Oh the deadline, where championships are dreamed about, and futures are mortgaged. Is there ever a time where the worlds of redraft and dynasty collide more? You have your redraft owners hoping their closers don’t lose their jobs, or that their hitters, and pitchers are moved to better surroundings. The dynasty owners are worried about those same things, but also hoping their blocked higher minors prospects get moved to greener pastures with opportunities waiting with a big league club. It’s also a time when veterans are moved out to make way for those potential future stars waiting in the wings. It’s a busy time for your humble Prospector. I have a lot of thoughts about prospects on the move, some got the call, some got the other kind of call, and some are waiting for one or the other. Obviously I’m alluding to a call from their doctors regarding their “tests results”….Actually I might have just had a flashback to that time I wrote for the Des Moines Medical Journal. Corn farm injuries are gruesome people.
Anderson Espinoza, RHP Padres: At this point Espinoza’s jump to the pitcher’s paradise by the sea has been discussed ad nauseum. It’s easy, Espinoza jumps to a better fantasy situation long term, as he avoids the potential snakepit that is the AL East. That has crushed so many young and talented pitchers. He also gets the Petco boost, which should do wonders for his long term value. After the Urias’, Glasnow’s, Giolito’s, and others graduate, it will be the new(est-er) Padre that takes the reins as the top spec arm in the game.
Dan Vogelbach, 1B Mariners: The Jelly Donut of Swat, I love me some Vogelbach. Vogie the plus size titan, watch his attack. He’s always had approach and a MLB ready hit tool, now he’s added some power to his game. How much of it is PCL aided, time will tell. I expect to conquer Adam Lind and absorb his powers, by mid-August.
Gleybar Torres, SS Yankees: I feel as though a lot of fantasy owners saw that Torres was listed as the top prospect in a deep Cubs system and said, “Damn that’s a get by the Yanks!” When in reality it was a very solid baseball move , but far less exciting from a fantasy standpoint. Torres is a low minors middle infielder with a lot of “intangibles”. I ranked him 50 in my mid-season Top 100 update, and I might slide him further down knowing he more than likely won’t stick at short. There’s some power in the bat, but his plus hit tool, and above average speed are what make him a potential fantasy asset.
Billy McKinney, OF Yankees: Is McKinney underrated or overrated? It’s a question I’ve bounced around on him for while. Don’t get me wrong McKinney is a future MLB bat, but is he going to be an ownable player in 12 team mixed leagues one day? My thought is no, particularly if the power doesn’t develop. McKinney’s value as a real life hitter is all about hit tool and approach. Which are valuable assets in real life, but not the kind of things that make my fantasy owner pants tighter.
Alex Bregman, SS Astros: The start so far has been a bit rocky, 0 for 7 with a walk and three strikeouts is not what I, and others have billed him as. The sample size is small, so be patient, if he has a big game today those first two games will fade into distant memory. The tools are there, and I’d be shocked if we’re talking about A.J. Reed type struggles a few weeks from now. If you got him in any format, put him in your lineup and keep the faith, he’s going to be a good one for years to come.
Joey Gallo, 1B/3B/OF Rangers: Grey spoke on him a bit this morning, and the concerns are still the same with Gallo, strikeouts and playing time. We’ve seen improvements this season in AAA on the strikeout front, as his K% has dipped to an acceptable level. The playing time questions are far more tricky to decipher. He started at first base last night with Mitch Moreland handling the DH duties. With Prince Fielder on the shelf, this should open up a real opportunity for Gallo. As long as he can get on base, keep the K’s around 30%, and showcase that mammoth power on which his prospect star has been built. I for one am excited to see Gallo get a real look. He’s got the perfect situation if the playing time is there, he’s in a good lineup flush with talented MLB hitters, he plays his home games in a good hitter’s park, and as a fantasy player he offers multi-position eligibility that gives owners the flexibility they love.
Raul A. Mondesi, SS Royals: This is a tough one to gauge for a few reasons, chief among them is Mondesi’s suspension earlier in the season for PEDs. While his numbers in some regards are better pre-suspension (5 homers pre to 2 homers post), his post-suspension slashline actually improved to .286/.339/.476 from .250/.304/.462 pre-suspension. It should also be mentioned that the majority of his post-suspension stats were from AAA, a level he hadn’t seen previously. The real issue with Mondesi is what’s the finished product going to look like? He’s always been young for each level he’s played at, he turns 21 today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!), but there are some troubling parts of his game. Particularly his lack of walks, questionable hit tool, and lack of power. I personally believe the finished product could be quite similar to teammate Alcides Escobar with more strikeouts, and maybe a touch more speed. He’s a streamer for SAGNOF in re-draft this year, and not a player I’d target in Dynasties.
David Dahl, OF Rockies: Sweet funk juice, a top Rockies hitting prospect with 5 category contributor written all over him. So far through two games, no fireworks, but it’s early and Dahl has yet to step foot in a batter’s box at Coors. He should be owned everywhere, every league, every format. If you own Jason Heyward and Dahl’s on the wire, drop the sandwich, open up a new tab on your browser and add him already. I’d take your password and do it for you, but I’d probably drop all your players for AA guys. What can I say I love Rookie Nookie. I love it so much I capitalize it.
Braden Shipley, RHP Diamondbacks: I really don’t like discussing rookie pitchers because they rarely help you right from the jump. There’s a lot more Jose Berrios’ than Michael Fulmer’s ya dig? Shipley’s first start went as expected, not good… He went 5.1, gave up 6 ernies, and struckout 4. He’s strictly a matchup play against bad lineups, and in Petco, which is redundant. The K upside is limited, another player I’d avoid in re-draft.
Waiting For Calls
Andrew Benintendi, OF Red Sox: You have to be sick of me talking about him at this point. He’s being rumored as a must have by the White Sox in any potential Chris Sale deal, whether Dombrowski and company will pull the trigger and include him remains to be seen. Then again it’s Dombrowski, you know he’s dying to trade the entire system for Sale. If he makes it past July 31 with the Sox, expect a call up soon thereafter.
Austin Meadows, OF Pirates: Unfortunately Meadows has been on the shelf for the last month with a hamstring injury. Was I supposed to call it balky? Sorry I preferred Cousin Larry. With the Pirates still very much in the playoff race, and a starting rotation cobbled together with bags of crap and strings, Meadows could be moved for a pitcher. Even with McCutchen’s age inching toward the wrong side of 30, he’s still a better fit for the Pirates for the next few years next to Marte and Polanco. The economics of the game are the only reason Meadows could supplant Cutch next season.
Clint Frazier, OF Indians: The Tribe is in the thick of it this year, and have been rumored to be sniffing around everyone from Aroldis to Jonathan Lucroy. If any major MLB assets land in the “Mistake by the Lake” it’s going to be at the expense of Frazier or fellow top prospect Bradley Zimmer.
Francis Martes, RHP Astros: Houston has climbed out of an early season abyss to find themselves only mere games outside the division and wild card. With potential offensive upgrades coming from within I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston is silently trying to pull off a trade for a frontline pitcher. The 20 year old pitcher is the type of high end pitching prospect that could make moving on from a Chris Sale easier to swallow for a now rebuilding Chi-Sox.
If you’re seeing rumors on anyone else feel free to share in the comments and we can discuss.
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