Yup, so we’re just chugging right along here in minor league land. There were/are plenty of games yesterday, today, and tomorrow for those of you who can’t go a day without baseball. While we were all watching Albombso win the Derby Monday night, Atlanta Braves first base prospect Bryce Ball made his own statement with a pair of homers in the Appy league. That’s seven on the year in seventeen games, hitting .373 with eleven walks to nine strikeouts. That’s the real good stuff from a lefty bat who was drafted in the – let me check my notes here – yup, drafted in the 24th round last month. 727th overall if you’re keeping score. Bryce is a big boy and obviously old for Rookie ball at 21, but here’s a fine example of why prospects are cool, this is all guesswork, and if you talk about prospects in absolutes you usually end up looking like a complete idiot. So hedge your bets. Keep your arms healthy, your mind open, and drink a cold Coor’s Light while you watch a full slate of MiLB games today. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Brendan McKay, LHP | TBR – Optioned to Triple-A. Did you just shart yourself? No need. I’d bet on him coming right back up after the break. At least that’s what Kevin Cash said, and he knows better than me. I’m typing in white gloves, a skirt, and a tinfoil hat while he’s managing a real baseball team.

Alex Kirilloff, OF | MIN – 3-for-4 with a triple and a five-game hit streak. Some knucklehead came around Sunday demanding my buddy Rowf come back and take my job. It was kinda rude, but then Harley Earl came by and was like, “hold my beer fam”. Honestly, some of Sunday’s comments made me want to get back in the car with my two-year-old and drive the eleven hours back to South Carolina. She’d at least whine less. Oh yeah…Kirilloff. Rowf and I had him ranked 10th and 14th overall coming into the season, respectively. Kirilloff struggled early, but he’s picking it up, hitting .346 since the end of May. Hopefully you stayed patient with him because he’s one of the best outfield prospects in the game. By the way, I met a nice bloke in South Carolina named Hokey. Every time we did a shot, he did the Hokey-Pokey. No joke, and his wife had recently died of cancer. Be like Hokey…enjoy life and don’t waste time with hate, fear, or regret. Or just don’t be an asshat in the comments…either way.

Kyle Lewis, OF | SEA – 2-for-4 with a homer (5) for Double-A Arkansas. I ranked Lewis second in the Mariners system coming into the year, where I posed the possibility of him coming up to the bigs this season. That likely won’t happen, since he’s still in Double-A and I’d figured he’d be in Triple-A by now. I also thought he’d flash some more speed. Also wrong. He has just three steals in 77 games. The good news is he’s found his stroke. Lewis is hitting .349 in June and July after hitting just .227 in April and May.

Chase Strumpf, 2B | CHC – 6-for-10 with a homer (1) and two doubles (5, 6) in his last two games for the short-season Emeralds. I haven’t written him up yet since he’s new blood, but Strumpf has a good all-around offensive profile with a hit tool just a tick above average. That’ll play in most formats down the road. Plus the Cubs seem to pick good prospects out of trees. Strumpf was hitting .280 with nine homers and three swipes for UCLA in 63 games prior to going 64th overall in the draft. He should move fast through the system. Reminds me a little of Cavan Biggio.

Trent Grisham, RF | MIL – Hitting .271 with five homers and two steals in 16 games with Triple-A San Antonio. That’s 18 homers on the year for Grisham between AA and AAA. I didn’t rank him coming into the season, mainly because of his struggles in AA last year, but he seems to have made some genuine improvements, raising his average over 40 points while keeping the power – as well as the walk and strikeout rates – steady. I’d say he’s definitely worth a sneaky look if he’s available in dynasty formats.

MacKenzie Gore, LHP | SDP – Promoted to Double-A. I just went over Gore a week ago. Click that link or go to my author page to find it. Keep scrolling and you’ll find a post about Lance Berkman. I wish I was joking. I’m getting old you guys and four girls.

  1. packers2018 says:
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    Good job, Mike.

    Whats your thoughts on Puk in the Oakland organization? I haven’t heard much.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thank you sir! Coming back from injury, similar to Luzardo, so more of an impact in 2020. Maybe innings in September?

  2. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Well done Mike..Thoughts on Wil Benson..

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks MP. He’s big risk/reward. If the hit tool takes shape and he makes it, watch out. If not, empty power, with no ability to get to it in games.

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        He has hit well so far this season.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Indeed, now it’s a matter of adjusting at the higher level (17 games so far in High-A) and getting that K-rate in order.

  3. RicoSuave says:
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    Well said Mike!

    Thanks for the Great write up…

  4. florida jack says:
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    keep up the great work, very helpful

  5. The Harrow says:
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    just fade the douches, at least they’re in the minority around here. that thing about mushrooms, feed em shit and leave em in the dark. works just as well for trolls.

    – k.lewis, good lord remember back when he was a top level guy before all the injuries (that might’ve been just after you quit, maybe just before)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Ha, right on.

