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I was all set to open with Triston McKenzie’s 6 no hit innings, but then Rafael Devers collected his third hit of the night in his AAA debut. In the midst of writing this post while regretting my choice to spend my Saturday afternoon, and early evening, and night watching that Marathon Red Sox and Yankees affair, I had the alert pop up on my phone that Devers was about to make his 4th at bat of the night. So I turned away from McKenzie, turned away from Ronald Acuna (2 for 4, 2R, 1Bb, 1 RBI) and Ozzie Albies (1 for 5, 1R) vs Yoan Moncada (1 for 4, 1R, 2 SO’s) in the Charlotte vs. Gwinnett game, and tuned into the PawSox vs Syracuse affair to witness Devers 4th at bat of the contest. The Chiefs (Washington’s AAA affiliate) brought in veteran Neal Cotts of 10 years MLB experience to get the lefty on lefty matchup with Devers. Ahead of Cotts in a 2-1 count Devers hit a ball middle-up to right field for his first AAA homer.

The following inning he made a bare-handed play on the run, throwing out Pedro Severino.

The rumors are swirling regarding Todd Frazier to the Red Sox, with Ken Rosenthal deducing the trade was “almost inevitable”. I for one as a life-long Red Sox fan, and avid follower and fan of prospects, team-building, and organizational depth make this plea to one David Dombrowski. Sir, please don’t trade anything for Todd Frazier and his .210 batting average. Give Lin another week or two, let Devers shine in Pawtucket, and call the kid up around the trade deadline. It costs you nothing but a 40 man spot, why delay the inevitable for a rental? Xander Bogaerts came up late in 2013, and was better for his experience down the stretch and into the post-season. Much like Ronald Acuna has in the early stages of his AAA career, Devers may force the Red Sox hand, as he just looks so much better than anything they can acquire. Simple logic really, why give up assets when you don’t have to?… Anyway, here’s what else I saw in MiLB.

 

  • It’s inevitable, there’s certain players you’re bound to fall in love with no matter how hard you try to remain objective. At the moment that player is Cleveland Indians hurler Triston McKenzie. “Sticks” my number 17 overall prospect on my Mid-season Top 100, was tossing 6 no hit innings, before surrendering 3 hits and 2 runs in the 7th. His final line for the night was 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K’s.
  • Padres first base prospect and Futures Game participant Josh Naylor connected for his first AA homer with San Antonio. Naylor ranked 68th on my mid-season top 100.
  • Following up on a story from earlier this week Rockies prospect, and my 6th ranked prospect in baseball, Brendan Rodgers, looks to be settling in at AA. Last night he went 4 for 7, hitting a walk off homer in the thirteenth, his second dong of the contest.
  • A list of hitters I’m following in short season and rookie ball based on some early number scouting; Esteury Ruiz, Drew Waters, Vidal Brujan, Cole Stobbe, Jhailyn Ortiz, Ulysses Cantu, Aramis Ademan, Andretty Cordero, Yan Sanchez, Luis Almanzar, Malique Ziegler, Brent Rooker, Eguy Rosario, William Contreras, Derian Cruz, Ronaldo Hernandez, Lolo Sanchez, and Jordy Barley. You’ll obviously know some of these names from past writeups and draft coverage, but take a few minutes and look up the stats.
  • Two impressive first rounders making waves in the AZL on opposite sides of the spectrum are San Francisco’s 17 year old phenom Heliot Ramos, and the Brewers polished college bat Keston Hiura. Both are showing off elite bat-speed, and major upside as long term dynasty assets.
  • The number two overall selection Hunter Greene is headed to Billings, but won’t be activated by the Mustangs right away. They are home until Tuesday and there’s a possibility he makes his debut in the coming days.
  • The Reds Taylor Trammell (59th mid-season t-100) connected for his 8th homer of the season last night, and has been a man possessed since the calendar turned to May. Shaking off a rough April to hit .306/.375/.506  with 6 homers, and 18 steals in the 63 games since. Friend of the Prospect Podcast, and fellow prospector MPGA, ranked Trammell 11th in his Top 50.
  • Following up last year’s Reds pick in the supplemental round with this year’s Reds pick in the supplemental round, shortstop prospect Jeter Downs. We heard the reports, or at least I did, that he was one of the more advanced high school bats in the class, and so far he’s showing that. Going .316/.458/.500 with 2 homers and 2 steals in 11 games.
  • While we’re on the topic of Reds prospects, 21 year old outfielder Jose Siri ran his hit streak to 22 games last after going 3 for 5 in Dayton’s 9-3 win.  He connected for his 16th homer while he hits .290 with 26 SBs (11 CS). Siri has loud tools, that tend to draw lots of Nick Williams comps.
  • Looks like the Tampa Bay Rays first round pick Brendan McKay will make his professional debut today for the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League.
  • The Astros 19 year old giant righthander Forrest Whitley had a career night striking out 10 over 5.2 scoreless innings. I’m a huge fan of Whitley, and it should be easy to see why, you start with a massive workhorse frame, made for eating innings. Add in massive height for downhill plane on his fastball. Mix in 4 secondary pitches and above average command, and you have a serious talent.
  • Cardinals catching heir Carson Kelly went deep for the 9th time this season, as he finished the game 2 for 3, raising his average to .284. Another player of interest in this game was 24 year old Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia. Signed back in February for $2.5M, many project him as a future 4th OF, but he’s showing some power and speed in the upper levels of the minors so far slashing .306/.358/.456 with 7 homers, and 11 steals. Granted he’s 13 games into his AAA career and is yet to take a walk.
  • Another strong start from Brewers righty Corbin Burnes, as he went 5 strong allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 5. Burnes now owns a 1.09 ERA in 107.1 innings between high-A and AA, he misses bats (104 K’s), and limits the walks (22 Bb) too!
  • I just can’t get enough of Ryan McMahon at the moment. As of writing this McMahon is 3 for 3 with a homer and 2RBIs. He’s been putting up great numbers all season, and an underrated element of his breakout is he’s getting some reps at second base. If McMahon some how manages to end up a super utility player with the sort of offensive upside he’s showing this season, he not only could find his way to regular at bats in Colorado, but also to fantasy stardom.
  • On the comeback trail the Rockies David Dahl was playing in that AAA alongside McMahon as he works his way closer to his return from a back injury.

