“No one who speaks German could be an evil man.” There may never be another show as perfect as The Simpsons in its heyday. Guten Tag! It’s time to talk about Rays prospect Nick Schnell (3-for-4, 2 HR). The 19-year-old outfielder has four homers and four steals through 33 games in rookie ball albeit with a not-so-gut strikeout rate. That’s about what to expect from the former first-round pick. He’s a power-speed combo with just enough smarts at the dish to make it all click. I see Schnell as a left-handed bat that should be pretty easy to acquire in dynasty formats right now. I’d bet on him becoming a major league regular. Maybe it’s his height/frame (6’3”/180) or his lefty swing, but he reminds me a little of Yelich. You’ll need to be patient though, as Schnell still has several levels to work through – ETA is probably late 2021/early 2022 at best. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Junior Fernandez, RHP | STL – Promoted to The Show. If you need a reliever for your fantasy squad, I’d check this guy out. He’s 11-for-12 in save opportunities with 76 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched and held his own in the PCL (AAA), where they play with the same petroleum rocket balls that they do in the majors. He’ll be the low man on the pole (gross) to start, but I could see him working his way into higher leverage situations quickly.
Kevin Smith, SS | TOR – 3-for-4 with a homer (17). Something’s off with Smith this year. He’s hitting .217 in Double-A after hitting over .300 across two levels last year. The power’s there, but his strikeout rate has ballooned to nearly 32%. That’s a big step backwards. Looking deeper into last year, his K% went up 7% when he made the jump from from A to High-A. If this pattern continues, he’ll strike out nearly 40% of the time in Triple-A! Egad! No reason to panic. It’s more likely he’s a prospect who just needs longer to adjust and we’ll see his bat-to-ball (ouch) skills swing back the other way next year.
Casey Mize, RHP | DET – Six innings, one earned run, seven strikeouts. Mize has been playing good start/bad start since he returned to action, and I’m not totally convinced he’s 100%. Luckily there’s only about four weeks left in the minor league season, and he’ll get a fresh (and hopefully healthy) chance to join the Tigers next spring. In other Kitty news, Matt Manning struck out nine in his last start and will be on the bump again Friday. I dig both of these cats for 2020 leagues.
Cristian Pache, OF (2-for-5); Drew Waters, OF (3-for-5); and Ian Anderson, RHP (3 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB) | ATL – Good lord it was a promotion party for the Braves. All three of these specs packed their bags for AAA Gwinnett this week. I really like all three of these players, but choosing between Pache and Waters is tough thanks to similar profiles. I’d be tickled to own either of them. The Braves are stacked for the present and the future, and as a Philly guy typing that sentence made me throw up in my mouth a little.