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Coming off a start in which he whiffed a career high 12 batters, Brent Honeywell continued his scorching hot start last night. The righty went 7 innings, allowing 1 run, 1 hit, and striking out 8 in the process. Now at AA Montgomery, Honeywell looks to ride his varied arsenal, including his infamous screwball, to the show by the end of the year. The only real question with Honeywell at the moment is, just how aggressive the Rays get moving him along? His control has always been elite, leading to walk rates in the 4-6% range. And while the ability to generate swings and misses has always been there, it’s noticeably ticked up this season. The time to buy Honeywell might be now as he continues his assault on the AA Southern League. I’m never one to invest much in a pitching prospect, particularly one in the AL East, but Honeywell is the rare exception.

 

  • Big night for Yankees pitching prospects as Justus Sheffield, and Albert Abreu. Two starters were acquired in trades since last July’s deadline, had strong showings. Sheffield pitching for AA Trenton, went 5 2/3rds striking out 6, allowing 4 baserunners, and 1 unearned run. While his A ball counterpart, went 5 2/3rds himself striking out 11, while only surrendering 2 hits. Both Baby Bombers are worth monitoring. There’s a slight chance Sheffield touches the Bronx this year, but it’s remote.
  • Rough outing for my top pitching prospect Josh Hader, as he was taken deep 3 times by Memphis Tuesday night. Top catching prospect Carson Kelly went deep twice, with Harrison Bader also taking Hader to pound town. The lefty has struggled with homers in the past. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t fall victim to the PCLs ills.
  • Yoan Moncada looks like a man amongst boys. He collected another 2 hits and a run last night, as he bats .387. I’ve brought this up in multiple places, but I’d rather own Moncada than Buxton in redraft right now. Even if Moncada struggles while up, he’ll have his potentially elite on base ability to fall back on. So far in 2017, Moncada is showcasing everything we hoped he would. The one drawback is he’s still striking out a lot.
  • After not being able to get out of the first inning in his first start of the season, Rangers righty Connor Sadzeck followed it up with a very strong performance Tuesday. Going 5 scoreless innings, and striking out 9 in the process.
  • One of my favorite sleeper Red Sox prospects Tyler Hill, has got his power stroke going early for Class A Greenville. The 2016 NYPL all-star has homered in three consecutive contests.
  • The Cubs AAA affiliate Iowa has continued to mash. Jeimer Candelario added another 5 RBIs last night to his now minor league leading total. While teammate Ian Happ launched his 4th homer of 2017. The two young Cubs are in the precarious position of being blocked at the major league level, while loudly knocking on the door. The best owners can hope for at this point is injuries on the major league level, or a trade to an organization with an opportunity for PT.
  • Ian Happ just hit his 5th homer of the season in the first inning of today’s game. It came off of former MLB doormat/goggles model, Vance Worley. Somewhere, Chris Sabo weeps. “I slept with Marge Schott to be forgotten some day!”  That’s Sabo’s nightmarish screams.
  • On the number scouting side, Red Sox 2016 7th rounder Ryan Scott is off to a scorching start. Driving in 11 runs so far with 3 homers, the former University of Arkansas – Little Rock star is slugging .731 on the young season. His senior season at Arkansas – Little Rock was a serious breakout as he hit 12 homers with a slashline of .435/.516/.713. This could fade quick, but it’s worth watching.
  • Speaking of number scouting, Rangers 3rd base prospect Ti’Quan Forbes is all the rage. Off to a serious start at Class A Hickory with a .450/.542/.900 slashline through 6 games. The 20 year old was a second rounder in the 2014 draft he’s an athletic player with a quick bat, and some wheels.
  • A week after an excellent outing by Tigers 4th rounder Kyle Funkhouser, he got worked over last night for 7 runs. The former Louisville star received considerable first round buzz in 2015 even going to the Dodgers in the last pick of the first round. Funkhouser scorned their offer, and returned to Louisville, where the wheels came off. Much like fellow 2016 draft faller Alec Hansen (5 IP, 1 ER, 1 Bb, 9K’s Wednesday), he’s looking to regain his once heady prospect status. I wouldn’t be overly discouraged by last nights start. Keep him in your watch lists.
  • Yankees 2015 first rounder and former UCLA star James Kaprielian looks headed for elbow surgery. Once considered a potential fast riser, Kaprielian’s career has been considerably stalled by injury woes.
  • If you’re a Kaprielian owner looking to pivot to another young pitching prospect with upside, check out Forrest Whitley of the Astros. Not only did my tweet about his start Monday get a like from his Mom, he’s also getting Roger Clemens comparisons left and right. The 2016 first rounder allowed 3 base runners, and struck out 6 over 5 scoreless innings.
  • Victor Robles has continued to mash in 2017. He’s already managed a couple of three hit efforts this season with a homer and two steals. He’s more than a year away, but he’s one of the most exciting players in the minors for fantasy owners. He added another two hits last night, roping a triple off Orioles prospect Keegan Akin.
  • Are we watching Anthony Alford blossom before our eyes? The Blue Jays outfielder is one of the hottest hitters in the minors at the moment batting .625 through a handful of contests. There’s tools for days with Alford, as he’s one of the best pure athletes in baseball. We might be looking at one of the real risers of the 2017 season.

