I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but I’ve been feeling like the baseball season is all but over these last few weeks. I could guess at some reasons, I’m sure. Contenders are few and far between. Even teams that technically still “in it” don’t have much chance of actually making the playoffs. And even if they do, they’ll face the one-game wild card death match. 

If I’m honest with myself, real baseball has nothing to do with this late-season malaise. More likely, the feeling comes from trade deadlines in dynasty leagues. In all my leagues, I’ll have to dance with what brung me from this point onward, and that’s a powerless, uncomfortable sensation that runs a bit counter to what I think makes dynasty leagues great. I don’t even make that many trades and might even prefer to play in leagues without them, if I could ever find one, but that transition from the Willy Loman sales hustle to a life of slow-burn faab fliers hits me like a briefcase of bricks. 

The prospect pipeline that flows from May to August is out of season. Any call ups now are likely to be bench pieces or last-life 4A types trying to carve their path. I actually love this last bit, and that’s where we’ll begin today, hyping ourselves up to make some minor moves with high-end upside. 

Chicago (NL) OF Greg Deichmann was promoted Friday when Jason Heyward hit the IL. Deichmann switched up his approach this season in AAA, trading power for contact in a reverse engineering of most trends across baseball the past few decades. I’m not sure the shorter swing is going to keep him in the big leagues, but it’s a smart move to mimic fellow late-bloomer Robbie Grossman

Pittsburgh SS Hoy Jun Park is playing well and earning himself an everyday opportunity next season. I might be a Pirates fan by then. 

Truth is I’m not really a fan of any team anymore. More a fan of all the people working in the game, I guess. Getting weirder and weirder to root for billionaires as they exert their influence over the roster on the regular. It’s not like the Pirates are protagonists, either, I just respect how Ben Cherington pulled the Red Sox from Theo’s fire, and I like most moves his Pirates make these days. 

Los Angeles (NL) SS Eddys Leonard is enjoying a season as smooth as slow-churned Rocky Road. Recently promoted to High A, Leonard’s full season slash line is .292/.398/.540 with 15 HR and 7 SB, most of that as a 20-year-old in Low A. If he performs well over this final month in High A, he could open next year as a 21-year-old in AA. You probably can’t add Toronto heat wave Orelvis Martinez, but Leonard is having a similar season at a similar age and could be had for a minimum bid in most dynasty leagues. He’s already inside my Top 100 and would leap up the list with a hot August. 

Speaking of well-earned promotions, San Francisco SS Marco Luciano is now in High A at 19. Eugene is a nice place to hit, so we should see some fireworks. Worth noting how similar his season looks to Leonard’s: .274/.367/.556 with 19 HR and 5 SB. 

Los Angeles (NL) OF Jose Ramos:

In 15 games in the Arizona Complex League: .383/.456/.633, 3 HR, 1 SB, 14 SO, 7 BB

In 13 games in Low A: .389/.477/.741, 3 HR, 1 SB, 16 SO, 7 BB 

He’s also a decent centerfielder at 20 years old, standing 6’1” and weighing 200 lbs. The Dodgers Low A setting at Rancho Cucamonga is a cozy place to hit, so that’s worth noting in regards to Ramos and Eddys Leonard, but at a some point, pro ball is pro ball, and loud outcomes are loud outcomes, regardless of contextual factors. It’s not like Cucamonga plays on the moon against Sesame Street Martians, but Ramos is making it look that way. Yep yep yep yep yep. 

Pittsburgh OF Matt Fraizer is another under-the-radar name already inside my Top 100, and now that he’s in AA (promoted this week), he can finally establish some echo chamber value against same-age competitors. He wasn’t exactly ancient for High A as a 23-year-old post pandemic, especially given his injury time lost, but the eye-popping stats he’s produced thus far will set off alarm bells all over the dynasty world if he can replicate them in the high minors. Those stats = .314/.400/.576 with 20 HR and 14 SB in 77 games. Can’t wait to see him in Spring Training next year. 

Tampa Bay 2B Jonathan Aranda has earned a promotion but might have nowhere to go, with Vidal Brujan and Taylor Walls in AAA. His AA season has been incredible: .331/.410/.576 with 8 HR and 2 SB in 49 games. Been even better over the past month: .378/.469/.610. He’s not real big and he’s not real fast, but if you’re on the mound, he can be a real big pain in the . . . 

Thanks for reading! 

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

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junior56
junior56
10 months ago

Hi Itch As always good juicy info!

Do you think Luis Gil sticks as a SP? Good stuff but I don’t trust the command or control but want to add some decent options to my team.

Laureano getting pinched for PED’s hurts … OF is Alvarez, Jimenez, Pham, Kelnic, and Straw. Have Duran,Larnach,and Happ on the bench. Would you hold Straw or Laureano? Park is available also so is Ortega.

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
10 months ago

Love these Sunday morning updates, Itch, Terrific stuff!! Added Park last week, thanks to you! Thanks for all your hard work and fantastic advice!!

