This is the “no-man’s land” of prospects – that time between the end of the minor league regular season and the the start of the offseason leagues. That makes it a natural point to look back on the year that was. This next series of posts will focus on a breakout prospect from each team, broken down by division. These are players who “broke out” statistically in 2015 and were either ranked in the bottom half of their team’s preseason top ten list or didn’t make their team’s list at all. Some of these names will look familiar and have already been scooped up in many dynasty formats. Others may still be flying low enough that their big performances have gone undetected. This week we’ll look at five breakout prospects from the AL East.

Trey Mancini, 1B Age: 23 ETA: 2017
Level PA AVG/OBP/SLG HR SB BB% K%
A+/AA 571 .341/.375/.563 21 6 5% 16%

After slugging .409 with ten homers in 2014 as a 22-year-old in High-A, Mancini turned it on in a big way this season. He hit a ridiculous .359 in 84 games for Double-A Bowie and slugged 13 of his 21 homers there. Crush Davis could be headed for free agency, and while Christian Walker is temporarily ahead of Mancini on the depth chart, it won’t be long before Mancini is breathing down Walker’s neck for the first base gig in Baltimore. I’d expect him to see most of his time at Triple-A in 2016, but if he continues to put up stupid numbers the clock could speed up.

Anthony Alford, OF Age: 21 ETA: 2017
Level PA AVG/OBP/SLG HR SB BB% K%
A/A+ 487 .298/.398/.421 4 27 14% 22%

Splitting time between two levels this season, Alford is a name you’ll hear about as one of the biggest breakouts of the 2015 season. Formerly a two-sport athlete, things are starting to click as Alford focuses solely on baseball activities on the Toronto farm. While he only hit four homers this season, Alford does have above-average raw and pairing that with his double-plus speed makes him desirable for fantasy. I’m not sure of the exact streak, but at one point this July he had reached base in 67 of 71 games. That’s prettay, prettay good for a guy that was recently on Bo Jackson duty.

Andrew Benintendi, OF Age: 21 ETA: 2017
Level PA AVG/OBP/SLG HR SB BB% K%
A(ss)/A 239 .313/.416/.556 11 10 15% 10%

So technically Benintendi wasn’t eligible for the preseason lists since he was just drafted, but it doesn’t take away from the season he had. The 21-year-old was taken in the first round (7th overall) by the Red Sox, and did just about everything you’d hope to see from a first-round pick. Good power, speed, plate discipline…it’s all there. Shout out to Lowell Fluff & Fold for keeping me updated all season on this guy’s progress.

Blake Snell, LHP Age: 22 ETA: 2016
Level IP “+” Pitches ERA HR/9 BB/9 K/9
A+/AA/AAA 134.0 FB/SL/CH 1.41 0.5 3.6 10.9

If you haven’t heard of Snell by now, then it’s probably been a pretty weird summer for you. Like, one of those summers where you did some peyote at a bus stop in New Mexico in late May and woke up yesterday morning in France, coaching a little league soccer team and going by the name Pierre-Louis Lefèvre. Welcome back! I’ll catch you up. Snell had arguably the best season of any minor league arm in 2015 and he’s knocking on the door of Tampa Bay’s rotation.

Domingo Acevedo, RHP Age: 21 ETA: 2017
Level IP “+” Pitches ERA HR/9 BB/9 K/9
A(ss) 49.2 FB/CH 1.81 0.4 2.9 9.8

After just one start in Single-A, Acevedo went to the New York-Penn League, where he dominated with a heater that can reach triple digits and an above-average changeup. His season earned him NYPL Pitcher of the Year honors, and a slot on Baseball America’s midseason top ten. The Yankees had another big breakout from Jorge Mateo, but since I already ranked Mateo #3 coming into the year (compared to Acevedo, who I didn’t rank at all) the 21-year-old righty gets the nod here.

 
  1. Packers says:
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    Mile, if you could help. The weekly pitcher planner hasn’t loaded the last two days for me.
    I’m in 3 dynasty leagues so your blogs are informative. Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d try pinging Rudy in the comments of the pitcher planner post or emailing him [email protected] if you’re still having issues. Thanks!

  2. Nelson says:
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    I’d like to pick up another prospect before the end of the season. The best unowned ones are Frazier, Brinson, Phillips and Martes (Hou).
    Who should I get?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      It would be between Frazier and Brinson IMO, and I like Brinson a little more.

  3. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Hey, Mike.

