Royals 1B Vinnie Pasquantino received his long-deserved promotion to the major league club this week and was promptly sent to the bench. Here’s hoping the decision was born from travel-related rest and not a sign of Matheny nonsense to come. My money’s on Vinnie P playing every day and adapting well to the challenge of learning major league arms.
Diamondbacks 3B Deyvison De Los Santos turned 19 on June 21 but was smashing Low-A ball long before that, slashing .342/.385/.543 with eight home runs and four stolen bases over his last 46 games and a scalding .422/.451/.663 four home runs and two steals in 21 June games. He won’t be in Low-A much longer. He’s already kind of a Named Guy and might not be on the wire in your league, but I suspect he can be pried away for a reasonable trade offer.
I went off on the Tigers in Sunday’s post: Stash List Volume 4: Esteury Ruiz is Ready for His Close-Up.
“I can’t deny I’m a little pissed off at the Tigers development team. I don’t understand why I take this kind of stuff personally, but Kerry Carpenter has played 172 games at AA as a 23-and-24-year-old. He has hit 37 home runs across those games. He is slashing .311/.376/.662 with a 176 wRC+ and 22 home runs in 60 games this season after posting a 102 wRC+ in 112 games last season. I guess it’s none of my business, but what in the gray hell is going on here? By the way, most tigers are orange, white and black, in case anyone involved with the organization cares to know. Or you could get into white tigers with their piercing blue eyes. These blegh gray day onesies they wear now? Worst use of a mascot in uniforms today.”
Had some fun writing it but looked a little foolish in the end. Long story medium: I’ve been on a trip with a lot of driving this week, so I had to get ahead by a day or so on Sunday’s article before we left on Saturday morning for leg-three of a multistage journey, this leg involving a 10 a.m. checkout time in St. Louis and a 4 p.m. check-in time in Rolla, which was two hours away. Our daughter will turn four years old on July 4, for some context of how that six-hour stretch of in-between time might have gone. While I was driving into a cell phone deadzone for our family vacation by the lake, the Tigers were promoting Kerry Carpenter to AAA, where he went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, and a stolen base. I’m not mad about it, in the long view. Just a timing-of-the-universe thing. (PS: I still think it was overdue, especially given the state of the organization.)
Speaking of that stash list, it might be worth your minutes to add Cardinals OF Alec Burleson where you’ve got some room in spare. Harrison Bader just hit the IL, and injuries across that Cardinals outfield should allow Burleson to muscle his way into the lineup for a chance sooner than later.
Speaking of injuries, Oakland 3B Jonah Bride was just divorced from his first big league chance due to injury, and the Athletics could turn any number of directions with those at bats. Seems like Sheldon Neuse is the man of the moment, but 3B Dermis Garcia (24, AAA) has three home runs in his last five games and is slashing .345/.429/.759 over his last nine games. I hope we see him soon because there’s not a whole lot to watch in Oakland. Nice to see SS Nick Allen join the club this week, and maybe he’ll cover some of the third base at bats, but he’s a defender first, and Garcia has double-plus power that would be a nice find if he can make just enough contact.
In his last 20 games, San Francisco OF Grant McCray (21, A) is slashing .352/.406/.604 with four home runs and nine stolen bases. The Low-A stolen base numbers are deceptive, but I like to see a player taking advantage of that fact. McCray aces the eye test in general but struggles a little with strikeouts. Even during this hot streak, he’s striking out 29.7 percent of the time. I don’t care much at the moment though, as the 6’2” 190 lb left-handed hitter just oozes major league ballplayer in the batter’s box.
San Francisco OF Vaun Brown turned 24 this week on June 23rd. Happy belated birthday, Vaun! He’ll be old for the level throughout his minor league life, but the power-speed profile is too loud to ignore. A 10th round pick in 2021, Brown hasn’t met resistance as a pro and is already rocking a .556 on-base percentage with five runs and two stolen bases in two games at High-A after slashing .346/.427/.636 with 14 HR and 23 SB. Might matter less in a lesser organization, but a 24-year-old Brown opening 2023 in AA could easily be a Top 100 prospect and not just here where we prioritize fantasy outcomes.
