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Exciting news on prospect fronts with the promotions of Julio Teheran and Eric Hosmer. There was also scary news for all Orioles fans as Manny Machado left a game on Thursday with a knee injury. He was later diagnosed with a dislocated knee cap. This puts a damper in his early season success at Single-A and will be placed on the seven-day DL with the expectation that he’ll be off next week.  Other minor league news and highlights:

Clay Mortensen | COL | RHP (SP): Technically not a rookie, but was called up on Saturday to replace Esmil Rogers for today’s start. Personally would avoid even in NL-Only leagues.

Paul Goldschmidt | ARI | 1B: The Gold-rush continues as Paul has continued his country-strong campaign. He’s slashing .337/.487/.730 at Double-A with 10 home runs and a 17:27 K:BB ratio. With Brandon Allen still a road block, his promotion to Triple-A will be delayed.

Brandon Belt | SF | 1B/OF: Although it’s a small sample size, his .429/.537/.690 slash-line in 54 AB with 7 XBH (2 Hr) and 14:11 K:BB, ratio brings the excitement back. He’s striking out as much as he was in the majors too. It will only be time before he’s back.

Brett Lawrie | TOR | 3B: Early this week, the Blue Jays brass stated that they have been pleased with Lawrie’s early season. Even his shoddy defense – which has improved since the beginning. I’m starting to believe that come June first, the Jays will promote their top prospect.

James Darnell | SD | 3B: Reviewing his early season numbers (15 XBH (4 Hr) and a 14:23 K:BB ratio in 96 AB (.365/.483/.604) at Double-A) and career numbers (.305/.407/.501 in 1018 AB), I am led to believe that Darnell is another Kevin Kouzmanoff. For fantasy purposes, that’s far from a compliment.

Dee Gordon | LAD | SS: What do you call a strikeout slap hitter? Carlos Gomez? Sure, and they have a lot in common – good defense and strikeouts without good on-base skills. I still really like Gordon. His .303/.355/.364 slash line in 99 AB with 5 XBH (0 Hr) and 12 steals in 14 attempts are enticing. His defense is solid to hold a job, but his 20:7 K:BB ratio at Triple-A and inability to have value without the steals begs the question – Carlos Gomez at SS?

Mike Montgomery | KC | LHP (SP): The Royals are loaded, their fan base skeptical and fantasy players hoping catch the next big prospect. Montgomery has been underwhelming compared to early season expectations. Sans his first start in which he gave up 5 runs, he has pitched better but still struggles with control (24:19 K:BB in33 IP). Even with a positive GO/AO ratio (1.63 GO/AO) he needs to refine his command and control at Triple-A.

Danny Duffy | KC | LHP (SP): As for next Royal pitching prospect to target, Duffy has to be on your radar. With a 33:6 K:BB in 26 innings, he has been their best pitching prospect to date. He’s a flyball pitcher (.63 GO/AO ratio) and will struggle with home runs in the majors. However, his control and strikeout potential could land him as the AL’s Brandon Beachy.

Anthony Rizzo | SD | 1B: Here’s a follow up with a quieter name with as much upside as Hosmer and Belt for this year. At Triple-A, he has hit .308/.364/.615 in the last 10 games (39 AB) with 7 XBH (2 Hr). Overall, he’s slashing .393/.448/.741 with 20 XBH (9 Hr) in 112 AB and a 23:11 K:BB ratio.

Eric Surkamp | SF | LHP (SP): Hard to ignore 41 strikeouts (12 BB) in 26 innings, even if they are at Double-A and from a deceptive delivery. His MLB ETA was delayed due to a hip injury in 2010. If not for that injury he would be at Triple-A, knocking on the door for a MLB rotation spot

Matt Moore | TB | LHP (SP): See 1/8 inch above, remove the injury history and add that Moore is a dominate pitcher with a high ceiling. Currently at Double-A he has a 41:6 K:BB in 29 1/3 innings. Simply, a top two pitching prospect (Teheran is first).

Jean Segura | LAA | SS: Come September, Segura and Trout will be talked about like Moustakas and Hosmer. Just look (at High-A): 9 XBH (2 Hr), 13 steals in 17 attempts, 15:8 K:BB ratio and a .312/.361/.459 slash line in 109 AB. Plus good defense.

Shelby Miller | St.L | RHP (SP): The Cardinals top pitching prospect looks to be growing out of High-A soon. His 42:13 K:BB in 28 innings are exciting. Double-A should be in his near future (late May). A September call up is possible.

  1. leveer says:

    Not sure why Pirates fans would be super concerned about Manny Machado…

  2. tourinct says:

    Pirate fans? Oriole fans.

  3. trick dad says:

    Would Lawrie play 3B for the jays? ESPN only has him listed as a 2B currently, I’m wondering about 3B eligibility.

  4. EK says:

    McClellan or McDonald today?

  5. Giant JJ says:

    Im In a 20 team league and ive become dependent on this weekly update. I appreciate it. You razzballers deserve to be rich. Too many shitballs are making more money than you. Ill keep donating every year but i wish everyone would. I was offered kotchman for stauffer. I think not but i have 4 bats on the DL. What do you think? Thanks guys.

