It’s been well documented, my love for Tyler O’Neill, the muscle bound Hercules I dubbed the King In The North. So while it came as a shock that the Mariners would move such an erupting talent, it really didn’t because, Dipoto. After praising his recent drafting, the Segura-Haniger deal, and the organizational shift toward plate approach development he repays me with this? He goes ahead and trades a talent Taylor-made for the modern game. A workaholic, on base machine, with 70 grade power. It’s easy to get lost in O’Neill’s batting average, and strikeouts rates without exploring deeper. I don’t blame fans that haven’t taken the time to isolate his production since late May to the present. I say this because O’Neill is on an absolute tear. Since May 20th O’Neill has slashed .275/.362/.569 with 16 homers and 5 steals. I understand the value of a controllable starter, I’m just not completely on the level with why this starter was the target. Marco Gonzales had some prospect status a few years back, but he’s dealt with multiple injuries and a history of bouts with command. I’m just a lowly prospect writer so my opinion doesn’t matter, but I’m clueless as to what Dipoto is thinking here.
- Now back to O’Neill, the outfield picture in St. Louis is just as clogged as Seattle. So an ETA of 2017 might not be likely, at least prior to September. Long term however, you have to like the change of organization, if only on track record alone. As for O’Neill I wouldn’t be selling if I own him. Opinions vary throughout the fantasy landscape, but no matter how down on O’Neill you are it’s impossible to ignore the 30+ homer, 100 RBI upside here.
- The “anointed one”, 17 year old Braves prospect Kevin Maitan, collected a three hit game on Saturday, and connected for his first professional homer. He’s still a long way away, but already saw promotion to Danville from the GCL.
- Bad news on the injury front for Indians catching prospect Francisco Mejia. He suffered a strained right hip, which should put him on the shelf for a bit. Prior to that he was slashing .320/.368/.525 with 10 homers.
- Another injury update, this time on the low minors front, White Sox first rounder Jake Burger took a ball off the hand and left yesterday’s game. He’s expected to be back in the lineup today, and he’s been on a tear since being promoted to full season low A Kannapolis. In 11 games he’s slashing .405/.488/.676 with a homer. We mentioned it on the podcast the other day, but the top 10-12 prospects in this draft are really intriguing.
- Following a rough start to the season Blue Jays righthander Sean Reid-Foley has been on the rebound the past few weeks stringing together a nice run of starts. It all culminated in a 12 strikeout effort yesterday. It’s easy to dismiss prospects, particularly arms, over a rough stretch. Let this be a reminder that development isn’t a straight line, and writing off 21 year olds due to struggles is bad business. Development in case you’re wondering, is in fact a flat circle.
- Old friend A.J. Reed homered in his 4th straight game yesterday. He now has 5 homers, and 12 ribbies in his last 5 games. I’ve been slow to come around to Reed as a rebound, and still don’t trust it. That said, if this continues, maybe he’s worth a stash in your dynasty minors. Then again, he could be a prime trade candidate no the coming weeks. This could boost his fantasy value depending upon where he ends up.
- Rays 2016 first rounder Josh Lowe has been locked in of late for Bowling Green of the Midwest League. He went 4 for 6 yesterday with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Since June 1st he’s slashing .284/.325/.445 with 4 homers, and 5 steals. He might be listed as a 3rd baseman in your fantasy league, but he’s destined for the corner outfield in my opinion. He brings a nice power and speed skillset at just 19, but there’s swing and miss too. I’ve seen him comped to Bradley Zimmer, and I can buy that.
- There’s been much debate over 2016 White Sox first rounder Zack Collins and his struggles at the plate. He’ll always get on base, but he’s struggled to really dominate the way an advanced college bat should in A ball. Sure, he’s been focusing on his catching, but that excuse only goes so far. Fortunately for his fans, he seems to be turning a corner. He homered for the third straight game yesterday. He’s still batting close to the the Mendoza line in A ball, but maybe he’s figuring something out. Thank god catchers take longer. Wink, wink emoji.
- Oh yeah, another injury, Padres second base prospect Luis Urias went down with an ankle injury in Saturday’s game. He was riding a 10 game hitting streak, which came to an end with an 0 for 1 effort. I’m full of bad news today.
- Everyone’s favorite cocky righty, no not Brent Honeywell, the other Future’s game standout Michael Kopech, had the game of his life Thursday. The flamethrower went 8 scoreless frames, striking out 8 in the process. Most impressive, he didn’t walk a batter and threw 70 of his 97 pitches for strikes.
- The Orioles Austin Hays continues to impress in AA. He hit his second homer in as many games and ran his hit streak to 13 games in the process. In 26 games at AA Hays is slashing .315/.342/.577 with 7 homers. Hays is a buy in all formats if he’s still available. My guess is that’s a useless statement to anyone in a league any larger than 12 team.
- If you’re checking the BBW section of Pornhub like I am then you’ll love Braves lefty Luiz Gohara. Yes, I’m a habitual oversharer. As for Gohara he struck out 11 last night despite dealing with an hour rain delay. He’s been on an absolute roll in AA posting a stellar line of 2.60 ERA, 1.15 WHIP with 60 K’s to 18 walks in 52 innings. Gohara features a nasty fastball – slider combo with plus command of both. We should be talking more about Gohara.
- If you’re Keith Law or really into boring middle infielders, Pirates shortstop prospect Kevin Newman was promoted to AAA. If you fell asleep I don’t blame you. Newman can ball, just more in a “real-world” sense.
- Many people wondered why J.P. Crawford was still in my top 100, July’s explosion is why. He notched his first four hit game of the season Saturday and has slashed .324/.400/.704 in 19 July contests. Crawford has long been overrated in fantasy circles, but with the general consensus finally catching on Crawford’s value might finally be at an appropriate point to buy. I’d kick the tires and see what it might take.
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