I just couldn’t help myself. After a long off-season with no baseball, the first week of Spring Training games has got me amped up for the 2017 season. Lots of legitimately exciting stuff happened already too. Here is the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospect Rundown: Spring Training:
Aaron Judge NYY, OF – It was the homerun heard round the Twittersphere. Judge smashed a 93 MPH fastball that didn’t so much land as it did get stopped by the tippy top of the outfield scoreboard. I love a fundamentally sound 4-3 putout as much as the next guy (I was an expert at them), but bombs like this are what make you hit rewind on your DVR like 25 times.
Tyler Glasnow PIT, RHP – Glasnow came out throwing fire with his newly refined delivery, striking out 6 batters in 2 IP. The fastball clocked as high as 98 MPH, and he didn’t walk a single batter. If there is a real competition for Pittsburgh’s 5th starter spot, Glasnow jumped out to the early lead.
Harrison Bader STL, OF – Bader’s quick and powerful swing is still being underrated on mainstream prospect lists, and it is scorched bullet shots like this that makes you scratch your head as to why he doesn’t get more love. I guess he’ll have to settle for being another in a long line of Cardinals prospects who gets the “came out of nowhere/Cardinals voodoo” tag, even though he has been raking since freshman year in the SEC.
Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B – On last week’s Razzball Prospect Podcast: The Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Show, I wondered if Bellinger’s extreme uppercut swing is the future of baseball with launch angle and swing path being all the rage these days. This absolute moon shot only reinforced that thought. Of course, that same extreme uppercut is why I was a bit conservative on him in my Top 200, ranking him 26th overall.
Matt Chapman OAK, 3B – If those pull side homers didn’t do it for you, how about an opposite field dinger from one of the best power hitting prospects in the minors. There isn’t a clear path to playing time for Chapman at the moment, but there is no reason for Oakland to not trade Trevor Plouffe at the deadline if he has any value at all.
Jacob Faria TB, RHP – One of my favorite pitching prospect sleepers for two years running, Faria struck out 3 batters in 2 IP. Unless Tampa Bay’s rotation stays unusually healthy, Faria is almost sure to have his number called at some point this season.
Rhys Hoskins PHI, 1B – Non-Reading aided homer alert! Non-Reading aided homer alert!
Brad Zimmer CLE, OF – Drove in 5 runs in his Spring debut. Lined a single to center and showed off his raw power with an opposite field homer that he didn’t even get the sweet part of the bat on. With Cleveland’s shaky outfield situation, Zimmer could force his way into the lineup sooner rather than later.
Rowdy Tellez TOR, 1B – This is the play-by-play of Tellez’ 2nd at-bat on Sunday: late on a 1st pitch fastball, looked completely lost on a 12-6 curve, and finally whiffed bad on a breaking ball in the dirt. Drawing conclusions from one at-bat sample sizes in Spring Training is fun.
Carson Fulmer CHW, RHP – Pitched two scoreless innings, striking out Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and Franklin Gutierrez. Also unveiled a new, toned down delivery that will hopefully allow him to remain a starter.
Mark Appel PHI, RHP – I’m old enough to remember a time when Mark Appel vs. Kris Bryant was an actual debate. Feels like an eternity ago. He’ll get a fresh start in Philadelphia this year, and his stuff looked legit in his two inning, 3 K performance on Saturday. A wild pitch and hanging breaking ball were his only blemishes on the day.