I’ve got my fingers crossed, but unless I’m mistaken, every major league team is currently cleared to play baseball games! No small feat in 2020. 

With so many games to play, and prospects popping up like whack-a-moles, we’ve got a lot to track, especially with double headers and compressed schedules and on and on. Here’s what I’m seeing around the league.

Pirates RHP JT Brubaker first caught my eye when I saw him hitting 97 in his first start. The results have been inconsistent for Pittsburgh’s 2018 minor league pitcher of the year, but he’s got an impressive assortment of off-speed pitches and has been getting better each time out. 

Miami LHP Trevor Rogers made his debut a little under the radar and pitched around five walks to blank the Mets for 4 innings. Whereas RHP Sixto Sanchez is likely a permanent member of the rotation now, Rogers figures to be an up and down innings filler. 

Seems important to note Cleveland RHP Triston McKenzie is here to stay, at least for now. The team president told Zach Plesac he didn’t have a spot on the big league club, which feels ominous but could just be service clock positioning. 

Rays LHP Josh Fleming looked pretty Tampa out there in his debut, surrendering just three hits across five innings. Decent deep dynasty flier for the innings-rush down the stretch. 

In Chicago, 3B Kris Bryant is hurt more ways than I can count, and David Bote stands to inherit a good portion of the abandoned at bats. He’s got some swing and miss in his game, but the power is real, and he’s been a streak hitter across his short career. He’s been showing signs of life lately and should be added in most deep leagues if he’s available. 

I’ve detailed his development in the Cleveland organization and mentioned now-Detroit SS Willi Castro hitting a moonshot in this space before, so I’m intrigued to see he’s holding his own this year after mostly flailing during his brief 2019 stint. It’s a part-time gig so far, but things change pretty fast for competent defenders with bat skills. 

Speaking of hot Willies, have you seen the stick on SS Willy Adames in Tampa? I’ve never been a buyer at his cost v. perceived value in part because his defense always floated his prospect profile, but you can’t argue with success. Well, you could, given his 32.7 % K rate, but striking out is what the cool kids do now, and he’s walking 12.9 percent of the time, up from 7.9 last year but not insanely better than his 9.6 of 2018, his rookie season. Have to say I’m getting some natural progression vibes from a guy who just cleared 1000 plate appearances. 

2B OF Sam Haggerty is playing just about every day in Seattle and running just about every time he’s on base. These Ms love their steals. I don’t think he’s an especially good player, long term, but 2020 ain’t a long season, and there aren’t too many SB boosts on most waiver wires. 

Reds OF Mark Payton was the only man who ever truly guarded Michael Jordan. Considering he’s 5’8” and was in diapers when Michael ruled the league, I find this impressive, regardless of the memes it’s spawned. On the ball field, Payton looks a little like Adam Eaton. In his five-year minor league career, he’d never shown power until slashing .334/.400/.653 in AAA last year for Oakland, which helped land him this opportunity in Cincinnati. I think it’s telling that he’s already playing a bit in a deep outfield. Probably just a deep flier, but I think he looks good in the box and could carve out a role. 

Thanks for reading! I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter and Reddit.

 
  1. Another Dan says:
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    Good stuff again Itch,

    Most of these guys are gone in leagues I am in. But I am in a couple of 12 team leagues where I might be able to pick up a guy or two.

    My 30 team dynasty team is starting to take shape.

    Luis Robert, Sixto, Luzardo, Solak, Kingery, Hoerner, Skubal, Kieboom, Stewart are all young and controlled for the next few years. Devers, Contreras (CHC) have less years of control.

    I have a problem at 1B though. 1B prospects I own include Nate Lowe (his clock has started), Lewin Diaz, Jenista, Marmalejos and Tyler Nevin. I am currently rostering either Thames or Kung Fu Panda at 1B.

    Am thinking of offering Hoerner for Evan White. Is it fair? You think White would be better than my other options at 1B long term?

    I might have a chance at being competitive next year. More likely 2022.

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Another Dan!

      I’d love to move Nico for White in that situation, or any situation really.

      Best of luck on the build!! Excellent core you’ve put together there!!

      PS I really like Lewin Diaz in 2021.

  2. Shawn says:
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    Love the prospect articles! Thank you!

    Quick dynasty league question. I would deal Lance Lynn for A. Puk and B. Honeywell?

    Honeywell scares me and I may be completely out on him but what are your thoughts? Thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks for the kind words, Shawn!!

      I’d hold Lynn. He’s a different dude now he’s using his unique four seamer atop the zone for punch outs. I just traded Bryan Reynolds and Liam Hendriks for him in the Razz 15 where I was way up on saves and needed Ks and Ws.

  3. primetime says:
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    Itch, great articles as usual.

