Kristian Robinson (4-for-4 with a double) is slashing .307/.405/.592 with five homers in 25 games for Short-A Hillsboro. He’s one of the sexy prospects that I overlooked in the preseason and now he’s making me pay for it. Granted Robinson is only 18 years old, but his power and speed ceilings are fun to dream on. I’m not too keen on his strikeout rate (28%) but that’s probably more a reflection of his age than anything else. In the preseason, I comped him to Eloy Jimenez. That might seem crazy given he plays center and has wheels, but I think he’ll fill out and slide over to right in the long run. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Jo Adell, OF | LAA – (3-for-4 with two homers). The home runs were his 7th and 8th in just 32 games since returning from injury. He’s now hitting .371 for Double-A Mobile. I know I keep telling frequent commenter Al that he won’t be up this year, but maybe there’s a chance we see him before September if he keeps this up. The best news about Adell so far is that he is absolutely demolishing his strikeout rates from last year, whiffing just 18% of the time in Double-A this season compared to 31% last season. Small sample size alert, but still.

Blake Rutherford, OF | CWS – 3-for-5, with three 3-hit games in his last five. If you were one of the clever blokes who bought low on Blake, kudos. He’s certainly turning this campaign around, hitting .345 since the end of May after hitting .186 to start the season. I’m not a giant Rutherford fan, but there are some decent buying opportunities in dynasty when prospect fatigue sets in, and this might be one of them.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B | CWS – 2-for-4 with three RBI. Vaughan is my favorite player from the recent draft, and he’s off to a nice start in Kannapolis. Through his first seven games there, he’s hitting .346 with a .455 on-base percentage. He could move very quickly through the White Sox system (I’d guess on a 2021 ETA) and in my opinion is one of the top picks in first year player drafts.

Austin Hays, OF | BAL | 3-for-5 with a homer (9). Hays is about a week away from his injured list stint and he’s making the most of it. He’s hit in six of his seven games since returning, good for a .444 average. My guess is he’ll get somewhere around 80 plate appearances the rest of the way with the Orioles (based on Steamer projections), but then again you may want to take the under on that number given how long it’s taking them to give Mountcastle some at bats.

Spencer Steer, MI | MIN – 5-for-5, hitting .338 in 19 games with Elizabethton. When you play in leagues like I used to, you have to dig past the first round. That’s why you’ll see me highlight guys like Steer (a third round pick) and even Bryce Ball from last week. Seems silly, but when you’re in round four of a first year player draft in a league with 70-man rosters and 40-man minor league rosters, your ass is grass if the only players you pay attention to are first round selections. Anyway, back to Steer. I’m partial to middle infielders, and I like Steer’s sturdy profile out of Oregon. You might not see him on top prospect lists, but I think you’ll see him in the majors.

  1. Ciwa says:
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    Hi Mike!
    Thanks for every article about prospects, they are really accurate and useful.
    Do you think there is a chance we can see Luis Robert in the major before the end of the year?
    I stash him in a keeper league, but our rule is that a player has to do at least 1 AB in the major to keep it.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime! I do, I’m planning on including him in the August stash, since I think that’s when he’ll be up. I think at the very least, you’ll get your 1 AB in September.

  2. Trust the Process says:
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    Mike great stuff per usual… have one open spot in my loaded Minors.. forever keep 10 + 10 farm.. kind of have It narrowed down to Fraley, Rocchio, and Puason.. Any preference? Are you doing a mid season list? Thank you as always !

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Top 50 Mid should post Wednesday. Hmmm, I’d take Rocchio.

  3. Luvdarooks says:
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    Who do you value more and will be up soon or Pasche or waters for Atlanta in a 5×5 dynasty using BA ?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like Pache more. Both great specs though. ETA is a little trickier but I think Pache is up sooner too.

      • The Harrow says:
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        they’re almost back to back at P live too in their midseason top 100. apparently waters is very divisive among them.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Yeah, I wonder if it’s because their profiles are similar.

  4. RC says:
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    Urias & Tucker

    Any ideas on when and IF. Been stashing since late May….

    Many thanks,

    RC

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Pads brass has been saying soon for a while now. I’m wondering if the trade deadline will be the time for both to get their shot. Hold on a little longer if you can (might as well at this point).

  5. James Bolger says:
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    Mike:
    What do you think of Gallen’s performance so far? Worth holding?

