Transparency isn’t a strong suit of Major League front offices, nor should it be. Nowhere is this fact more glaring than in the case of the Kansas City Royals and the immediate future of top hitting prospect Wil Myers. The Royals have insisted that they’ll practice patience with Myers and let him marinate in Omaha for the duration of the season. Meanwhile, in Jeff Francoeur, KC holds an outstanding trade chip — an experienced bat who’ll undoubtedly be pursued by contenders across the bigs. The Royals have been pretty wishy-washy regarding Francouer’s availability, but with guys like Kevin Youkilis and Carlos Lee off the market already, one would imagine that buyers will look aggressively toward the veteran outfielder. Kansas City will be hearing offers for Frenchy, indeed, and I’m thinking there’s a good possibility he’ll be shipped out. And if this scenario plays out, the path will be cleared for Myers, who continues to post monstrous numbers at Triple-A. There’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding this situation — a trade of this sort might not even be necessary for a Myers call-up. Nonetheless, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the KC rumor mill during the coming weeks.
Christian Yelich | OF, Marlins — Yelich is among my favorite prospects in baseball. His hit tool and power potential are tremendous, and he’s been on a tear over the last few weeks in Florida State League play. Last ten: .500/.578/.872, 3 HR.
Billy Hamilton | SS, Reds — Hamilton has now stolen 104 bases in 82 games, which is simply ridiculous. In 82 games of High-A baseball, he’s surpassed his stolen base total from a year ago (103), which was achieved in 135 games. He’s also batting .323/.413/.439 on the year. At this point, I’d just like to see what he can do at Double-A.
Delino Deshields Jr. | 2B, Astros — Having just finished talking about a dude with 104 stolen bases, it seems kinda boring to highlight someone with 61 bags, as if it’s something to be excited about. Deshields is having a bit of a breakout at Low-A (.281/.386/.404) and he’s the only minor leaguer within 65 (!) stolen bases of Hamilton. Still, I’m unimpressed. We’ve been thoroughly jaded by this Billy Hamilton character.
Tony Cingrani | LHP, Reds — Cingrani hasn’t allowed a run in over 20 innings now, and during that stretch he’s fanned 27 Double-A batters. In his first full season as a pro, the 23-year-old has posted 1.28 ERA to go along with a 0.94 WHIP and 11.0 K/9.
Matt Harvey | RHP, Mets — The K’s have been there all year for Harvey, but now he’s starting to hone his command pitch much more efficiently at Triple-A Buffalo. His ability to draw whiffs will make him an attractive fantasy option once he’s arrived.
Jameson Taillon | RHP, Pirates — Taillon’s name has been popping up in trade rumors recently, as the Pirates look to make a run at a NL Central crown. I’m not really a believer in Pittsburgh’s chances for this year, and I think it’d be unwise to part with a 2010 first-rounder whose ceiling remains enormous.
Jake Marisnick | OF, Blue Jays — I mentioned last week that Marisnick had picked up the XBH production significantly, which is generally a reliable indication that a guy is ready for the next level. Toronto promoted the 21-year-old to Double-A New Hampshire earlier in the week.
Gary Brown | OF, Giants — After a breakout 2011, Brown has been somewhat of a disappointment in 2012, but he’s been picking up the pace recently, batting .364/.404/.659 over his last ten games.
Nick Castellanos | 3B, Tigers — It hasn’t taken long for Castellanos to adjust to Double-A pitching. The 20-year-old is batting .307 through his first 116 PA at Erie, and he’s already blasted 4 homers — he hit just 3 HR in 237 PA at High-A before the promotion.
Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals — MVP of the Texas League All Star Game, Oscar Taveras is a beast. With 46 XBH (17 HR) in 331 PA, he’s been just about the most impressive hitter in Double-A this year… and he turned 20 just two weeks ago.
Zack Cox | 3B, Cardinals — Cox has long been touted as one of the purest hitting prospects in the game, but an ugly couple months to start his year at Triple-A was cause for concern. Recent performance, however, is quelling those doubts, as Cox has collected 16 hits in his last 40 PA, raising his season AVG to .261. That figure should continue to rise.
Jedd Gyorko | 3B, Padres — Gyorko has been impressive since he arrived at Triple-A, batting .343/.386/.605 in 49 games. He’s certainly a candidate for a 2nd-half call-up, though he’ll have to deal with the Petco factor, so don’t expect too much.