On occasion, it works out where a notable prospect gets called-up to the bigs during the weekend, allowing me to post some notes on him before Grey gets the opportunity. That happens to be the case today, as LA has summoned 1B prospect, C.J. Cron, to the big club. Of course, when it’s me providing the spin on a call-up like this, we miss out on Grey’s clever wordplay in the title. Something like, “Angels Finally Embrace Pot Legalization, Will Roll with Cron(ic)” seems sufficient. In any case, Cron can mash. He established his power potential in 2012 at High-A, hitting 27 homers in 129 games. Then last season, he followed that effort with a puzzling 14 HR year at Double-A Arkansas, causing many to cool at the idea of Cron as an everyday 1B at the highest level. The pop appears to have returned in 2014, though: Through 28 games at Triple-A Salt Lake, Cron slugged .602 with 6 HR. At least for the short-term, there’s opportunity for the 24-year-old to earn regular plate appearances from the middle of the LA order. The upside in his stick is worth the gamble in deep leagues, especially if you’re hurting at CI.
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays: Also getting the call to the majors is Marcus Stroman. We’ve been hyping Stroman plenty around here lately — he was my #1 SP stash on last week’s list, and he headlined Grey’s buy/sell on Friday. The Jays will use the 23-year-old out of the ‘pen at first, but the back-end of their rotation is a mess, and it won’t be long before he claims a spot. Add him everywhere.
Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins: Meyer’s last two outings at Triple-A look like this: 12.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 6 BB, 22 K. I don’t think the Twins are in a rush to get him to Minneapolis, but I do think we’ll see Meyer in the bigs at some point this summer. He’ll be a coveted pickup as soon as he surfaces.
Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers: Pederson continues to punish baseballs at Triple-A Albuquerque, going 11 for last 29, with 2 HR, and 3 SB. He did manage to strikeout an alarming 13 times during that stretch, but the swing-and-miss isn’t typically a major facet of his game. On the year, the 22-year-old is hitting .390/.496/.667 with 7 HR and 9 SB.
Ben Lively, RHP, Reds: Through 35 IP at High-A Bakersfield, Lively has posted a 0.76 ERA, a 0.59 WHIP, and a K/BB at 48/2. Impressive work for the 22-year-old drafted in the 4th round last June.
Michael Taylor, OF, Nationals: The #4 prospect in our Nationals preseason T10, Taylor was off to a slow start at Double-A before busting out with a 3 HR game earlier this week. There’s exciting power/speed potential with the 23-year-old.
Courtney Hawkins, OF, White Sox: Hawkins has posted 27 RBI through 23 games with High-A Winston Salem. That stretch includes 7 HR and a slash line at .289/.358/.602. It’s also worth noting that his K% in the early going is almost 12 points lower than last year’s. The 20-year-old was suspended this week for his part in a benches clearing incident, but he should be back in action tomorrow. I’m looking forward to big production from Hawkins in his repeat go at High-A.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates: After a back injury delayed his 2014 debut, Glasnow looked sharp in his first outing of the season, whiffing 6 through 5 scoreless frames at High-A Bradenton. He appeared considerably less sharp in his next start, which was a 2-inning, 7-walk, zero-strikeout head-scratcher of an outing.
Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies: Tapia is one of the more tooled-up players in the minors, and his long-term ceiling is enormous, but he’s gotten off to a slow start in his first year at the full-season level. The bat is showing signs of life these past few days, though, as the 20-year-old rides a 4-game XBH streak, which includes 2 HR.
Javier Baez, SS, Cubs: He’s not off to the kind of start I thought he’d be after his explosive performance in spring training, but I’m not cooling off on Baez, and I’m confident the power production will begin to take hold as the warm weather settles in. 3 SB in his last 5 games is a nice pacifier for the meantime.
Aaron Blair, RHP, D’Backs: The 34th overall pick last June, Blair is off to fine start at Low-A South Bend, posting a line at 2.56/0.85/43 through 31 IP. His most recent outing was particularly noteworthy, as the 21-year-old allowed only 1 hit through 7 frames, whiffing a dozen along the way. He’ll step up to High-A soon if this sort of dominance keeps up.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets: I’ve been begging for Syndergaard to post a start that would remind us of his front-end potential, and he’s finally come through on that end, tossing 7 scoreless IP and striking out 7 during his most recent outing. Thank goodness.
Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies: After a couple of shaky starts to begin the year, Gray has settled down at Double-A Tulsa. In 3 outings since his meltdown on April 11th, the 22-year-old has allowed only 1 run while posting a K/BB at 19/3.
Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers: Lee has taken a step back over the past 10 days, allowing 20 hits and 11 runs in his 2 most recents starts at Triple-A Albuquerque. With a skill set that relies more on polish, deception, and durability than it does on overwhelming stuff, it’s of great importance that he rediscovers his comfort zone soon.