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Good Sunday morning gang!!! The weather forecast remains unseasonably cool and rainy here in the south, but it’s having little effect on many of us who look forward to this time of year regardless of what Mother Nature has in store. It’s only been a couple of days since the unofficial second half started but the MLB non-waiver trade deadline looms, the days seem to flash by in minutes, and every baseball nut everywhere barely looks outside to see if the sun is shining since they’re too busy refreshing Twitter, MLBTR, and every other information source they can find on the internets. The deals are coming, the playoff races are changing, and the prospects are rising – seemingly quicker than the sun.

Here’s our weekly Sunday Twelve-Pack – our peek at prospects who may be taking another step up their ladder as they climb towards The Show (including my thoughts on Taylor Lindsey, the prime piece acquired by the Padres this weekend) These are twelve players to keep your eye on as someone you can potentially expect to see a promotion to the next level soon as paths become cleared when deals are made and performances simply can’t be ignored much longer.

1.) Austin Voth, RHSP, WAS

Voth spun another gem for Potomac (Hi-A) Friday night – 7 shutout IP, 1 hit allowed, 8 Ks, 1 BB – extending his scoreless inning streak to 21. The 2013 5th Rounder out of Washington has lowered his overall season line to a scary 1.75 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 110/27 K/BB Ratio over 102.1 IP while holding opposing hitters to a measly .171 BAA across two levels so far this season. The only run he’s allowed since arriving in Potomac came on a solo HR in his second start with the team. With another couple of good starts, Austin could very well force the Nats to give him a crack at AA hitters before the end of the season, and pairing him with MLB ready OF prospect Steven Souza would likely bring Washington a pretty significant bullpen and/or bench upgrade if they chose to go that route.

2.) Byron Buxton, OF, MIN

He’s back, and he’s back with bells on. After struggling a little with his timing during his first few plate appearances, Buxton has exploded – he went 9-15 with 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, and 5 runs scored from Wednesday-Friday – bringing his overall slash line up to .280/.357/.520/.877 over his first 50 2014 ABs. Look for the 20 year old to hop right back on the fast track with a promotion to AA New Britain sometime soon and an eye towards having him ready to compete for the Twins’ CF job next spring.

3.) Hunter Harvey, RHSP, BAL

Harvey delivered another dominant (if brief) outing for Lo-A Delmarva again Friday night – firing 5 innings and allowing one run on 2 hits while striking out 8 (and walking no one). The 19 year old is 2.8 years younger than average for SALLY League prospects and is now delivering 11.0 K/9 (101 Ks over 82.2 IP), and his WHIP is now down to 1.09 while he’s holding older hitters to an impressive .197 BAA. The Orioles aren’t going to push his innings much in the second half of his first exposure to full season ball, but Hunter might benefit from facing more advanced hitters for a bit before the call to shut him down comes.

4.) Brandon Drury, 3B, ARI

Drury has joined fellow D-Backs’ 3B prospect Jake Lamb in his push to convince Tony LaRussa to move both Aaron Hill AND Martin Prado prior to the deadline if at all possible. Over Brandon’s last 10 games through Friday he slashed .395/.429/.789/1.218, bringing his overall season numbers with Hi-A Visalia to .295/.359/.518/.877 with 32 2Bs, 1 3B, 19 HRs, 71 RBIs, and a solid 34/68 BB/K Ratio over 380 ABs. The former 2010 13th Round pick has quickly separated himself as the best player in the prospect haul Arizona received (with Prado) in the Justin Upton to Atlanta deal.

5.) Tyler Glasnow, RHSP, PIT

Pay attention Neal Huntington – that knock on your door that has been getting a little louder each week is quickly turning into a fist banging on your door. Glasnow made 2 starts this week (11.1 shutout IP, allowing 10 hits while striking out 14 and only walking 2), and has now gone 6-1 in his last 10 starts at Hi-A Bradenton with a 67/21 K/BB Ratio and only 33 hits (1 HR) allowed over 53.1 IP. He’s around the plate much more than he has been in the past, but has lowered his BAA to .177 which is the best among qualified minor league SPs. Time for a reward and a new challenge.

6.) Carlos Rodon, LHSP, CHW

White Sox’ VP Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn more or less laid out the strategy to move the 2014 #3 overall pick quickly through their system, announcing that Rodon will only be used out of the pen for the rest of the season. This mirrors the roadmap the organization used with Ace Chris Sale – using what few available innings he has left to challenge him with more advanced hitters and an eye toward giving him a chance to compete for a rotation spot when camp opens next spring. He’s been sent to make a couple of appearances in the AZL, and should be facing Hi-A hitters by the end of the month. Like Sale, he could be pitching out of the Sox’ pen before the sun sets on the season in which he was drafted.

