So he’s not technically a prospect, but Jon Singleton returned to the majors on Friday after spending the first three months in Triple-A. Still just 23 years old, the slugging first baseman/designated hitter was on point in the minors to start the year – leading the Pacific Coast League in homers (17) and RBI (66!) while slashing .280/.387/.553 in 70 games with Fresno. Singleton got a taste of the bigs last year and hit 13 homers in 362 plate appearances. He also hit .168 and struck out at a 37% clip though, so the Astros put him back in the easy bake oven to start 2015. Hopefully the extra time in the minors has him better prepared for major league pitching this time around. The Astros seem to think so, as GM Jeff Luhnow mentioned that Singleton would likely eat into both Chris Carter and Evan Gattis’ playing time. He’s worth a look in pretty much any format thanks to his power, but don’t expect much more than .240 from him in the batting average department. It’s also worth mentioning that after hitting ten homers in May, Singleton only hit three in June and saw his slugging percentage dip to .457. Wet blanket…engaged! Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
This guy is quickly becoming the talk of the town and Sky has at least two Fatheads of him. Judge was promoted to Triple-A and in five games there has already homered. He’s got the type of power you can get excited about in fantasy, and outside of Miguel Sano, it’s probably the best raw power currently in the minor leagues. The big question is will we see him in the majors later this year. I wouldn’t rule it out, especially if he mashes in Triple-A.
While we’re on the subject of elite tools, Smith might have the best pure speed in the minor leagues. The 22-year-old came over to the Braves from the Padres and was recently promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he’s already swiped his first bag. He has 23 on the year after stealing 88 in 2014. The Braves won’t be in any rush here, but this is a name you’ll want to bookmark for some September SAGNOF.
It’s not all good news. Bundy is on his way to see Dr. Andrews since his shoulder issues aren’t going away. I’ve tried to stay on this horse as long as possible, but I’m officially worried and these assless chaps are uncomfortable. In other news, Archie Bradley is also on his way to see Dr. Freeze. Maybe the two of them can solve a Sudoku together in the waiting room.
Turner gave Grey a bad case of premature prospeculation when he (Turner) was promoted to Triple-A earlier this week, and I can see why. The 22-year-old is hitting .327 with five homers and 15 stolen bases in 2015, less than a year after being drafted in the first round by the Padres. He should get a chance to play in the bigs regularly sometime next year with Ian Desmond headed for free agency.
Alexander Reyes, RHP | Cardinals
Just after I profile him and he gets named to the Futures Game, Reyes goes and gets some shoulder soreness that could cost him a couple of starts. It’s a bummer, but I don’t think it changes much in the big picture.
A commenter asked about Kilome the other day after seeing him pop up a few places. He’s just starting his short-season campaign, but this is a pitcher who could be a “breakout” candidate if you’re in a dynasty league. Still just 20 years old, reports on Kilome have him sitting 94-96 (up a couple ticks from last year) with a sharp breaking ball. It’s easy velocity and there’s still projection left in his frame. Through his first 11.2 innings with Williamsport, the right-hander has allowed five hits, four walks, and one earned run while striking out ten.
Once in a while it’s fun to dig down really deep and talk about the guys who will be in the majors three years after the league you’re currently in has disbanded. Still just 17, Gonzalez was a J2 signing from last summer and is currently playing in the Dominican Summer League. In his first 22 games, he’s hitting .303/.357/.584 with five homers and four steals. If you play in one of those 30-team leagues with 90-man rosters (I know you’re out there) then you may want to check if he’s available.
After a slow start at Double-A, Winker has turned it on recently. He’s hitting .315 in June with a pair of homers and a pair of steals. I recently renamed my dog Winker after my daughter scratched his cornea with a pretzel stick. He had actually scratched my cornea with his paw three years ago, so it was like some weird kind of cosmic justice. I imagine the pain was similar to what Winker’s owners went through the first two months of the season.
Williams is a toolshed and has quieted a lot of the preseason doubters with his play this year. The 21-year-old is hitting .290 with 16 doubles, eight homers, and seven steals through his first 73 games at Double-A Frisco. He’ll represent the Rangers along with Nomar Mazara at the Futures Game in a couple of weeks.
It’s been a rough start to the season for Peterson, who is currently hitting .208 with just four homers at Double-A Jackson. While it’s probably still too early to completely give up on the 23-year-old, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a hit on midseason prospect lists. This DJ went from here to here pretty quickly.