There’s admittedly a special place in my heart for left-handed pitchers already, but I’m falling hard for Blake Snell. The 22-year-old southpaw ranked 9th in my Rays Top 10 prospects this offseason. Here’s what I said there: “His arsenal features a low-to-mid-90s fastball, plus slider, and plus changeup. His ceiling is more of a mid-rotation starter, but in deep leagues he’s a prospect worth checking in on just in case he figures out his control and takes another step forward. He will face a bigger challenge in 2015 when he gets his feet wet in Double-A.” His feet are officially wet. After just four games in High-A, Snell was promoted to Double-A Montgomery and made his first start Friday night. He responded with six scoreless innings, striking out eight while allowing just one hit and one walk. On the season, Snell has now pitched 27 innings and has yet to allow a run. He has struck out 35 batters and opponents are hitting just .124 off him. If you’re in a deeper dynasty format with some minor league slots to fill, I’d be getting on the Snell train. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

AAA

Blake Swihart, C | Red Sox

See? The Ryan Hanigan voodoo dolls paid off! Prior to his major league debut, Swihart had been tearing up Triple-A – hitting .338/.392/.382 with Pawtucket. The Sox will likely give him plenty of playing time, and he’s an add in any format where you need a catcher. There’s 15-20 homer power and a .280 average lurking in his bat.

Mike Foltynewicz, RHP | Braves

Also called up this week, Folty seems like a hot “do I add him?” guy. Here’s what I wrote about him this offseason: “Foltynewicz becomes one of the top arms in the Braves’ system after the Gattis trade and he’s close to the majors. The righty’s bread and butter is a double-plus fastball. He hits triple digits with his heater and he has nice strikeout potential thanks to a solid breaking ball. How everything comes together for him as a starter is still up in the air, but the Braves are a good landing place for a young pitcher. Foltynewicz’s stuff is exciting, but he’s probably still more of a #3 starter ceiling with a power reliever floor.”

AA

Josh Bell, 1B/OF | Pirates

It took until late last night for Bell to hit his first home run, but he’s done just about everything else right to start the 2015 season. Through 18 games, Bell has tallied three doubles, two triples, and three steals while hitting .373. He has also walked more than he’s struck out, posting a .434 OBP. Bell started his career as a right-fielder, but he’s playing almost exclusively at first base this year. The change in position could speed up his arrival in Pittsburgh, where they are obviously loaded in the outfield already.

Kyle Schwarber, C/OF | Cubs

Drafted just last year, Schwarber hasn’t missed a beat with a hot start in the Southern League. Playing mostly catcher (11 games) and DH (5 games), the 22-year-old has clubbed five homers and hit .362 in his first 74 plate appearances. It seems like the Cubs want to give catching a fair shot, which could slow down his ETA. His stick will play in fantasy regardless of his position on the diamond.

Danny Hultzen, LHP | Mariners

Hultzen returned to the mound this week after a 20-month layoff due to shoulder problems. The 25-year-old southpaw threw 3.1 innings and struck out four. Usually shoulder injuries are a death sentence for pitchers, so it’s honestly nice to see him back. It’s tough to recommend buying for fantasy purposes until we see more results on the field though.

Wilmer Difo, SS | Nationals

Difo went apeshizz in High-A to start the year and earned a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg this week after just 19 games. On the season he’s slashing .321/.382/.543 with three homers, nine doubles, and four steals. Middle infield prospects who hit like this make me feel things.

A+

Brett Phillips, OF | Astros

Don’t look now but the Astros are playing prettay, prettay good baseball right now. Down on the farm things are going well too with top prospect Carlos Correa destroying Double-A. But tucked away in the California League is another good prospect in Brett Philllips. He ranked #2 in my Astros Top 10, and has gotten off to the great start I expected in a launching pad like Lancaster. Through his first 21 games, the 20-year-old is hitting .337/.374/.616 with four homers, six doubles, and three triples. Look for him to tear it up some more early on before facing a tougher test in Double-A later this year.

A

Gleyber Torres, SS | Cubs

You know how the Cubs have like a half dozen middle infielders? Well, they have yet another one cooking in A-ball this season and he’s got one of my favorite names to boot. Playing in his first full season, Torres is currently ranked fourth in batting average in the Midwest League (.355). Oh and he’s 18 years old, so about four years younger than the three guys ahead of him on that leaderboard. He’s also stolen seven bags in eight attempts. If you play in a deep dynasty league and Torres is available, you know what to do.

 
  1. nelson says:
    (link)

    Difo vs Tim Anderson vs Daniel Robertson?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      I’m still putting Anderson way out in front of the other two, but I think Difo has closed the gap on Robertson

  2. Yescheese says:
    (link)

    Snell, Honeywell, Guerreri… How do the Rays always do it?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      for real…I like all three of those guys

  3. Nightpandas says:
    (link)

    Hey Mike,

    Doing either of these in a 15 team keeper?

