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.

 
  1. Roll Tribe says:
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    Need the inside scoop Itch

    Your take on Kyler Muller please

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Command is real shaky. Looking like a reliever to me.

  2. toolshed says:
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    It is amazing that Baz was the player to be named later in the archer trade which was so bad. That deal hurt the pirates more than the Cole trade. Baz was a former 1st rd pick and 12th overall. I still can’t believe the pirates made that trade. All of those assets were controllable, cheap and they got archer who wasn’t doing well and no longer even have him. What a joke of a franchise. It makes me wonder if they can even develop players. I know it’s a new regime now, but I have a right to be skeptical of some of their minor league talent based on recent history. Is that wrong to feel that way when I look at Gonzalez, cruz, priester, etc.? They broke polanco. Keller is a trainwreck. Look what other guys have done since leaving like Cole, Musgrove, Morton, Glasgow, meadows, etc.

    • Powdered Toast Man says:
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      Well said . Owner of the Pirates should be forced to walk the plank. Joke of a franchise. Even if any of their newer prospects work out, they will all be traded before arbitration eligible.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I think the Cherington front office is much more adept at development and roster construction than the previous group. They get a little credit for K Hayes imo and the World Series in Boston. Totally get the reticence to embrace the buccos; I’m just optimistic there and looking to buy Oneil Cruz anywhere I can. Oh and yeah that Baz trade was awful when they made it. Never understood the appeal of Archer, especially when they’d neglected to pool young assets when they had a real chance.

  3. Jimmy says:
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    Isaac Paredes….here for the long haul? Thanks Itch!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      My main concern on Paredes is plate coverage. Like to attack in specific areas but is vulnerable a lot of ways at the plate. It’s something we don’t get a true read on in the minors because those guys don’t get the huge advance scouting reports and can’t execute at that level anyway. I do wonder if that’s changing with the six game series and teams playing each other a full week at a time.

      Anyway I do think he’s an up-and-down depth piece if nothing else. Don’t feel super confident he won’t be bounced back down to the minors within the next few weeks.

  4. toolshed says:
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    Hedbert Perez seems like he is going to be farther out than I had thought. Michael Harris has been rising and appears to be a lot closer. How much of a difference do you see between the two of them? I think you most recently had them 24 and 48, respectively. Thanks

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Well it’s tough to say much definitively about Perez because he’s so young and we’ve never really gotten to see him play, outside of the almost-daily alt-site highlight videos he generated last year.

      I think we get an all-fields hitter with a good approach in Perez. Harris is tracking as a 20-year-old finishing this year in AA, beginning next year at 21 in AAA, putting him on a rare path. He’ll be 21 all of 2022 and could debut at that age. I guess the main difference is Harris doesn’t have the same opposite field thump or pitch selectivity I think we’ll get from Hedbert, but I don’t think those 24 spots add up to a whole lot, in the net net. Hedbert gets a little boost for bringing ready-made name value, but Harris is getting some of that now, too. No issues with anyone making the swap in a short-roster dynasty where timeline matters a bit more than the standard(ish) dynasty that has about 300-400 minor leaguers kept.

  5. Jackson Bloom says:
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    I’m a rebuilding team in a 12-team 10×9 H2H category dynasty league. The offensive categories are R / H / HR / RBI / BB / K / SB / AVG / OPS / TB. I’m about 1-2 years away from truly competing. I just received a trade offer where I trade Kirilloff, Larnach and Nick Gonzales for Grisham, Downs and Crow-Armstrong. I know Downs has struggled so far in AAA and that PCA is out for the year but he’s a nice lottery piece for a rebuilding squad, granted his ETA is like 2024. I love Grisham and his profile in this scoring context but Kirilloff and Larnach are no slouches either with their power potential. Not to mention I love Gonzales’ long-term ceiling.
    Which side would you pick in a dynasty? Is it close?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Pretty close.

      Grisham is the best player though by a fair margin, and as you say, PCA is already a solid trade chip, and you’re buying low on a high upside guy in Downs. I like it.

  6. junior56 says:
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    Thanks for the prospect nuggets Itch!

    Liover Peguero is available in my12 team 6×6 Dynasty league. Would you swap him for any of these 3 prospects

    Robert Puason
    Leonel Valera
    Hedbert Perez

    Thanks

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Happy to bring the nuggets, junior56!

      Thanks!

      I’d make the swap for Puason.

