After serving a 50 game suspension because all he do is smoke mad izm, the Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes returns this afternoon for AAA Memphis. If you’re not familiar with Reyes, then leave…seriously get the heck out of here. Okay, I’m kidding, but really you should be generally aware of the right handed flamethrower. If all goes well, I could easily see him in the big league rotation come late July, with a chance at being one of the most impactful rookies of the 2016 term. After all this is a player that averaged a 13.4 K/9 in 101 innings across three levels last year. He’s also starting his season just a step away from St. Louie in AAA Memphis. With “ironmen” like Jaime Garcia and Carlos Martinez in the Cardinals rotation, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where he’s in the bigs rather quickly. Going forward he needs to be considered amongst the top ten potential promotions, and a top 3-5 pitcher in the minors. In keepers or redrafts where you can stash minors, grab Reyes if he’s available.
- Speaking of promotions, wait we weren’t actually, but anyway. The Phillies promoted top prospect JP Crawford to AAA Lehigh Valley. There he’ll team with Nick Williams and form a dynamic 1-2, while doing his dirt in a Bacon USA shirt. The shortstop wasn’t setting the world on fire at AA Reading, but he did get on base at a .400 clip. This is pretty indicative of what you can expect from Crawford once he finally matriculates to the majors. Great obp, solid power, average, and counting stats, little speed.
- The closer and closer we get to the MLB draft the more and more I’m convinced either A.J. Puk, or Kyle Lewis go one to the Phillies. Too bad local kid Jason Groome, and possibly the best talent in the draft, seems to be off the Phill’s radar. Puk worries me, he’s never been a dominant college player, so his rep is mostly flash and projection. At some point results have to matter no? Long story short, Phillies go Lewis.
- Of course I pledge my undying love for Andrew Benintendi upon his promotion to AA Portland and he proceeds to go 0-8 over the next two games. If he Danny Santana’s me I’m going to be really angry.
- Hunter Dozier has continued to hit in AAA, his line is pretty tasty at .327/.353/.653 with 4 homers. Across AA and AAA he’s hitting .313/.385/.646 with 12 homers, 34 ribbies, and 4 steals. He’s firmly back on the prospect radar, and could find some time in the bigs this year if he’s traded.
- Another common question I see on a semi-weekly basis is “Ralph, you’re smart and articulate, how are you also so damn sexy?” Short answer…. Genes. Really though, a question I see frequently is “Name the biggest riser hitter and pitcher” now with almost two months in the rear view it’s easier to answer that. I’d go with Josh Hader and Harrison Bader. Both are a top the leaderboards for all of AA. With Bader leading the level in batting average with a .340 clip, while Hader leads in ERA with a minuscule .89. Hader and Bader brothers from a different consonant mother.
- I might as well call this post common questions, because as Biggie would say, “and another one”. A couple of commenters on Wednesday asked that I do a list of the top ten prospects facing promotion. While I’m not sure it will be as formal as my predecessor’s, I will be updating it in posts like this monthly, or as I see fit. The list below focuses solely on proximity X magnitude. It’s the vector of prospect rankings I suppose. In other words, players a year away, or at best a September callup, like Yoan Moncada, Rodgers, etc will not be considered. So enough talk…..see below.
Top Ten Upcoming Promotions
1. Trea Turner, SS Nationals: He was the focus of Grey’s buy this week, as were many prospects, as Super 2 is right around the corner. Turner’s delay has nothing to do with Super 2, but rather his service time clock. He’ll be up on May 30th or 31st according to all reports. Expect a prototypical leadoff type. Average, speed, and counting stats. Probably has 10-15 homer pop over a full 162.
2. Julio Urias, LHP Dodgers: The teenage Mexican phenomenon should be up anytime now with the Dodgers. After throwing another 5 scoreless innings on Friday night, Urias is up to 27 consecutive scoreless frames. His promotion can only be a matter of time, he’s just been too good. At worst he’s a pen arm for a few months with some spot starts here and there, at best he’s Nutella, straight butter.
3. A.J. Reed, 1B Astros: I sort of reluctantly rank Reed here. I say that because number one, he’s on the DL. Number two, he’s hit for power, but hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire in AAA. When it comes to players in front of Reed, I’m not too worried. Talent wins out, almost always; if he can return from the DL strong and get on a roll, I could see him in Houston by July 1st.
4. Jameson Taillon, RHP Pirates: I gave you my crackpot theory in my mid-week post. Still holds true, he’s up before Glasnow, but will have an innings limit. So his “window of impact” could be from June to September 1st. So far he’s been an ace with the control, his Bb/9 sits at .91.
5. Tyler Glasnow, RHP Pirates: Could be up around the same time as Taillon, or as I’ve speculated, potentially later in the year, as Taillon approaches his innings limit, and the Pirates wind down his usage. Glasnow has the higher ceiling of the two, as the K/9 potential is tremendous. The other side of the coin is he’s significantly more wild than Taillon, which is why Taillon is up first.
6. Orlando Arcia, SS Brewers: He’s been very solid in AAA, hitting .315 with 22 runs, 3 homers, 21 RBIs, and 6 steals. The problem with Arcia is, what incentive the Brewers have to call him up? I assume we see him this season, I suspect sometime in July.
7. Blake Snell, LHP Rays: We’ve seen him once, and at this point he’s just biding his time down on the farm till the Super Two date passes. He’s been very good at AAA, but a bit wild at times this season. The 12+ K rate has you salivating though. I wear a bib when I watch baseball, it’s a weird Pavlovian reflex.
8. J.P. Crawford, SS Phillies: Freddy Galvis has started 42 of 43 games for the Phillies at short. With Crawford promoted to AAA Lehigh Valley it’s easy to see he’s on the fast track. I wouldn’t be shocked if both he and teammate Nick Williams reach the majors in mid to late July.
9. Jose Berrios, RHP Twins: The first go round was pretty rough, with his control really failing him this season. Needs to refocus and build his confidence back up before he gets another crack. There’s no one in the Twins rotation justifiably in his way.
10. Hunter Renfroe, OF Padres: This is the shocker of the list, every list needs one, right? Check his numbers, this year he’s been excellent; actually don’t check, I’ll give them to you. .316/.346/.581 with 8 homers and 28 RBI’s. If any of the Padres outfield goes down I could see Renfroe up quickly. Then again they are starting Jon Jay everyday.
Next Man Up (11): Dansby Swanson, SS Braves: Has continued to hit upon his promotion to AA Mississippi, I wonder if he skips AAA all together and ends up in the majors by mid-July? What do the Braves have to lose?
Others On The Cusp: Joey Gallo, 3B Rangers, Cody Reed, LHP Reds, Aaron Judge, OF Yankees, Willson Contreras, C Cubs, Tim Anderson, SS White Sox, Jesse Winker, OF Reds, Alex Bregman, SS/3B Astros, Josh Bell, 1B Pirates, Jose De Leon, RHP Dodgers, Dan Vogelbach, 1B Cubs, Peter O’brien, C/OF, Diamondbacks, Nick Williams, OF Phillies, Jeff Hoffman, RHP Rockies, Josh Hader, LHP Brewers.
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