Padres prospect MacKenzie Gore continues to dominate in High-A. The 20-year-old lefty struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings last night, lowering his 2019 ERA to 1.02. He now has 110 punch outs in 79 innings pitched and is holding lefties and righties to averages of .122 and .141 respectively. While I do think he’ll earn a promotion to Double-A in the second half of this season, it probably won’t be until next year that he’ll impact fantasy teams, maybe even earning a spot in the rotation a la Chris Paddack. The only thing that might stall his arrival is the fact that the Padre rotation is already lefty heavy. That’s picking nits though. If Gore pitches with anything close to this type of success in Double-A, it’ll be hard not to see what he’s got in spring training next year. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Nate Lowe, 1B | TBR – 3-for-4 with three homers (10, 11, 12). That brings his average up to .290 on the year. Lowe has come up in the comments quite a bit lately, but unfortunately he’s stuck in limbo right now. Fantasy owners may have to wait until 2020 to get consistent production out of him. I do think he’s the type of high-floor prospect with just enough power to warrant sticking with until then.
Estevan Florial, OF | NYY – 2-for-6 with a homer (4) and showing a pulse with a four-game hit streak. It’s been a slow first half for Florial in High-A. I like him as a prospect, but you want to see a 21-year-old punish High-A pitching, or at least strike out less than a third of the time. His stock is down for me and he’ll probably slip a few slots in the midseason ranks.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP | OAK – Left his start with lat tightness. Ruh-roh. I may have given him the kiss of death on Sunday by announcing his imminent arrival. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and only costs him a start, but I’d watch the situation closely. Shoulder injuries are no joke. The first injury was a rotator cuff on his pitching side (left) that cost him three months and this is a lat on the same side.
Carter Kieboom, SS | WAS – 3-for-5 with a homer (14) and multi-hit games in three of his last four. We haven’t talked much about Kieboom lately since he returned to the minors and is essentially blocked at the moment. But he slashed .322/.451/.544 with four homers in June and is still one of the best prospects to own. He just needs a chance to produce regularly. That may need to wait until next spring unless something opens up around the trade deadline.
Isan Diaz, 2B | MIA – 2-for-6 with two homers (19, 20). I’m officially putting the stash tag on Diaz now. That’s Starlin Castro hitting .264 at the keystone for Miami and there’s no reason to keep Diaz penned up in Triple-A all year. Maybe they make Diaz wait until 2020 when they can exercise their club option on Castro, but there’s nothing left for Diaz to prove with the Baby Cakes.