I told you last week about the implications of Xander Bogaerts’s Triple-A promotion. This week, we celebrate another Triple-A promotion, as the Mariners have bumped Taijuan Walker from Double-A Jackson to Tacoma. Walker has everything you look for in a pitching prospect — size, stuff, athleticism… the works. He’s as elite as they come. After an up-and-down 2012 at Jackson, the 20-year-old returned to Double-A in 2013, performing with much greater consistency this time through. Walker cranked it up a notch in June, though, posting a 33/3 K/BB in 25 IP this month. He’s only 20, and it’s probably a little premature to wonder about a 2013 arrival considering the M’s have arms like Erasmo Ramirez and Danny Hultzen waiting for an opportunity, but Walker’s ceiling is the best of the bunch. By far. And now that he’s just one stop from the bigs, he needs to be on your fantasy radar.
Julio Urias | LHP, Dodgers — At age 16, Julio Urias is playing full-season baseball, which is absurd. What’s more absurd, is that through five starts at Low-A Great Lakes, Urias has posted a 3.12 ERA and a K/9 at 9.9. His long-term upside is tough to gauge at this point — he lacks a projectable frame (5-11, 160), but he has the makings of three plus pitches in his arsenal. It’s also been reported that the Dodgers will demote him to a short-season assignment, now that those leagues are up and running. In any case, what Urias has accomplished to this point at age 16 is unreal.
Rafael De Paula | RHP, Yankees — Age 16 and performing well at a Low-A assignment: Extremely impressive (see Urias). Age 22 and performing well at a Low-A assignment: Far less impressive. The Yankees have moved De Paula up to High-A after the 22-year-old tormented the South Atlantic League hitters for 13 starts. It’ll be interesting to see if his success continues as he climbs the ladder.
Chris Owings | SS, D’Backs — Owings is on fire at Triple-A Reno, batting .467 through his last 10 and .360 on the season. He’s more of a real-life prospect than a fantasy prospect, but he has plus hitting ability and should be able to post an average north of .300 in the bigs. That’ll be enough to make him relevant in the fantasy game.
Gary Brown | OF, Giants — Angel Pagan appears likely to miss a significant chunk of time, leaving a vacancy in the San Francisco outfield. Meanwhile, Gary Brown has been on fire at Triple-A Fresno over the past couple weeks. Batting .350/.395/.725 with 4 homers through his last 10 games, Brown is looking more and more like a serious option to take over center field duties in San Francisco.
Jake Marisnick | OF, Marlins — First it was Marcell Ozuna, then it was Christian Yelich, now it’s Jake Marisnick. At least one Double-A Jacksonville outfielder must be on fire at all times. This seems to be a rule the Marlins are enforcing. Marisnick is up to .289/.349/.532 with 21 XBH (9 homers) through 194 trips to the plate at Double-A this season.
Miguel Sano | OF, Twins — After going 1-for-17 through his first 7 games at Double-A, Sano has now homered in two of his last three games. As we know, the 20-year-old can launch baseballs over the wall in bunches, and it appears he’s finally getting comfortable at New Britain.
Mike Olt | 1B/3B, Rangers — Speaking of guys who can tally up the homers in a hurry, Mike Olt keeps ripping long balls at Triple-A Round Rock. He hit two more since I slotted him at #10 in Wednesday’s prospect power rankings. Olt is now slugging .699 at Triple-A, after a brutal first few weeks to the season.
Ryan Rua | 2B, Rangers — The Rangers system has quite a bit of power, by the way. The right side of the infield at Low-A Hickory, alone, has combined for 45 homers this year. First baseman, Joey Gallo has 22 of them. Second baseman, Ryan Rua has 23, which leads Minor League Baseball, at the moment.
Jonathan Singleton | 1B, Astros — Singleton has finally arrived at Triple-A — where he would’ve started this season at, if it weren’t for the pesky 50-game suspension. It only took 17 games between Low-A and Double-A for the Astros to bump him to Triple-A Oklahoma city.
Maikel Franco | 3B, Phillies — I wrote about Franco last week, saying he’d reach the upper levels soon. The Phillies must’ve read that post, because they promoted him to Double-A just a few days ago. The 20-year-old has already homered once through two games at Reading.
Noah Syndergaard | RHP, Mets — Also getting a bump to Double-A is Noah Syndergaard. The 20-year-old is oozing with front-of-the-rotation potential, and he’d been performing very well at High-A, posting a 3.11 ERA while whiffing a batter per-inning in 12 starts at St. Lucie. Syndergaard, if you recall, was a key piece in the R.A. Dickey trade with Toronto.