Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez (3-for-5, HR, 6 RBI) won’t turn 19 until this winter. The right fielder is hitting .296 with ten homers and a steal through 66 games at Single-A West Virginia. Hanging with the big boys! To put that in perspective, there are only five players in all of Single-A who are 18 years old. One of them is Wander Franco, arguably the best prospect in all of baseball. Franco is hitting .318 with six homers and 14 steals through 62 games. Outside of the steals, Julio is right there with him. This is why Rodriguez made a big jump on my midseason list to 23rd overall and why he’ll probably jump again come fall/winter rankings season. To put that perspective in perspective, Luis Garcia of the Phillies (a “normal” 18-year-old) is hitting .195 at the same level. If it was big brain time and you’ve owned Julio Rodriguez for a while, pat yourself on the back and enjoy. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Kevin Cron, 1B | ARI – 3-for-5, 3 HR (35, 36, 37). Cron is still significant for a couple of reasons: (1) he has a chance to keep his prospect eligibility meaning fantasy players can keep him in their minors heading into next season; and (2) he leads the minor leagues in homers. The next closest players are Seth Brown (34) and Kyle Tucker (32). Those two players both have about 150 more plate appearances than Cron. It would be one thing if he was selling out for the dingers, but he’s walking at a 16% clip and striking out in just 20% of his appearances at Triple-A.
Franklin Barreto, MI | OAK – 1-f0r-3, HR (15) and his third homer in his last four games. Okay, not a prospect anymore, but he’s in the minors and a commenter recently reminded me that this guy still exists. Barreto is 23 now and hitting .280 with 15 homers and 13 steals for Triple-A Las Vegas through 82 games. As far as playing time, it looks like both Semien and Profar will head to arbitration next year and free agency the year after that. Then there’s Jorge Mateo, who’s also ready to contribute to the big club. Your guess is as good as mine as to how this all shakes out, but there’s probably a good reason the A’s are hanging on to this guy.
Luis Patino, RHP | SDP – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K. This was Patino’s debut as a Double-A…Sod Poodle? Go home, minor league team names. You’re drunk. Apparently a “sod poodle” is a prairie dog, but you can’t name a team the Prairie Dogs because Sod Poodles sounds so much better. I quit. Anyhoo, this was the seventh time Patino struck out seven or more batters in his last eight appearances. Very much excite about this 19-year-old. Padre arms are a helluva drug.
Michael Gettys, OF | SDP – 3-for-4, 2 HR (27, 28). Man, I remember Gettys from my first stint here at Razznation. He’s 23 now, and it looks like the scouting reports are becoming reality. He’s more toolsy than Bob Vila with 28 dingers and 12 steals, but he consistently strikes out at a 30% clip. We’ll see if that connects at the next level, but he’s knocking on the door now and I’ll take a power/speed guy on my roster all day.