Welcome back to the mad scramble that is September in the prospect world. The commotion is dying down like a house party with an empty keg, but there’s still ample opportunity to make a connection, to link eyes across a room, to trade smiles through the backbeat, and to gain a few standings points or add a key piece for your head-to-head playoffs. Coffee is for closers, so get yourself some caffeine, block out the Antonio Brown sound, and finish strong like Kolten Wong.
Speaking of, keep an eye on his little brother 2B Kean Wong—just called up by the Rays. His stat lines are less intriguing than his bloodlines, but he slashed .307/.375/.464 across 113 games in the International League. Hitting 10 home runs with the bouncy ball they use in that league isn’t going to get anyone drunk on fantasy dreams, but Tampa is a strange organization, especially since they hired King Midas as a Special Assistant to the General Manager.
San Diego Padres RHP Ronald Bolaños looked good in his first start at Arizona, and he might be on tap for at least one more. He finished last season with 125 innings and has 136.1 this year, so he could get as many as three more turns if he’s effective.
Philadelphia Phillies C Deivy Grullon hit 21 bombs in 108 AAA games and slashed .283/.354/.496. He’s not going to play much but is an interesting low-end option if he’s in the lineup.
Arizona Diamondbacks SS Domingo Leyba is back in the big leagues but seems blocked. He’s been just better than league average (107 wRC+) with the bat in AAA and doesn’t run well enough to help there. Still, he doesn’t strikeout much; 16.6% is the high-water mark for his entire seven-year career. I’ll be tracking him, but he’d have to put together a strong stretch to bump somebody off my roster.
San Francisco Giants OF Jaylin Davis got promoted an hour after my last piece went to press, so it’s my constitutional right to mention him again. Here’s what I wrote in my first ever post as the human prospect curator for Razzball:
“In 24 AAA games since being traded from the Twins to the Giants for RP Sam Dyson, OF Jaylin Davis is slashing .356/.442/.756 with 10 home runs. The Giants are getting Dodgerish production out of corner outfielders Alex Dickerson and Mike Yasztremski, but Davis appears to have mastered the level and should get a pod of coffee at some point in September.”
So that’s my first instance of me quoting me. But that doesn’t tell the full tale. Davis blasted 35 home runs this year and can fake center field in a pinch. He won’t have to do so for now because Dickerson is battling his oblique, and even if he makes it back, the Giants might like to see Davis audition as captain of their out-sized outfield before the off-season. I have a lot of L.A. confidence in this Giants front office, so my feelings for Davis are bolstered by the fact they identified him, traded for him, and fast-tracked him. He will be one of my favorite power-sleepers in 2020.
Also mentioned in last Sunday’s post, Pirates RHP James Marvel will debut Sunday (today, if you’re reading on publication day). The 25-year-old Duke graduate honed his command navigating the juiced-balls of AAA to the tune of a 2.67 ERA and 1.12 WHIP across 60.2 innings. I’ll be picking up some shares to see if Mr. Marvel can carry that success into his first few MLB starts.
Texas Rangers LHP Kolby Allard is not who we thought he was. When I saw him last year, he was a herky-jerky crossfire type trying to get by on deception. This year, his mechanics are much cleaner, more streamlined and on-line with home plate. This has refined his command and enabled his velocity to spike. His 2018 heater checked in at 89.7 miles per hour. This year, he’s averaging 92.8. I even saw him hit 95 the other day. If the new delivery and velocity are what we see from Allard moving forward, I want as much as I can get. Your trade deadline is probably behind us, but I’d make an offer if not, and I’ll be buying again in 2020. Word is the new stadium will be much closer to neutral than the ballpark in Arlington, and while that’s impossible to know for sure, we do know it will be climate controlled. Gone are the days of 100-degree games in July.
Well that’s my time for today. Thanks for reading and good luck in your fantasy stretch-runs!