On this lovely Thursday afternoon, I’m going to approach this post as sort of a potpourri of minor league topics. It’s callup season, which is the most joyous, stressful, and busy times of the year for us Prospectors. Everyone wants to know who’s the next big callup, and when to stash them. It’s a tricky game to master, because there might not be a task more impossible to perfect, than getting in these teams heads. So we’ll go over my top 10 callups for June and beyond, and cross my fingers that I’m more than 50% correct. We’ll also talk some prospects making noise this week, and maybe drop a couple jewels on the draft and impending July 2nd signings. There’s so much to talk about! There’s so much to take my mind off of my many mediocre teams, and general inadequacies in RCL gameplay when matched against luminaries like Grey, Cram It, Nick The Dick, and Matt Truss. Hey, at least J-FOH isn’t beating my ass this year! These are the times I’m glad dynasty exists, I can crawl back into my hole, and dig in on some prospecting. Just me, my gold pan, and a world of infinite possibilities. It’s a mixed bag of minor league magic. It’s the latest edition of the minor league update.
Top 10 Promotions for Rest Of Season
1) Lewis Brinson, Milwaukee Brewers
2) Derek Fisher, Houston Astros
3) Amed Rosario, New York Mets
4) Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox
5) Austin Meadows, Pittsburgh Pirates
6) Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
7) Franklin Barreto, Oakland A’s
8) Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
9) Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
10) Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
- I know that Phillips got the call first, and it’s still debatable where exactly Brinson fits into the picture, but these things have a way of working themselves out. Will he be the next man to get the call? In all likelihood, no. That will likely be Rosario, Fisher, or Giolito. Lots of pros-blocked talents with the production to back a promotion.
- So Lucas Giolito had one of his better performances, really of the last 12 months on Monday, as he went 6 innings, allowing one earned, on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 11 strikeouts. That’s two strong performances in his last three, and continues a run of starts over his last 5, where he’s allowed under 3 runs, and walked less than 3. This has been good enough for a 2.57 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and a 2.89 K/BB. I’d hesitate to say he’s all the way back, but he’s been good enough to get the call this summer, and have his moments.
- Why Fisher over Rosario? It’s a good question, and one to wrinkle a few brows, and I get that. Here’s my thinking, Fisher is raking at AAA just like Rosario, and while I think the Mets shortstop of the future is less likely to slump for weeks at a time, I prefer Fisher’s power and speed upside, lineup, and hitting environment.
- Over the last month Austin Meadows as righted the ship, and over the past two weeks he’s been scorching hot. Over the last 14 games he’s hitting .316/.385/.456 with a homer, and 3 steals. The power is still coming, but my #3 overall prospect in my pre-season top 100, is getting hot at the right time. But once again, where does he fit?
- The most intriguing prospect on this list is Franklin Barreto of the Oakland system. He brings both power and speed to the table but there have been struggles of late, and questions as to when exactly he gets the call. Over the first month of the season Barreto slashed .364/.417/.561 with 4 homers, and 3 steals, but since the calendar turned to May he’s hit .198/.218/.353. Striking out 31% of the time to just a 1.7% Bb rate.
- Gleyber Torres, and Rafael Devers are the real wild cards on this list. While I feel each can contribute on the big stage in some way this year, it’s really too early to expect a great deal from them offensively. Each has the upside and ability to come up and be mixed league relevant, but I don’t expect either of these guys to come up in July and save my season.
- Okay, so everybody, no need to panic, but Yoan Moncada is struggling a little at AAA of late. Since returning from his disabled list stint in mid-May for a thumb injury he’s slashing .163/.263/.245 with 2 steals over 14 games. He’s striking out at a 31% clip, but is still walking (12.3%), stealing bases (2/2), and scoring runs (10). That last sentence illustrates the weaknesses, and strengths of Moncada’s game. Even we he struggles with the bat, he’ll still give you OBP, steals, and runs.
Minor League Notes
- Don’t look now but Francisco Mejia is on fire. Coming off the first two homer game of his career, the young catcher opened the scoring again today with another homer. I view Mejia as a great all around prospect, but one that’s most reliant on his hit tool to really be a fantasy star. Perhaps, the power break is coming, and now is the last chance to get on this freight train before it’s too late.
