Nestled between Moldova and Romania, Gormania is also known as the land of offense. Its lone citizen – Nolan Gorman – rules this tiny country with a mighty bat. Some say he was born human. Others say he emerged fully grown from the earth – eyeblack applied. Still others remember seeing him appear one night in a glowing crater, as if sent from some far away planet where he was weaned on Dubble Bubble, Skoal, and beer by the baseball gods. Wherever he came from, Gorman appears to be special. After hitting two more homers – in consecutive innings – on Monday, Gorman is now slashing .306/.393/.605 with 19 home runs in 298 minor league plate appearances dating back to last summer. He’ll turn 20 in a month, and my guess is the Cards will push him to High-A by the end of this season. Here’s what else is happening in the minor leagues…
Luis Urias, SDP – Called up by the Padres and hit leadoff, where he went 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. I mentioned this call was a possibility in the April promotions article and I’m glad he’s up, but I’m not sure how he’ll work into the everyday lineup with Kinsler still around. For now, I’d roster him in NL-only formats and play the wait-and-see in mixed.
Luis Robert, CWS – In one of the hottest starts to the year, Robert is hitting .524 with four homers and three steals. I don’t know how to pronounce his name but I want the ‘s’ and ‘t’ to be silent so we can give him a cool French nickname like Le Bombardier Du Cote Sud. I’d be keeping tabs on a Double-A promotion and possibly some appearances with the Sox this summer.
Carter Kieboom, WAS – Got passed over when Trea Turner got hurt, and said eff you to the Nats with a four-hit game on Monday. He was a homer shy of the cycle and stole a bag for good measure. The non callup makes me think he’ll be at Triple-A until midsummer, or else they would have taken this opportunity to see what he can do.
Joey Bart, SFG – Bart might be the best catching prospect to own right now in dynasty formats. He’s opening 2019 at High-A San Jose, where he’s hitting .313 with a homer in 20 plate appearances. He’s shown a good eye as well, with three walks to just three strikeouts.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr, TOR – Should complete his rehab assignment soon and (fingers crossed) be up with the Jays by the end of the month. It’s not like their offense needs a boost or anything. *Checks team stats…sees that the Jays are hitting .183 as a team with a 62 wRC+…chokes on nacho fries.*
Cavan Biggio, TOR – Biggio doesn’t get a ton of love. He’s a scrappy utility type that I comped to Marwin Gonzalez in the Blue Jay preview. This year he’s hitting .438 with a pair of homers and a steal after swatting 26 homers and stealing 20 bags in 2018. He should be up early this season in some role for the Jays, whose lineup is hot garbage. Even with small improvements in his strikeout percentage, Biggio could be a surprise fantasy contributor, especially in AL-only or deeper mixed formats.
Vidal Brujan, TBR – Off to a quick start in High-A with four steals and a batting average north of .400. The average will normalize (obvs) but Brujan is a threat to hit 10-12 homers and steal 30+ bags. At pretty much every stop he’s had equal walk and strikeout rates, which is a good sign he’ll have some success at the upper levels.
Gavin Lux, LAD – 4-for-4 with a homer and four runs scored on Monday. Lux is an above-average hitter and runner who could also pop about 15 homers. He now has 140 plate appearances at Double-A, so it wouldn’t be completely out of left field to see him get some reps with the big club later this season.
Nick Senzel, CIN – Should be playing again soon unless he slips on another banana peel left behind by Reds upper management. ESPN ran an article that Senzel’s agent was angry about his demotion to start the year. If my agent wasn’t angry about my demotion, he/she wouldn’t be my agent anymore. It’s like their whole job. Just sayin’.
Enyel De Los Santos, PHI – Threw five innings in his start this week and punched out ten (yes, ten) batters with zero walks. He’s starting the season at AAA Lehigh Valley, and I could see him starting for the Phils this summer if there’s an opening. He wasn’t a particularly high strikeout guy last season or the year before, so this one really caught my eye.