    Is Philly on a six man?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I THINK so, to limit all the young guys innings. Morgan, Eickhoff, Asher, Nola etc…

      • Chicken Dinner says:
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        @Mike: Will never understand how people think throwing LESS leads to stronger arms. With every other discipline, you excel with more time put in. It’s not as if they just picked a baseball yesterday. Look how many pitchers throw their arms out in comparison to the days when guys where throwing complete games every other day. Hell, if the team needed a win they’d pitch the next game. Sometimes that game was the same day. Don’t see the logic.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          lol, I agree

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          as my grandfather would say, if you dig deep enough everything ends up being about money

          • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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            @Mike: not agreeing with 6 man rotation but there’s tons of evidence that reason for all these elbow injuries is the amount of torque on it compared to years ago is much more, people back then were more likely to be well rounded athletes (not just pitchers), didn’t throw 100% all game long (like now) etc.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              some of the photos I see of guys’ arms/elbows while pitching make my eyes bleed

  4. Ben says:
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    Gotta drop Tulowitzki after his scapula crackage, right? Can’t keep him and our playoffs exclude last week of season.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ugh, yeah

  5. griff says:
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    In a dynasty league, I have Ellsbury and he has been hot garbage. I can’t keep him after this season due to salary escalation nor get anything out of him via offseason trade. Michael Taylor, Aaron Hicks, and Ender Inciarte are available. Drop Ellsbury for any of those? If so, which one?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hmmm, I’d go Hicks

  6. Baezaworldseries says:
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    Mike. Do you like Nomar Mazara or Bradley Zimmer overall?
    Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      love both…prefer Maz

      • Baezaworldseries says:
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        @Mike: Thanks for doing the grunt work. It make guy like me look brain in fantasy.
        Got any tips for real life???

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha no problemo. Sure, just say “I don’t know” and “thank you” a lot, you’ll avoid a lot of crap. Oh, and never go 5MPH over the posted speed limits.

  7. Don O. says:
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    Hey Mike! Thanks for sticking with us through football season. It gets a lot lonelier in the fantasy baseball realm this time of year.

    I’m trying to decide between Victor Robles and Stone Garrett for 12-team, standard 5×5 dynasty. Robles seems to have more helium but I’m a bigger believer in the latter for fantasy, and I’m not looking for immediate help so they have time to marinate in the minors. Best od the rest imo are Francis Martes and JD Davis. What say you?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks for being here! I’d go Robles at this point.

    • Mike, Myth, Legend. says:
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      @Don O.:

      Martes would be right there with Robles for me….his upside is drool worthy.

      I own Stone Garret & Martes in deep dynasty leagues and I’d move Garrett for Robles in a heartbeat, but would have a damn tough time parting with Martes for him. Despite my preference of Bats to Arms.

      /2 cents

  8. Yescheese says:
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    Nice summary. The new player cards focus on the essentials without requiring the scouting lingo.

    Jomar Reyes is my other vote for AL East fantasy pop-up this year.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! That was what I was hoping for

      Great call…I struggled to pick between him and Mancini, ended up going with the guy a little closer.

  9. JamesSImp says:
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    baez was just dropped in my league and he carries 20th rd value next year, would you drop soler (5th) for him planning for next year?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      tough one…sure, I’ll take Baez in the 20th

      • JamesSImp says:
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        @Mike:
        is conforto an option at all over baez/soler?

        we keep six, mine are going to be arrenado, buxton, sano, franco, blackmon

        then im lost on who to keep as the 6th. i’ve asked you a million times but i can never make up my mind haha.

        i also have nola, who intrigues me, even though he got hit around today. also kang is on the waiver wire and he doesnt look like a bad option because of that SS eligibility

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I think a 20th rd Baez is still the best option. I like Kang too. I’d let it sit if you don’t have to decide today. Might be some trade value in what you have.

  10. Mike, Myth, Legend. says:
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    Curious on your thoughts Mike on a couple recent hype guys that appear to be busting….Hunter Dozier & Jesse Biddle. If you’re in a deep dynasty league (30 deep per team, 20 teams) are you giving these guys another year of leash or are you cutting bait and investing in guys like a Rhys Hoskins, Isan Diaz, Chris Acosta, or Chih Wei Hu, etc?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      more inclined to cut bait on Biddle

  11. goodfold2 says:
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    like the new idea for three separate tiers for the 30 top 10 lists. wonder how early benintendi (only one not owned) goes in my 30 man league, but i now have SO many OF’ers stashed, wates, dj davis, VJ reyes, cozens, d.alvarez, tocci, mag sierra, and now with altherr looking better than anybody would’ve thought this quickly he’ll be starting for me at league minimum, actually i think he’ll have to do to at bats maybe.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      you’ve got a lot going on in the outfield there…I’ve got a team that’s a lot like that, and it’s hard to pick the guys to protect.

      I’m guessing Ben will go earlier than you think because Red Sox :)

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: i don’t go till 15th or so, and figured there would be a 40% chance at best he’s there, last year a decent amount of internationals went really early. i have no issue with the keeping of them likely, except maybe wates, unless he’s gotten better than last time i heard anything. i have 5 guys to make room for, with urena/altherr coming up forcibly likely. H.Lee is a possible drop. Z.Davies/Sherfy/RJ alvarez could very well stay up at start of next year too.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          might get him at 15

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