7.) Trea Turner, SS, SDP

Much like his NC State teammate (Rodon), 2014 First Round pick (#13 overall) Turner is on the fast track to The Show. Although he wasn’t particularly impressive while getting his feet wet the Padres’ brass decided to challenge Turner early with a promotion to Low-A Fort Wayne, and he responded with a hot week – slashing .455/.520/.682/1.202 with 3 2Bs, 1 3B, and 3 SBs in his first 5 games (through Friday). The Padres have the worst offense in the game at the MLB level, and are looking for ANYONE that can hit. Everth Cabrera has regressed significantly during the first half of the 2014 season, and he could be hearing Turner’s footsteps behind him late next season if something doesn’t change quickly.

8.) Clint Coulter, C, MIL

The Brewers have time to let 2012 First Rounder (#27 overall) Coulter’s defense continue improving with All-Star Jonathon Lucroy entrenched behind the plate at Miller Park, but he needs a bigger challenge to help his bat develop. He went 6-14 with 2 bombs (and 7 BBs) this week for Lo-A Wisconsin, bringing his season slash line to .265/.401/.509/.910 with 19 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 16 HRs, and a 55/72 BB/K Ratio in 291 ABs. The 20 year old has allowed 12 passed balls in 2014, but he’s also thrown out 27% of runners attempting to steal on him.

9.) JaCoby Jones, SS, PIT

Drafted as a 2B out of LSU (2013 3rd Round), the Pirates have been playing Jones as a SS at Lo-A West Virginia. Only time will tell whether he has the glove to stick there, but he’s answered any questions about his bat so far. Through Friday’s games Jones has battered SALLY League pitching, slashing .297/.363/.500/.863 with 15 2Bs, 1 3B, 16 HRs, and 15 SBs in 320 ABs. His pitch recognition and approach need to improve (95 Ks with only 26 BBs), but he’s been on fire over his last 10 games – .368/.419/.632/1.050. There’s no need to be overly aggressive with Jones since the Pirates have Neil Walker currently manning 2B in PNC Park and SS prospect Alen Hanson ahead of him at Altoona (AA), but a shift to 3B could be in order in the event the Pirates decide to let Pedro Alvarez leave in a future cost-cutting move.

10.) Jen-Ho Tseng, RHSP, CHC

Don’t worry Cubs fans – while most of the rest of the baseball world is growing tired of talking about the hitters, there actually are other players in the system worth discussing. The organization signed the Taiwanese right-hander last July, and aggressively assigned the 19 year old to Lo-A Kane County to start this season. He’s responded nicely and threw 6 shutout innings at Lansing Friday night, allowing 1 hit while striking out 3 and walking one. His last 10 starts (53 IP) have resulted in a .187 BAA and 2.38 ERA with a 50/8 K/BB Ratio. It’s entirely too early to pencil him into the 2016 Opening Day rotation at Wrigley, but the early returns look promising.

11.) Taylor Lindsey, 2B, SDP

The biggest chip the Padres received in the Huston Street deal had plateaued somewhat in the Angels’ system – Lindsey was flying through the lower levels of the system until he ran into the glut of MIs in the Anaheim lineup the last couple of seasons. That crowded situation proved beneficial for Jean Segura when he was shipped to the Brewers as part of the Zack Greinke package, and the Padres hope the same type of change of scenery will kick start Lindsey again. Taken 37th overall in the 2010 draft, Taylor was named the 2011 Pioneer League MVP, a 2012 California League Postseason All-Star, named to both the 2013 Midseason and Postseason Texas League All-Star squads, and had an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League.

12.) James Ramsey, OF, STL

Ramsey is seemingly buried at the back of the line of Cardinals’ OF prospects even with Oscar Taveras on the MLB roster – the 2014 Futures Game replacement for Marco Gonzales still finds himself stalled at AA Springfield with Steven Piscotty, Randal Grichuk, Shane Robinson, and Tommy Pham blocking any upward movement for the 2012 #23 overall pick. While the talent the Cardinals’ machine has amassed remains impressive, they’re getting closer and closer to having some players begin to regress because they’re not being challenged. Ramsey’s slashing .306/.387/.549/.936 with 9 2Bs, 1 3B, 13 HRs, and a 25/49 BB/K Ratio and is too old (and polished) for AA baseball. If John Mozeliak continues to hoard the guys the Cards have ahead of him, look for Ramsey to be included in any deals they make before the deadline.

From Around The Web

  1. Swfcdan says:
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    Seen the midseason prospect rankings around and yeah, they aren’t too kind on Appel and for good reason. Should I just cut bait on him now if he won’t likely find his groove any time soon? The other options available to me:
    Hunter Dozier, Steven Piscotty, Blake Swihart (catchers not valued too highly but man he’s looking good), Dan Vogelbach.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: Brandon Drury and Jake Lamb other options (both D-Back 3B?)

