Giants prospect Marco Luciano went yard for the tenth time Friday night. He’s now slashing .344/.458/.680 through 33 games in rookie ball. Typically it’s tough to get excited about 17-year-olds (I used to refer to them as Long Shot Lolitas back in the day). But times are a changing, and some 17-year-olds are special. SIT DOWN Billie Eilish! I’m not referring to you. This is about Luciano, who cracked my Midseason Top 50 at number 24. Luciano has everything you want in a prospect – big projectable power, patience, defense up the middle, a bit o’ the old speed, and a hit tool that rounds everything out into one impressive package. Could he be next year’s Wander Franco? I won’t be here to find out so I get to make whatever nutty claims I want over the next four weeks! Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Mitch Keller, RHP | PIT – 12 strikeouts in six innings, but also served up four runs. Keller’s 123 strikeouts leads the International League, and his 3.56 ERA in 103 innings pitched is good for second. Those are decent numbers at a level where the ball is so juiced that even Mitch’s great-grandma Helen could have gone yard. In three starts with the big club Keller has been underwhelming, but if he’s going to put up Ks he could be a sneaky flyer in the late rounds next spring.
Luis Robert, OF | CWS – 2-for-4 with a homer (23). We now have a 56-game sample from Double-A where Robert hit .314 with eight homers and 21 stolen bases, and a 20-game sample at Triple-A where Robert has hit .337 with seven homers and five steals. If you’re in a keeper league and looking ahead to next year as your winning window, I’d just go ahead and stash Robert on your bench regardless of if or when he’s up in 2019.
Jesus Sanchez, OF | MIA – Traded to the Marlins for a pair of arms and immediately went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers (10, 11). Lost in some of the trade deadline hub bub was this big guy changing organizations. Sanchez is your prototypical right fielder with big power potential. He had struggled a bit in 18 games at Triple-A with Tampa Bay, but becoming a Baby Cake in the PCL should cure that mini drought. I’ve really come around on Sanchez this year (gross) ranking him 15th overall midseason after snubbing him in my preseason rankings. Hopefully Jesus forgives me.
Ryan Vilade, SS | COL – 4-for-5 with two homers (6, 7). Vilade is hitting .294 as a 20-year-old in the Cal League. That’s nothing crazy special, but it might also be just enough meh to be able to acquire him at a cheap price from a fellow dynasty owner. He may even be on the scrap heap. It’s a lottery ticket, but if Vilade starts displaying some game power (even if he moves off of short) his stock will rise. He’s a bat that I’m taking a flyer on before he hits Double-A next season.