Happy Sunday gang, time for another Razzball look at what’s become the most important commodity in our favorite game– prospects. Our “Prospect Primer” reflects a handful of the prospects I’m keeping a close eye on heading into Week 20 (for both shallow and deep fantasy leagues). In our constant attempt to frame information and discussions to be as helpful as possible to our readers and fantasy owners, we’re restructuring our bi-weekly prospect columns (Sundays and Wednesdays) to focus on the more “well-known” prospects (our Top 50/Top 100) that are likely going to affect shallow to mid-level fantasy teams.
We will continue our “Panning For Gold” series moving forward for owners in deeper leagues, but these won’t be a regularly-scheduled feature, but keep checking in for true “sleepers” daily… I’ll continue trying to “shine the light” on players that may not impact your leagues in the short-term, while revealing players you might scoop your fellow owners with as time warrants and permits.
Disclaimer: the bi-weekly lists AREN’T a “re-ranking” of our Top 50/Top 100/Organization Lists. The players mentioned will typically be guys that owners in somewhat regular leagues NEED to be aware of (regardless of their current level) to keep from slipping behind as they want to stay competitive in “keeper leagues”. There may be a sleeper mentioned from time-to-time, but they may be more important to managers in deeper and more long-term leagues. The players listed aren’t in any particular order (you’ll notice they’re listed alphabetically), they’re simply guys you need to keep an eye on and someone you might be interested in targeting when you’re wheeling and dealing.
Now it’s time to refill that cup of coffee or take your lunch break and open your spreadsheets – here’s who I’m tracking over the next few days…
(Slash stats are through Friday’s games.)
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC — Someone mentioned Theo’s quote about not promoting Bryant this season in the question section of Wednesday’s column, but I’m not sure what else he has to do to deserve one – he went 8-19 with 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, and scored 10 runs since last Friday. He’s now slashing .341/.448/.688/1.135 with 33 2Bs, 37 HRs, 96 RBIs, and a 70/133 BB/K Ratio covering 416 ABs between AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa so far this season. Javier Baez got the earlier call, but has shown his major flaw in his handful of ABs at the MLB-level – lots of swing-and-miss to clean up. If there’s a minor league hitter that’s more “ready” for a taste of “The Show” than Bryant, I’d love to know who he is.
J. P. Crawford, SS, PHI — Carl’s favorite 19 year old nephew experienced a not so unexpected hiccup as the Phillies continued to aggressively challenge their #16 overall pick in last year’s Draft by pushing him to Hi-A Clearwater earlier this summer. The 2 bombs he hit Friday night likely signal that he’s making the necessary adjustments. The heir-apparent to Philadelphia’s all-time hit leader (Jimmy Rollins) has now upped his season slash line to .288/.377/.405/.782 with 20 2Bs and 9 HRs, and is hitting .304 over his last 22 games.
Tyler Glasnow, RHSP, PIT — I was slightly surprised when no one mentioned Glasnow’s absence from Wednesday’s list since I keep touting him, but he made sure he forced his way back onto the “hot list” by not allowing an earned run over his last two starts – one of which was particularly dominant. Tyler followed up his 6 shutout IP against the Brewers’ Brevard County (Hi-A) squad with another 6 IP/2 hit effort while striking out 11 hitters against the Marlins’ Jupiter affiliate Thursday night. Through 100 innings, Glasnow has now limited opposing hitters to a scary .171 BA with a 1.53 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and a 122/51 K/BB Ratio. Get ready Pirates fans – a Gerritt Cole/Jameson Taillon/Glasnow front three could be a possibility as early as late next season.
Jake Lamb, 3B, ARI — Jake finally got his call Thursday, and as I’ve mentioned a few times earlier it could be even a little later than it should’ve been. Don’t let his 1-8 start scare you – Lamb’s going to hit. He went 9-18 with 4 2Bs, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, and scored 3 runs in the 7 days before his promotion, raising his 2014 slash line to .327/.427/.566/.973 with 39 2Bs and 15 HRs between AA and AAA. Lamb didn’t flinch during his short time in Reno, and he’s definitely capable of making the necessary adjustments to be successful against big league pitching.
Henry Owens, LHSP, BOS — Yet another of Boston’s stable full of high-end pitching prospects put up another dominant outing in his most recent start. Henry spun 6.2 shutout IP against a Columbus (AAA) lineup featuring Francisco Lindor and James Ramsey in his International League debut, striking out 9, walking 3, and giving up only 2 hits. Before his promotion to Pawtucket, Owens baffled Eastern League hitters while compiling a 2.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 126/47 K/BB Ratio, .201 BAA, and had allowed a miniscule 89 hits during his 121 IP while at Portland. Expect to see Owens as one of several Sox’ Pitchers to potentially get a spot-start between now and the time they shut him down for the season.
Dalton Pompey, OF, TOR — Toronto’s Futures Game representative is on a tear of late – slashing .459/.524/.622/1.145 with 2 2Bs, 2 3Bs, and 5 SBs over his last 10 games. His numbers haven’t dropped off at all since the Jays bumped him to AA, and his impressive 14/18 BB/K Ratio since his promotion signal that he should be able to join their OF mix no later than the 2015 All-Star break.
Carlos Rodon, LHSP, CHW — The White Sox’ braintrust said Rodon’s on the “Chris Sale Plan”, and that should become evident soon. He’s pitched 5 shutout innings in his last two appearances for Winston Salem (Hi-A), striking out 8 and walking 2 while allowing 4 hits. We should see him get a couple outings with AA Birmingham before getting a call to get his feet wet at the major league level before being given a chance to crack Chicago’s rotation next spring.
Luis Severino, RHSP, NYY — Severino continues to impress, rapidly becoming the best Yankees’ “find” since Dellin Betances. They’re taking it understandably slow with arguably their best pitching prospect since Phil Hughes, and he seems to be responding. His last outing for AA Trenton was his longest since his promotion – 5.2 IP with 2 hits allowed striking out 7 hitters while only walking 2. He hasn’t flinched at all, and has limited opposing Eastern League hitters to a .185 BA.
Don’t forget you can follow me and my prospect thoughts on Twitter @clvclv_razzball.