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb and Tune into my Fantrax show Live! Every Tuesday at 9 PM EST on YouTube.

 
  1. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great update! Love hearing that about Yoan. Traded him away in one keeper in a 2:1 (but got a very cheap Goldy in return) but have him in my OBP keeper and redraft leagues. Very excited!

    Any updated thoughts on Meadows or Tapia, or same as preseason so far?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: No updated thoughts on either.

      Tapia’ s a doubles machine in the early going and continues to look like a future batting title champ. He’s hitting .406.

      Meadows hasn’t hit well early on, he has 1 XBH and 1 steal. That will change though. Just needs to stay healthy.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Here here to that!

  2. dude says:
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    In a keeper league, Honeywell, Berrios and Martes are all available. Who do you see contributing the most this year and who do you like the most as a keeper?

    • dude says:
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      @dude: Honeywell has been picked up, so Berrios or Martes?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @dude: Martes, I would have gone Martes anyway.

      • dude says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks! Was leaning Martes. If Berrios is called up, think he pitches anywhere close to his Minor League numbers?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @dude: I have no idea at this point. He could, but he’s a bit concerning. Seems like he’s either catching too much of the plate or none of it.

      • Steve says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: better production Martes or Morton? Thanks Ralph

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Steve: This year probably Morton, because I don’t know if Martes is called up anytime soon. In two years it won’t be close.

  3. Pastime says:
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    How much value do you see in keeping Hader in a keeper league. I drafted him but am already getting weary he’s not going to make the leap to the bigs this year and if he does it may end up in the pen. Thoughts on when to cut the cord?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Pastime: I think he makes it to the bigs by July 1st, and I be gone on record that the pen talk is silly.

      Why would he go to the pen? Look at who the Brewers start now. He’s already their best pitcher. Rough outing in the PCL, I wouldn’t sweat it.

  4. Alcibiades Escobar says:
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    Last year’s REL2/Razz30 deadline trade of Trumbo for Stroman, Alford, Urena, and Reid-Foley is the gift that keeps giving.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Alcibiades Escobar: yeah that’s a lose for two months win forever trade.

  5. Sport says:
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    Thanks a bunch Ralph. Any prospects you would encourage holding in an AL only redraft league? JOse DeLeon, Barreta, Honeywell perhaps?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Barreto, Honeywell, De Leon in that order.

      Also would love the have Devers, Alford, Tellez, Reid-Foley. Obviously Gleyber, Frazier, and Tyler O’Neill too. Fisher, Tucker, and Martes all good. Then any of the high end Chicago guys.

  6. Ryan says:
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    Hader, honeywell, or happ for my NA slot. I could use any good stats, slight preference for pitching. Thanks Ralph!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ryan: The order you have them in.

  7. Mike L says:
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    I’ve got Bellinger, AJ Reed, Moncada, Brinson, and Happ all on my roster in my dynasty keeper forever. I’m really trying to compete next year. Do you think they’ll all have starting jobs by the end of the year?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike L: I can’t make any promises on Bellinger and Reed, but all are likely

      • Mike L says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Im probably more confident Bellinger has a job than anyone except Moncada. Whats with your no love for Berrios? He’s on my bench and I like him. Feel like people are sleeping on him and Giolito right now. At least in dynasty leagues I cant see how youd drop either…kinda like whiff king Buxton.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mike L: I think Brinson and Moncada have jobs next year no questions asked. Happ could get moved, I doubt he’s in AAA for much longer than a few months. Bellinger could be a starter now, however the Dodgers are notorious for not rushing players. He’s good enough to start at 1B or in the OF for almost any team. It’s just a matter of what opportunities are there. At the moment there are none, but that will change.

          I’m down in Berrios because he doesn’t look right, and it’s way beyond last season. He just doesn’t look crisp, he catches too much of the plate and then tries to nibble and can’t throw a strike. Maybe he gets it right, but right now he’s flaming out.

          Giolito’s fastball isn’t as good as we thought it was. It’s straight, that’s an issue I don’t care if you throw 98. I’ll take a 91 MPH fastball with control and deception anyday, over a straight fastball w/ high velo.

