Tampa prospect Wander Franco (2-for-3 with a steal) was promoted to High-A this week at the ripe old age of eighteen. If he finishes out the year there, he could start the 2020 season at Double-A and a promotion to the bigs at nineteen wouldn’t be crazy talk. There’s not much to say about Franco that hasn’t already been said. He’s the best prospect in baseball with the chance to contribute in all five (or six) offensive cats. The big news here is that the promotion makes him the youngest player in High-A by a fair amount. The next youngest players are nineteen, there are only four of them in all of High-A, and they all play for the Padres. Fun facts for your next office birthday bash. Tell Karen that no the cake is not gluten free and yes she should stop referring to her cats as her “fur babies”. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…

Kristian Robinson, OF | ARI – 1-for-5 with his first homer, hitting .341 to start the season. Speaking of young studs, Robinson is the name to watch in the lower minors this season. He’s got the build and skill for contributions in all cats, although I think he’ll outgrow center and slide over to right, losing a step or two as he fills out but also making gains in the power department. As a rule I don’t typically invest in prospects this far away unless it’s one of those super deep dynasty leagues, but in Robinson’s case I’d make an exception and take the gamble in pretty much any format that has a minor league roster.

Keston Hiura, 2B | MIL – 3-for-4 with a homer, his 19th in the minors and 24th overall. If you roster Hiura at this point, you own two things; (a) a shrine to one of the best prospects in baseball who shouldn’t be in the minors; and (b) a voodoo doll of Travis Shaw that has been dismembered, stabbed, burned, dipped in boiling oil, and left on the interstate for a week. If the Brewers come up short in the Central division this season because they were too bull-headed and/or tentative about this situation, they get what they deserve. I think a trade is going to rectify this issue though, and that should be just around the corner.

Cole Roederer, OF | CHI – 5-for-5 with a homer (3) and a double (15). First, try saying his name without sounding like you’ve had a stroke. Good, now let’s look at whether he’s worth your time. Here’s what I said about Roederer coming into the season, where he ranked 4th in the Cubs system: “Roederer was a second round selection of the Cubs in this past year’s draft. He has above-average tools across the board and hit .275 with five homers and 13 steals in his first taste of pro ball. He also walked in 11% of his appearances, which is a good sign. Unlike Grey’s pentagram-shaped birthmark, which is of course a terrible sign.” I knew it! He sold his soul for the laughs! Roederer’s walk rate has dipped a hair to 9%, but all his numbers are in line with what he did last year. I’d follow him in just about every format outside of MLA and APA.

Nate Lowe, 1B | TBR – 1-for-4 with a homer (8). Lowe hasn’t had much of a chance with Tampa this year and now finds himself stuck in a Quad-A type situation with a club that is in the mix for the AL East title. An injury or trade could open things up again, and Lowe has certainly done his part – hitting .314 with five homers this month and walking at an 18% clip on the season. He’s still a decent stash in deeper formats and OBP leagues where his high-floor profile and on-base skills are a good fit.

  1. KCC26 says:
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    Hey Mike! In a 12 team mixed keeper, who do you like better for the next 2-3 years—K. Tucker or Bichette? Grey says Tucker, curious if you agree! If so, could you see owning Bichette over Tucker based on roster construction or do you prefer him regardless? Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Tucker but they are both top 20 prospects so if Bichette fits your team better go for it.

      • Kcc26 says:
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        Thanks! I have guys like Acuna, Benintendi, Alvarez, Riley, and Alonso that I can keep (lots of OF, lots of power). Current SS is Machado but I can’t keep him. Hence my Bichette lean…

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          No problem…makes sense.

  2. Harley Earl says:
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    Hey Mike,

    I’m one of those people who owns Hiura. In fact, I play in three leagues and I own him in all three: a dynasty and two keeper leagues. At this point, you just have to hold and see what happens next. On the subject of the Brewers and the postseason, I agree with you but I’ll take it one step further. Brewers GM David Stearns should be fired if Milwaukee somehow misses the postseason or winds up in the wild card game and loses. He’s making a serious mistake here.

    Last, what are you hinting around about a trade? Shaw on the move? Aguilar on the move? I know Hiura isn’t going anywhere. That’s been made abundantly clear. I’m just wondering what you think the Brewers have up their sleeve to alleviate this conundrum.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Right on. I’m wondering if they’ll try to move one of Shaw or Aguilar that’s exactly it. Which would also be a reason to keep running Shaw out there every day…trying to get him to catch a hot streak, pump up his value, and move his ass.