    • The Harrow says:
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      i just saw him get dropped in 20 team dynasty (start 5 SP, 1 max BN pitcher), which is nuts.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Good lord.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah, he’s a def hold IMO.

  6. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    Great job Mike,yeah id love to see Adell move to the big show since i have him stashed in 3 keeper leagues

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Al! Keep the faith brother!

  7. Oddball Herrera says:
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    Have to agree on Adell. He doesn’t have many ABs in AA, and the Angels aren’t going to be anywhere near contention by the time he’s compiled more.

    Seems like the hype on Lux is starting to go through the roof. He’s a guy I’m thinking the Dodgers make room for this season – Taylor, Kike and Barnes really are bench bats on a contender.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think I’m more rooting for Al at this point than Adell haha. He’s a good dude.

      Yeah, I’m struggling where to place him in my rankings. I can’t disagree that he might be worth a peek.

  8. Another Dan says:
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    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the Steer and Ball tips.

    I am in a 30 team league with a 10 round FYPD (not including international guys). Any tips for sleepers you might suggest, outside the top 100 say ? And where might you draft them ?

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime. Check out the kid from the Cubs in the last post (Stumpf). You might be able to get him in the second or third round.

  9. Michael says:
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    I live in Forest Grove, OR, which is a small step to Hillsboro in order to watch the Hops (Short A – Arizona Diamondbacks). I look forward to go seeing Kristian Robinson as I have been wrapped up coaching my younger ones. Thanks for adding him to your column and if he is anything like Eloy (whom I drafted two years ago for keeper league) it will be awesome to watch. Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime man.! The next best thing to watching your kids play ball is watching somebody you have a share of in a fantasy league.

  10. Bruuuuce says:
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    Timing guess on Fraley? When a deal is made, or after the deadline? Especially if Haniger is done, makes sense for them to bring up a 24-year-old raking at the top levels.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      They probably want to give him more time at AAA, so maybe August? Otherwise, I think they would have called him up by now.

  11. ichirosan says:
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    Hi Mike,

    In my 16 man dynasty league I just got offered Benintendi for Robert + Manning. Thoughts? Maybe it’s recency bias, but I’m scared Benintendi’s upside isn’t as great as we once thought

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah that’s a tough one. Let’s say Beni’s bankable stats for the next three years are 15-18 homers, .280ish, and 15ish steals. Even if that’s all you get from Robert (and I do think he could swing that) you get Manning as the bonus chip. So I’d hold here and stick with the two specs.

  12. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    Los Angeles Angels: Jo Adell Continues To Do Jo Adell Things
    by Johnny Casey 1 week ago
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    Los Angeles Angels prospect Jo Adell has outperformed expectations throughout his entire career. After being picked by the Halos 10th overall in the 2017 draft, Adell felt as if he had something to prove.
    At 6’4” and 215 pounds, Los Angeles Angels prospect Jo Adell is an absolute force on the baseball field.

    Yet many scouts felt that despite his rare combination of athleticism, speed, and defense, Adell – who was a two-way player in high school at Ballard High in Kentucky – was a risk as a high draft pick. Some scouts contended that his high swing-and-miss ratio would not translate to high-level production at the plate.

    In his short time in the minors, his play has certainly indicated that the 9 teams who passed on him made a crucial mistake. Throughout 99 games across Low-A, High-A ball and AA last year, Adell posted a .290 average with 20 HRs and a .897 OPS.

    MORE FROM CALL TO THE PEN
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    In the aftermath of his fantastic 2018 season, he began this year as MLB.com‘s 4th-rated prospect, where he sits today. Baseball Prospectus is even higher on him, ranking him #2 in their rankings, behind only Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

    When our Halo Hangout’s David Rice caught up with him 3 weeks ago, Jo Adell was hitting .400 through seven AA games in Mobile. He’s only slightly slowed down since then. Currently, MLB.com’s No. 1 outfield prospect continues to produce eye-popping numbers at the plate: in 24 games with the BayBears, he’s hitting .360, with 14 XBH, 16 runs, 4 HRs, 4 SBs, and a 1.037 OPS.

    For the second straight year, he was invited to yesterday’s Futures Game, where he batted 4th for the AL squad and went 1-for-2 with 2 BBs. He also made a really slick catch out in right field.