  6. yanks4life says:

    Drop Napoli for Wieters,JP, or Avila?

  7. AL KOHOLIC says:

    all reports i get on dee gordon are that his defense is lacking big time?of course not a dodger fan,dont own a dodger closer and defense doesnt affect us in fantasy land,so bring him on

  8. Eddy says:

    Would you prefer Moustakas or Lawrie over the next three years?

  9. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @tourinct: Thank for the correction. Every time I read Machado I see Pirates but know it’s the Orioles. Shoot, even when I was reading the three articles to cross reference they had birds and orange everywhere. Sorry and thank you.

    @trick dad: He has played 2B for most of his career but his defense is poor there. 3B is better but needs work. 3B/LF is his long term outlook.

    @EK: I’d ask Grey.

    @Giant JJ: Thanks for the compliment. re:Kotchman for Stauffer: Keep Stauffer.

    @yank4life: Ask Grey.

    @AL KOHOLIC: His defense is rated a 70 on the 20-80 scale. To quote a bit from BA, “Athleticism is off the charts … He rushes plays at time and makes some ill-advised, off-balanced throws … Gordon is a flashy defender whose range allows him to reach balls few can, and he has an above-average arm … he can get out of control at times … Most of Gordon’s deficiencies should be correctable with experience … [skills/tools to be an] above-average major league short-stop and leadoff hitter.”

    @Eddy: Moustakas ceiling is higher. I have to Moustakas if I remove my bias.

  10. AL KOHOLIC says:

    cool,that makes since,great to hear,but now furcal is about to come back so i doubt we see him in a signifigant role this year,do you agree?

  11. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @yanks4life: man im riding avila,said hes hit at every level,last year he said he was overwhelmed at the amount of work it took to be a major league catcher,and his offense slipped,but he said hitting is the easy part,im liking him to be a 70-25 to 30 90 rbi guy 280 or better average,power to the opposite field is sweet,plays everyday

  12. dhaab says:

    No way will Shelby Miller be pitching for St. Louis this season. The organization will be very conservative with him, as they are with the vast majority of their minor league prospects.

    Also, keep an eye out for Carlos Martinez as well. He’s only 19, but he is already rated the 3rd best Cardinals prospect and he is reportedly wowing people in low-A ball with his 95+ fastball and a fairly advanced curve ball for someone so young. Expect him to be promoted to high-A in the next few months.

  13. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Unless Furcal gets injured again, Gordon wont be up for significant time, correct.

    @dhaab: re:Shelby Miller: Concur. I was getting request for him during the last few weeks. He could go more than two levels though. He’s pitched fantastic. re:Carlos Martinez: I probably wont touch on Low Single-A players until late summer.

  14. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Stephen: we are talking furcal here,so theres about a 50/50 chance

  15. Giant JJ says:

    Hey Stephen, I was Offered Mark Reynolds for my Stauffer. I have a hole in my infield and I have all kinds of average on my team so I could absorb the bleeding. My team is Currently a little punchless. 20 teams

  16. Joel says:

    Drop Brett Wallace for Hosmer?

  17. JG_ism says:

    Quick thoughts by any and all appreciated.
    Just discussed this trade with another manager, seems like it may be accepted.

    I give Brett Anderson ($2) and Mike Stanton ($27)
    I get Ellsbury (15) and Marcum (9)

    3 year keeper

  18. Oak says:

    Does Fulchino have any value? Is he first in line if Melancon fails? I could pick up Franklin for him or use my waivers on Boggs. Im desperate for saves.

  19. Eddie says:

    Brett Lawrie or Lonnie Chisenhall? It’s a keeper league, so this would be for this year and beyond.

  20. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Giant JJ: Yes.

    @Joel: No. In a perfect world Hosmer will be great right away. Is there another option?

    @JG_ism: I like the Stanton side.

    @Oak: I think Fulchino would have value if Melancon struggles. I’d go Boggs, Melancon, Franklin, Fulchino/

    @Eddie: Chisenhall by a smidge.

  21. ltf says:

    I’m willing to bet the Dee Gordon mention is because of Sickels’ writeup on him 5/4.

    Duffy looks like one of the best bets to contribute fantasy-wise this year.

    There are plenty of great players who get sent down, Belt will have a productive year, and won’t play OF in MLB…

    James Darnell is Kevin Kouzmanoff? You’re talking about a guy that outshined Reese Havens and Justin Smoak at South Carolina, and has hit at every level. San Diego is having a great year from their minor leagues so far, and you can find James Darnell and Jaff Decker as OBA leaders. They’re tailor made to play in Petco considering you’re going to have more success getting runners on and moving them along rather than trying to go yard.

    Crazy, Darnell has a very sound swing, has great patience and should be at worst an average third baseman. Jerry Sands can barely stay on the field at LF or 1B, and he gets great comps in these articles. I forget hat your definition of prospecting was, but if you are just going to go off their slash numbers, K rates, and walk rates, then I’d emphasize that and articles you read. It’s pretty obvious you haven’t seen or have an opinion after seeing some of these guys play.

