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Storylines in Minor League Baseball are sometimes too good to ignore.  Take this past Wednesday, for example, when Sacramento (OAK) battled Tacoma (SEA) in an 18-inning Pacific Coast League affair.  The game got away from the managers as it reached deep into extras.  Having exhausted their respective bullpens, both skippers resorted to calling on position players to take the mound.  Tacoma opened the top half of the 18th with Scott Stavastano, a utility player, on the bump.  The 26-year-old pitched a clean frame; 1-2-3.  Sacramento countered with outfielder Shane Peterson on the mound for the bottom half.  Peterson had struck out the first batter when Stavastano, the utility man/pitcher of record came to the plate in a 1-1 tie.  You probably can guess where I’m headed with this — Stavastano worked a full count, then bombed.  A walk off to give himself the W on the box.  Neat stuff.

Danny Hultzen | LHP, Mariners – It’s also worth noting that Hultzen started that 18-inning marathon for Tacoma.  He was on-point, too:  6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.  Another couple outings like that and he could find himself pitching at Safeco.

Dan Straily | RHP, Athletics Sticking with that same game, Straily started for Sacramento, opposite Hultzen.  He was even better than his counterpart:  8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.  This has been quite the breakout for Straily, who has posted a 1.10 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP through six Triple-A outings in the hitter-friendly PCL.  

Javier Baez | SS, Cubs Batting .331/.389/.589 with 20 XBH (4 HR) through his first 180 PA at Low-A Peoria, Baez is giving Cubs fans plenty of reason for excitement.  From a player development perspective, this has been an outstanding first year for Epstein and Hoyer.  Who do you think they should have start game one of the 2015 NLDS?

Matt Adams | 1B, Cardinals – Adams really wants to get back to St. Louis.  His Triple-A line on the year:  .358/.388/.679.  He should have plenty to offer for fantasy owners starting in April of next year.

Nick Castellanos | 3B, Tigers – After hitting .405 at High-A, he’s come back to earth a bit in Double-A, but he’s still holding his own at the plate (.295/.312/.479 with 6 HR), and the Tigers aren’t ruling out the possibility of a September arrival for their star prospect. 

Mike Zunino | C, Mariners – I highlighted Zunino last month as a 2012 draftee who might move quickly toward the bigs.  Early results have been great, as the third overall pick has slugged six XBH (3 HR) through his first seven games (29 PA) at Short-Season A-ball.

Brian Goodwin | OF, Nationals – The Nationals have fast-tracked Goodwin, skipping him over High-A, straight to Double-A, after he hit .324/.438/.542 in the Low-A South Atlantic League.  An aggressive move from Washington — it’s rare to see a position player skip a level in-season.

Jeurys Familia | RHP, Mets – Familia has allowed only two runs over his last three outings at Triple-A Buffalo.  He seems to have sorted out some control issues, and could find himself pitching in the bigs before this year is through.

Michael Choice | OF, Athletics He’s hit safely in every game since I mentioned him last week, putting his hitting streak at 15.  His 1.379 OPS through his last 43 PA speaks loudly as to how well he’s seeing the ball right now.  Choice figures to be making an impact in the fantasy game at some point in 2013.

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    Good stuff Scott a lot of my minors squad on here in Castellanos, Hultzen and Choice. Never expected Casty to have a shot at making the show this year, great news as long as he’s ready.

    Sounds like this Dan Straily kid’s one of those who comes out of nowhere, reckon he could cut it in the bigs? If so I could cut one of Franklin, Segura or Zach Lee to get him on my farm team.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, I like Straily over Lee at this point. And depending on how the A’s play it at the trading deadline, he could find himself in Oakland in the next few weeks.

  2. Tbone says:
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    Straily’s BABIP is .188 in the PCL? How is this possible? He looks like a ground ball pitcher from his AA numbers, but a slight fly ball pitcher from his AAA numbers…probably a sample size thing, but what does he project as? Trying to figure out if he’s worth stashing instead of Cashner in a 3-yr keeper. Thanks for the article.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Tbone, Ridic BABIP reveals he’s been pretty fortunate, which explains why his FIP stands over a point higher than his ERA. Still, Straily has been outstanding in AAA, and scouts think he’s for real. With great command of his fastball, along with plus-plus change & nice sharp slider, he projects primarily as a swing-and-miss type. He’ll work batters all over the zone with his ability to command plus stuff, so contact will be variable & I’m not surprised that the numbers reflect that. The A’s might choose to steer him one direction or the other in order to draw more consistency at the big league level, but either way he should make for a nice fantasy option.

      All that said, I really like Cashner. Health is obviously a concern, but if he’s in a starting role, he’s a safer bet than Straily to put up big numbers.

  3. Longbeacyo says:
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    What’s the latest on Wil Myers?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Longbeacyo, Just one homer in his last ten games, batting .211/.302/.395 during that stretch. Depending on what sort of action the Royals get into as we approach the trade deadline, Myers could be up sometime in August. But KC front office has been firm on keeping him down for the year, and this recent cold stretch certainly isn’t swaying that sentiment.

  4. Benny says:
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    Do you think Bauer will be recalled this summer? He seemed to struggle mightily with control – I know it’s a very small sample size, but from what you saw in the bigs, did it change your opinion of him or when you think he’ll really be a fantasy force?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Benny, No I’m still high on Bauer & he could absolutely get back to AZ this year. I thought he was trying to be a little too cute with sequencing while he was up, which got him into trouble. If he can make a few adjustments, he could be a valuable fantasy option down the stretch.

  5. TheNewGuy says:
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    Segura’s been called up by the Halos.

    Seeing as I have him on my farm this is of interest. Thoughts on how he could fare? Think he’s a slappy speedy type but hopefully will get on base a good amount to run. Don’t have to call him up yet but could he be a useful force at a weak position (2B) next year, ala say Altuve?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy, I’d probably wouldn’t activate him just yet. Doesn’t look like he’ll see the field much, especially if they’re not putting Aybar on the DL. Keep an eye on the situation for now. And yes, I like Segura for next year.

  6. Benny says:
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    What are your thoughts on Jameson Taillon? I don’t know much about him as a prospect, what his prospective value is, or when we should expect him to called up.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Benny, Legit ace potential. He’s behind Cole in terms of development, but his ceiling might even be a tick higher than Cole’s. Don’t expect to see him in the bigs ’til 2014, though. Also have been hearing his name included in some trade rumors.

  7. Jon says:
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    Yelich has more upside than a Brett Jackson, correct? What’s Yelich’s ETA? Would you prefer Choice over either?

    I’m also holding Skaggs, Olt, Marte and Singleton (in addition to Jackson). Would you prefer Straily, Carlos Martinez or Matt Adams over any of those guys?

    Thanks!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jon, Yes, Yelich has way bigger upside than Jackson. ETA: late 2013, early 2014.

      I’d probably hold Skaggs & Olt, but Carlos Martinez is worth a look over either Marte or Singleton. I’d add Martinez over Jackson & Adams over Marte. Hold Singleton. And I’m guessing Straily could be added straight to your active roster once he’s called up the next few weeks.

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