    Brian Mullen
    @BostonBrian2015
    Jo Adell’s diving catch https://atmlb.com/2JHFeST

    1
    7:50 AM – Jul 8, 2019
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    Adell’s diving catch | 07/08/2019
    Jo Adell makes a stellar diving catch in right field for the second out of the 8th inning

    mlb.com
    See Brian Mullen’s other Tweets
    The Angels invited Adell, their top prospect, to spring training, where he hit .391 in 11 games, with a .462 OBP. He pulled his left hamstring while running the bases on March 9th and thought his season may have been over.

    Yet in addition to his All-Star stats and his undeniable athleticism, what makes Jo Adell so spectacular is his maturity. When discussing the spring training injury, he told Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated :

    What did I learn? That having a lengthy career is not all about physical gifts, but about watching and learning. I watched closely what Trout and the others did, to see if what they did – the way they made cuts for balls in the outfield, the way they studies pitchers – could work for me. I listened intently to the messages that were relayed by the hitting and outfield coordinators.

    It was all about adding chapters to my book of knowledge.

    Clearly, the 20-year-old has an emotional depth that matches his next-level playing ability. This year, Adell has teamed up with The Undefeated to write diary entries throughout the season. In his first entry with Jerry Bembry – published April 4th, 2019 – Adell wrote about his injury:
    “From the moment I started playing low-A ball last year, I’ve made it a point to work hard and never miss a day. For me, it’s tunnel vision and only looking forward.”

    Adell aspires to make a meaningful impact in his community, too. He cites LeBron James as one of his role models, and like James, Adell is giving back to his community in a big way. He already has his own charitable foundation in the Louisville area, called the Jo Adell Foundation.

    The Foundation’s programs include a 6-week project “centered on making a difference in the community through STEM, the Arts, or Entrepreneurship/Business” and a free baseball camp for 300 Louisville youth. He even sought help from guys like 2017 MLB Draft’s No. 2 pick by Cincinnati Hunter Greene to be a camp counselor.

    Embedded video

    Jo Adell Foundation
    @joadellFDN
    Thank you for coming to this account! The Jo Adell Foundation is looking for kind, hardworking people to help give back to the Greater Louisville Area community. Visit http://JoAdellFoundation.com to discover how you can be a volunteer, project leader, or a donor.

    101
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    Not surprisingly, the Foundation’s motto is “Work Hard, Be Kind, Give Back”. This is an ethos which Adell has lived by since he first decided he wanted to chase down a dream of playing professional baseball at 15.

    In addition to being a community ambassador and a philanthropist, Adell wants to be a shining example for aspiring African-American youth baseball players, too:

    “It’s important for African American kids to see more guys in the sport that look like them. When me, Royce Lewis [No. 1 overall pick by the Twins in 2017], and Hunter Greene were taken in the top 10 in the same draft, I have to think that there were many African American kids who looked at that on TV and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’

    “The important thing for us as black players is to let them know that the opportunity is there.”

    If Jo Adell started a business, and if I knew anything about stocks, I would invest in his company. The dude is a flat-out winner.

    The way he’s playing right now, we could be seeing him with the Angels by the end of the year. While there is no rush to bring him up, you can bet that Adell will maintain his “Work Hard, Be Kind, Give Back” mantra regardless of when he gets that call.

    One thing is certain, when Jo Adell writes, “People say I’ve accomplished a lot, but I’m far from done”, I believe him.

    NEXT: Cody Decker hits walkoff homer, retires
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    If he is in fact far from done, that is an exciting thing to hear for baseball fans

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Good info!

  13. Kruk_Ain't_An_Athlete says:
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    14-team 5×5 roto OBP league.

    We keep/protect 2 Minor Leaguers until they are called up and then can have them for two years.

    I just traded off Luis Robert (it hurt but I’m competing and the trade helped I hope) so I opened up a spot next to Wander Franco.

    Based on either pure talent/superstardom or the ability to help my team quickly choose a guy from this list of who hasn’t been taken in our league, please…

    Jarren Duran, Jake Fraley, Sam Hilliard, Taylor Trammell, Andres Gimenez, Nick Madrigal, Vidal Brujan, Jarred Kelenic, Victor Victor Mesa, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Joey Bart, Will Smith, or Drew Waters??

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Nice! Madrigal, Kelenic, Brujan

      • Kruk_Ain't_An_Athlete says:
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        Thanks!

  14. Just Baseball Thoughts says:
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    Thoughts on Trent Grisham? Is the helium as big in the prospect world as I think? Or am I the only one thinking that balloon is filling?

    He’s looking like a .250-.265 AVG 27-33HR and 20-25SB profile with very solid approach.

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