Joe St. Hilaire-Bona
Joe St. Hilaire-Bona
10 months ago

Hey Itch, what’s your POV on Keibert Ruiz? What’s his upside, and is the power surge for real?

scoboticus
scoboticus
10 months ago

Yeah I don’t get Boston.
They said they were going to limit Durans exposure to Lefty pitching but he was sat vs arighty yesterday and is now in vs a lefty today.
Should I give him another week or move on in a keeper?

scoboticus
scoboticus
Reply to  scoboticus
10 months ago

Correction, he was sat Friday.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
10 months ago

Hey Itch,

If you were looking for the highest rising, most promising minor leaguer that was an unknown prior to 2021, who would you go with? I’m looking for a name with big upside but nobody knows who he is!

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
10 months ago

Thanks Itch!

Good stuff!

Ryan
Ryan
10 months ago

Thanks for the info, itch! Hadn’t heard of a few of these guys.

In my 18-team league we keep 29. I’m nearing the end of my rebuild — should be competitive next year or the year after. I’m already working on narrowing my roster down to the best 29 guys I can carry over.

Also, if I want to use my 1st round draft pick (about #10) I have to drop one of the 29 guys.

So I guess the question is, which of these guys would you keep, and would you prefer the pick over any of the top 29 guys?

Varsho, Barrero, S.W.R., Raleigh, Vientos, L. Peguero, Myers, Melendez, G. Jones, Sewald.

I can keep 5 of these guys and lose the draft pick, or keep four and pick.

I’m leaning Barrero, SWR, Raleigh, Vientos and keep the pick, but Varsho is there and he might be a good one to keep.

My best option is probably to package three of them for an upgrade. In that situation, who would you prioritize to keep and not trade?

Thanks, Itch!

Steve B
Steve B
10 months ago

Is Nick Madrigal a good comp for Austin Martin? Or do you think Martin develops more power?

cable
cable
10 months ago

h/h points 12 team redraft…….ROS

need two …….Moustakas,Schoop, J Polanco

molina bros bbq
molina bros bbq
10 months ago

Itch,

Recently picked up Park, Ramos, Eddys and Fraizer in a 14 team dynasty. There are so many prospects in that league I want to add but don’t have the space! Thanks again for your write ups I really enjoy reading them.

Yasel Antuna check-in… Beginning of the year he looked like a bust after coming back from the injury but he appears to be rounding into form over the last month or so in High A. Any interest? ABs up for grabs in Washington in the coming years he is a sort of intriguing guy for me and likely available everywhere. Any thoughts appreciated.

Have a good one!

molina bros bbq
molina bros bbq
Reply to  The Itch
10 months ago

Thanks Itch.

LG Baseball
LG Baseball
10 months ago

Hi Itch! Great write up!

Trying to finalize my 10 keepers and our trade deadline is this week. How high are you on Noelvi Marte? Do you like him more than guys like Duran, Jazz or Grisham longer term? I have a strong top 10 but could wait on a top talent like Noelvi if it’s worth it.

Thanks!
LG

scoboticus
scoboticus
10 months ago

Prospetonator really likes Elehuris Montero, but he’s not in your top 100.

Jay T
Jay T
10 months ago

I can keep two of Marco Luciano, Noelvi Marte, and Corbin Carroll. Leaning toward Carroll over Marte only because Marte/Luciano serm repetitive. Am I crazy?

toolshed
toolshed
10 months ago

I usually do not roster pitchers extremely young pitchers but eury perez has caught my attention. What is your assessment of him?

Another perez (hedpert) who I know you liked had a huge game recently. I haven’t heard much about him until this week, is he still somehow you want to acquire if available. Do you expect him to be shoot up other ranking systems? Thanks

Dmitri
Dmitri
10 months ago

I’m pretty high on Leonard and Ramos. What grades would you put on each player’s hit, power, and speed?

Dmitri
Dmitri
Reply to  The Itch
10 months ago

Thank you.

Cesar
Cesar
10 months ago

Love these updates, Itch. Can I get a few words on Blaze Jordan? Seems to be holding down the Ks and getting to game power (at sea level no less).

Have to think the echo chamber is gonna get loud, which in my mind makes him a potential goldmine dynasty piece regardless of whether the ultimate skills are there.

Drew
Drew
10 months ago

Thanks, Itch! I appreciate your work on these write ups.

I’m in a 16-team OPS keeper, where we keep up to 6 MiLB. Few owners follow MiLB and so there’s often really good prospects on the waiver, stashable as NA for the year. I saw in your recent ranks that you slot Matos (currently stashed) above Orelvis (not owned and on waivers). Should I hold tight w Matos or jump for Orelvis? My other MiLB keepers right now are Julio Rodriguez, Nick Gonzales, Corbin Carroll, and Kristian Robinson.
Hedbert is also out there…