          Depending on the asking price, I could see taking a shot on them. It’s just tough to be confident in any of them. Sometimes top prospects bust, and non-prospects become superstars. Baseball is a game of consistent improvement.

  8. Ray says:
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    In an AL only dynasty league I was just offered Brian Dozier and Dylan Bundy for Andrew Benintendi.

    Should I ship Beni off, stay put, or try to get Jharel Cotton instead of Bundy?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ray: I’d take that deal.

    • TheRealAdamKing says:
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      @Ray: that deal sounds great to me personally. Especially since Dozier has started swiping bags along with the power bat.

  9. TheRealAdamKing says:
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    Who would you rather own in a dynasty league at this point, Moncada or Dahl?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @TheRealAdamKing: Moncada, a year from now he might be a top 10 MI.

      • TheRealAdamKing says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: that’s my thought too. Was thinking now is the time to attempt to deal for him if I’m ever gonna have a shot.

  10. Racehorse says:
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    Ralph –

    I picked up Joe Jimenez the other day to give my dynasty team’s bullpen a little youthful pizzazz…

    But the Tiger’s just optioned Jimenez back to AAA-Toledo. Is he worthy of a stash or should I move on?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Racehorse: He could be, if you need pen guys, is just try and find someone with a role and a high k rate. He’s good though.

  11. Matt says:
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    In a HTH 7 by 7 dyansty league, would you trade guasman for Meadows? I have pretty decent SP with Yu, Stroman, Hamels, Finnegan, and Graveman.

    Also, do you think Christin Stewart’s hot start in AA is going to lead to MLB time this year? Looking at that Detroit roster, I just can’t see them being in contention in July..
    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Matt: is I would make that trade, you can always find some pitching.

      I do! If Stewart continues to show what he’s shown he could get a few months worth of ABs in that OF for sure. Maybe DH a little too, his defense is awful.

  12. westcoastpete says:
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    Hey Ralph, have you checked out mlbfarm.com? A really good tool for tracking minorleague players developed by the baseball savant guys.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @westcoastpete: Oh yes, I love Darren’s work. I use his spraycharts and batted ball profiles a lot. I probably use that site more than just about any prospect writer. It’s a daily visit for me.

      Where else can you get batted ball data on minor league guys?

      • westcoastpete says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Not sure, I have been using fangraphs for my prospect analysis and just discovered it.

  13. TTRA1N says:
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    Bradley Zimmer up anytime soon? Seems to have the clearest path for PT.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @TTRA1N: Maybe, they just demoted Naquin which doesn’t show well for an iminenet call up. Tito likes his vets. Should still be up by June 1st.

  14. Luvdarooks says:
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    Who are your absolute top 3 multi category STUDS -5×5 standard NL Only-
    Outside the top 25. , ( top 25 probably taken)?very long term is ok—-

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Luvdarooks: Moncada, Margot, Meadows

      • Luvdarooks says:
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        all taken. I KNOW YOU HAVE TO FLY THROUGH THIS CAN WE TRY AGAIN?
        Can’t be on ML team and have to be OUTSIDE THE top 25 -30 in NL Only
        If thier arrival is this year forget it they are taken
        Any moncadas in the NL way down ?
        Even if they are inA ball college or H S

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Luvdarooks: Missed the NL only part. Yeah, I mean you can always check my top 100.

          Dom Smith, Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto, Isan Diaz, Yadier Alvarez, Walker Buehler, Harrison Bader, Austin Riley, Delvin Perez, Fernando Tatis Jr.

  15. Jow says:
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    Amed rosario is heating up when is he up? Who does he comp with I’m looking at 15/40. Mets will move reyes or make him a utility guy this year?

    All quiet on cubs top guy eloy Jimenez heard Stanton comp he isn’t all or nothing more like 30 to 40 hr 15 bags how can he come up this year ?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jow: Jimenez is hurt, so he’s not playing.

      I’m not sure with Rosario 15/40 seems generous in both areas. Might be at the end of the season. Could be next year, would have to be an injury to Cabrera.

  16. claw dog says:
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    Just a heads up, Justus Sheffield is a lefty. Otherwise thanks for the great work!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @claw dog: Jesus I knew that. Totally didn’t think before I wrote that.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Fixed, If only he and Jordan could fix a throwing arm for the family and stick with it.

  17. Jow says:
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    Sal Romano?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He’s gonna make America grate again!

  18. Woodrow the Impaler says:
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    oy Ralphie!

    Jae-Gyun Hwang is starting to get reps in the OF out in Sac- how do you like his chances of making some noise at the big league level?

    Thanks, breh.

Comments are closed.