We should just stop freaking out about Fernando Tatis Jr every April. He hates April. Tatis dislikes April the way the Joker dislikes Batman. All the native son of the world’s greatest fake Microsoft Paint artist has done is slash a cool .350/.421/.621 with 7 homers and 7 steals since May 1st. It gets even better! Over his last ten games Tatis is hitting .390/.432/.585, including a 4-for-5 performance last night where he scored three runs, drove in three, and stole a base. Are you excited yet? You should be, Tatis is a true middle infield talent with the ability to hit for power, run, and get on base at a fairly high clip. Now for the question on all of your minds; “when’s he up, Ralph?” Ehhh, you’re not going to like this answer. But, what reason do the Padres have to call him up? Net zero. He’s just 19, and will be for the entirety of the season. Likely the earliest we see Tatis is September, outside of some whacked out scenario where every usable middle infielder is injured. My guess is we’re looking at a June 2019 ETA, there’s a chance that timeline is moved up depending upon what the next few months look like, and how the Padres look a year from now. If their window opens earlier than expected, we could be looking at the Acuna timeline. I traded Tatis for Ozzie Albies in one dynasty recently, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of regret it. Crazy. Here’s what else went on in MiLB the last week.
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) June 1, 2018
- Just when you thought it was safe to write off Houston pitching prospects, they pop up with another talented out-of-nowhere name with big production. The latest in a long line is righthander Cristian Javier of Low-A Quad City. So far this year Javier is 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, a BAA of .171, and 74 Ks in 43.1 innings split between the rotation and long relief. He doesn’t throw hard, but it’s hard to pick up his low 90’s fastball out of his hand. His slider is his best secondary, and was getting some nice swings and misses in the starts I watched. His changeup is pedestrian, but he can land it in the zone for strikes. His mechanics are kind of funky, but really it’s his arm action more than anything else, he really extends his arm during his wind up, which makes it difficult to time his pitches, or pick up the spin from his hand. He’s not scared to elevate the fastball, and I even watched him sit down Royce Lewis a few weeks ago on three swinging strikes. To put that in perspective, Lewis is striking out at just 14.8% of the time, with a 10% SwStr, both are in the bottom third of the Midwest League. Based on build and arsenal, there’s a very good chance that Javier ends up in the pen, but he’s got the stuff to have value for your dynasty team, even in a relief role.
- Tuesday marked the return of the White Sox Luis Robert for the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators. His debut was nothing to write home about, going 0-for-4, with a walk and a strikeout. His second appearance however was a glimpse of what’s to come, as he went 2-for-5, with a single, a double, and a stolen base. My expectation for Robert is a five tool beast, with impact power and speed, and good on base ability, albeit a profile that will come with some strikeouts. Yes, I just described Yoan Moncada.
- I’ve had a few conversations with Tampa fans the past day or so since the Rays promoted first baseman Jake Bauers. The athletic corner infielder, has the ability to get on base, hit for some power, and run. The numbers, particularly the power isn’t overwhelming, but as we’ve seen before, players seem to hit for more power in the majors than the International League. Bauers fantasy upside is predicated more on his ability to steal bases and take an extra base on gap shots. He’s not a burner in the technical sense, but he runs well, has great instincts and reads, and it has led to 30 steals over his past season and a third. Pretty impressive, while he’s not your traditional mashing first baseman, a combination of across the board skills with .280 20/20 upside is a very usable piece.
- Go add Seuly Matias in all dynasty formats. So far at the tender age of 19, the Royals power prodigy is absolutely mashing in the Midwest League, on Tuesday he connected for his 18th homer of the season. This follows a two homer game from Saturday, highlighted below by @prospectgifs
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) June 3, 2018
- The Red Sox called up their top performing pitching prospect in lefty Jalen Beeks. So far his season in Pawtucket has went as well as it could go, he sits at 3-3, with a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .195 BAA, and a 35.4% K%. He mixes a Low 90’s fastball with an above average to plus cutter, a plus chageup, and a fringe to average curveball. He commands well, changes eye level, and has done a good job stealing strikes on the black. My expectation is he has the skills to develop into a solid mid-rotation lefty, but I’d be shocked if he comes close to replicating his 35% K rate this season. A steamer in 12 teamers when he has the right matchup, a worthwhile add in all other deeper formats.