      • Yescheese says:
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        @Swfcdan: lamb looking likely for a callup if Prado dealt

      • Chris

        Chris says:
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        @Swfcdan:

        Lamb will obviously get the first shot of the two – his success has come against higher level competition – but I’m probably higher on Swihart, Lamb, Piscotty, and Drury at this point.

        Many of Appel’s struggles stem from issues that some scouts pointed out as far back as before he was drafted – they’re not a huge surprise to some – and only multiply the trouble the Astros are having with Pitchers. Quite a few long-time observers have been skeptical about their “piggyback” theory for a multitude of reasons. It’s too soon to call it a complete failure, but the early results sure haven’t been very positive.

        Failing to sign Brady Aiken on the heels of Appel’s struggles certainly won’t help matters moving forward. There’s plenty to be excited about as an Astros fan – Altuve, Springer, Singleton, Correa, etc. – but there’s still a lot to be worried about, including (and potentially most importantly) the way Luhnow & Company handle negotiations and seem to do things specifically designed to “buck the norm” just because they want to be different.

        Will it work out in the end? Hopefully for their fans, but they’re a lot further away from being consistently competitive than they want to admit IMO.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Swfcdan:

      I’m big on Swihart personally, but if your league doesn’t place as much value on Catchers as some really deep leagues do Piscotty could eventually end up being a better option.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Chris: So a big question gets a 2 line answer and a 1 line question gets a 4 paragraph response? Blimey, thats some strange logic there…..Haha just kidding man, thanks for the input.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Chris: Almora just been dropped in that league, amazingly for Swihart (he read razzball?). Therefore I gotta grab Almora for Appel right?

        Another guy really testing my patience is Carlos Martinez who is still stewing on my fantasy farm, but the results have no way made me consider promoting him yet. Shall I just cut bait on him too? Looking for bats, Dalton Pompey is another one you like in your top 50 who is unowned.

        • Chris

          Chris says:
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          @Swfcdan:

          I don’t think I could cut bait on Martinez just yet. If the Cards do make a run at Price (or another big acquisition) before the deadline, he’ll likely be part of the deal.

          Dropping Appel for Almora would work for me.

          • Swfcdan says:
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            @Chris: Yeah it’s just tough to know when to give up on a guy like him who’s in the majors so can produce value right away, but is just so damn frustrating in his results. Basically I’ve gone off pitching prospects now (thanksto him and Appel) so if another nice bat breaksout in the minors, I’ll be sure to add him over C-Mart unless something seriously changes with him. 80 man farm so not massively deep in numbers, so the leash can’t be too long.

            One other quick Q, who out of this years draftees would you take first next year? If you could give me your top 5….im playing for next year so will have a high if not no1 minor league pick next year.

            • Swfcdan says:
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              @Swfcdan: Thats 80 man TOTAL farm obviously, 10 team league with 8 man minors rosters.

  2. Yescheese says:
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    What’s a comp (or ceiling) for Taylor Lindsay? I keep hearing Adam Kennedy type.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Yescheese:

      Adam Kennedy with a little more pop probably wouldn’t be a bad description. Lindsay’s had stretches in the past where he’s been the type of hitter you can build an offense around, but he’s more likely to be a solid complimentary piece in the end – an offensive 2B that would fit nicely in the #2 hole.

      He’s reminded me of Martin Prado at times as well.

  3. Oz says:
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    What are the chances twins call up Trevor May to start in the next few weeks? I’m hearing he’s most likely to replace Nolasco or do u think Alex Meyer gets called up first?
    Btw as an angels fan I’m disappointed the worst farm system got worse with the Street trade. Never overpay for closers, don’t they read razzball and hear SAGNOF? Johnson and Balfour are just 2 examples this year of high priced closers failing..

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Oz:

      Good question Oz – you have to figure we’ll see both May and Meyer before the end of the season. Your guess is as good as mine regarding which one gets called-up first. If the Twins find a decent return for Correia, I don’t think it’s completely out of the question that we see both finish the season in the rotation – I don’t imagine Kris Johnson will be in the way if both guys are pitching fairly well.

      Can’t say I completely share your disappointment – I’ve mentioned before how disappointing it’s been as a Braves fan to watch as opportunity after opportunity passes by while the front office passes on the chance to add that potential “missing piece” to push your team over the top while using the budget as a crutch. Moreno has given DiPoto all the money he’s asked for, and he’s spent it on superstars that keep the fans coming out to the games and having fun. The deal is a substantial blow to a very weak system, but none of the players involved were going to be contributors in the near future. If the starting pitching holds up, a back end of Grilli, Smith, and Street will help shorten a lot of games over the next two seasons. If Arte rolls any playoff proceeds over and spends that money on a rotation addition this winter the team should have two legitimate shots at a ring before Street’s contract is up.

