First, I’m sure a good chunk of our readers are dads, so happy Fathers Day to ya! I’m not a dad, but I have one, and he’s the man. I’ll be hanging with him later today, watching golf and enjoying good booze. I just might even root for Phil Mickelson, even though I suspect that dude’s a phony jerk — all those fist bumps and fake smiles aren’t fooling me, Mickelson! Anyway, my dad likes him, so go Phil. Now I’m tempted to write an entire post about pro golf, but some of you might consider that boring, so I’ll get on with the usual prospect talk instead.
Xander Bogaerts | SS, Red Sox — Xander Bogaerts is a sure-thing top ten prospect, a top five guy on many boards, and he’s now, at age 20, playing shortstop at Triple-A Pawtucket. After hitting .311/.407/.502 with 6 homers through 56 games at Double-A Portland, the Red Sox had seen enough to justify a bump to the Triple-A level. What’s most exciting about this promotion is that Boston appears content to roll with Bogaerts at shortstop. Scouts have mixed feelings about his defensive profile at short, most seeing him as a future 3B, so the fact that there’s been no transition is hugely encouraging now that he’s just one stop from the bigs. Bogaerts brings middle-of-the-order type potential with the ability to hit for both average and power. His best days are still years away, but he could surface sometime later this summer, and it would be magical for fantasy owners to have him slotted in at short.
Gregory Polanco | OF, Pirates — The Pirates have bumped Polanco from High-A to Double-A after the 21-year-old hit .312/.364/.472 with 6 homers and 24 stolen bases through 57 games at Bradenton. He brings serious potential to the fantasy game, and could be a 20/20 guy at the big league level. He’ll be a good one to keep an eye on as settles in at his new upper levels assignment.
Maikel Franco | 3B, Phillies — Franco has been crushing Florida State League pitching all year, but he’s really cranked things up of late, hitting .342/.390/.711 with 4 homers though his last ten games. On the season, the 20-year-old has 39 XBH (15 HR) in 279 PA. He’ll reach the upper levels before long.
Jonathan Singleton | 1B, Astros — Singleton continues to work his way up the ladder after serving a 50-game suspension for smokin’ reefer in the off-season. He’s at Double-A now, and he’s already knocked two homers with Corpus Christi, putting his season total at 5 through just 16 games.
Addison Russell | SS, Athletics — Russell was expected to explode this season in the California League, but a slow start at Stockton kinda put a damper on things. The 19-year-old is starting to catch his stride, though, hitting .366/.409/.659 with 10 XBH through his last 43 PA.
Zack Wheeler | RHP, Mets — Wheeler’s call-up to the Mets is official, in case you missed it. He’ll pitch game two of Tuesday’s double header against the Braves. His final start with Triple-A Las Vegas was quite good: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. He’s probably owned in your league by now, but he brings considerable upside to the fantasy game, so grab him if you can get your hands on him.
Carlos Martinez | RHP, Cardinals — I’ve been talking up Martinez as a late-season fantasy savior over the past few weeks as the Cardinals stretch him out at Triple-A Memphis. Perhaps I overestimated the timetable, though. Martinez lasted 6 frames in his most recent start, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits while walking none and whiffing 5. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the 21-year-old claim a rotation spot in St. Louis sometime this July.
Joey Gallo | 3B, Rangers — Gallo is mashing the shizz out of Sally league pitching. He’s the MiLB leader with 22 homers, including 8 in his last ten games, which is just silly. Also silly is his whiff rate (37%). The 19-year-old needs quite a bit more seasoning, but there’s endless power potential with this one.
Anthony Ranaudo | RHP, Red Sox — Ranaudo has been one of the more improved pitching prospects in all of baseball this season, and he’s coming off an absolute gem of an outing. The 23-year-old tossed 7.2 scoreless frames on Thursday, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out 13. His line on the year at Double-A Portland: 2.15 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 10.2 K/9. I’d grab him now if he’s still available in your dynasty league.
Robert Stephenson | RHP, Reds — Stephenson is one of the brighter pitching prospects in the game, but he’ll be shelved for some time with a hamstring injury he suffered while doing routine running drills. Frustrating news for the 20-year-old who had posted a sub-3 ERA and a K/9 north of 11 through 12 starts at Low-A Dayton.