Deadline day baby, one of the most exciting and nerve wrecking times for fantasy owners across the land. I’m not going to talk extensively about it the way I did on Wednesday. Mostly because I’m not allowed to write the same post twice. At least as far as I know. Only Tehol’s allowed to do that stuff, but he’s handsome. We call that bubble syndrome, handsome, and really all attractive people in general, live in a bubble. You know who doesn’t live in a bubble, but is built exactly like one? Josh Naylor!!! That’s right A.J. Pro-Preller continues to trade-rape the MLB and horde A-1 prospects the same way your Grandma hordes Precious Moments figurines. This time they traded Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea for Josh Naylor, Luis Castillo, Carter Capps, and Jarred Cosart. We have no need to get into Cosart or Capps, but Naylor is interesting, Castillo less so. The Marlins selected Naylor in the first round, 12th overall, in last year’s draft. So far the returns have been promising, but let’s be clear Naylor is an “unathletic” DH/1B type. He was drafted as a 1B/OF coming out of the prep circuit, but his future lies as a first sacker. He’s been billed as a power first guy, but his power at this point has only been middling. He’s surprisingly swiped 10 bags though. The hope is the young Naylor develops the power stroke and eventually matures into a 25-30 homer corner guy. I’m not as hopeful as some about that happening.
Oh don’t worry I’ll get into my take on top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, and three others moving from the Indians system to the Brewers for Jonathan Lucroy. Feel free to post rumors, deals, hopes, and dreams, etc in the comments. Let’s talk specs and trades y’all!
Francisco Mejia, C Indians (hi-A Lynchburg): **UPDATED** The 20 year old switch-hitting backstop is exploding onto the scene. He’s in the midst of a 42 game hitting streak, and was the centerpiece of the Jonathan Lucroy deal to the Indians. The deal has now been nixed by Lucroy through his no trade clause. Lucroy is back on the market.
Jose Berrios, RHP Twins (AAA Rochester): Will be called up on Monday to face the Cleveland in what may be Jonathan Lucroy’s Indians debut. He’s been filthy since being optioned back to AAA, but he’s been especially filthy in July posting a 2.08 ERA, 38 K’s to 8 Bb’s in 34.2 innings.
Tom Murphy, C Rockies (AAA Albuquerque): The 25 year old backstop has always shown power, but not the way he has this year at AAA Albuquerque. So far this season Murphy’s slashline sits at .309/.342/.652 with 15 homers in 219 plate appearances. I’ve never been a huge fan of Murphy, but he’s been on my radar of late. Why? Well first he’s a favorite of my colleague Michael Halpern from the newly anointed RAZZBALL PROSPECT PODCAST!!!! (Here’s a brief pause for you to scream, yell, and thank your creator for this news)… Halp aside, Murphy’s been raking throughout the month of July. Raking you say? Yup, try on a .569/.615/1.155 slashline through 16 games this month. Obviously we’re taking only half the games, but he’s a catcher and that’s par for the course. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on for immediate impact upon promotion to Colorado.
Brent Honeywell, RHP Rays (AA Montgomery): The minor league’s own Kenny Powers, it’s screwball master Brent Honeywell, Ladies and Gents! 22 innings into his AA debut and so far he’s been a monster posting a 1.21 ERA, a 9.27 K/9 and a 2.42 Bb/9. He also induces all types of weak contact. Maybe the next name in a long line of good Rays farm arms.
Luke Weaver, RHP Cardinals (AA Springfield): There’s a few guys I’ve written about extensively this year, one being Andrew Benintendi and another being Weaver. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Weaver has continued to throw like a future ace, piling up strikeouts and staying stingy on the hits, walks, and most importantly runs. Weaver’s dream season continued this week as he threw 8 innings of one run ball, striking out 8 while allowing just 3 base runners.
Adalberto Mejia, LHP Twins (AAA Rochester): The player going the other way in the Eduardo Nunez trade. I’ve written about Mejia a few times, he’s a lefty with good swing and miss stuff, and has been a bit of a riser this year. I assume he makes a start or two with Rochester and then should see the bigs but who knows.
Joe Jimenez, RHP Tigers (AAA Toledo): Was promoted to AAA Toledo on Friday and proceeded to nail down his first save at his new level. Jimenez was featured in the Futures Game over All-Star weekend, and looks to be a closer in waiting. Huge swing and miss stuff and a closer’s makeup, he’s one worth stashing for a few years until he gets his first crack at 9th inning duties in the D.
Raimel Tapia, OF Rockies (AA Hartford): All he does is hit, hit, hit no matter what! One of the most debated prospects in the game continues to reward those, like myself, with faith in his ability to hit at the next level. Over the last two weeks he’s maintained his high level of play slashing .328/.353/.484 with a couple of long flys and 3 steals. Keep in mind Hartford hasn’t played a single home game all season. Double keep in mind, or keep in your mind’s mind, he’s a Rockies prospect that means COORS!!!
Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF Dodgers (AA Tulsa): One of the breakout hitters of 2015, Bellinger initially struggled out the gate in 2016. While he’s never going to hit for average without some BABIP luck, he continues to contribute in a multitude of ways. First and foremost he posses power, hitting 30 last year at hi-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s followed that up with 13 dongs this season at AA Tulsa. But wait that’s not all! The strongest part of his game might be his ability to walk, in fact in the month of July he’s walking at a 18% rate! Regardless of his future .240-.270 batting average range, he’s destined to get on base at a .350-.380 clip. If you’re in a OBP dynasty and you’re looking for a prospect to grab take a look at Bellinger. He splits his time in the field between first base (about 75% of the time), and the outfield (25% of the time).
Austin Riley, 3B Braves (A Rome): Another 2015 breakout with a somewhat underwhelming start. Riley has started to really turn it around in the last two weeks launching 4 bombs and slashing .310/.348/.690. This is a welcomed power surge, particularly when you consider 40% of his homers have come over that stretch.
Hunter Dozier, 3B Royals (AAA Omaha): We need a name for prospects who breakout after bottoming out. Are they post-hype breakouts? Meh, you decide. Dozier has done just that. As a player universally written off he’s playing in a way that demands a call up at some point. Unfortunately he’s blocked in the interm by Cheslor Cuthbert and Mike Moustakas (2017 at least). I would expect he sees Kansas City at some point in the next month. He’s also rule 5 eligible in the off-season, so more than likely he’ll be on the 40 man roster. Unless of course he’s traded today, to someone with a 3B opening. I’m freaking psyched to be opening Trade Deadline Sunday!
Austin Gomber, LHP Cardinals (hi-A Palm Beach): Over his last three starts Gomber has been magnificent. Though he’s winless over that stretch his numbers speak for themselves, 10 k/9, .81 Bb/9, .72 WHIP, .173 BAA, and a 1.52 FIP. He’s an older player (23) for his level, but he’s a big lefty that’s been successful at every stop since joining the organization as a 4th rounder from Florida Atlantic in 2014. His K/9 has been underwhelming this year at 7.5 after being 9.3 last year. Hopefully this recent stretch is a sign of things to come. Did make a spot start at AA Springfield back on July 9th, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he found himself making a few more starts in AA before the season is through.
Yadier Alvarez, RHP Dodgers (A Great Lakes): The pitching jewel of last year’s July 2 period, has made his stateside debut, and so far so good. It’s only 9 innings, but so far he has 20 strikeouts. That’s a K/9 of 20! Keep that up and the Dodgers have the greatest pitcher ever. I know, I know, talk about a short sample size, go ahead, say it, I’ll pause, that’s what……
Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/OF Athletics (AAA Nashville): He’s certainly another one of those Dozier type players who’s prospect star sizzled and rekindled in a matter of 18 months. Despite being shuttled between Oakland and Nashville, Alcantara has hit .390/.405/.545. So yeah he never walks, but he does posses multi-position eligibility and a solid speed profile with a little bit of power. Doesn’t hurt he’s no longer buried in a talented Cubs system.
Alex Kirilloff, OF Twins (Rookie Elizabethton): The Twins 2016 first round pick is doing big things in the Appy league. Through 114 plate appearances he’s slashing .358/.360/.523 with 4 homers. Obviously he needs to work on his patience, but he’s making solid contact.
Nick Zammerelli, 3B Mariners (lo-A Everett): One of my favorite sleepers in the 2016 draft class has had a big week, slashing .407/.448/.481. He was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 28th round of the 2013 draft, but instead chose to attend Elon University in North Carolina. Truthfully he’s a New England kid, I’m from New England, I root for New England prospects a little harder.
Chase De Jong, RHP Dodgers (AA Tulsa): I’ve seen him added in a lot of leagues lately, and I have to be honest I’m not a big fan. He’s pretty low on the pecking order as far as arms go in the Dodgers system. He’s also out pitching his peripherals by a wide margin (2.64 ERA to a 3.85 FIP), and allowing too many homers (1.09 HR/9).
Brandon Woodruff, RHP Brewers (AA Biloxi): The 2014 11th round pick is having a breakout year through 13 starts at AA Biloxi. He’s currently making my palms sweaty with a 10.22 K/9 and a 2.88 Bb/9. He’s actually been a bit unlucky as his 3.28 ERA is half a run higher than his 2.75 FIP. An arm off a lot of people’s radars that’s worth watching.
Jake Bauers, 1B Rays (AA Montgomery): I don’t talk about Bauers enough, but he’s a prospect I do like quite a bit. He’s shown well in his first stint at AA, exhibiting advanced approach (11.4 Bb%, 15.5% K%), and developing power. Very young for AA at 20, he’s been streaking in July slashing .302/.369/.406.
Jahmai Jones, OF Angels (Rookie Orem): In his first full season of pro ball the 2015 second round pick is hitting .327/.395/.464. His power is developing, but his speed is real giving him 15/25 potential. He’s a long ways away as a soon to be 19 year old.
Richard Urena, SS Blue Jays (hi-A Dunedin): I think I’ve slept on Urena more than I should, he’s slashed a very respectable .299/.345/.446 with 8 homers and 9 steals at hi-A Dunedin. Due to the across the board offensive production and ability to stick at short, I wouldn’t be shocked if he climbs top 100 lists in the offseason.
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