Look, I know I left some puns on the table there. Just feels like kind of a solemn moment, you know? We’ve been waiting for Tampa Bay RHP Brent Honeywell so long we might as well be Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s doorway. And like Pooh, Honeywell is easy to root for: his elbow all stuffed with fluff. Cut to Eeyore murmuring “He’s only the opener.” But even Eeyore can’t dampen my enthusiasm. I’m like Christopher Robin out here skipping along in my tiny shorts. Weeeee!
Texas called up SS Anderson Tejeda to cover third base with Brock Holt on the Injured List. Tejeda strikes out way too much and, like a lot of rookies in the time of covid, needs more experience in the upper minors. That’s not an option for the Rangers, I guess, so they’ll just hope his power/speed combo can come to life despite the contact woes.
Minnesota OF Kyle Garlick walked away from a promising career as a vampire hunter to try his hand at baseball, retaining his hunter’s guild handle in hopes of retaining a portion of his avid Twitter fanbase. The Dodgers scout the underworld circuit pretty heavily and took a flier on Garlick in the 28th round of the 2015 draft. Garlick smashed baseballs into potatoes immediately, posting a potent string of wRC+ tallies: 149, 202, 162, 204, 143, 132, 201, 117, 129, 93, 145, 114 and then -6 last year in 23 punchless plate appearances for the Phillies. That’s a lot of loud offensive seasons, but as a corner-only, poor-defense profile, Garlick garnished little attention from the public-facing sites. Now batting second for a solid Twins team, he’s in great position to provide some nice counting stats.
Minnesota OF Alex Kirilloff is the vampire in this scenario, waiting to drain the lifeforce of Garlick and anyone foolish enough to stay out too late, to hang onto the thrill beyond sundown. All is temporary, and I love how Baldelli rotates the chances, but Garlick is probably living on borrowed time.
Seattle OF Jarred Kelenic is counting the minutes just like us. I feel like the current climate makes it especially tough on a rookie to thrive early if he’s in the Kelenic bucket for service time manipulation. They’re forced to think about something beyond baseball itself at the most crucial moment. Contract offers have to make it even worse in the sense that they give shape to the whole amorphous situation and ask players to place what amounts to a long-term bet against their own health and skill. I myself will make that bet all day every day to get some big money earlier than I would’ve, and a lot of elite young players seem to agree.
Oakland 1B/OF Seth Brown has a chance to make waves on a struggling team. I’ve liked him for a while now and hope he gets hot early. Or just warm, really, would be good enough. Lukewarm even. He can do something on the temperature and/or color spectrum, I believe, and if he does, he’ll catch the manager’s eyes like Roy G. Biv.
Los Angeles (NL) 2B Zach McKinstry has been hitting well for a long time, including a torrid stretch in AAA with the 2019 balls when he slashed .382/.421/.753 and hit seven home runs in 26 games. That’s the last time he was an everyday player. He’s a good example of betting on the talent and hoping the playing time materializes, as Cody Bellinger’s trip to the injured list keeps him in the lineup. He’s played seven of eight games already and should continue getting some facsimile of that run for quite a while now.
Atlanta RHP Huascar Ynoa combines mid-nineties heat with a fun name to flummox hitters. Leaned on his slider (46 percent) in his first outing and will be interesting if he continues to do so. It’s an 85 mph pitch with 43 inches of drop–6.6 inches more than the average slider despite being a little bit faster. Nobody touched it in game one. Fun to track.
Seattle RHP Chris Flexen is technically not a prospect, but he remade himself in Korea and looked good to me his first time out. I got outbid for him in the Razz30 where I represent the Royals–not in faab but in the winter slow-auction of free agents.
I really like Milwaukee RHP J.P. Feyereison. Popped up for me this spring just geeking out on statcast pitch profiles and now I’m all in. Milwaukee: relievers and beer. My kinda town.
Arizona RHP Riley Smith looked fine in mop up duty after the Padres knocked Caleb Smith from the game on April 3rd. Good velocity on his off-speed pitches, solid fastball command, three velocity bands now that he’s separated his slider (83 mph) from his curveball (77.7 mph). Seemed to throw all three pitches with confidence in any count. I dunno. I’m gonna watch though, and I’ve already got him in a couple 30-teamers and my NL-only league–added on spec after watching the mop-up work.
I’m not here to sell you a bunch of Diamondbacks. That team is in serious trouble. Arizona 2B Josh VanMeter, however, has been of interest to me for some time, as has 2B Andrew Young. Arizona seems to collect guys who have the 4A-player tag and then never give them playing time at the big league level. I don’t understand it. The whole point of acquiring these types is to put them on the field for a thousand at bats and see if you can strike gold.
Seattle RHP Logan Gilbert might come up this week. I wouldn’t hold him in any shallow leagues just yet because there’s good profit in timeline tomfoolery, but I’m holding him in an AL-only where I’m in 1st place and roster real estate is at a premium.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.