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.
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!
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