  22. Eddie says:

    @Stephen: Thanks, Stephen. I’ve got another for you: Danny Duffy or Jarrod Parker? Still a keeper league.

  23. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @ltf: Dee Gordon got a mention because people are asking and he’s putting up good fantasy numbers at a weak position. Not because John Sickels wrote about him. Granted, he’s a great resource.

    re:Duffy: I’ve liked Duffy for a while.

    re: Darnell: He’s rated as only the #12 prospect in the Padres farm system (SD’s overall farm ranking is #9). Pre-2010 season he was number three and pre-2009 season he was number ten. Reese Havens has been slowed by injuries and Smoak was always the better prospect. Darnell does have a great swing, has a solid hitting approach and average power (at best according to Baseball America) but plays poor defense. He has 24 errors last year, BA states most were throwing errors and he struggles with accuracy. For fantasy purposes, which this website is dedicated towards, Darnell doesn’t have great value. In real life baseball, Darnell will be an average third basemen. As for Jaff Decker, I’ve always loved him, always will. He is also the perfect example of having the skill set that doesn’t age well either. However, Decker has more upside because his power has a higher ceiling.

    Sands got more hype because he was playing at Triple-A, has tremendous power when Power doesn’t really grow out of needles like they used to. Sand’s comparisons, that I gave was Pedro Alvarez. Grey stated the doodes ceiling as Mike Stanton now. I don’t think the Alvarez comparison is unfair or overly hyped. I’m also not the only one who is excited about his power potential.

    My definition of prospecting for my Sunday articles is to find prospects that are going to be called up in the near future who could provide fantasy value. My articles on Wednesday is focused far more long-term with more analysis and scouting reports galore. As of walk and strikeout rates, a lot can be told from those two states. The Slash line is to provide current success and the steals/power help find value for fantasy baseball too.

    @Eddie: Duffy.

  24. thorbs says:

    Another good read, thanks!

  25. AL KOHOLIC says:

    i love the post,keep them coming,if LTF has anything to add to help us,he is more than welcome,this is a great and informative site,keep up the great work,

  26. Bruce says:

    Domonic Brown’s raking at AAA. Is he up soon? And you left him out, why, exactly (aside from that everybody knows his name by now)?

    I love Jaff Decker, too. He reminds me a bit of Matt Stairs, except that he’s apparently making a serious effort to get in and stay in shape. I think he sees the majors in September, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a couple of months earlier.

  27. Lopes says:

    Who do i put, Matt Joyce, Kubel or infante for my last outfield spot?

  28. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @ltf: Yes, a lot of my information comes from reading scouting reports. I don’t have the time to watch all these prospect play every day.

    @thorbs: Thanks.

    @AL KOHOLIC: Thanks. I love when ltf comments, his added opinions and helpful insights too. Keeps the sight more informal and lets everyone know that I’m not perfect nor the only person that knows about prospects.

    @Bruce: I wrote about Brown last week. Most people know about him, so the insistent information on him is slightly redundant. As for being called-up, I wouldn’t expect it to happen any time soon. Maybe June or when there’s another injury in the Phillies outfield.

    @Lopes: Joyce.

  29. Mr2Bits says:

    Stephen : Just traded away trout for Oswalt in a keepers league and need to fill his spot. Who do you like better, Kyle Gibson or Tyson Auer?

    Here is my current squad
    Jacob Turner – P
    Danny Espinosa 2B/SS WAS
    Gary Sanchez C NYY
    Jordan Lyles P HOU

  30. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @Mr2Bits: Gibson

  31. ltf says:

    I don’t watch these guys play every day. I play college baseball and go to class. I do it for fun because I love baseball and it’s something fun to do to take a break from my studies. It doesn’t take much time to analyze pitching, hitting and defense, and it’s a matter of respect that you have the intellect and intuition to give an opinion of your own on a player. It makes for a lot of fun when a player like Tim Lincecum is involved.

    That’s great and all, but you don’t mention that San Antonio is a horrendous park for hitting home runs, especially for right handed hitters. I’d be willing to bet it is the worst, and definitely one of the worst in regards to hitting home runs.

    Who cares if Smoak is a better prospect or Havens is hurt? The point is Darnell more than held his own with some tremendous SEC talent, and gets overlooked. He gets overlooked again because San Diego has a lot of depth at 3B.

  32. Stephen

    Stephen says:

    @ltf:Thank you for the reply. Being spot-on with a prospect feels good, but it feels equally as terrible when the prospect outshines your original projections too.

    In the small blurbs it’s tough to factor in all the different variables. I will try and do better from here on out. San Antonio is one of the worst parks to hit for sure, along with Wilmington (KC High-A). It’s just practice for the Padres hitters going to Petco [/sarcasm]. Darnell gets overlooked because his ceiling isn’t as high. Beyond that, his talent is worthy of an everyday MLB third basemen. Which is nothing to scoff at.

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