  3. Schoolboy P says:
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    Have your thoughts changed at all about Isan Diaz some your minor league preview. I’m currently rostering Odor and am hoping for a prospect call up for a reason to drop him.

    Hiura and Urias are owned of course. Any other 2b that is nearing a promotion get your juices flowing?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yes, biggest thing is he’s slashed that K% by almost 10, which is huge. He’s an option, you could also look at Garrett Hampson now that Rodgers is hurt.

  4. Neglectedandneedy says:
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    Dear Mike,
    Is that the same Karen who remembers her “grand dogs” birthday, but doesn’t have the time to come to her actual grandson’s all-star game or granddaughter’s dance recital? **Asking for a friend.**

    Hiura or bust!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Haha Yup that’s her!

  5. Mo Money says:
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    How long do you think it will take for Tucker and Urias to get called up?

    • LenFuego says:
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      The Astros outfield and DH so far this season:

      George Springer – .307, 17 HRs (made finals of All-star vote)
      Michael Brantley – .311, 11 HRs (made finals of All-star vote)
      Josh Reddick – .301, 9 HRs
      Yordan Alvarez – .327, 7 HRs (+23 HRs at AAA)

      So where the heck are the Astros going to play Tucker in a season where they are as well-positioned as any team to win the World Series and every place he could play is being manned by someone performing at an extremely high level?

      So for Tucker to get significant playing time this season, it is going to take one of those guys getting injured or the Astros trading him (which i think they are unlikely to do). And I say that as someone who owns him and would love for him to be called up and play regularly.

      • Oddball Herrera says:
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        I actually think the Astros bite the bullet and send Tucker to Detroit for Boyd. The logjam will not be fixed even next year (in fact it gets worse because soon we’ll be asking what they’re doing with Seth Beer). Cole is out after this season, Framber is more valuable and better in the bullpen.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Urias should be up in the next week or so. Tucker it’s a guess since he needs some things to fall his way. See LenFuego’s comment above.

  6. toolshed says:
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    Mike, what do you think of Vidal Brujan?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like him a lot. Ranked him pretty high in the preseason.

  7. DaveW says:
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    Where do you rank Kiriloff as a prospect given his AA struggles this season? Is he a top 10 overall prospect at this point?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah I think he’s still in that range…8-15ish.

      • DaveW says:
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        Would you trade brendon Rodgers for him given the frustrating rookie debut? Is either a long term fantasy contributor

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I like Rodgers over Kiriloff both now and later so I’d hold.

  8. Tom says:
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    Keeper league trade….
    Keep 6 forever
    My glasnow for chavis

    Feel like I have to accept…. glasnow probably done right?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Chavis.

  9. Jason says:
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    Mike-
    better stash
    Keaton or urias?

    who will have a greater contribution to my team this season?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Is Keaton supposed to be Keston? I like Hiura more than Urias.

  10. Mike L says:
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    What active player under 25 who’s playing should I try to acquire for Hiura since the Brewers want to be idiots? I need a good SS since I already own Albies and Moncada but who’s really worth it? This is a dynasty league but I’m in W now mode.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      You could try for Anderson. Good time to buy low with the injury, although it might limit his running in the second half and he’s 26.

      Maybe Torres, but I doubt you’d get him for Hiura straight up.

      • Mike L says:
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        Nevermind someone from the Brewers organization reads the comments ?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          HA! We did it!

  11. Rog says:
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    Thoughts on how Luis Urias’ power translates at the MLB level? He has reputation of being a light weight, but he has clubbed 17 HRs in 61 games at triple-A. If he gets the call prior to July (as Preller indicated), I’m curious what we can expect in three months.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think some of it will translate because it’s the same ball and I’ve always thought he had a bit more pop than folks give him credit for. On the other hand, the ball won’t fly out of Petco the way it does in Las Vegas. Cut it in half and you’ve got a nice conservative, realistic number. 8ish.

  12. Mike says:
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    Redraft, is owning Dylan Cease smart, dumb or who knows?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Who knows is always the answer, but I’d lean smart who knows because he’s one of the best pitching prospects in baseball and will get the call this year. You just have to be aware that there is always risk built into these pitching prospects.

  13. Joey says:
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    Drew Waters is Christin Yelich?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      huh?

      • Joey says:
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        He will be yelich 2.0. Lightning bat if not yelich who would you compare him too?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Ah I get it. Yeah I mean it’s possible. Right now I’d say he’s a 10/20/280 ceiling. but he’s only in AA so lots of room to grow.

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