Austin Riley is a thing. New ball aside, he’s currently hitting .308/.378/.677 with 13 homers and 33 runs batted in for Triple-A Gwinnett. I’m a fan and own a share in my main squeeze league. In the preseason Top 100 I ranked him 24th overall and had this to say: “He [Riley] has plus power and hit 19 homers in 2018 between AA and AAA. He also hit .294 on the year, which is super. Only blemish is a 28% strikeout rate, but there will be some more seasoning in AAA this year for him to work on that. Speaking of blemishes, have you seen Grey’s backne? Gross!” That K-rate has come down to 20% so far in 2019. All of this is horseshit though, because what everyone really wants to know is when Riley will be up and playing every day for the Braves. I didn’t include him in the May stash list because I figured a currently healthy Donaldson would trap him in the minors until at least June. But a recent development has me thinking we could see Austin Riley up sooner. I’ll save that nugget for after the jump…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Indians prospect Bobby Bradley (4-for-4 with two homers) is enjoying a strong start for the Columbus Clippers. Through 28 games, he’s hitting .299 with six home runs and 11 doubles. The average is inflated by an uncharacteristic and unsustainable .419 BABIP. The real Bradley is a low-average power hitter with the potential for 25+ dongs over a full season in the majors. That low-average is probably going to be pretty low though. Think .230s, maybe worse. Since his promotion to Triple-A last year, Bradley has seen his walk rate decrease by about 3% and his strikeout rate increase by about 7%, all the way to 33%. That approach doesn’t bode well for success in the majors, especially since he is already limited defensively to first base. We should find out soon enough though. I suspect Bradley will be with the Indians at some point this summer, where he’ll be a power flyer in AL-only formats, and maybe even some deeper mixed formats. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Nate Pearson has enjoyed a strong start in the Florida State League, and the Blue Jays rewarded him with a promotion to Double-A on Friday. Pearson was 3-0 with 35 strikeouts and just three walks in 21 innings pitched in the FSL. He gave up just two runs. In the offseason, I wrote about how an injury in 2018 shelved him for about a month and could cost him an MLB promotion in 2019, but this start and the quick promotion might put the bigs back in play this summer. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah yes, May. The month of mothers and flowers and regretting the guy you dropped in your fantasy league in the first week of April. I, for one, was born at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center, so every year I just send a Mother’s Day card there and hope it gets to the right lab technician. My ninety-five identical twins and I have been tirelessly combing the minor leagues for the prospects that could potentially receive a call to the majors this month. Cling to your chicken-wire and terrycloth milk dispenser and enjoy the fruits of our labor.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kyle Tucker has started the 2019 season cold. Like really cold. Like, the freezing point of helium cold. Shout out to my unfortunately-named high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Richard Sores. But, there is hope for the flowers. Tucker has hit safely in each of his last three games with a double and two homers in that span. Why is this important? If you own Tucker, who was a favorite to get called up at some point this season, he needs to play well to avoid getting leapfrogged by Yordan Alvarez and Myles Straw on the road to Houston. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette broke his hand and is scheduled to see a specialist. It looked/sounded painful and my guess is it’ll be at least a month before he’s playing again. Bichette was a candidate for a 2019 call at some point, so obviously this sets things back quite a bit. Marcus Stroman tweeted “big prayers for my bro” to which Bichette replied “preciate it bro”. Bo and Stro are bros bro. There is so much bromance happening in that Twitter exchange I might vomit. Nope, yup. I’m definitely vomiting. We’re going to need a new keyboard. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
As if it weren’t enough that the injury bugs are destroying our MLB fantasy teams in the early weeks of the season, they’re apparently coming after our precious pitching prospects now too. Brent Honeywell, number 21 in your programs but number one in your hearts, experienced some forearm soreness and will be shutting it down for at least a week or so. If somebody like me gets forearm soreness it’s no big deal and people just question what I do with my free time. But for Honeywell, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and was a sexy pick for some second half starts with the Rays, this is crappy news. Hopefully this is just a case of the Rays being extra cautious with a top prospect and in two weeks we can put the noose back in our underwear drawer. *assistant whispers in my ear that not everyone keeps a noose in their underwear drawer* Well then, Mr. Happy, here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Phillies top prospect Alec Bohm went yard for the first time this week. He’s off to a strong start with Lakewood in the Sally – hitting .311 with four doubles, three steals, and the dong. More importantly, he’s walking at a 15% clip with a .400 on base percentage. After going 121 plate appearances in his pro debut last summer without a homer, this was a welcome display of power from the 22-year-old, who should advance quickly in the Phils system. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tigers prospect Matt Manning threw another gem this week. That makes two great starts to kick off the 21-year-old’s 2019 campaign for Double-A Erie. In 12 innings pitched, the former first round pick now has 15 strikeouts compared to three walks and has allowed just one earned run on two hits. In deep formats, I’d consider stashing him away now in case the Tigers decide to promote. In shallow leagues, he’s a name to be familiar with if you’re desperate for pitching and don’t mind some rookie nookie later this summer. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Nestled between Moldova and Romania, Gormania is also known as the land of offense. Its lone citizen – Nolan Gorman – rules this tiny country with a mighty bat. Some say he was born human. Others say he emerged fully grown from the earth – eyeblack applied. Still others remember seeing him appear one night in a glowing crater, as if sent from some far away planet where he was weaned on Dubble Bubble, Skoal, and beer by the baseball gods. Wherever he came from, Gorman appears to be special. After hitting two more homers – in consecutive innings – on Monday, Gorman is now slashing .306/.393/.605 with 19 home runs in 298 minor league plate appearances dating back to last summer. He’ll turn 20 in a month, and my guess is the Cards will push him to High-A by the end of this season. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…Please, blog, may I have some more?