Angels prospect Michael Hermosillo (3-for-5, 3 HR) has decided to hit for power this August. After hitting four homers in all of June and July, the 24-year-old outfielder has hit ten dingers this month. There should be a glossary term for the minor league version of a hot schmotato. Hot schmotatito? Between Hermosillo’s track record for power, the Juicy Juice brand balls in Triple-A, and the near 30% strikeout rate, I’m convinced there’s nothing to see here. But any time a guy has three multi-homer games in his last ten this close to September callups it’s noticeable. Speaking of callups, now’s the time to start thinking about who to stash for the last month of the season. For many of us, this is also our playoff season, so any help we can get to advance will be well worth the roster slot. Better to be a week early and get the guy you want than a week late and miss out on a huge month. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Julio Rodriguez, OF | SEA – 4-for-5, with a homer as he was promoted to High-A. Welp, just two days after I went over JuRod in the prospect news, he was promoted to Modesto. He’s now in rarified air, with only Wander Franco hitting High-A at 18-years-old this year (Franco’s been there since late June). I compared JuRod’s stats at A-ball to Franco’s, and there’s not too much difference. Definitely an elite prospect and he came out with a bang in his debut.
Nico Hoerner, SS | CHC – 2-for-4 and four multi-hit games in his last five. Last year’s first round pick is hitting .271 with three homers and eight steals in Double-A. The nice thing about Hoerner is the guy rarely strikes out. But he doesn’t really have any flashy tools either, so the fantasy upside is a bit limited. Conservatively, he could turn into a relevant utility type in shallower leagues or a regular who’s kind of boring but useful in deeper formats. I know that all sounds negative, but I like him.
Lewin Diaz, 1B | MIA – 3-for-5 with a homer. Diaz is having a breakout season, hitting .283 with 25 homers between the Twins and the Marlins. He came to Miami in the Romo deal, and in 17 games since the trade he’s hit six homers. Diaz will be 23 years old this November, and come 2020 he could be in the mix for a spot on the Marlins roster. At the very least, he should be in Triple-A and close to the majors/fantasy relevance.
Anthony Kay, LHP | TOR – 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 K. That makes two straight outings with eight strikeouts for the left Kay, who was traded by the Mets in the Stroman deal. Kay’s new MLB org/league isn’t as good of a situation as it was in New York (NL), but he’s a solid MORP with a bit of strikeout upside for fantasy. He’s giving up less homers with the new club and his 3.00 ERA with Buffalo is less than half of what it was with Syracuse. I’m a sucker for lefties, but I’m a big fan of Kay’s and I’ve acquired a few shares this year.