Twins fans might be in for a frustrating year at the big league level, but trust me, the future is bright in Minnesota. No other organization can boast such a high-profile pair of hitting prospects as the Twins can with Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. Sano, who boasts raw power unmatched by any other minor leaguer, is simply on fire. The 19-year-old is hitting .370/.429/.765 with 9 homers in 91 trips to the plate with High-A Fort Myers. Meanwhile, Buxton, the 2nd overall pick last June, is having no trouble with his first taste of full-season baseball, batting .400/.524/.662 with 3 homers and 8 stolen bases through 82 PA. I went over my Byron Buxton fantasy the other week, in case you missed it. Judging by tools alone, these two are among the most exciting talents in baseball. The fact that they’re backing up their tools with such serious production on the field only vaults their stock to new heights — I’m talkin’ top ten overall for both. 2016 can’t arrive soon enough for Twins fans.
Jesse Biddle | LHP, Phillies — It’s tough to turn in a better line than the one Biddle posted this past Monday. The 21-year-old tossed seven scoreless frames for Double-A Reading, allowing no runs and only one hit while whiffing 16. With a deep repertoire and a frame to pack on a big league workload, Biddle is not too far from making his impact at the big league level.
Nick Franklin | SS, Mariners — Franklin’s been on fire for Triple-A Tacoma, hitting .388/.500/.592 on the young season. The 22-year-old has had his ups and downs over the past few seasons, but he finally seems to be ready to make the leap to the bigs. I still don’t see him developing into the 20/20 shortstop that many thought he would one day be, but he’ll bring relevance to mixed leagues if he surfaces this year.
John Gast | LHP, Cardinals — Among all of the preseason touting of Cardinals pitching prospects, you won’t find much on John Gast. The 24-year-old lefty, though, is performing at an extremely high level with Triple-A Memphis, posting a 0.00 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 8.0 K/9 through four starts (25 IP).
Mason Williams | OF, Yankees — Mason Williams was already off to a slow start at High-A Tampa, but things just got worse for the 21-year-old. Williams was arrested for driving under the influence on Thursday in Florida. Reports indicate that his BAC was actually under the legal limit, but sobriety tests revealed Williams to be impaired.
Micah Johnson | 2B, White Sox — While Billy Hamilton is falling behind the record-setting SB pace he set last season, Micah Johnson is filling that void quite nicely. The 22-year-old has converted on 19 out of 21 stolen base attempts at Low-A Kannapolis. A 9th round selection out of Indiana University last June, Johnson has a nice line at the plate, too: .300/.380/.463.
Wil Myers | OF, Rays — Myers seems to have shaken off the bumps and bruises that held him back during the first few weeks. Through his past 10 games, he’s batting .351/.459/.622 with two homers. For fantasy’s sake, lets hope Myers rides this streak all the way to the bigs within the next six or so weeks.
Taijuan Walker | RHP, Mariners — After a poor first outing at Double-A Jackson, Walker has settled down considerably, allowing only one ER through his last four starts. He’s issuing too many free passes, but his stuff has been phenomenal — the 20-year-old has allowed only 15 hits in 29 frames this season, and only 3 hits in his last two games. Once he gets his command working, he’ll be big league ready in a hurry.
Danny Hultzen | LHP, Mariners — It’s a good news/bad news situation for the Mariners with the good news being Taijuan Walker’s recent success, and the bad news being a rotator cuff strain for Danny Hultzen. The lefty was scratched before his last scheduled start and will miss at least two weeks. Hultzen was definitely on track for arrival in Seattle this season, so the setback is disappointing.
Roberto Osuna | RHP, Blue Jays — Number five on my Blue Jays top ten from March, Osuna is a rather plump 18-year-old with a front-end arsenal. Through 18 IP at Low-A Lansing, he’s posted a 26/3 K/BB along with an ERA at 2.95 and a WHIP at 0.82. Some folks are concerned about his potentially tubby frame, but the stuff might just be good enough to overcome the weight issue.
Marcell Ozuna | OF, Marlins — In just seven games with Double-A Jacksonville, Ozuna has already tallied four homers. It should be noted that the 22-year-old Dominican is widely known as one of the streakier hitters in Minor League Baseball, so this hot stretch is likely to be offset with a prolonged slump. Still, Ozuna features very real power potential, which should translate at the big league level before long.