June is an exciting time. Cellar dwellers have a chance to see the “Hope of their future,” trades become relevant and prospects get their chance to prove to the world the hype is legitimate. Truth be told, more often than not, it becomes a game of small sample size paranoia. Is this prospects hot start a mirage? There is no way a top 10 prospect could be this bad!?! How much should I trade/give up to move the prospect? The questions are endless. Rookie nookie starts dreams of all butterflies and daffodils, but being roofie’d is swift kick in the groin to reminding you that you’re still a man.
Lonnie Chisenhall | CLE | 3B: Jack Hannahan was removed due to hamstring tightness, but was stated just as a precautionary measure. Just in case; it should be noted that Chisenhall has slowed down and has lost some if that early season luster. Or that managers realize he’s hitting .194 in 62 at-bats versus left handed pitching and .309 against righties. I still like Chisenhall and believe he’ll be a .275, 20-25 HR and 90 RBI boring third basemen, just not this year. If used right in the majors (read: platooned), he could post a .280 average with 10-15 home runs in 275 at-bats.
Mike Moustakas | KC | 3B: Chisenhall has lost and slipped behind Moustakas for fantasy relevancy this June. After a horrid April, the Moose has started to turn into the prospect everyone thought he’d be. Better late than never.
Brett Lawrie | TOR | 3B: Had a pitch strike his wrist, causing a delay in his MLB arrival. The damage was just a bruise but is still day-to-day. Once he’s healed, expect the Blue Kays to start him at third.
Anthony Rizzo | SD | 1B: Reports are that the Padres are going to be calling up their top hitting prospect within the next few days. A must grab in all but the shallowest leagues.
Brandon Allen | ARI | 1B: Allen continues to heat up as the seasons progresses. The strikeouts are a concern (~25 K%) and always have been. With Arizona’s current struggles at first, Allen should get a call-up before before too long.
Paul Goldschmidt | ARI | 1B: Speaking of Arizona first basemen, Goldschmidt continues to dominate Double-A’s Southern League with 19 home runs and an OPS of 1.149 in 202 at-bats. This year he has cut down his strikeout rate considerably from the past two years, from 31% strikeout rate to 19%, and increased his walk rate; current ratio is 38:42 K:BB. With 16 more walks, he’ll pass his career high that was reached in 525 at-bats. He’s quickly rising up scouts prospect boards as the power has proved to be more than just environmentally driven.
Yonder Alonso | CIN | 1B/LF: The sweet swinging Alonso is showing he deserves a chance in the majors slashing .318/.373/.507 with 24 XBH (6 Hr) and with no noticeable split against lefties. Jonny Gomes’ .190 average and Fred Lewis being who-he-is, I would expect Alonso to quietly be promoted to the majors soon.
Kyle Gibson | MIN | RHP (SP): I was watching Friday’s Twins-Royals game with a few friends at a local bar, none of them Twins fans. They directed my attention to the days starting lineup and a little bit of my dinner found its way into my mouth. Even with Alcides Escobar’s sub .500 OPS and without Moustakas, the Royals lineup was better. Although the Twins won 5-2 (much due to Danny Duffy’s poor pitching) and Eric Hosmer was robbed of a 2-run home run by a bogus ground-rule double call, the Twins look terrible. What does this have to do with Mr. Gibson? Good question. Throughout that game, all I could think was that beyond Kyle Gibson’s fantastic upside, the Twins minor league system has nothing good to offer for another two years. At this point in the year, the Twins have nothing to lose by calling up Gibson. He’s proven that the promotion would be warranted.
Devin Mesoraco | CIN | C: It seems that his numbers come in bunches. On Friday, he went 3 for 3 with a home run and 5 RBI. A sixth of his season’s production was on one night. A few weeks ago, it was the same story. Either way, he’s proving that 2010 wasn’t a fluke.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis | NYM | CF: There are rumors of Carlos Beltran being traded. It would be just as likely that he return to the DL. One prospect that should be mentioned if that rumor even has some validity is Kirk. He’s slashing .302/.407/.521 in 169 at-bats with 23 XBH (6 Hr) with a 51:29 K:BB ratio. Sabermetric stats paint a different picture. His .402 BABIP and 30.2 K% would indicate a strong regression towards the mean. He has Colby Rasmus type upside, and should be an exciting prospect, but I do think he’s playing over his head for the time being.
Dustin Ackley | SEA | 2B: The Mariners are still waiting to call him up until he improves defensively. Are they worried that fans wouldn’t come to the game because defensively he struggles? Psh! The Twins start Alexi Casilla every night at short and Target Field still sells tickets.
Matt Moore | TB | LHP (SP): Hard to get excited this year for Moore as the Rays are notoriously slow in promoting their top prospects. Nevertheless, a pitcher with a 5.125 K:BB ratio and 12.6 K/9 rate in 58 2/3 innings is difficult to ignore. He’ll be the Julio Teheran, Jeremy Hellickson, Tommy Hanson of 2012; everyone is going to want to see him come September, if not sooner.
Shelby Miller | St.L | RHP (SP): Promoted to Double-A last Sunday. Much like Moore, Miller has a 13.6 K/9 and nearly 4:1 K:BB ratio. Start getting excited for Summer 2012.