Seems like I can’t write one of these posts any longer without tripping over a Junior. Hell, Ronald Acuña added one for good measure. I’m about to change my eldest son’s name to Ralph Lifshitz Jr. just to get the most of the current environment. While it would be entirely in my power, and justifiable, to dedicate this space to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., I will refrain, and instead turn your attention to another highly rated Junior, Fernando Tatis Jr. It was a rough beginning to the season for Tatis, and while you could still point to a pretty putrid slashline, over his last 11 games he has 5 homers, including 3 in the last 5 games. He was a nearly universal Top 10 prospect entering the season, and was aggressively assigned to AA San Antonio. Looks like the time to panic is over and Tatis is back on track. No adjustment in Tatis’ ranking from me.
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) May 5, 2018
- Looks like the Braves are promoting pitcher Bryse Wilson to AA Mississippi. So far on the season he’s 2-0 with a 0.34 ERA, and 26 strikeouts to 7 walks in 26.2 innings. He’s still a few years away, but has the makeup to be one of the best prospects from this crop of Braves arms.
- My 2018 MLB Draft prep has started and I’m crushing hard on Florida’s Jonathan India. The third baseman has a great swing and approach at the plate. In the early sketches of my rankings, India sits 4th.
- I know J.D. Davis is 25 and has been shuttling back and forth between Houston and Fresno, but I’m intrigued by the thought of him with everyday at bats. His statcast numbers are good, and his AAA slashline is an otherworldly .410/.466/.628. Can we get a trade here? Davis might be able to do some serious damage with a clear path to playing time.
- I said I wouldn’t talk about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. but I lied. He’s in the midst of a 10 game hit streak and has reached base safely in 21 of 24 games so far this season. For selfish reasons, I’d like to see him stay in AA for at least another two months, but I can’t see that happening.
- Outside of Juan Soto, there are very few players doing as much to raise their prospect stock as the Astros Yordan Alvarez. In 2018 he’s slashing .301/.378/.553, with 6 homers in 26 games. Alvarez is 20 until late June and is doing all this at the AA level. His most impressive characteristic however is his approach, walking at a 12.8% clip, while keeping his strikeouts just under 20%. He makes slightly more opposite field contact as he does to his pullside, and has hit a few of his homers to the opposite field. He’s definitely a player I’m asking the trade price on in dynasty.
All Yordan Alvarez does is hit oppo tacos ? ?
Here are homers #5 and #6 on the young season (5/2) pic.twitter.com/9lHzbDnZOk
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) May 2, 2018
- After missing the first few weeks of the season with a pectoral injury the White Sox Eloy Jimenez is back “doing the bull” and “feeling the flow”. He raised his average to .303 yesterday following a 2-for-4 performance, raising his streak of multi-hit games to 5, and his overall hit streak to 9. He has 3 homers in his last 7 games, and looks like he’s fully recovered.
- How long until the Phillies have had it with Aaron Altherr and/or Nick Williams, and send him down for Roman Quinn? He’s slashing .309/.364/.457, with 2 homers and 11 steals in 12 attempts. He’s a total SAGNOF in RCLs, but he’s not a net zero everywhere else.
- The Yankees Garrett Whitlock has been dominating hitters in the Sally league this season. He’s in the midst of a 25 inning scoreless streak with a 7 inning, 10 K effort on Saturday. He hits mid-90’s with the fastball, and compliments that with an off-speed pitch. As an 18th round pick out of Alabama Birmingham, there’s not a ton of information available. He’s easy to dismiss as an advanced college guy in low-A, but he’s pitching as well as anyone in baseball.
- The Yankees promoted lefty Justus Sheffield to AAA and he’s making his debut with the Railriders at Pawtucket. Can’t say I know whether I’ll make it or not but I will try. In AA Sheffield was 1-2 in 5 starts, with a 2.25 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 39 Ks to 14 walks in 28.2 IP.
- The other “other” guy in the Chris Sale trade, Luis Alexander Basabe, is back on the map this season following a strong training camp. Through 25 games he’s slashing .302/.407/.604, with 5 homers, 20 RBI, and 3 steals. His defense is elite, so if he hits he can move up the ladder quickly. For now he’s in high-A at age 21, with a good chance to see promotion to AA Birmingham should he keep up his hot hitting ways.
- As someone, who goes to a fair amount of Paw Sox games, and has a rooting interest in the Red Sox, I have no idea what to make of Jalen Beeks. He’s a 24 year old undersized lefty with a mediocre fastball, a decent breaking ball, and a good changeup. So far in 2018 he’s been simply awesome, going 2-1 in 5 starts with a 1.71 ERA with 46 Ks in 26 innings. He’s going to get a shot at a spot start sooner rather than later, and could find some re-draft relevancy if he gets a longer look due to injury.
- While the Padres focus on seizing the means of production, unheralded farmhand Franmil Reyes continues to mash. After slashing .247/.340/.472 in April with 5 homers, and a 10.7% Bb rate, Reyes is going full frontal in May, unleashing dongs on the PCL like Pee-Wee Herman in an XXX movie theater. In five May games Reyes has 7 homers, including three consecutive multi-homer games on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I’ve crushed on Reyes in the past. He’s a big righthanded bat, and big is an understatement, he’s 6’5 240. He’s got an above average approach at the plate for a power hitter, and at just 22, he’s hardly old for the level. He’s definitely a sleeper, as he didn’t even make the Padres top 30 for Baseball America this off-season. He’s cracked my Top 200 before, so I view him as a nice add in deeper dynasty formats. Looks like a better fantasy than real life prospect.
— James E. Clark (@EVT_JClark) May 6, 2018
- It’s been a tough beginning to the season for the Nationals juvenile duo of Luis Garcia and Yasel Antuna. The two youngest players in the Sally league have certainly struggled over the first month but it’s important to keep in mind the degree of difficulty applied to what they’re doing. Alas, not everyone is Vladito, brah. Antuna connected for his second homer of the season on Thursday night, and despite the puke-inducing slashline of .173/.259/.269, his 9.5% Bb% is encouraging. Antuna will be 18 all season long, and it wouldn’t shock me if it clicks at some point this summer, and the results significantly improve. Teammate Luis Garcia doesn’t turn 18 for 10 days and has been slightly better than Antuna slashing .227/.286/.309, with a homer and three steals. Two really exciting infield prospects I expect to make a lot of noise over the next few seasons.
- Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League is one of the most fun rosters to follow at the moment. It features Akil Baddoo, Alex Kirilloff, and 2017 number one stunna Royce Lewis. So far through 18 games Lewis is slashing .356/.405/.411 with a homer and 9 steals in 10 attempts. He won’t be 19 for another month, and has been really impressive following a full-season assignment out of spring training.
- How much longer until Dustin Fowler is patrolling center everyday for the A’s? As the homie Oaktown Steve mentioned on twitter the other night, the Athletics are rolling Mark Cahna out there in center, and Fowler seems to have found his sea-legs. He’s now up to .314/.339/.466 with 2 homers, and 8 steals in 10 attempts. If he’s running like that, then me thinks the knee is fine. Get ready to run to wavier wire to add Fowler upon promotion. He should be up soon, so if you need an outfielder, and some speed, stash Fowler now.