I was going to call this series the prospect power rankings, but I decided it’s not really helpful to rank players when we all have different specific needs for our teams. What this monthly article will (try) to do is identify prospects in the minor leagues that you should be tracking and possibly even acquiring because they are close to the majors. April is a tricky month to project. This is because many of the prospects that were worthy of a call to the majors broke camp with their respective teams. On the other hand, it’s quite early for the remaining specs in the minors to get promoted, and the minor league season doesn’t even start until Thursday. To make the jump in the next three weeks, a prospect is either; (a) having their service time molested; or (b) replacing an injured/crappy player on the roster. That said, I do think there are a few prospects that could be up this month.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR – This is a no-brainer. He was drafted highly and despite the minor injury there is no reason he shouldn’t be up this month. That Jays lineup is a bit woof so Vlad will (hopefully) be a nice injection of offense. I fully expect he’ll graduate this list by the time the May report comes out.
Nick Senzel, CIN – Senzel’s injury came just a day or so after he was “demoted” AKA we’re about to save some coin on your services. If he recovers normally, I still think he sees the Reds roster by the end of the month. The only catch could be if they think he needs time to learn whatever position they decide to throw him at to get him some plate appearances. My guess is center with a dash of second.
Yu Chang, CLE – It sounds like Lindor will be out for at least another three or four weeks. This could open the door for someone like Chang, who can play both third and short and isn’t a scruffy hitter. The Indians lineup…how do I say this without sounding pessimistic…is terrible. This one is more a watch than an add, but he’s on the 40 and I’ve seen crazier.
Jose Suarez, LAA – The Angels are quirky. I think there’s a good chance they’ll fiddle with their starting rotation this year like it’s a Rubik’s cube. Here’s what I saw in Suarez in the early offseason – “Most lists will likely have Suarez behind Canning, and I don’t think it really matters which one you own since they’re both mid-rotation types. I’m just partial to the guy who reached the same minor league level with essentially the same arsenal and stats and is two years younger. I also think lefties are a lot cooler than righties because they smear their pencil lead all over the GD place and don’t GAF. – unlike Grey, who is right-handed and a total twat.” That’s weird. I don’t remember writing that last part.
Touki Toussaint, ATL – I know it was against the Phillies lineup, which looks like a five-team fantasy league lineup against four of your peers who don’t know what baseball is, but Wilson was just kind of meh and I think the Braves will experiment with their starting five this season. This leads us to our next player…
Mike Soroka, ATL – Ditto for Soroka. If it’s not one (or both) in the rotation soon I’d be surprised. Both Toussaint and Soroka offer some strikeout upside and they shouldn’t be expensive to acquire in redraft formats. For the record, if I have to choose between the two, I’d spend my FAAB on Toussaint first.
Jonathan Loaisiga, NYY – Scheduled to start today so technically you’ll get this article too late or close to too late to actually add him. Here’s what I said about him in the minor league preview, where he ranked second overall – “Loaisiga pairs a plus heater and slider with good command to rack up decent strikeout numbers. He struck out over 10 per nine in 34 innings at Double-A while walking under two per nine. His ceiling is a 2/3 starter, and the floor is a good reliever with strikeouts, so it’s a relatively low-risk profile depending on your league format.” I was ten pounds lighter when I wrote that!
Luis Urias, SDP – Lost in all of the Tatis excitement was the surprising demotion of Urias. I like him a bit more than most, and Kinsler is 36 years old. Maybe it doesn’t happen in April, but I don’t think we’re real far away from Urias joining the Padres in San Diego again – creating a pretty Tatis/Urias middle infield tandem. Tatisurias! It’s like a dinosaur that can field grounders!