      Yeah I do…I wonder if the knees permanently zapped his wheels.

  6. Racehorse says:
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    “… if you talk about prospects in absolutes you usually end up looking like a complete idiot. So hedge your bets. Keep your arms healthy, your mind open, and drink a cold Coor’s Light while you watch a full slate of MiLB games today. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues… ”

    Very, very, well said, Mike.

    Go Oneil Cruz!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha thanks man!

  7. Skip Mcgillicuddy says:
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    What do you think Kyle Lewis’ ceiling is now after all the injuries? Obviously still young, but they seem to have really put some miles on the legs. Any chance he’s still a middle of the order bat? 20-25HR type? Thanks Mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      The power could still be there, probably in the 20ish range, but I’m gonna just go ahead and give up on the wheels. Not sure what to make of his average. I think .260 is the ballpark though.

  8. RePete says:
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    Deep 14-Team H2H OBP Keep 6 Forever League:

    C – Contreras
    1B – Hoskins, Voit
    2B – Mondesi, Lowe
    SS – Trea, Lourdes Gurriel Jr
    3B – Rendon
    OF – Judge, Alvarez, Puig, Laureano, Schwarber, Braun

    SP – Ryu, Beiber, Price, Ray, Wheeler, Woodruff, Eflin, Stroman, Cease, Lamet, Hudson
    RP – Neris, Iglesias
    IL – Ohtani (pitcher)

    I’m currently in 1st place and looking to win it all this year. Teams that are out of it are looking to trade for keepers. What should I hold out for in a return for Yordan Alvarez or Ohtani (pitcher) in a trade? Anyone else I should consider moving instead?

    • RePete says:
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      Also, the guy that has Mike Trout is out of it this year and has very poor keeper options. What would you be willing to pay to land him? Any two of Judge, Mondesi, Rendon, Hoskins? Judge, Alvarez, and Ohtani?

      • CMUTIMMAH says:
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        Ohtani pitcher is likely not worth a keeper spot in this league. I don’t think you could get much in a trade for him. Maybe like Lance Lynn? Do you think someone would really keep Ohtani the pitcher coming off Tommy John?

        Alverez should fetch you a top pitcher or top middle aged bat. Think a type like Moistasskiss or Jose Abreu for bats

        I don’t think you have the hitting depth to trade three starters for Trout, nor do I think you need him. Your hitting is already stacked for a 14 team league. I definitely wouldn’t do a deal where you are trading 2 OFs for 1 OF. That is counter productive for this year.

        I would focus on finding a pitcher for sale that is an upgrade, but even there in a 14 team league you look to be in good shape.

        • For An Armenianless Vacation Come To Akron says:
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          he’s worth more now post TJ than before. people were going crazy for him before too. i’d agree in a keep 6 it’s a hard keep though.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Agree with CMUTIMMAH.

  9. wOBA Fett says:
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    You’ve got great stuff, Mike. Don’t give the trolls any thought. I really appreciate your posts here.

    How fast do you expect Andrew Vaughn to move through the ChiSox system?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks man! Reasonably fast…I’d give him a 2021 ETA.

  10. Oddball Herrer says:
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    Think the ship has sailed on Kirilloff for 2019? I’m holding out hope for September…

    • Cyler says:
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      I personally do not think he gets a call up at all this year.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah, I ‘d be shocked if they brought him up.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      some good news on him, he’s been playing 1B for a while since larnach is also approaching. it’s good for me for sure in one league where i have tons of good OF prospects but few CI guys in the next few years (am holding in active slot k.cron for that very reason).

  11. Dude at Dudes says:
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    My Charlie Morton ($25) for his Albies ($14) & A. Eaton ($27). 16 team keeper, keep 12 league, $260 budget salaries rise $5 per year.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yup, I ‘d do that.

  12. Birdmann says:
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    Yeah saw that, glad to have you back. Was bummed when Scott left glad to have you come in. My original Razznasty draft would be amazing now too bad it collapsed with out your leadership. Enjoyed Ralph but again glad you are back on the site. I grabbed Diaz to fill my NA hopefully he gets a shot and performs well

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks man. Bummer the league didn’t work out. I’m starting another one this fall. Probably smaller to give it a better chance of surviving.

      • Slappy Jack says:
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        if you need dynasty managers….. holla

  13. Chucky says:
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    Drop Luis Urias for Isan Diaz? Purely speculative long term Dynasty stash.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d stick with Urias.

  14. Cyler says:
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    Doing great work here. Appreciate the insights. Honestly my only complaint is there isn’t enough! I love me some prospects.

    With that said what do you think of my minor league reserves in a dynasty keep forever league. Personally I think in a few years the five reserves I have could be potential All Stars and will all likely rank in the top 10? at some point:

    Luis Robert
    Carter Kieboom
    Julio Rodriguez (Seattle)
    Kristian Robinson
    George Valera

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Luckily it goes all year.