At 6’2” 280 lbs, Toronto RHP Max Castillo synthesizes three things I like to see in pitchers: comfortable base mechanics, easy command, and a thick but athletic midsection. I suspect it’s not a coincidence that we find all three in Alek Manoah, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and to a skinnier extent, Kevin Gausman, three of the organization’s bigger pitching investments in recent seasons. Castillo’s fastball, slider and changeup work well together. The heater and slider have big horizontal break in opposite directions, and the changeup has none. Does very little, actually, the changeup, and it might get mashed once in a while, but if he’s courageous enough to throw it at the right times, it will work.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.
Hey Itch, sorry this isn’t exactly related to this piece, but curious about something you wrote recently — how to differentiate between someone who can carry a fantasy team and just a “good” prospect.
In my case, I’m trying to decide whether to trade Jeremy Pena in a 12-teamer with unlimited keepers but escalating keep costs. I have him at a great price but not sure how tightly to hold since I’m competing for a title this year.
But also just wondering how you think about this generally. Sometimes I feel like I should always make these trades because the prospect mill churns out new, exciting players faster than this league keeps up. But I also fear trading a foundational building block for a rental that ends up not being a difference maker. Feel like I don’t really have a framework for deciding…
Itch, Did you see what Detmers did back in AAA in his first start? I can’t figure this one out; the talent level is signifcant between MiLB and MLB, but going from a 16.2 K/9 to 7.83 K/9 in MLB (and a 6.83 K/9 this year) is insane!!! A deep dive on this would be very interesting.
I did, and it is fascinating.
The fastball shape doesn’t matter quite as much against AAA hitters, I think, but major league hitters are so good that the pitches have to surprise or deviate from the norm on their way to the plate, and Detmers’ heater moves almost exactly how an experienced hitter will predict it should.
I wrote something last year about how he could become a cutter-slider guy stealing early strikes with the curve. I’ll see if I can find it but totally agree that he’d be a great subject for a deep dive article.
Thanks for all of the good updates this season. I am in a 20 team H2H Keeper league that has 3 NA spots during the season, and I have on 1-2 potential keeper spots for rookies/NA for 2023.
I have been holding Jose Barreos, Gabriel Arias and Triston Casas, but had grabbed Jonathan Aranda and Reid Detmers. Now they have been sent down and Gavin Stone and Kerry Carpenter are available.
Who are the top 3, and are any of the others coming up soon enough to use a bench spot on?
Thanks in advance!
Great question! Nice and concise with the particulars but enough context to build a real answer.
I’ll put Detmers, Stone and Carpenter on the list.
I think Aranda is the best short-term player of the group, but Tampa’s so tough to crack I’d place my bets elsewhere and react fast if/when his next window opens.
Actually on second thought, I’d do the same with Casas: add him now and react if fast if Carpenter got called up.
so that’s Detmers, Casas and Stone with fast fingers on Aranda and Carpenter.
Dang I’d like to hold all five : )
I would too if you think they [Carpenter and Aranda will be back up soon. With 19 other fingers waiting, its tough to be the first one, and I have them now.
a lot of the time it’s not even necessarily rest related but simply that the player couldn’t arrive early enough to do the normal pregame stuff (that stuff goes on for hours, we’re to believe that all these teams can schedule properly, really, then remember some of their other wrong-headed decisions etc). don’t freak out when you see a prospect not starting his technically 1st game in MLB (this doesn’t apply to itch). they didn’t send away c-sant so cam gallagher gets more starts. obviously when salvy’s back playing time of course might be an issue as then it becomes dozier or one of the CI OF’ers has to lose time or vinnie would (as it likely won’t be mj or salvy)
Good call. And we never really know when that guy got the news, how good that traveling secretary is, how tight the travel was that day, etc.
tons of variables. did he drive or get a cab/uber, train, plane,what. any of those can have issues. how far was he away when called up too. we just see the blurb and it’s easy to not have any clue about any of these or few and just be so happy we’re imagining great first game already.
i know for some reason in hockey it’s more often actually reported “player x was called up today but won’t be in tonight’s lineup (often traveling given as reason, and i’m not talking about canadian corona rules or visa issues) is far more seen in hockey than baseball. it’s that hockey teams practice a LOT earlier than baseball (for a 6-8 pm game they’re practicing at like 10-12 in the morning/early day) so here that’s an extra info edge, but injury news is actually often worse (less accurate), as assumptions get made (by the blurb writer(s)) that many hours in advance that often aren’t the case 6+ hours later. from the practice times there is more early day info released.
Much appreciate the fine work as always sir, have a great rest of the week.
