We all have our things, Grey has Giancarlo and mustaches, Smokey has bullpens and go-go bars, and I have pantsuited women and over aged power prospects. What can I say there’s just something about a professional lady that gets the blood flowing. Same goes for mid-20’s hitters in the minors with the boom-boom. I drafted Adam Duvall everywhere in re-draft for that reason, and there’s a new old ass prospect to fill the void in my heart. This hunk of thunderstick goes by the name of Daniel Palka, and he’s a newly minted AAA outfielder and cleanup hitter for the prospect flush Twins. In his AAA debut Thursday night Palka went yard twice as the Red Wings downed the Iron Pigs 8-7 in a slugfest. Palka entered the season in non-prospect territory, not making Baseball America’s prospect bible, and not appearing on any organizational top 30 list for the Twins or Diamondbacks (his previous employer). He strikes-out a ton, 29ish% k rates over the last couple of years, but he also walks a ton, never walking at a clip lower than 8% at any one level. My real interest in Palka isn’t his path to the high minors or even his glorious walk rates, but his hot steaming power. Power that’s produced a 25 homer campaign in 2014, a 29 homer campaign in 2015, and a projected 35+ homer campaign this season.
He’s big (6’2 225 lbs) and country strong. He was originally drafted in the 19th round of the 2010 draft by the Phillies, but chose to attend Georgia Tech instead. Three years later the Diamondbacks made him their third round pick, after he slashed .342/.436/.637 his junior year at GT. After two and a half solid seasons in the Arizona system, Palka was traded to the Twins this offseason for catcher Chris Hermann. Starting the season at AA Chattanooga the 24 year old slugger slashed .270/.348/.547 with 21 homers and 7 steals in 79 games. Now he’s in AAA and so far he’s played three games and got on base in all of them. I’m not saying this is someone to own in a 12 team dynasty with 120 owned minors at any one time. On the contrary if you’re playing in a league where 150-200+ minors are owned he should be on your radar. Despite his age, he’s nearly 25, he’s progressed each season of his career, and flaws aside he’s never had a true low point along each stop of his professional career. At this point he’s blocked by the depth of the Twins outfield, but a few injuries and you never know. He looks to me like a decent source of power you can add for cheap in a lot of leagues. Potential power guys that cost low FAAB in deep dynasty and salary cap leagues are invaluable.
- If you guys missed my Top 100 Prospects last Sunday check it out. It’s pretty 2017 focused in terms of rankings. I avoided including the obvious soon to meet their limits guys like Taillon, Urias, Giolito, Gallo etc.
- It’s not only Alex Bregman hitting the ground running upon promotion to AAA, recent AA graduates Harrison Bader and David Dahl have also shown well. Dahl particularly, 6 games in and he looks prime time ready slashing .500/.536/.846, no big deal….nothing to see here. (Prime time means big leagues, like the show. Get it!) As for Bader he’s had a hit in each of his four games with Memphis, including a homer on Friday night and a double on Saturday as I write this.
- Is everyone as excited for the futures game as I am? I’m genuinely excited. I will make my whole family watch with me. I will drink a beer. This will happen. It’s features some of the biggest names in MiLB with guys like Moncada, Benintendi, Bregman, and Swanson. As well as personal favorites like Reyes, Calhoun, Hader, Willy Adames, and Francisco Mejia. I could go on and on.
- There’s a lot of hard throwers in this year’s Futures Game. J.T. Chargois, Carson Fulmer, Ryne Stanek, Reynaldo Lopez, Josh Hader, and of course Alex Reyes.
- If you’re into bullpen specs, or random trivia keep an eye out for Dovydas Neverauskas. He’s a tall righty from Lithuania, I find any European prospects slightly more interesting, because how? He’s not much of a fantasy prospect really. Awful K/9 numbers make him less than desirable
- One of my loyal readers and prospect moles caught Yoan Moncada on Thursday night in Manchester, NH as the Sea Dogs took on the Blue Jays AA affiliate. Yoan did not disappoint, as he he went 3/5 rocking a homer off the batters eye, and swiping a base to complete the slam and legs.
- Friday night saw an absolute mugging take place in Reading’s 21-4 rout of Bowie. The Fighting Phillies bats were juiced with super balls as they hit 5 homes as a team. Don’t worry fellow citizens Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins got into the action.
- With all of these prospects getting promoted it’s frustrating to watch Aaron Judge rot in AAA. This is a guy that plummeted down prospect lists after a rough first year in AAA, only to recover in a big way the last month plus. The Yankees are not out of it, as much as it might seem it. There’s no reason not to call him up after the all-star break and see what happens.
- Brent Honeywell was promoted to AA Montgomery, he’s in many ways the heir to Kenny Powers, but he’s also one hell of a pitcher. With Snell in Tampa and Faria in AAA, the next wave of Rays pitchers is on the way.
- After 10 blah games in rookie ball number two overall pick Nick Senzel was promoted to the Reds class A affiliate Dayton of the midwest league. So far so good, through 8 games Senzel is hitting .375. The scouting reports all expect Senzel to be a quick mover.
- Top overall choice Mickey Moniak is out to a fast start in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, slashing .345/.394/.448 with a homer and a steal in 8 games.
- My favorite fantasy prospect from this June’s draft Kyle Lewis, isn’t setting the world on fire but he’s been solid. In fact he was a double shy of the cycle on Wednesday. Between Tyler O’Neill, Lewis, and D.J. Peterson‘s renaissance the Mariners look like they have some prospect bats….finally.
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