I hope you watch Rick and Morty. Not sure how this title holds up if not. Would also provide a primer for Loki on the Disney plus. Looks like our favorite god of mischief is about to become the infinite Rick, which makes sense considering Loki head writer Michael Waldron wrote for Rick and Morty. Circles within circles within variants, friends.
Let’s check the sacred timeline.
Boston OF Johan Mieses should be poofing onto our screens at some future point, creating a nexus event that threatens to topple the Cardinal universe. Unclear how many impact outfielders one team can let go before collapsing under the weight of its own shame, but the breaking point has to be approaching.
In the final 22 games Mieses played for St. Louis in Memphis to close out 2019 at AAA, he slashed .339/.414/.677 with 6 home runs while striking out just in 15.7 percent of his plate appearances and walking in 11.4 percent of them. That’s a superstar stretch from a 23-year-old in AAA. I will never know what the Cardinals think constitutes good baseball.
The Red Sox sent him to AA to begin 2021, and the results were similar: 23 games, 11 HR, 9.5%/20% BB/K rates, .286/.368/.714, so he’s slugged around .700 for a 50-game sample across two levels across two years.
Now in a stacked AAA outfield featuring Jarren Duran, Marcus Wilson and Franchy Cordero, Mieses has two home runs in his first seven games and probably isn’t the next man up when Boston needs a little boost, but he can put himself in that conversation with another couple weeks like he’s been having. Would be a wish fulfilled for me.
Cincinnati RHP Tony Santillan will reportedly get the call to start Sunday’s game at home against Colorado. The Rockies are not road warriors, and Santillan seems ready to face them on Fury Road. In his last AAA outing on June 4th, Santillan went 7 innings, allowed 7 baserunners and 2 runs, striking out 13, bringing his season totals to 45 Ks in 32.1 innings with a 2.51 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Rookies pitchers are not a great path to tidy ratios, but Santillan, who recently turned 24 and has long turned scouts’ heads for his heavy heat, appears to be ready for the next challenge.
Joining the long-term outfield conversation in San Diego is 22-year-old AA OF Jack Suwinski. Over his last 20 games, Suwinski is slashing .338/.450/.769, 5 HR, 4 3B, 5 2B, 16.3%/22.5% BB/K rate across 80 plate appearances. San Diego will likely be looking to save money somewhere on the diamond given the contracts on their payroll, Tommy Pham is a free agent next year, and Suwinski sure looks ready for his close-up in AAA.
Texas OF Bubba Thompson irritated some Reddit commenters (no way!?) due to his inclusion in my recent Top 100 Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball. Nice to see him pick up a slam and legs Friday night. Key thing to note here is he’s striking out 21.5 percent of the time, walking 7.7 percent, and bringing that exciting power and speed to the forefront of his game. Funny to put the hate in the context of Leody Taveras, a consensus top 50ish prospect coming into this year who Thompson might’ve already passed on the organizational depth chart. When a tooled up first-round pick out of high school starts to pop after a few years of struggle, don’t hesitate to rearrange your expectations. Dudes have a lot to learn about baseball. Like Thompson, they were often multi-sport stars in high school who had to learn their sport and professionalism on the fly.
Chicago (AL) 2B Romy Gonzalez — 2-for-5, 2 HR on Friday night. Opened up and turned on a high, inside fastball to clear the train tracks beyond left field with his first-inning blast. Thick base for a middle infielder. Slashing .261/.352/.565 with 8 HR and 7 SB across 92 at bats in AA. White Sox could look his way to help cover for Nick Madrigal, who went on the 60-day IL this week. Romy’s 24 and he’s striking out 29.5 percent of the time, but he’s fresh off his five-year high school reunion and feeling like he and Michelle can conquer the world. Decent flier in deep OBP leagues.
Heard during this game, for what it’s worth, that Tampa RHP Shane Baz is headed to AAA. Giddyup. This feels like the Rays year to me. If they get all their best youngsters real big league experience before the playoffs, they’ll be a nightmare match-up in the postseason.
San Francisco OF Jaylin Davis is back on the field after a long layoff caused by knee tendonitis. He’s played two games in AAA. He’s homered in each. Little bit of Aquino in the profile in that I still expect a loud stretch at the big league level at some point, but even in the midst of that hypothetical heater, contact questions will dominate the conversation. Like a lot of upper minors bats battling a 4A-labeled future, we won’t know until we know.
Speaking of 4A labels, Detroit 1B Aderlin Rodriguez is a 29-year-old who’s slashing .330/.403/.604 in 29 AAA games after posting a .321/.363/.634 line across 75 AAA games in 2019. Here’s where locking in an Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera can really hurt. Maybe Rodriguez isn’t up to shneef, bat-speed wise, but the Tigers might never find out, only to watch him catch on elsewhere next year with the universal DH opening opportunity for his type. He’s actually been hitting well and striking out less than 20 percent of the time since 2016, but as an over-age corner-only bat with pretty good–not great–power, he’s never been part of an organization’s long-term vision of itself. Detroit is his fifth club since 2015.
From non-prospects back to list jumpers, we’ll finish today with Toronto 2B Samad Taylor. He’s 22-years-old with 8 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 31 AA games. He’s striking out 32.6 percent of the time, walking 7 percent, so he’s got that going against him. Hitting .310/.372/.569 will turn some heads for a young guy in the upper minors, but here’s the real double take: his line of this past week: 33 PA, 4 HR, 4 BB (12.1%), 6 K (18.2%), .483/.545/.1.000. Another week like that (totally reasonable ask) and he’ll find himself in Buffalo. For AAA games, I mean.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.