      Looks really solid to me. You’ve already got two top tenners in Robert and Kieboom.

  15. Prospect Gold says:
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    Mike

    Any reason to hold on to Ian Happ?

    Where would you rank him on a prospect list even though he not really a prospect anymore… What if you can keep him in your minor leagues?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      At this point he’s probably a safe drop.

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      wtf happened to that dude, damn
      opening day HR’s to can’t hit fastaballs

  16. Harley Earl says:
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    Man this is terrible.

    Why would you write about a 21-year old who is mashing against 17- and 18 year-olds in rookie ball? Seriously? That’s a waste of my time, your time and everyone’s time.

    Where’s Seth Beer? Where’s Vidal Brujan? Where’s Julio Rodriguez or Jordan Groshans? I guess I’ll go check out what Keith Law has this week.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        What a lame reply. Oh well. No sense of humor.

        Anyway, what do you know about Chase Schrumpf? Have you seen him play or anything? Did you see him during the College World Series? This is the first I’ve even heard of him. So I’m intrigued.

        Thanks!

        • Beware the Shit Rope says:
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          he specifically told you to go try law. i’m sure you’ll find him to have a much better sense of humor and i’m sure he’ll explain why he’s much smarter than these other guys.

        • AL KOHOLIC says:
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          Harley Squirrel you act like a ten year old that no one likes,and we all see why

          • Harley Earl says:
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            Wow, what a bunch of wusses.

            This website is “Razzball” which specifically caters to talking shit about every player in the Major Leagues. But look at all the wimps who can’t handle it when it comes back on themselves.

            Al, you’re sure one to make fun of people’s handles. At least mine is my dog’s name because he’s important to me. I guess booze is what is important to you.

            I guess Mike is so offended, he’s not answering questions any more. Dude, grow some thicker skin. You’ll never last in this business if you don’t. And, yes, I know because I’ve been in it for 27 years.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              No worries mate. Not offended at all. Just not really interested in interacting with you after the insults, which is a choice I get to make. That’s awesome that you’ve been in the business so long. Fantasy baseball? Please tell me you are a member of the FSWA, because that would make this all worthwhile. I’m guessing you got your start somewhere in your twenties. So you’re like what, late forties? Early fifties? For me this is just a hobby. I’m not nearly ready to dedicate my adult life to it. Good for you though. Honestly.

              Come in with a little more honey than vinegar next time around. You’ve obviously got a lot of great insights to share with all of us and we’d love to hear them. Like I said on Sunday, you’re better than this kid stuff. Maybe even hit up Grey for a shot at posting, unless you’re too busy pumping out content for another site or something.

              Take care brother!

    • Prospect Gold says:
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      Dont waste your time and read. At least dont waste our time and complain.

      Great Job Mike and Thanks for your insight

  17. nitro says:
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    Who to stash?
    M. Keller or F Valdez?

    Thanks,

  18. Thesportsguy says:
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    Two months ago you convinced me that mountcastle would be a summer arrival in Balt…still think so?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Grey and I both figured he’d be up in June. I have no idea what the holdup is.

      • Kruk_Ain't_An_Athlete says:
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        This was in an article two weeks ago…

        In 69 games with Norfolk this year, Mountcastle is hitting well, like he has at virtually every stop of his minor league career. He’s got a .311/.332/.503 triple slash line with an .836 OPS, 14 doubles, 13 home runs, 47 RBI and two stolen bases. In his last 10 games, he is 14-for-40 (.350) with one home run and three RBI.

        But one glaring hole in his game is plate discipline. It brings to mind an infamous incident during 2018 spring training, when Buck Showalter confronted Mountcastle about his low walk totals and was unhappy with the response he received:

        “I said, ‘I noticed last year the whole season you walked 17 times. What was that all about?’” Showalter said. “He starts laughing and I said, ‘Understand, it’s not funny. This won’t work.’

        So far in 2019, Mountcastle has only nine walks compared to 72 strikeouts. In 2018, his BB:SO was 26:79, in 2017 it was 17:96, in 2016 it was 25:95 and in 2015 it was 9:46.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          That’s good info Kruk! Thank you!

  19. David says:
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    Thanks Mike……please rank ROS: Lamet, Valdez or D. Hudson.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      No problem. You’ve got them in the right order.

  20. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    whats up boss thanks again and keepem coming,hoping Robert and Adell make mlb apperances before long

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks man. You’ve got two great prospects there.

  21. Giacomo says:
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    Great job Mike!!
    Wasn’t Kirillof trasitioning to 1b?
    I have him stashed hoping to see him play there…

    Tnx for Your time

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Yes, he’s split time there and in the OF. No problem.

  22. dave says:
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    Kirilloff or Kelenic – which one do i take? Long term keeper

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Really like them both, but I’d lean Kirilloff.

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