Tough starts can really tank a prospects perceived value. There might be nothing worse for dynasty managers, than watching one of your blue chips struggle very publicly for the better part of the first half. It’s only magnified when a player is on the cusp of the majors, and touted as a potential impact player from the jump. Think about how far Willie Calhoun has fallen. Earlier this year, I could have moved Calhoun for legit MLB talent in one of my more competitive dynasty leagues. Coming into the season Calhoun was a hot commodity, as I turned down deals for James Paxton and David Price amongst others. Just a few days ago in the same league, my Willie Calhoun for Max Muncy trade was scoffed at. All this to say a few things; 1. Things change quickly in the world of dynasty baseball. 2. Is a much more important lesson, and one tough for struggling Calhoun owners. Don’t write off players you believe in. At the moment there might be no better example of this lesson than the Indians Francisco Mejia. The young backstop moved through Cleveland’s minor league ranks like a rocket the past few seasons, before being assigned to Glendale of the Arizona Fall League. There, the Indians tried Mejia at the hot corner to less than stellar results. Everything started to go south. Mejia’s hitting wasn’t what it was billed to be, and the struggles carried through the beginning of 2018. Hitting just .189 entering June, the diminutive catcher has gone on a tear slashing .419/.438/.640, with four more hits on the month than his prior two months combined. In fact he has 15 multi-hit games in his last 21! That’s raking, but the point should hit you like a ton of bricks. We knew Mejia was a talented switch-hitter with plus-plus hit, even through his struggles we shouldn’t have lost sight of just how good this player is. Will he win you a fantasy league one day? Not likely, but he can be one of the better offensive talents behind the plate. Which leads me to my next question, what’s his future at catcher? While he might never be an everyday catcher, he’s still played a majority of his games behind the pate this season. Which could work out to be a best case scenario in fantasy. If he has the ability to play enough games every year to keep catcher eligibility, but not to breakdown over the course of the year it could amount to a perfect storm. A plus hitter at the catcher position that avoids the daily wear and tear that can negatively impact offensive output.
WATCH: Francisco Mejia smacks a Grand Slam in Saturday night’s victory over Indianapolis.
We deem this All-Star worthy!
— Columbus Clippers (@CLBClippers) June 17, 2018
- One of the more frustrating players to own in dynasty leagues is the Dodgers D.J. Peters. He’s maddening from the sense that he posseses massive power and athletic ability, but due to his size has some real holes in his swing he’s got swing and miss problems. So while he’s connected for 14 homers, and rocks a .207 ISO, his 31.5% K% at AA Tulsa is going to limit just how much impact he has with the bat. While Peters walks a fair amount, his rates have dropped below 10% in 2018, for the first time in his career. He’s not one to chase pitches off the plate, but instead misses loads of strikes in the zone. Which is more concerning. You can learn to lay off a breaking ball on the outer-half, but closing the holes in your swing takes a lot more adjustment. Just ask Bradley Zimmer. As I write and rank my Top 100, I’m tempted to leave Peters off.
What a hit by DJ Peters! A butter-smooth swing sent the ball driving into the batter’s eye at ONEOK Field.#JackieRobinsonDay #FortyTwo #MLB #NO42 #Dodgers #HomeRun #Baseball #Drillers #MiLB #Tulsa pic.twitter.com/u1NV7K5R9R
— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) April 16, 2018
- One of the most exciting, and injury prone, talents in the minors at the moment, Brusdar Graterol was promoted to High-A Fort Myers of the Florida State League on Monday. The righthander with the thick lower half has been lights out when he’s been on the mound for Ceder Rapids this year. Carving up the Midwest League to the tune of a 3-2 record, with a 2.18 ERA, 2.73 xFIP, a 30.5% K% to a 5.4% Bb%, a .195 BAA, and a 64% GB%. That’s a pitcher with power, control, and the ability to induce weak contact. Brusdar mixes a triple digit fastball, with a plus curveball, an above average changeup, and a workhorse build. He’s had elbow and back injuries in the past, and he has a very upper-body heavy delivery, so injury concerns should linger. As much as I LOVE the player, I still ding his value a little, for being an injury-prone pitching prospect, with wonky mechanics, and a high velocity fastball. Velo giveth, and velo taketh.
- In another shining example of don’t write off talent, the Braves righthander, and 2017 Top 10 pick, Kyle Wright is surging. Over his last three starts he’s allowed 5 earned over 19.1 innings, with 27 Ks to 6 walks, but most encouragingly, the two strongest starts have come at home. Pitching in Mississippi has been an issue for Wright, who prior to those efforts was rocking a home ERA in the 8’s. He mixes a high 90s fastball with a plus slider, and above average/average offerings in his curveball and changeup. I’ve readjusted my top of the rotation projections slightly, but if Wright can get locked in, and improve his control he could take a major step forward in the second half.
— TJ Werre (@TJ_WJTV) June 27, 2018
- The Phillies righty Adonis Medina has been strong over his last two months, following an atrocious April. With a ERA close to 8 after four April starts, Medina has gone 5-0 in his 9 starts since, rocking a 3.00 ERA, with 53 Ks to 16 Bbs over that time. He hasn’t even had luck on his side boosting his numbers either, as his LOB% in May and June is 66.9%! That tells me he can be even better than his ERA shows. Mixing a plus fastball, with two above average secondaries in his curveball and changeup, Medina has the stuff to make it as a number two starter. His control isn’t magical, but it’s not yet a problem either. He’s a plus athlete, repeats his mechanics well, and matches it with plus stuff. I hate pitching prospects as much as the next dynasty manager, but Medina is the type that throws sense out the window, and makes you break your preconceived biases.
— Mitch Rupert (@Mitch_Rupert) June 23, 2016
- After hyping up Jonathan Hernandez early in the season for Down east there’s yet another standout from the Rangers High-A Carolina league affliate in Edgar Arredondo. Promoted to AA Frisco last week, the Mexico native tossed 5 innings of 2 run ball in his debut, striking out 3 and walking two. Over his 11 starts at Down east, he was 5-2, with a 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 68 Ks to 11 Bbs.
— Kai Jones (@MMJKaiJones) June 20, 2018
- After being dubbed “Gronk with a bat” the Indians Will Benson, put Lance in a headlock during the Midwest league All-Star game and demanded respect for his new found approach. A physical specimen at 6’5 225 LBS, Lance was impressed with his improved approach, even if all Benson has done this year is homer, walk, and strikeout, the projection on this three-outcome beast is that of a middle of the order masher. It’s easy to forget some of these big bodied athletes take longer to come around. Benson a 2016 first round pick, wouldn’t even be draft eligible until next June had he chose to not sign and head to the college ranks. Sometimes it’s easy to loose sight of that. While I do not expect a high batting average at any point in his career, if he continues to make incremental improvements at the plate Benson could blossom into a 30+ homer bat with some on base ability, making him a target in OPS formats.
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBrozdow) June 19, 2018