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        @Chris: LAA already had a great bullpen with jepsen/smith/grilli. rj alvarez could’ve came up later too. should’ve just added a SP. likely would’ve except TB didn’t want those shitty crop of prospects. Notice how if you keep depleting the system though you’ll never have those type of prospects.

  4. J Boy says:
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    What are your thoughts on Straily in the 2nd half? Looks like he’s struggled at Iowa – does he get a call up to join the rotation at any point
    ? If so, can he make an impact? I keep reading his velo has been down.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @J Boy:

      I’ve seen the same reports about his velocity J Boy. Pretty disappointing if he’s not hiding an injury really – I thought he got a golden opportunity when he was included in the deal. Chicago should provide him the perfect situation to get back on track if he can get back to pitching the way he has at times in the past. That said, Arrieta didn’t instantly succeed immediately upon landing with the team. There’s no reason to think he won’t get an opportunity to finish the season in the rotation if he can piece a few good starts together considering the fact that there are only 3 guys on the current depth chart and that Jed and Theo will move Edwin Jackson if they get a minimal return prior to the deadline just to unload his contract.

  5. Myron Fonzarelli says:
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    Chris Dickerson: worthy to start in a weekly AL Only league? He would be replacing Chirinos.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @Myron Fonzarelli:

      Probably as good a flier as there is out there if the league’s fairly deep. Need a little more info.

  6. KillerB says:
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    Does Gallo get called up this year and if so is he worth holding over jon singleton or Dom brown in dynasty format?

    Also, thoughts on mookie betts at this point? Will he be back with the big club this year? Is he worth stashing in dynasty for a starting job next year?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @KillerB:

      Gallo won’t see the majors this season unless something drastic happens. He needs to make more contact against AA pitching before he’s even considered a legitimate threat to be competing for a roster spot during camp in February at this point.

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @KillerB:

      Sorry – completely missed the Betts half of your question. I do expect to see him back up, maybe even before rosters expand – you simply can’t count on 2 and 1/2 healthy months out of Victorino at this point. I do expect him to be on the roster next April, although I’m not sure whether he’ll be the full-time OF or as a “super-sub” – filling in for Pedroia whenever he gets a day off and playing all three OF spots.

      There’s reportedly been some interest in Jonny Gomes from a couple of teams (and his contract is up this season anyway), so we could see Betts back up relatively quickly.

  7. frankgrimes says:
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    I stashed Baez few weeks ago
    WTF when they going bring him up?
    or do I dump him?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @frankgrimes:

      Not sure about your keeper situation Frank. I don’t expect Baez to be called up this season. Still needs a LOT of work on his approach and pitch recognition.

      He might come up when rosters expand in September, but that’s all I’d expect in 2014.

      • frankgrimes says:
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        @Chris: Thanks

  8. goodfold2 says:
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    in 30 man porn ass deep league after spending most of the season in 11th-16th, (10 make playoffs just like real life, divisions are set up exactly like real life) suddenly i’m in 8th. but still 4 out of last wild card, only 1 ahead of 4th place for last wild card, 5 ahead of 5th place for that. my league (AL) is much better than NL in this league. it’s scored as roto. but for playoffs it’s about how you are doing in your league.
    preseason i extended liriano (11.5/yr till end of 2016), erasmo (6.4 yr end of 2016), estrada (6.4/yr end of 2016), and have 37.55 out of 100 million tied up for next year in 11 players (leaving about 2.68 mil per player for next year average of those i’ll need to acquire).
    trade idea.
    1.opp is willing to trade me
    quintana (.400 mil this year and 6.4 mil per year for next 2) for
    my 1st round pick 2015 + one of these prospects jagielo CI NYY/d.robertson MI OAK/velasquez P HOU
    (since we have at most 20 minor leaguers on roster we are very deep into player pool, only good players drafted next year will be those just drafted in real life/foreign signees etc. and those would of course go in pretty much first two rounds. i have 1 1st rounder and 7 picks after. i did just pick up b.drury (and assorted lesser players) in minor league midseason bidding process)
    this would set a lineup of P for next year of erasmo/liriano/sale/quintana/estrada/fien/melancon.
    i would still have 31.15 mil to use to get 13 players (2.39 per person).
    good idea or no? (i’m assuming velasquez is the asset to be traded as well)

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: dude won’t accept velasquez worried about injuries. d.robertson or jagielo and my 1st for quintana still good?
      i have these at CI/MI
      CI: jimenez LAA/jagielo NYY/drury ARI/h.morris MIL/kubitza ATL
      MI: d.robertson OAK/gumbs NYY/lee TB/phelps BAL/rosario MIN/salcedo ATL

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @goodfold2: Porn ass deep league rather than porn pussy deep league? Is anal an additional scoring category?

    • Chris

      Chris says:
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      @goodfold2:

      Quintana should help you the rest of the way this season, but I think I’d rather have the 1st Round pick than pay him that much next season.

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