    Trade Arenado / Braun for Dickerson / Samardzjia

    Trade Arenado/ Ventura / A Gordon for Dickerson / Samardzjia / Span

    Also is Billy Burns worth a grab if I need steals dropping Folty, Colome or Nelson?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Hold Arenado

      Yup, he’s SAGNOF…but dropping those arms won’t hurt you

  4. Juan on Juan says:
    (link)

    Mike im looking to drop Brock holt for the following guys:
    Choo
    Laroche
    Saunders

    Which one would you pick up?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Laroche

  5. Abe Froman says:
    (link)

    2 Boston related questions:

    -How long do you think we wait for Rusney?
    -Should I activate Blake Swihart from the minors and drop Chirinos? 10 team AL-only roto keeper. Obviously he’s the better talent, but once I activate him, I’ve gotta bank on him getting playing time the rest of the season

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      I’m thinking by the end of the month for Castillo.

      I’ve been burned in those situations before, so now I lean towards keeping a guy down when I have the choice….just in case. It’s not like he’s going to come up and automatically perform at his ceiling anyway.

      • Abe Froman says:
        (link)

        @Mike:

        Gotcha, thanks Mike.

        One quick follow-up: do you think Dalton Pompey stays in the minors for the rest of the season, barring injuries?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          He flew threw the minors, so I’m not totally shocked he struggled. I still like him over Pillar and I don’t think he’ll stay down all year, no.

          • Abe Froman says:
            (link)

            @Mike:

            Appreciate it! Have a great rest of your Sunday

            • Mike

              Mike says:
              (link)

              anytime…you too Abe!

  6. Kenneth says:
    (link)

    Just a quick note on Hultzen that the Mariners have all but ruled out calling him up this year. Assuming he is healthy going into next year, he should have a legitimate chance to earn a rotation spot out of spring training.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      thanks Kenneth!

  7. Jaybuhner says:
    (link)

    Thought on Astros correa call up time this year? Picked him up in a keeper league where I can only keeper four guys so don’t think I’d likely keep him based on my keepers being Abreu, arenado, harvey, and most likey pederson. But wondering if correa would be up this year as some trade bait.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Lots of Correa buzz. I’d say July/August if he’s going to come up this year. Originally I had him pegged for 2016.

  8. Pouss-Pouss Drivers says:
    (link)

    What happened to Miguel Sano? I was looking forward to seeing him up and swatting homers with the big club in June, and now it looks like he can’t even cut it in Double A. Should we be worried about his long-term potential?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      He’s coming off a long layoff, so it’s not going to be easy. I don’t have any concerns about long term potential, and I think we could still see him in July/August this year if he really turns it on. If not, I’d think he would break camp with a shot at the 3B job next year.

  9. Martin says:
    (link)

    Carlos Correa call up question: Lowrie out until the ASG, Marwin and Villar being meh stopgaps, whats the potential of a CC early call up considering how lights out the Stros have been and how well Correa is tearing up the minors?

    • Martin says:
      (link)

      @Martin: whoops I see you answered this like 2 comments up already

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      no problem!

  10. Jerry says:
    (link)

    Hey, Mike. Danny Santana or Span for ros? Thanks and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      anytime…you too!

      it’s a toss up, but I prefer Santana for health and the dual eligibility

  11. Bocephus says:
    (link)

    Corey Seager was promoted to AAA – thoughts on him getting the call up in June?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      It’s definitely possible…

  12. Pope says:
    (link)

    Mike, I’m curious about Swihart. Would you add him over Zunino in a 12 team roto format? I realize Zunino hasn’t exactly been performing… but I know his potential and he’s a Mariner so I’ve got a soft spot for him

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      hey Pope!

      I like Zunino’s power…it’s close. I’d still take Zunino for now though.

      • Pope says:
        (link)

        @Mike: Me too. I have a feeling he’ll pick it up soon enough.

        Thanks Mike!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          anytime man

  13. Jeter North says:
    (link)

    Swihardt over Aj Pierzynski until Travis D Arnaud returns?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      that I’d do, sure

  14. notBaezaworldseries says:
    (link)

    Speaking of shoulder injuries. Is Mike Minor worth holding on to in a 16tm dynasty?

