Adley Rutschman (1-for-4 with his first homer) made his pro debut on Friday night. He was the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft (Orioles) and debuted at #37 overall on my recent Midseason Top 50 list. That’s pretty high for a fantasy catcher, so obviously we’re expecting big things from his bat. He’s a plus hit/power backstop and along with Vaughn and Bleday is a 60 overall (above average) profile among the recent draftees. On top of the talent, he’s also a college bat that shouldn’t take forever to cook (the way a lot of catching prospects do). Similar to Joey Bart if you’re looking for a recent (albeit lazy) comp. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Royce Lewis, SS | MIN – 3-for-5 with a double. Not an especially sexy statline to mention, but Lewis is hitting .302 in July after hitting just .227 across the first three months of the season, which is the larger point. I think a lot of folks were getting impatient with Lewis at High-A, but 20 isn’t ancient for that level and he’s still a very talented player (a first-rounder from 2017). This is why I tried not to ding him too much in my recent rankings (7th overall). I’d expect a strong second half but maybe a similarly long adjustment period once he reaches Double-A.
Ian Anderson, RHP | ATL – Seven innings, five hits, zero walks, ten strikeouts. That’s good for 59 strikeouts to just 12 walks in 44 innings since the beginning of June. This is all happening at Double-A Mississippi, and if you’re looking for next year’s Chris Paddack, Anderson might be your jam. It’s especially painful as a Philly guy to see just how stacked this Braves organization has become.
Monte Harrison, OF | MIA – Out four to six weeks with wrist surgery. Harrison was actually having a decent year in Triple-A with nine homers, 20 steals, and a .284 batting average, but this will pretty much close the book on his 2019 campaign. After Diaz, Harrison is probably the best offensive prospect the Fish have, so it’s possibly he’ll get some extra reps in the AFL and a shot at the Opening Day roster next spring. I hate to see guys like Harrison – who’s been grinding since 2014 – get hurt right on the cusp of making it to the Show.
Gavin Lux, OF | LAD – 1-for-4 extending his hit streak to 16 games. Yeah but he didn’t hit a homer after hitting six in his last five games so what good is he? Lux is playing the video game on easy, hitting .491 with six homers this month for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Lux jumped all the way to #13 on my midseason list, and debuted in Grey’s buy column this past Friday. He’s the hottest prospect in baseball at the moment. Not to be outdone, DJ Peters (3-for-4 with two homers) launched a ball out of the stadium – his 19th homer of the year. We see you Triple-A. We see you.
Luis Urias, 2B | SDP – Called up to the majors. I’ll say it. What the hell took so long? If you survived one of the most epic cases of prospect blue balls in recent history, I tip my cap to you. Let’s hope this stint goes better than the one earlier this year and they just let the kid play. He’d actually cooled off a bit in Triple-A, hitting .272 with six homers and three steals in June and July.