 

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  1. David Niven says:
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    Ralphie Mcmanimal, good morning from Sweden sir.

    Love your content and diligence my man, your giving me life in my first dynasty go round. Appreciate it man.

    Sorry to ask you after a fine post and with no relation to your thread, but—-6×6 ops roto keeper I have a total of 20 points in the 6 offensive categories and 39.5 on the pitching side. Lead in whip and era so was gonna stream my ass off this half.

    Guy wants to give me Daniel Murph for Greinke, that would leave my rotation as Hill, Nelson, A Nola, Tallion, Ed Rod, Gray, Montgomery, Watcha with 2 slots to stream.

    That ain’t enough pitching to carry forward without Greinke is it? My offense is stacked for a 2nd half run—–but I’m seriously on the fence with this.

    Your 2 cents?

    Thanks man, have a great Sunday.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David Niven: What’s up Sweden! Zlatan!!!!

      Yeah that’s prolly not enough pitching, Greinke stabilizes that staff. I’d hold for now. Good luck and thanks for the kind words bud!

      Enjoy your Sunday!

  2. David says:
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    Good stuff Ralph. Acuna and Devers are going to be stars. Do you think McMahon will be up with Colorado this year or is he trade bait? Also please rank McMahon, Healy and Castellanos in dynasty. Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @David: I’d love to see it happen for both and assume there’s a strong chance as it’s July 16th and they’re all in AAA.

      Mcmahon, Castellanos, Healy. I think McMahon has the most upside.

      • Alfred E. Naujocks says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: kinda surprised healy is last in this one.

  3. My Seven Rizzos says:
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    What up Ralph.. If Markakus gets traded, think Acuna comes up?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @My Seven Rizzos: Yeah if they can move him there’s a very strong chance.

  4. James T Kirk says:
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    Gotta admt I don’t know anything about Hiura. He is clearly lighting it up so far though. What can you tell me about him? Why has he nit yet played the field?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @James T Kirk: I’ve written about him in all my draft stuff. Elite college bat, great contact, and approach, prolly a 20 homer ceiling, maybe more in this environment.

      He has an elbow injury that could require TJ so he hasn’t played the field in a year plus. Never played the field this year at UC-Irvine, didn’t stop him from hitting .442/.567/.693.

      • James T Kirk says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Interesting. Thanks for the insight!

  5. Matthew Macdonald says:
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    Ralph great stuff and podcast too. Your mid season 100 was super helpful

    I’m in a 10 team league so pretty shallow but we get to keep 10 guys. I’ve stashed yoncanda, devers and acuna. Most other prospects are available because of limited bench spots and in my league guys want to win now however albies and Torres are taken.

    Do I have the right guys stashed or would you prefer Brinson or others to the three I have? The waiver wire is also decent but if a prospect is generational and a future star i’d hold him and wait until he produces in the pros. I obviously have to balance trying to win this year but look for the future.

    thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Matthew Macdonald: I think you have the right three.

  6. Miketron says:
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    You forgot about my boy Dermis Garcia in your short season guys! Cutting the strikeout rate was a must and so far he is, but still has the power.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Miketron: Dermis has that huge raw power for sure. Still strikes out a ton, but there has been some improvement.

    • Alfred E. Naujocks says:
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      @Miketron: since dermis is a word that comes from latin, his parents (in their own language as well as if english was their language) named their son “skin” garcia. how weird is that.