- Didn’t go into him much above, but really how much more do I need to discuss Rhys Hoskins this season? Hurry up Tommy Joseph, you’re the last guy to not spend any time on the 10-day this year. Hook a brother up! Is that too much to ask? Anyway, our hero Hoskins broke out of a mini-slump last night connecting for his first homer in two weeks. Even when he slumps he keeps the peripherals tidy, walking at a 10%+ clip, and keeping the K% around 15%. He’s going to hit in the majors, whenever the call comes. I’d stake my reputation on it, except my reputation is based around being Benintendi’s fan club president, Rick Porcello’s bobo, and an internet troll.
- Here comes Francis Martes to the Houston pen! Here’s the catch, I’m not excited in the least. There’s been real struggles at AAA thus far in 2017, and I’m unsure how long term this promotion is to begin with. Could be an interesting RP stream in RCL’s if his stuff plays up out of the pen.
- One of the most exciting prospects to bust onto the scene this year has been Astros first base prospect Yordan Alvarez. The massive 19 year old Cuban slugger was acquired for, get this, Josh Fields last season from the Dodgers. He didn’t hit for much power in Cuba, but he was just 17 his last season on the island. So far in 2017 Alvarez is slashing .413/.500/.693 with 5 homers over 21 games with the Low Class A Quad-City River Bandits of the Mid-West League. The breakout reached a boiling point last night when he slugged two homers in the Bandits 10-3 win. He’s already shown plus raw power, and advanced approach, to go along with a pretty lefthanded swing. I’d be looking to bag up Alvarez in all dynasty formats. Didn’t have any video of his double up last night, so here’s a clip of him mashing one to left center.
- In unfortunate news, The Marlins 2016 first rounder Braxton Garrett will need Tommy John surgery, and is now expected to miss the remainder of the season and much, if not all of next. The organization has been careful with Garrett’s workload, avoiding any game action out of the draft and limiting him to just 65 pitches per outing in 2017. He was 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA and a 2.67 K/Bb. Good luck Braxton!
- Now let’s brighten the mood in the room again with some positive injury news. One of the Prospect Podcast’s favorite prospects is back playing in games, and looking spry. Who’s that? Why Kyle Lewis! That’s right the Mariners 2016 first rounder played in a extended spring game yesterday going 0 for 2 with a groundout and strikeout. The best news is he was clocked down the line at 4.45 seconds by Baseball America writer Bill Mitchell.
- Read a report stating that 5 of the top 7 teams in the draft prefer Brendan McKay as a pitcher to a hitter. I doubt we learn his career path right out of the gate this summer, but this discounts his value in my eyes when ranking the top First Year player draft options. As a starter he’s more than likely outside my top 10.
- This isn’t a July 2 class I’m enamored with at the moment, I was much higher on the last two, but I do really like Daniel Flores. He’s a switch-hitting Dominican catching prospect with a 60 grade on his power. The top “real baseball” prospect in the class is Wander Samuel Javier, but he draws comps to his Uncle Erick Aybar far too much for my liking. Back to Flores, many scouts view him as the best player in the class, and some have even said he’s the best defensive catcher they’ve ever seen at his age. I love scout hyperbole, we see stuff like this every year. What it does tell me is Flores is good at baseball, and might stick at catcher.
- Say goodnight to Roman Quinn, the Phillies speedy outfield prospect has come down with his “annual major injury”, a UCL tear in his non-throwing elbow. Quinn’s be obviously shut down and will now visit Dr. James Andrews. What a greedy bastard he’s buying Lambos with minor leaguers money now.
- The Cubs top prospect, and Dynasty league dreamboat Eloy Jimenez is rounding back into form after missing 5 weeks. In yesterday’s game for Class A Myrtle Beach, Jimenez contributed to all the scoring in the Pelicans 2-0 win, as he slugged an RBI double, and scored a run. Since returning he’s slashing .286/.400/.508 with 4 homers, and a 14.7% Bb rate to a 16% K rate. Eloy is my minor league man crush now that Benny is all grown up.
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