Happy Fathers Day, Razzball Nation, especially to the dads we have here on staff: Rudy and Mike and Nick and Jack are proud fathers, and I’ve heard Tehol has offspring on every continent, although that rumor is unsubstantiated. I’m not a dad, but I have one, and I’ll be hanging with him today, doing our usual Fathers Day bonding (sipping fine booze while watching the US Open). I hope everyone can find something equally gratifying to do with their dads, or with their sons and daughters. And however it is that you choose to enjoy the day, here’s to all the good fathers out there. Cheers.
Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies: Tapia is tooled-up to the max, and his fantasy ceiling is as dreamy as they come, but for the time being, he is raw. His line on the year — his first year at the full-season level — is actually quite good: .315/.360/.453, 6 HR, 12 SB, but if you’ve been watching closely, you’re aware that it’s been a streaky campaign for the 20-year-old. At times, Tapia is guilty of trusting too much in his off-the-charts hand-eye ability, swinging at poor pitches and making weak contact. When he’s patient, on the other hand, he looks like one of the premier hitting prospects in the game, and that’s the version we’ve seen over the past week, as he’s drilled 2 homers and stolen 5 bases while reaching base at a .515 clip. I’m eager to see Tapia string together a few more weeks like this one, because I’d love to be as aggressive as possible with his ranking in next month’s Mid-Season Top 50.
Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays: After an inconsistent run at Double-A, which ended with an ERA at 3.82, a WHIP at 1.39 and a K/9 at 7.8, Sanchez has been promoted to Triple-A. The 21-year-old brings an advanced arsenal, great physical size, and a true front-end projection, and while it’s exciting to imagine him finishing the season in the Jays rotation, I doubt that Toronto will extend him much more than another 60 or so IP.
Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates: Also getting a bump up to Triple-A this week is Nick Kingham of the Pirates. The 22-year-old was sharp in his first start with Indianapolis, striking out 8 and walking 1 through 7 scoreless frames.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs: With 3 more homers since our last Minor Accomplishments post, I think it’s fair to say that Kris Bryant has officially gone bonkers. That makes 22 on the season, along with a slash line at .358/.462/.713. Good grief.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers: Speaking of bonkers, Joey Gallo was promoted to Double-A on Monday and promptly smashed 4 HR in his five 5 games with Frisco, putting him at 25 on the year. Bryant actually pulled even with Gallo in the home run race on Monday, but the tie was short-lived.
Chris Stratton, RHP, Giants: After a superb first full season at Low-A Augusta in 2013, I was surprised when the Giants didn’t skip Stratton over the High-A level this season, avoiding the hitter-friendly Cali League altogether. He’s 23-years-old, after all, and such a move would have been reasonable. Instead, Stratton has struggled this season, posting a line at 4.43/1.31/66 in 67 IP. His most recent outing, however, was a step in the right direction: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.
Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs: After drafting him 4th overall last week, the Cubs were able to sign Schwarber to a bonus worth $3.125 million, which is roughly $1.5 million below the slot suggestion. He’s been given a short-season assignment at Boise, and in his first ballgame as a pro, the 21-year-old out of Indiana went 4-for-5 with a homer. The Cubs are quite clearly stacking their farm with power bats — Baez, Bryant, Soler, Vogelbach, Schwarber… even Mike Olt should be considered among this trend. They’re latching onto plus raw power as a market inefficiency, and I’m anxious to see how this strategy plays out over the long term.
Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Cardinals: Gonzalez continues to impress at Double-A Springfield, allowing only 2 baserunners and 1 run through 6 IP on Friday, striking out 10 along the way.
Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins: Last year’s 6th overall pick is on a roll at High-A Jupiter, batting .452/.469/.742 with 2 HR over the past week. Praised as one of the most polished bats in the 2013 class, Moran needs to continue to ramp up the XBH production in order to push his way out of Class-A sometime soon.
Jose Peraza, 2B/SS, Braves: Through 65 games at High-A Lynchburg, Peraza is batting .341/.365/.452 with 33 SB. As a top-of-the order MI with an advanced approach and plus wheels, the 20-year-old carries loads of intrigue for the fantasy game.
Addison Russell, SS, Athletics: Russell has missed the bulk of the season to this point with a hamstring injury, but he returned to game action this week. He remains among the highest upside shortstop prospects in the game, and provided everything clicks, it’s still conceivable that he could reach Oakland late this season.