Good God, Joey Gallo is on fire right now. He’s been on fire pretty much all year, in fact, but right now, in particular, he’s a blazing inferno of glorious power. Gallo homered 3 times on Friday, and once more on Saturday, giving him 8 in his last 10 games, and 18 on the season. He’s batting .340/.453/.792, and he’s even tossed in 4 stolen bags. His K% is 12 points lower than last year’s, his BB% is 5 points higher, and he’s even grown two inches taller since last summer. OK, I’m lying about the growth thing, but the other parts are true. Gallo, age 20, appears ready for upper levels baseball. There’s little left for him to prove in A-ball, and I can’t imagine it’ll be too long before he’s promoted. I’m anxious to see how his improved approach adapts to the advanced arms he’ll see at Double-A. Until then, enjoy the show.
Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox: Betts’s amazing on-base streak came to an end yesterday at 66 games. The 21-year-old has displayed a little bit of everything this year at Double-A Portland, batting .393/.462/.606 with 6 HR and 18 SB.
Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians: Bauer will start Tuesday for the Indians. His upside is worth adding in all formats, but the risk is considerable. He gave us a glimpse of said risk in his most recent Triple-A outing, allowing 12 baserunners and 6 runs in 5.2 IP.
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles: In what is is first year at the full-season level, Harvey has posted a 1.38 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and a K/9 at 10.4. The 2013 first-round pick put up his most impressive start of the season earlier this week, allowing only 2 baserunners and striking out 10 over 7 scoreless frames.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals: Post-TJ surgey, Giolito is beginning to tap into his enormous potential, and his most recent start was case in point: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. The Nats will be careful with his workload this year, but they’ll let him loose next year, on track for arrival in early 2016. Giolito’s upside is as good as any starting pitcher’s in the minors.
Austin Hedges, C, Padres: I’m usually pretty quick to downplay Hedges as a fantasy prospect, reason being that his overall hype is mostly to do with his defensive skill set. Over the past week, though, the 21-year-old is batting .497 with 6 XBH, including 2 HR. I may have to reconsider my outlook if Hedges can continue to post hot streaks like this one.
Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Brewers: Nelson continues to dominate at Triple-A, striking out 9 through 6 scoreless IP in his most recent outing. That brings his YTD line to 1.76/0.96/53 in 51 IP. Amid their terrific start to the season, it must be comforting for the Brewers to know that they have such a capable arm waiting in the minors for an opportunity.
Maikel Franco, 1B/3B, Phillies: After a slow start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Franco is heating up. The 21-year-old 9-for-23 over the past week, as he tries to put himself in position for a summer call-up.
Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox: Owens posted another weird line on Wednesday, tossing 4 hitless frames while whiffing 8 and walking 5. That makes 1 H, 10 BB, and 14 K over his last two outings at Double-A Portland.
Marco Gonzales, RHP, Cardinals: After completing 6 outings at High-A Palm Beach with a 1.43 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and a K/9 at 7.6, Marco Gonzales has been promoted to Double-A Springfield. Drafted 19th overall in 2013, Gonzales brings one of MiLB’s best changeups, and he’s clearly on the fast-track toward St. Louis.
Micah Johnson, 2B, White Sox: Also getting bumped up a level this week is Micah Johnson. The 23-year-old is moving from Double-A to Triple-A thanks to a .329/.414/.466 at Birmingham to begin the year. Johnson established his fantasy stock a year ago, stealing 84 bags across three levels. He’s only strengthening his outlook with his hot start to 2014.
Matt Wisler, RHP, Padres: After posting a line at 2.10/1.07/35 through his first 30 IP at Double-A, Wisler was bumped up to Triple-A, where through three starts his line features a 12.71 ERA and a WHIP at 2.65. Petco will be much friendlier to him than the PCL ballparks, but yeesh, it’s been an ugly stretch at El Paso.