    Patino sitting on waivers for our 10 team keeper league, does he ever get the start this season?

    Also, your thoughts of Mitch Keller who is also on waivers and probably not playing this season.
    Our league as no draft next year because of the 60 games, so we keep our current teams.

    Last, Forest Whitley. Thoughts on him a bust?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, primetime!

      Man I really don’t have a good on San Diego right now, but I think their bullpen injuries keep Patiño back there.

      Never been a Keller guy, but I’d bet the Pivetta type hype machine cranks up again this off-season when the quants have more sway. Probably don’t have to rush out and add him, but you could snag him before the FA window closes and try to flip him in winter.

      I think it’s fair to say Whitley is a bust versus his perceived value just because time is real and always evaporating. I’m not out on him long term, but I wouldn’t pay much to get him.

  4. Chucky says:
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    Hate to beat the proverbial dead horse, but is there a MacKenzie Gore sighting anywhere in our future?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      *shakes magic 8 ball*

      “Ask again later”

      *shakes again*

      “Don’t count on it”

      Something smells funny around this one. I’m guessing Gore’s not dominating at camp, and they’re waiting to see that before they start his clock.

  5. Dave says:
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    NL Only 11 Team League – should i activate Jose Garcia? Options to reserve are F Galvis or B Crawford Thanks for the help!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, Galvis

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oops, sorry Itch, I’m in wrong post

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Hey there, Grey!

        Always a delight to see that stache in the comments!

        And I agree. Activate for Galvis.

  6. IntendedSteb says:
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    Hey Itch,
    Should I still be buying Bryant after this quote: “In Chicago, 3B Kris Bryant is hurt more ways than I can count”
    Even during good season last year, he looked… broken.
    I was offered Bryant and Aaron Bracho for Larnach and Brujan in dynasty and I’m thinking of walking away from that one.
    Thanks

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hi, IntendedSteb,

      That would be enough for me to move Bryant at the moment. Might sting to hit the button, but I think you’d be really pleased with it next year and beyond. Love Brujan and like Larnach and Bracho, too.

      • IntendedSteb says:
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        Larnach and Brujan are mine, so I think I’m on the right side of it and going to keep them.
        Thanks, love the content.

  7. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    What up Itch. You work on my top ten list?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Yup, working on it for tomorrow!

  8. detroit_kozak says:
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    Big fan of the prospect articles now minus Mountcastle….

    Is there hope for Pirates Pitching in the future, or is the same set of coaches/approach still there when they limited guys like Cole?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, detroit_kozak!

      I think there’s hope. Yeah some of the pitching coaches up the chain remain, but the top-down organizational structure has changed. I think it’s okay to miss bats now. It’s not happening much at the big league level yet, but the plan is different.

  9. Drew says:
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    Would you move D. Carlson for his Bohm? 16-team ops where we keep 6 MiLB. My minor league roster is J. Rodriguez, M. Luciano, C. Carroll, Hoerner, Kiriloff, and D. Carlson.

    Thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’d probably hold Carlson.

  10. Moon Shots says:
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    Sup Itch!

    After my Brad Miller/Taijuan for Puason/Arozarena deal i traded Martin Perez today for Braden Shewmake. I know he’s a little farther down the lists but it still made my day to get some rebuild value there.

    That puts my MiLB side at (this is 30 team dynasty):
    Jasson Dominguez
    Andrew Vaughn
    Jo Adell
    Drew Waters
    Luis Garcia
    Joey Bart
    Marco Luciano
    CJ Abrams
    Jake Vogel
    Pete Crow Armstrong
    Jaylin Davis
    Vidal Brujan
    Robert Puason
    Braden Shewmake
    Nick Solak
    Randy Arozarena
    Zack DeLoach
    Alexfri Planez
    Alek Thomas
    Sixto
    Dustin May (not minors but part of the plan)
    George Kirby
    Shane Baz
    Max Meyer
    Garrett Crochet
    Jared Jones

    Still got a few days to turn Justin Turner, Jesus Aguilar, and Brandon Crawford into more prospects and picks. Still pondering that Turner for Heriberto deal as he hasnt budged on adding a pick. Anyway i guess i dont really have a question, just wanted to share my list of goodies with someone who i know might appreciate. Hope your well.

    • Moon Shots says:
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      Oh and Toribio lol.

      • Moon Shots says:
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        Justin Turner shipped out for Luis Matos (GIants fan here) :)

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          LOVE that trade! Big Matos believer.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Moon Shots! Hope you’re well as well.

      I love this group. Would look great in a 15 but just incredible in a 30-teamer.

      I’d be open to moving Waters, Shewmake, and Baz, but only if people come to get them.

      Only mentioning that because this might start coming together in mid 2021.

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