Baseball is beautiful and the thing I love the most about it is its minor league system. If you suck, there are a bunch of young, hungry players chomping at the bit to come up and take your job. But ETAs are difficult to pinpoint, and some players get straight up prosblocked. Some teams stir things up before spring training is even on our minds by simply saying sayonara to players at the non-tender deadline. So let’s discuss some of the major prospects that “won” on Friday thanks to a guy in front of him on the depth chart packing their bags. One small disclaimer…the offseason is still young, and a player could get signed or traded for, creating a situation where we’re right back to square one. Also, most of these players have been discussed by Grey (the guy who keeps his mustache beyond November) for their 2019 redraft value, so I’ve included links to his takes.
Keston Hiura – Possibly the biggest winner of all, Hiura might be able to speed up his ETA dramatically thanks to the non-tendering of Jonathan Schoop. I’m honestly surprised by the move, not because Schoop was terrible (that’s obvious) but because the Brewers gave up specs to get him last year. I like it though. They’re going for it and now the only thing standing between Hiura and a gig at the keystone in Milwaukee is Hernan Perez or a potential offseason signing. I don’t think this means he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was up in May/June after a hot start in the upper minors. Grey’s 2019 Outlook
Nick Senzel – The adage “you can’t steal first” finally caught up to Billy Hamilton in Cincinnati. He gone, and this cracks the window open for Senzel. He’s regularly a third baseman, but with Schebler (meh) and Trammell (not yet) the other logical options at center, the Reds are reportedly considering moving Senzel there for 2019. The problem is it will take time to make the position switch, so while Hamilton’s departure might speed up Senzel’s ETA, it’s probably not going to be a dramatic change. Grey’s 2019 Outlook
Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert – We already knew Jimenez was going to be up quick, but the White Sox non-tendered Avisail Garcia on Friday and now we have Nicky Delmonico, Ryan Cordell, and Adam Engel as the starting outfield in Chicago. Robert would have to absolutely soar through Double-A to see Chicago in 2019, but stranger things have happened and he did get some extra seasoning in the AFL this year. Grey’s 2019 Outlook (Jimenez)
Peter Alonso – This one takes a little more imagination, but in my mind the disappearance of Wilmer Flores does help Alonso out. Dominic Smith is slated as the current first baseman for the Mets, but in the event that he struggled it wouldn’t have been crazy to see them slide Flores to first instead of promoting Alonso. With Flores out of the picture, it’s pretty much Smith and Alonso left to duke it out for the first base gig. I think it’s Alonso’s sooner rather than later.