Almost exactly a year after Aroldis Chapman was pulled over and arrested for driving well over 90 MPH in Ohio, Yasiel Puig, Champan’s Cuban countryman, was arrested for essentially the same thing. Puig was pulled over early last week for reckless driving after being clocked at 97 MPH in 50 MPH zone. The incident came at the tail end of a short stint on the DL, and the 22-year-old’s promising start to 2013 appeared to be unraveling thanks to injury and matters off the field. But Puig was unfazed by the arrest, cracking a homer the very next day, and another a few days later. His line on the year is .311/.364/.639 with 9 XBH (5 HR) in 66 PA. Promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque should take place before long, and arrival in LA shortly after.
Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals – Taveras is looking more and more like his 2012 version, hitting .343/.410/.571 with two homers through his last 10 games. He’s blasting liners all over the ballpark and he’s absolutely crushing right-handed pitching (.346/.414/.519).
Archie Bradley | RHP, D’Backs – After striking out 43 batters in 29 IP at High-A Visalia, Bradley has been promoted to Double-A Mobile. In his first start in the Southern League, the 20-year-old struck out 7 batters in 6 frames, allowing only 1 run and 4 hits. For more on him, check out my Archie Bradley fantasy from a few weeks back.
Stetson Allie | 1B, Pirates – Pittsburgh drafted Allie in the second round of the 2010 draft, intending to develop him as a pitcher. He struggled mightily on the mound, however, posting a 7.76 ERA and a 2.18 WHIP through 27 career IP. The Pirates scrapped the pitching idea last season, and have planted Allie at first base, hoping to tap into some of the hitting potential he showed in high school. On a new course, the 22-year-old looks quite a bit more comfortable. He’s hitting .355/.423/.645 with 15 XBH (8 HR) through 123 PA at Low-A West Virginia.
Kevin Gausman | RHP, Orioles – Grey highlighted Gausman in his buy/sell post on Friday, as the O’s revealed that they plan to use the 22-year-old in 2013. Expect to see him included in prospect power rankings update this coming Wednesday. Gausman now moves into a stashable group of pitching prospects that includes Gerrit Cole and Zack Wheeler.
Avisail Garcia | OF, Tigers – After serving a stint on the DL, Garcia is finally getting his year started in the minors. The 21-year-old is talented with the stick and brings big fantasy potential. He’s off to a great start, too, collecting 15 hits through is first 32 AB between High- and Triple-A.
Yordano Ventura | RHP, Royals – Owner of one of the best fastballs in Minor League Baseball, Ventura is off to a terrific start at Double-A. The 21-year-old Dominican has posted a 2.31 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and a K/9 at 12.7 through 5 starts with Northwest Arkansas. His most recent start was his best to-date, though, as Ventura allowed only 1 hit in 5 frames, while walking 3, and whiffing 10. Thanks to a slight frame and durability concerns, most folks see him pitching in the late innings at the big league level. But regardless of where he ends up, his filthy stuff will have relevance in the fantasy game.
Danny Salazar | RHP, Indians – Over his last three starts at Double-A Akron, Salazar has allowed only 6 hits and zero runs through 16 IP. During that same stretch, the 23-year-old has posted an insane 30/4 K/BB. Salazar’s fastball is a dominant pitch, and his slider isn’t far behind. His stuff could play right now in a bullpen role at the highest level, but it seems as if the Indians will continue to bring him along as a starter for the time being.
Rafael De Paula | RHP, Yankees – An outstanding fastball-change combo has De Paula looking phenomenal early on in his full-season debut. The 22-year-old Dominican has a 2.96 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and a K/9 at 15.1 through his first 6 starts at Low-A Charleston. Promotion to High-A should be in the near future if this sort of dominance continues.
Rock Shoulders | 1B/OF, Cubs – Shoulders gets more attention for having an unusual name than he does for his production at the plate, and I must admit, the name is noteworthy. But so is his stick — the 21-year-old is batting .366/.449/.656 with 15 XBH (6 HR) through 107 PA at Low-A Kane County.
Jonathan Villar | SS, Astros – Villar is among the hottest hitters in the minors at the moment, hitting .442/.467/.721 with 7 XBH (2 HR) and 13 RBI through his last 10 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 22-year-old should get a look in Houston at some point this season, and while his long-term outlook isn’t wonderful, he could be worth the gamble in fantasy leagues if he keeps up the impressive production at Triple-A.