  7. Dr Sauce says:
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    Hey, looking for opinions on stashing prospects. I enjoy the chase of the ‘hot new thing’. I’m currently stashing Bobby Witt jr and Vidal Brujan. I’m in first place by 10 points in this 12 team, 5X5 roto style league. We keep any 6 with no limitations/no costs etc. I have good keepers including guys like Acuna, Betts, Bellinger, Tucker, Bichette, Ohtani, K Hayes, K. Marte, Urias, Flaherty and a couple other decent potential keeper pitchers. In other words, Witt and Brujan would have to light the world on fire to become keepers.
    Anyways, an owner has offered me Framber and Jared Walsh for Witt and Brujan. My brain is screaming do it, but at this point I have not been able to pull the trigger.
    My thinking, I have a 10 point lead with the guys I have got. My pitching staff includes, Flaherty (IL), Urias, Trev Rogers, Gausman, Morton, Mahle, Marquez and in a pinch I could put Ohtani in there …
    I could put Walsh in my OF and move Marte to 2b and bench Cronenworth.
    Or I could continue with the guys I have and wait to see what i’ve got in the rookies. Do Walsh and Framber improve my team enough to give up Witt and Brujan?
    Sorry long winded, thanks in advance for your input!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hmmm the context really helps here.

      I wouldn’t do the trade either. I might try to get just Walsh for something, but that move as is would kinda load up the other’s keeper team more than I’d want to do, and as much as I like Framber, he’s not that kind of piece in my opinion.

      • Dr Sauce says:
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        Thanks Itch,
        Appreciate your confirmation that I’m not crazy for jumping on this deal. Thinking with my lead (big day today, lead is up to 15), I can afford to stand pat, wait and continue stashing. Gives me a couple of bullets later if injury strikes or I need to pay specific attention to a category or two. Otherwise, maybe Witt and Brujan come up, are productive and provide value for my team. I don’t think Framber and Walsh move the needle enough to pull the trigger!!
        Another quick one, what is Wander worth this particular league? Is an injured Luis Robert and Bobby Witt too much? Bobby Witt and Brujan? Ke’bryan Hayes (I have Austin Riley to cover 3b)? You like any of the above? Any suggestions given the info I have provided about my team.
        Thanks again, much respect!

  8. Jordan says:
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    Should I trade ke’bryan hayes for carlos corrasco and Jose urquidy I have Jose ramirez and Justin turner already? Any advice.

    • Short Porch Party says:
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      Hayes all day. Especially if it’s a dynasty league. See if turner works if u need the pitching

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Yeah I agree with Short Porch Party. I’d hold the three 3B even if it caused some roster issues.

  9. Philip says:
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    Itch, what is your Brett Baty long-term outlook? Will he stay at 3B? When will he make the show? What kind of hitter will he be? Thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Kind of flying up the board right now. Looking like a plus hit, plus power bat who’s got that rare outside shot at being double plus at one or the other or maybe even 99th percentile outcome of both.

  10. scoboticus says:
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    Don’t mess with the Johan!

    Do you think Mieses is better than Duran?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Nah, Duran’s an elite prospect now in my opinion.

  11. Hoseidan says:
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    Any thoughts on Bailey Over?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Always performed. 6’9” w plus command is a rare build. Adding some velo this year too. Very promising pitcher who’ll get a big dynasty value bounce with a couple more solid starts.

      • Hoseidan says:
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        Thank you!

  12. Oddball Herrera says:
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    Hunter Greene to AAA. Is this a guy who is just living off his velocity against overmatched AA players, or does he have legit secondary pitches?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Nah I think he’ll be a problem right away for big league bats.

      Off speed bar is much lower with heat like his, and if he’s commanding it, that fastball plays like more than one pitch.

  13. Steve Kooker says:
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    When do you think Brujan will be called up? I have little patience…

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I wish I knew, Steve.

      His problems are Walls and Kiermaier. Neither is good enough to block. Both are just good enough for Tampa to win with them. Brujan’s on the 40-man tho, and that’s PRIME real estate in Tampa Bay. I’ll bet sooner rather than later.

  14. Will Craig says:
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    Itch! Just offered Kelenic, Rodgers, Michael Harris for Yordan .. 12 team dynasty .. Enough? Hold? .. was able to flip Larnach for Greg Jones and Cronenworth this am as well .. middling team w excellent young core .. Thank you for all you do !

    • Mike L says:
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      Would just hold unless you aren’t in contention and then I’d take that deal.

  15. Will Craig says:
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    ** I have Yordan

  16. Moon Shots says:
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    I just love these articles Itch.

    May I ask for your wisdom May I ask for your wisdom?

    I’m in 30 team dynasty in full rebuild mode and my minors are mega stacked (brujan, Abrams, Luciano, Vaughn, matos, hedbert, Jason, blah blah) especially on the hitting side.

    I just flipped Puason for Westburg to accelerate the timeline a bit. Like it?

    Also flipped Shewmake for Seth Corry to boost my pitching side a bit and since I’m a Giants fan. Like that one? What do you think about Kyle Harrison as a target? Worth a decent hitting prospect to get him?

    Would you trade Luis Urias, Luis Garcia (nats) or Solak for Cavalli?

    I appreciate you!

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