- I’d like to dismiss Brandon Lowe as a advanced college hitter that beat up on the lower levels, but his production at AA in 2018 is making that a hard narrative to sell. Right now he sits at a wRC+ of 153, which is the 6th highest mark in the Southern League, and 15th in all of AA. Some of the names ahead of him are Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Eloy Jimenez, Cavan Biggio, and Zack Collins. With a slashline of .291/.400/.508, with 8 homers, and 8 steals, and a 14.6% walk rate, it’s not crazy to think we might be looking at a MLB regular. A lefthanded hitting middle infielder with some power and on base ability is a rare combination. Not rushing out to add Lowe in shallower formats, but he’s got my attention.
- Guess who’s back? Actually don’t because you likely won’t guess. It’s the Mariners Eric Filia! You might know him from such previous shows as “Star of the Arizona Fall League 2017” or “Second Failed Drug Test”. The suspension was for a drug of abuse, which isn’t great, but it’s weed. So, who cares? That said, he’s done nothing but hit throughout his time in professional baseball. Hitting .455/.538/.606 through his first 8 AA games. He’s an older guy at 25, but the approach, outfield skills and the combination of average power and base running ability should get him to the majors. BTW you can blaze away once you’re on the 40 man brah! I’ll have a cone waiting for you.
- There’s a ton of talk about Alex Verdugo, but as far as fantasy futures go, there’s few players in the Doyers system I’m more excited to own than Tulsa centerfielder Yusniel Diaz. The 21 year old saw a little over a month in Tulsa last year, and returned to the Texas League out of camp in 2018. So far he’s showing the skills that made him one of the top names on the international market back in 2015. He’s slashing .311/.431/.513 with 4 homers and 6 steals. However, it’s that boner inducing 16.7% Bb% that has me drooling. A player that gets on base at a clip that high, with the ability to play all three outfield positions is going to get plenty of MLB playing time in the near future. If he’s available in any of your dynasty formats I would make a move to add him in the right situation.
- The other night my Fantrax Baseball Show, joined forces with Lance’s colleagues at the Collegiate Baseball Scouting Network to bring you a draft recap. Check it out here. One of the comments of the night in the live chat came courtesy of Razzball’s own Paul Martin, when he said “Tell me more about this octopus the Yankees drafted”. That octopus would be catcher and first round pick Anthony Seigler. One of the more interesting players in the draft Seigler was arguably the top prep backstop in the class. He’s a switch-hitter at the plate, but most notably is a switch pitcher on the mound. He’s likely to only catch in the pros, but it’s a damn interesting angle, and speaks to this kid’s supreme athleticism.
- One of the better long term dynasty prospects in this draft was Canada’s Noah Naylor. Brother of Padres AA slugger Josh Naylor, the younger Nails is a far more athletic version of his brother with a better body. I’m not so sure where he ends up defensively but he’s got some of the better power in the 2018 class, backed by quick hands, and powerful stroke from the leftside. He has a big leg kick that might get quieted down some, but IMO he was a steal for the Indians at 28th overall. In fact, I ranked Naylor within the top 10 of my First Year Player Draft ranks on last week’s Prospect Podcast.
- If you don’t know by now, one of my favorite pitching prospects in the game is the Padres Logan Allen. Last night the lefty continued his hot run at AA going 7 scoreless vs. Midland. This is his second straight appearance where he’s gone 7 scoreless, piggybacking this start on his no hitter last Thursday. Allen’s arsenal is led by a plus changeup that plays up both his fastball and breaking ball. His command has been steadily improving but is still nothing to write home about.
- Where’s Halp? Why do I ask? Because our old boy Zack Collins is really putting things together in AA. After hitting just .206 in April, Collins has been on a tear. Since May 1st the catcher is slashing .318/.476/.542 with 6 homers and 22 RBI. No that’s not a typo, his on base for the last month plus is nearly .500, driven by a downright silly walk rate of 23.4%. There’s always going to be some swing and miss in Collins game, but he seems to have made the right adjustments to turn the corner, and is finally approaching the upside we saw when he was drafted 10th overall out of Miami.
- Bonus: I had the pleasure of talking shop with Kyle Glaser of Baseball America last night. We spoke for over an hour, touching on players like the aforementioned Jalen Beeks and Jake Bauers while digging in on the Rangers Jonathan Hernandez, and much, much more. Check it out here.