Many famous gingers have helped make me the man I am today. Lion-O from Thundercats, Jessica Rabbit, and the fat kid from The Sandlot immediately come to mind. Then there have been a few nightmares featuring this guy. But now that prospects are my focus, my new bro with the orange fro is Clint Frazier. Frazier got some hype as a stud fantasy prospect when he was drafted 5th overall by the Indians in 2013, but when he didn’t completely murder A-ball pitchers last year he may have lulled us to sleep. After a roller coaster first half, Frazier is killing it again in July – hitting .486 with three homers and three steals in his last ten games alone. He now has 11 homers, 23 doubles, and 12 steals on the year despite a really poor June where he hit .216/.337/.364. Bradley Zimmer recently leap-frogged Frazier to Double-A, but keep in mind Zimmer is also two years older than him. Practice patience with Frazier if you own shares and you’ll be rewarded. He’s more Lion-O than Carrot Top…trust me. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Dorssys Paulino, OF | Indians – Since moving to left field from the middle infield, Paulino has been able to focus more on his bat, and it looks like it’s starting to pay off. After hitting just .251 with three homers and five steals last season, the 20-year-old now has eight dingers and 12 steals in 2015 – earning a promotion to High-A Lynchburg along the way.
Marco Gonzales, SP | Cardinals – Gonzales is still working his way back from injury, and threw 3.2 scoreless innings on Wednesday. His fastball was reportedly hitting 92-93 and he should be able to get back into the mix in St. Louis this year if he can stay healthy.
Alex Reyes, SP | Cardinals – Reyes and his upper-90s heater will head to Double-A. While he was already rising up the prospect ranks, success at that level will bump his value even further. He recently sat out the Futures Game with some shoulder discomfort, but seems fine moving forward.
Aaron Altherr, OF | Phillies – Should the Phils move on from either Ben Revere or Domonic Brown – or both – we should see Altherr in some capacity this year. He may still end up as a fourth outfielder type, but Altherr is hitting .294 with 11 homers and 14 steals between Double-A and Triple-A on the year. He’s hitting .256 with a pair of homers and steals in his last ten games for Lehigh Valley.
Brett Martin, SP | Rangers – Martin’s a sleeper prospect that should be available pretty much everywhere. The 20-year-old southpaw has had mixed results in the Sally, but he sports a 2.25 BB/9 and keeps the ball on the ground which in turn keeps it in the park (0.50 HR/9). He gave up four earned runs in four innings in his last start, but his 3.63 ERA includes that recent outing and a 1.2 inning/5ER shellacking earlier this month. Otherwise he’s been solid and scouts like his sinker/change/curve three-pitch mix.
Lucas Giolito, SP | Nationals – Arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball, Giolito gets one step closer to the bigs this week with a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg. He struck out 86 batters in 69.2 innings at High-A Potomac prior to his promotion. We’ll probably see him in the majors next year.
Victor Robles, OF | Nationals – Recently promoted to short-season Auburn, Robles stayed hot – hitting .440 with two homers and a steal through his first six games in the NYPL. If he’s not already claimed in your dynasty league, the 18-year-old is worth a pickup. He’s going to keep shooting up prospect lists this summer with this performance.
Franklin Barreto, SS | Athletics – Are we calling him the centerpiece of the Josh Donaldson trade? I’m thinking he was, but I could be wrong. At any rate, he was raking for Stockton with a .298 average and 12 homers, but landed on the disabled list this week with a wrist injury.
Brendan Rogers, SS | Rockies – Picked third overall in this year’s draft, Rogers is off to a good start in the rookie-level Pioneer League. He’s hitting .275 with a pair of homers and steals through his first 14 games. The triple threat of shortstop, Coors, and production makes him one of the best fantasy prospects from the 2015 draft class.
Nick Williams, OF | Rangers – Williams just continues to rake in Double-A and now has five homers in his last ten games. He’s hitting .302/.361/.489 on the year and there’s little doubt it’ll be Williams and Mazara perched at the top of the Rangers system once Gallo graduates. You might even be able to make a case that they’re ahead of him already! *dodges massive tomato*
Carson Fulmer, SP | White Sox – Another 2015 draft pick, Fulmer should move quickly to the majors with college innings already under his belt. Fun fact: that expression comes from having food in your stomach after a meal…it’s under your belt. I guess everybody walked around like Steve Urkel back in the day? Since when is your belt above your stomach? Okay, I’m back! Fulmer made his High-A debut this week and threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Hunter Renfroe, OF | Padres – After a rough start to the season, Renfroe has turned it on in June and July. He’s hitting .337 this month with five homers. The 23-year-old now has 12 bombs on the season for Double-A San Antonio and continues to hang around the back end of my Top 50 thanks to the power.
Monte Harrison, OF | Brewers – Unfortunately Harrison broke his ankle and will miss the rest of the 2015 season. He was already a prospect with a long ETA, and this only delays his development further. Harrison was hitting .148 through 46 games in the Midwest League prior to the injury, but how can you not love this guy?
Gilbert Lara, SS | Brewers – Lara is only 17 but he’s hitting .314 in the rookie-level Arizona League. One of the better J2 prospects from last summer, Lara should rise quickly – especially if it turns out he can hang at shortstop for a while.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF | Astros – It’s never okay to hit .206 in Double-A, but Hernandez does have five homers in his last five games, including two dingers on Friday night. He now has 13 bombs on the season.
A.J. Reed, 1B | Astros – I plopped Reed into the back end of my Midseason Top 50 list. Outside of Josh Bell, there’s not much to get excited about at the first base position, so Reed is a breath of fresh air. His bat wasn’t just a result of hitting in Lancaster either…he’s hitting .316 with two homers through his first 11 games at Double-A.
Alen Hanson, 2B | Pirates – Hanson got me all excited prior to the Aramis Ramirez trade because he was starting to take some reps at third base. At any rate, he’s pretty much major league ready – hitting .283 with five homers and 27 steals for Triple-A Indianapolis. Adding another position to his repertoire will only speed things up and help his value.
Javier Baez, MI | Cubs – Baez returned to action this week, but more importantly it’s rumored that he is being dangled in trade talks. Anything that gets his bat to the majors faster will work for us fantasy folks. Just don’t go to Seattle, ok?
Oswaldo Arcia, OF | Twins – I guess he’s “blocked” by Eddie Rosario and Shane Robinson, but it’s a shame the Twins can’t find a home for Arcia in their lineup. He’s hitting .293 with eight home runs in the month of July for Triple-A Rochester and he’s still just 24 years old.