Thanks, David Niven!!!
Hey Itch, always useful and timely intel … much appreciated! I play in an ESPN 6 player keeper league (no limits). My current crop of keeps is Acuna, Bichette, Tucker, Robert, Ohtani and Witt. I also have arms such as Musgrove and McClanahan. Thinking I’m pretty well situated keeper wise! Loving Corbin Carroll and as such have him stashed (we have relatively deep benches). In past years, similar stashes have netted me Acuna, Bobby Witt, Tatis (who I traded last year for Bichette and Robert). The ‘stash’ strategy has worked well!
Currently I’m in a tight race for 1st place in my league. I have a few holes in my lineup. Given my keeper situation, would you be willing to move Carroll for a guy like Matt Olson (thinking buy low) or maybe Carroll and my 1st round pick for a guy like Trout. Or do you think Carroll’s upside is so great that I’m going to want to move one of my other keepers to have him around next year?
Thanks for reading, look forward to your response. Appreciate others chiming in as well … thanks
Thanks, Dr Sauce!
If you can make improvements without moving Carroll, I think that’s worth your trouble, but I’m on board w that Trout trade if not.
Olson one is fair, but I’d hold Carroll.
Awesome, thanks Itch!
What about Betts instead of Trout? Are you down with that deal as well? Cheers
Carroll down with the traditional MiLB mystery injury.
He could be out for 12 months, he could be back next week, who knows? Thanks Sod Poodles!
Interesting tidbit is that their GM said he would absolutely not be skipping AAA
Incidentally if you do come across info on his injury I would love to hear it. The optimist in me hopes that the non-disclosure indicates it’s just Covid and not an ACL or something
Such a weird baseball universe where that’s almost a relief at this point.
Itch – Would you drop Tyler wells for Castillo? Or wait it out and see how he looks. 7ks in 4 innings in his last start is nothing to sneeze at and he throws pretty hard. He also has dominated AAA this year. Don’t want to wait too long and miss out
Kinda depends what you need and league size. Wells is in the rotation and pitching pretty well but is unlikely to get many strikeouts and is basically a FA level SP in 15 teamers. Castillo is sort of the opposite. Can’t pencil him into the rotation yet but strikeouts and solid ratios could be in the cards if/when he gets an opportunity. I think you’d be right to add Castillo in the general sense but not in deep deep leagues.
Vaun Brown. He’s old for A prospect, correct?
I know nothing of him, but what about his skills set makes you think he can be a top 100 next year?
Football background might leave some hidden room for development. He’s a great athlete, and the Giants are extremely adept at developing hitters. Power, speed and plate skills are the tickets to a Top 100 spot.
I always appreciate your articles. I find deeper prospects that help build my team.
Nick Allen is of interest. I do deep mix leagues and I am looking for guys who help everywhere. Looking at his numbers, he has a little pop, little speed and a good average.
I think he MIGHT be a 10 hr, 15 stl guy currently for an entire season. Perhaps 5-6 and 10 this year, since he missed a 1/3 of the season or so. Losing Mondesi hurts my ssteals, but helps my OBP.
My SS position is in pain and very think. What do you expect from Allen ros? I am wondering if I should pick him up, I am rolling with Parades and Cronenworth as my infielders and looking for a backup.
Thanks for the kind words, Vash!
Yeah can’t hurt to pick him up. And I agree he might be stretched to bring even 10 HR imo but the steals are reasonable.
James Wood has been crushing A ball since his return from injury. I’ve seen him on the backend of a lot fo top 100 lists. What is his upside and what type of prospect do you think he develops into over the next year or so?
before that the SD preseason page:
then we got the 1st year player rankings:
or the OF specific preseason rankings:
Huge thanks for the help here! I love James Wood. Ranked him 46 on the update.
Was on the road for 8 hours yesterday. Sorry to anyone who needed a quicker reply than I could provide.
Looking to see if Burleson is available!! Thoughts on Leody Taveras? Strikeouts are low, hit a bomb today…sitting on the waiver wire, drop Madris or Oliveres for him?
madris not a big issue to drop there, but watch leody’s playing time. i’d not drop ed O (unless the playing time gets worse, but if dynasty still rather have him out of those 3)
I agree. I just added Leody in a 15 myself hoping for some power, speed and playing time.
Thanks for all of your articles Itch, I really enjoy them!