  7. Jonathan says:
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    On your SS list you didn’t mention Starling Heredia. You should check out what he’s doing. In 2 stops, he has over an 840 SLUGGING in each. Only 18.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jonathan: I talked about him in the comments have discussed him for two years and own him in multiple leagues. His season hasn’t started when I put together my top 200. I answered this question a week ago.

      • Jonathan says:
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        That’s fair. All good to hear. He’s just destroying SS balll right now.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Jonathan: Yeah, I should have prefaced the blurb saying it was slightly off the radar guys. Heredia is one of those studs from the pre-international cap days. Dodgers signed Yadier Alvarez, O’Neil Cruz, and Ronny Brito in the same class. Might have signed Yusinel Diaz that class. Heredia is a beast, more content to come.

          • Jonathan says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz:

            great to hear, keep up that content. Loving hearing about the high upside low minors guy before they blow up.

  8. Mike L says:
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    I know closers aren’t your forte but if you had Familia would you cut bait for someone like Beuhler or Honeywell? Also, Rivero is open in my league. Would you part with Ed. Rodriguez or Kopech for him? Trying to be competitive next year without destroying my team in the process.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mike L: Why not drop Familia for Rivero?

      Part of me thinks you should drop Ed-Rod for Buehler, but that’s prolly nuts.

      • Mike L says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I could do that but wouldn’t you just hold on Familia? We need about 3 closers/relievers to be competitive in the saves dept. I only have Diaz and Familia now.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mike L: Oh, I didn’t realize. Why ask about cutting him for Buehler then? If you need three?

          • Mike L says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: Thought LA was considering him for a closer/reliever role. Seems like more upside there. Maybe ill just hold.

    • Alfred E. Naujocks says:
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      @Mike L: ok, i know there are shallow leagues, but what kind of shallow league is rivero not owned in, even a 4 team league with 2 total RP slots and only saves rivero should be owned in. in a league like this you should never even hold DL’d RP, you can clearly just add a top 10 closer off FA month(s) after he’s a closer.

  9. Chris says:
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    Thanks Ralph!

    What do you think about Conforto for Faria?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chris: Seems like a lot for Faria. Conforto will come around again.

  10. Chucky says:
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    Without making a pest of myself, whats the skinny on this kid Acuna. Just dropped another first rounder ( Swanson) to make room for Acuna in my 12 team Dynasty. The Acuna hype seems deafening, whats the scoop with this 19 yr old kid?

  11. Oddball Herrera says:
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    Would *love* to see McMahon come up and get 2B eligiblity, 25-30 HRs get you a participation trophy at first, but is pretty sweet at second. That being said, I think his string of starts there has something to do with a log jam in the outfield created by Dahl’s rehab stint (and Dominic Brown’s inexplicable presence!) – Patterson has been pushed to first and so on.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Oddball Herrera: Why did he play 15 games there at AA this year then? I think they love him having some versatility

  12. Marti says:
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    Tyler mahle. Thpughts

  13. Sven says:
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    Have any favorites on that list of short season players?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sven: Waters, Ruiz, Jhailyn Ortiz, Ademan, Rooker, Rosario, Contreras.

  14. Thorbs says:
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    Your praise of Whitley has me intrigued…rate him higher than Mahle or Duplantier? I’m torn with Mahle because of proximity to the bigs, and Duplantier also has a good ceiling.

  15. K2H says:
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    Great work as always
    Buehler moved up to AAA any chance he gets a couple starts late in the year or bullpen only? So glad Williams is hitting in Philly a little I was worried he’d flop. Thanks

  16. James says:
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    Who makes for a better future plug and play Catcher, Mejia or Kelly? I’m currently holding Kelly and thinking about switching to Mejia.

    • Alfred E. Naujocks says:
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      @James: his rankings have mejia high as shit. check his name above and look down into top 100 prospects. he often says only like 5 prospect catchers are even worth stashing (assuming not really really deep leagues), mejia is a top 20 overall guy.

      • Alfred E. Naujocks says:
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        @Alfred E. Naujocks: i mean ralph’s name, not mejia.

  17. Swfcdan says:
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    Ralphie how do you go about comparing prospects who rank higher but aren’t performing so well, vs less ranked players who are killing it- the stats vs scouting debate. Would you trade Barretto (very poor K/BB rate in AAA and looks raw) for R Hoskins (much lower ranked by sites but he’s destroying it and K/BB suggests he’s legit)? When do the stats force you to go against the universal rankings.

    Another similar debate is Z Collins vs M Chavis. I think we’ve had that one before though haha. Still holding Collins (my weakest prospect) but I’m very close to making the switch.

    P.S If I called myself Dan from England which football (soccer to you) player would immediately come to mind. Bit tougher these days isn’t it, Harry Kane?

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