Baltimore shortstop prospect Gunnar Henderson (2-for-5 with a triple and a homer) is riding a seven-game hit streak in the GCL. Henderson was a second-round pick for the Orioles in this year’s draft (42nd overall). There’s not a lot to get excited about right now in Baltimore, but if you play in dynasty league, I’d scope Henderson as a long-term project with a potentially sweet payoff. At 18, Henderson is 6’3″/190 with a nice left-handed swing that can make contact and hit for some power. Like a lot of shortstops, there’s talk of a slide to third if he doesn’t have the defensive chops, but his bat should play at either position. Henderson’s K-rate is a touch high at 23% but he also has a nice walk rate (11%) through 70+ plate appearances. Check him out if he’s available and you’ve got a roster slot to play with. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Matt Manning, RHP | DET – Six innings pitched, zero earned runs, zero walks, ten strikeouts. Noice. I mentioned this start in Mize’s blurb on Wednesday. I’m in love with both Detroit arms. Mize is banged up, but there’s nothing stopping Manning from getting a start or two as we move towards fall, and he’s definitely going to be one to watch next spring. The only thing that could derail him at this point is a complete meltdown in Triple-A where he’ll have to throw balls supplied by Tropicana.
Nick Madrigal, 2B | CWS – 2-for-4. three runs scored for AAA Charlotte. Don’t look now, but Madrigal has cruised through two levels (about 50 games each) this season, just one year after being drafted by Chicago. He’s finally hit a wall in Charlotte, batting just .233, but that’s in only seven games. It looks like Madrigal could be a legit threat in the spring, which speaks to his pure hitting ability. I’ve tried not to gush, but he’s one of my favorites. I’m a sucker for a pure bat. Fair warning, power is not his game and it may never develop. He’s more of a speedy table setter.
Nolan Gorman, 3B | STL – 3-for-4 with two homers (14, 15). Both homers went over 425 ft. Another 2018 draft darling, Gorman is a good bit behind Madrigal developmentally (HS v. college after all) but his profile is sexier for fantasy, mainly because of the raw pop. I had Gorman and Madrigal ranked 10 and 11 respectively on my midseason list. Gorman is striking out a lot this year (29%) and that will have to be corrected for everything to gel. Plenty of time to figure it out though. I’d expect him to play in Double-A next season as a 20-year-old – which is pretty impressive and will really test his bat.
Brusdar Graterol, RHP | MIN – 1.2 innings with three strikeouts for AA Pensacola. Graterol is working his way back from injury, and Twins brass has already alluded to his promotion down the stretch. If you’re looking for arms that could make an impact in your fantasy playoffs, Graterol struck out 46 batters in 47 innings with a 1.80 ERA for Pensacola in April and May. He should be built back up and ready to join the Twinkies in a few starts.