    Your avatar spurred a random memory of Schmidt being afraid of the sun and calling it “evil” after having dealt with skin cancer.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      just shut down again…guys like Corbin and Parker might be better stashes at this point

      Mike Schmidt…for your health

      • Scott says:
        (link)

        @Mike: Matt Moore a decent stash?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          Yup

  15. FrankGrimes says:
    (link)

    swihardt over plawecki?
    trade Cishek for odorizzi?
    hold on to rusney?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Swihart
      Odorizzi
      Hold

  16. Geo says:
    (link)

    8 team keeper league (had two owners drop out after the first couple years of the league and couldn’t find two owners, so left it at 8. So most teams are pretty well off and we’ve gradually built up to 18 keepers with an option to keep 2 minor leaguers in that 18) No penalties or time limits on keepers. Head to head points league with 12 pitcher start limit per week. I have a stacked young offense: Swihart, Rizzo, Daniel Murphy/Dilson Herrera (will put/keep Baez there when he comes up), Kris Bryant, Simmons at SS (with Correa and Corey Seager on bench), Harper, Springer, Billy Hamilton, Machado, and Wil Meyers. I’ll keep Correa as my minor leaguer and the other 8 starters minus the catcher.
    Got offered Ventura and Alex Wood for Kluber and Huston Street. My pitchng is also well off: Kershaw, King Felix, Cole, Teheran, Bauer, Taijuan Walker, Jose Fernandez, Wheeler, Brandon Morrow, Travis Wood, Giolito, Glasnow, Appel, and have Ottavino (prob headed for TJ), Koji, Street, Cody Allen, Boxberger, and Cecil. So def don’t need Street, and he’s just a closer. And having Jose and Wheeler out, plus Walkers been streaky, I could use the extra depth/quality to help me till Fernandez comes back. Plus gives me two young keepers. Leaning towards taking it. Thoughts?

    • Geo says:
      (link)

      @Geo: Just realized how long that came out. Sorry bout that.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      No problem…I’d hold Kluber

  17. Scott says:
    (link)

    Prospect next on the horizon? When do you think we see Seager up starting for the Dodgers?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Castillo…

      July?

      • Scott says:
        (link)

        @Mike: Franco? Mid May?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          Yup, I’ve got Franco second after Castillo on my power rankings. Once they clear the May 15 hurdle, it could be anytime.

  18. slew says:
    (link)

    Hey Mike, what do you think about Chris Taylor, SAGNOF? He was pulled from Tacoma’s game, but nothing official has been announced.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Yeah, not worth sweating in shallower leagues.

  19. Chris says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the update Mike! Hoping this isn’t too late!

    I’m in a 5×5 14 team roto, head to head. Please pick 2 hitters

    Pyrzinksi- Aoki-Parades-Padro A.

    Please pick 3 starters:

    Fister 1 start at Atl
    Wood @stl and @ Milw 2starts
    Feldman 2 starts Tex and @ LAA
    Phelps @ Was and @ SF

    I’m done with Weaver! Good Move? The 2 starts kind of trumps but Fister pitched well again. Is Wood going to continue? I’ll be up 13 to 9 starts if I keep all of the 2 start pitchers in. It will give me a great shot at wins K’s. Save I always compete. Any of these guys can get lit up though its scary! Do you like Cishek over Krod or Box Berger?

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      No problem…Alvarez, Wood, Boxberger

  20. Chris says:
    (link)

    Thanks! Would you go AJ Pyrzinski over Aoki at DH?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      No problem…nah, I’d stick with Aoki.

  21. Will says:
    (link)

    Should I stick with Caleb Joseph or take a gamble on Swihart? I drafted d’Arnaud, but since he has been out I have been going with Joseph. Also, should I keep d’Arnaud even if I don’t have a DL spot or just see about picking him back up later when he returns?

    • Will says:
      (link)

      @Will: Also, Zunino is on the waivers too

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      I’d roll with Swihart…don’t roster 2 catchers if you don’t have to

      • Will says:
        (link)

        @Mike: 1 other question. I have Boxberger. Should I pick up McGee or get AJ Ramos?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          McGee

  22. NJ All Day says:
    (link)

    I have Mesaroco, but im not going to drop him yet, but should i pick up Swihart or Pierzynski as my other catcher atm till devin gets healthy??

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      sure…Swihart

    • NJ All Day says:
      (link)

      @NJ All Day: actually i read some of the comments and you had the same question and went with the kid over pierzynski.. thanks

      • Mike

        Mike says:
        (link)

        anytime

      • NJ All Day says:
        (link)

        @NJ All Day: last question, do you think Mesroco when he gets healthy will be the ringer he was last year??

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          hard to say, but if the guy still can’t even squat to catch I’m guessing his power will take a hit this year

  23. NJ All Day says:
    (link)

    Hey whats the deal with the Twins Buxton?? when is he going to get the call? started slow but is hitting near 600 in a one week span recently. I’m eager to get the jump on this fella and its time the twins bring him up and let torii mentor him

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      if he comes up this year I’m guessing it will be July/August

Comments are closed.