A. If you are in a deep league and are looking for a “safe” starter, it is time to scoop Junis.

Thomas Szapucki NYM, LHP/ Yohander Mendez TEX, LHP – I know I can’t stop writing about these guys, but they keep putting up notable performances that continue to back up their breakout seasons. Szapucki threw up another double-digit K outing in 5.1 IP, albeit giving up 4 ER in the process, and Mendez threw his third straight shutout in the PCL (one of which came in July), giving up only 1 hit and striking out 6.

Austin Riley ATL, 3B – The hype has cooled dramatically since being a favorite off-season sleeper of many, but he has quietly put together a very respectable season as a 19-year-old in Single-A. He knocked 4 homers this week, and now has 14 homers and a .749 OPS on the season.

Erick Fedde WASH, RHP – Impressed in his first start at Double-A, going 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BB, 3 K. He still needs to develop a third pitch, but he’s dominating the minor leagues right now with the two plus pitches he does have (fastball/slider).

Erik Swanson NYY, RHP – 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 9 K as a 22-year-old in Single-A. I know the Yanks just got their hands on this guy a few weeks ago, but I think it’s time to move him up a level.

Yusniel Diaz LAD, OF – The talented Diaz is starting to turn it back on, hitting 3 homers in his last 7 games, including one last night. He is only 19 years old in High-A, so the .272/.338/.420 slash line really doesn’t look all that bad.

Dylan Davis SF, OF –  Surprise, surprise … San Francisco looks to have themselves another underrated prospect who can be the next in a long line to “come out of nowhere” and become a legit contributor to the big league club. Davis clubbed homers in back-to-back-to-back games this week, giving him 20 homers, to go along with a strong 97/45 K/BB in 107 games. He was a 3rd round pick in the 2014 draft, which seems to be the area where the good drafting teams do their best work. He just turned 23 years old and has done most of his damage in High-A, but the plus raw power and plus bat speed are for real. Don’t expect a star, especially at AT&T park, but he definitely has a shot at being a legitimate power hitting corner outfielder.

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

2016 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Week 18

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

Monday Rundown on Tuesday

Due to unforeseen circumstances, your regularly scheduled Monday Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rundown will be dropping on Tuesday this week.

Here is an apology from Larry David for the minor inconvenience.

And to hold you over, here is a video of Aaron Judge absolutely crushing a Grand Slam last night off Reynaldo Lopez.

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