At the quarterly Prospector meetings many topics are broached. Favorite sweatpants style, least favorite fellow Prospector, gold tooth picks, but far and away the most popular discussion amongst my peers, “Who’s your favorite Atlanta Braves Pitching Prospect?”. If you know anything about the Braves farm system, then you know there’s so many names to choose from. Think about it, there’s Anderson, there’s Soroka, there’s Fried, and Gohara, the list goes on and on. However, I Prospect Versace, find myself enamored with the best and brightest of them all, Kolby Allard. As a 19 year old in AA he’s setting the Southern League ablaze with a 1.36 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 7.64 K/9 to a 1.91 Bb/9. The lefty was taken by the Braves 14th overall way back in the 2015 draft, and has really taken off since early injury woes. He’s made quick work of the lower levels of the minors, never sporting an ERA higher than 4 during his 90+ pro innings leading up to 2017. The stuff has never been an issue for Allard as he throws a plus fastball in the low to mid 90’s, a plus curveball (seen below), and an improving change. His control and command are advanced for a 19 year old, and with AA looking like just another notch in his belt, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Allard in Atlanta come next year. On the most recent episode of the prospect podcast, we discuss whether or not Allard is the highest upside starter in the minors, and it’s truly possible. The only thing holding the young lefty back is a checkered injury history, with a previous back surgery. While he’s more than likely owned even in the shallowest of dynasty formats, he’s a must add on the off change he’s not. A worthy trade target for rebuilding clubs too. Here’s your minor league update for May 7th.
- While we’re on the topic of Braves prospects, youngsters Ronald Acuna and Alex Jackson each homered in last night’s losing effort for Atlanta’s Florida State League Affiliate. Alex Jackson is having some what of a renaissance, if you can call it that for a 21 year old. He’s currently slashing .301/.347/.584 with 9 homers, which is tops in the FSL. The best part is he’s playing almost all of his time behind the plate, boosting his value even higher. It’s amazing the turn around we’ve seen to Jackson’s value in such a short time. Must have been a Mariners thing…. Should be a lesson in patience for dynasty managers. Ronald Acuna on the other hand has gotten over his slow start, and continues to show the brilliant upside so discussed ad naseum this off-season.
- I’m not sure what’s gone on since going to bed at 3 AM, but I have no idea whether Amed Rosario will be called up or not. I did add him all over just in case. He’s hitting .380+ at the moment, and daddy needs one of that heat.
- Another multi-homer game for Kyle Tucker, the kid just does amazing things in many different facets. He’s by far one of the most exciting prospects to follow or own in dynasty. Kid’s got the ability to be a perennial All-Star, and contribute in a bunch of different ways.
- We’re into groupings this week I guess. Astros outfield prospect Derek Fisher extended his hit streak to 11 games. So far he’s slashing .321/.382/.568 with 6 homers and 3 steals. The strikeouts are down, as are the walks, and his power is playing up more than ever before.
- 2016 Oakland draft pick, A.J. Puk pitched the best game of his professional career last night, going 5 innings, striking out 9, and allowing only one hit. So far the ERA isn’t very good, but it’s the Cal League, and the peripherals are gorgeous. So I’d take the ERA with a grain of salt.
- Red Sox 3rd base prospect Bobby Dalbec, clubbed his second homer of the season. So far it’s been a rough year for Dalbec, who’s K’s are way up at a near 35% rate. Maybe this is the beginning of a breakout.
- An off the radar arm to take a look at in deeper dynasty leagues is Diamondbacks prospect Jon Duplantier. A third round pick in last year’s draft, the righty has an impressive line so far this year, with a 1.07 ERA, a 11.72 K/9, and a 2.49 Bb/9. Duplantier looks like he could be a breakout candidate, if you’re looking for a high upside arm.
- Speaking of D-Backs prospects making noise, Marcus Wilson is enjoying a career year so far in 2017. At the moment he’s slashing .362/.470/.696 with 5 homers and 4 steals across 85 plate appearances. This is quite the breakout from a former second round supplemental pick, as he’s nearly doubled his career homer run total accrued over two and half seasons. The power and speed combo, make Wilson a worthy add in most dynasty formats.
- A career night from Red Sox 2016 5th rounder, and former Maryland star Michael Shawaryn. As he struck out a career high of 12 batters, over 6 innings of 1 run ball. The righty has an almost side arm delivery seen below. His fastball jams in there in the low to mid-90’s, with an above average change, and an average slider. His arm slot plays up against lefties, but also raises some serious questions about injuries.
- A player making some noise in the Saly League is Michael Halpern favorite Yanio Perez. The power-hitting first baseman is showing power, and advanced pitch recognition skills, even if he’s a little advanced for his competition he’s doing what he should be doing slashing .337/.421/.587 with 6 homers and 2 steals. A callup to Down East of the Carolina League seems imminent.
- Dodgers outfield prospect Carlos Rincon of Rancho Cucamonga continues to flash power, going yard last night for the 8th time this season. His strikeouts are redonk at 37%, not to play Captain Obvious but there’s some risk here.
- Here’s a high upside sleeper, whose pre-season buzz has diminished some, Jesus Sanchez from the Tampa organization. He’s hitting well at Class A Bowling Green slashing .302/.340/.542 with 5 homers in 23 games. The 19 year old slugger is arguably the Rays best position prospect after Willy Adames. He’s shown some improvement in approach so far this year raising his walk rate above 6%, while keeping his strikeouts under 20%, and making lots of hard contact.
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