Ryan Zimmerman is hitting the DL with a hamstring strain, and to replace him, the Nats are calling up their top prospect, Anthony Rendon. Rendon showed he was big league ready during spring training, and many wondered if he might begin the season at the highest level. But in an effort to maximize the 22-year-old’s plate appearances, Washington opted to reassign him to Double-A Harrisburg where through 65 PA he’s hit .292/.462/.500 with 2 homers. With Zimmerman shelved, Rendon becomes the starting third baseman, and you should certainly grab him if he’s still available. Featuring a plus-plus hit tool and an advanced approach at the dish, he’ll help immediately in AVG and OBP categories, and he might even toss in a few homers. For more detail on Rendon, here’s my Nationals’ top ten, where he ranked #1. Also, check out this Scouting the Unknown post from last August.
Allen Webster | Red Sox — He’s slated to pitch the second game of today’s double header versus Kansas City, but it’s likely just a spot start for Webster, so the fantasy intrigue is limited. Still, it’s worth your time to get to know the 23-year-old, as he’s not far from an extended look in the big league rotation. Back in February, I ranked him as the 6th best prospect (2nd best pitcher) in the organization in my Red Sox Minor League Preview. Here’s what I said: “Acquired via LA in the Adrian Gonzalez swap, Webster features a well-rounded fastball-change-slider repertoire, and a frame that should be able to handle a heavy workload. That profile has him projecting like a mid-rotation innings eater, but there is #2 starter potential if his stuff continues to develop and command improves.” Through two starts at Triple-A Pawtucket, Webster has allowed just 10 baserunners, and only one run, while posting a K/BB at 12/3. It’s a tiny sample, but reports on his stuff and command are glowing. Today’s outing will be telling as to his readiness to compete at the highest level. If things go well, it might not be long before he’s back up for good.
Hak-Ju Lee | SS, Rays — Lee is touted primarily for his slick glove and plus arm, but he’s doing some serious work at the plate so far this season. Through 55 PA at Triple-A Durham, he’s batting .419/.537/.605 with a homer and six stolen bases. The pure shortstop could blossom into a high-end fantasy prospect if this sort of production continues.
Courtney Hawkins | OF, White Sox — The Sox have been aggressive with their first round selection from last summer, assigning the 19-year-old to High-A to begin 2013. Hawkins has struggled at the level, though, collecting only seven hits through his first 43 at-bats. On the bright side, five of those seven hits were home runs.
Tyler Skaggs | LHP, D’backs — After an awful spring in big league camp, Skaggs lost his grip on a rotation spot, and was assigned to Triple-A. He’s continued to struggle there, posting a 6.46 ERA through his first three starts. His most recent outing, however, was an encouraging step in the right direction: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K.
Gary Sanchez | C, Yankees — Sanchez is rolling at High-A Tampa, batting .328/.426/.623 with 3 homers on the young season. The 20-year-old is among the top catching prospects in the game, and he should develop into a nice fantasy piece.
Miguel Sano | OF/3B, Twins — Sano hit three more homers this past week, putting his season total at five. The 19-year-old is hitting .385/.452/.741 through 62 PA at High-A. He’ll soon bring his enormous power to Double-A if this keeps up.
Christian Yelich / Marcell Ozuna | OF, Marlins — Both highly touted outfielders have made their way to Double-A after injury delayed their debuts. We’ll keep a close eye on these two — Yelich, in particular, could move fast.
Mike Zunino | C, Mariners — After a blazing start at Triple-A Tacoma, Zunino has cooled off considerably, going zero for his last 20, whiffing 10 times during that stretch. His line on the young season now sits at .217/.327/.587.