Doesn’t it feel as though every year, a college hitter is taken near the top of the draft and immediately takes to the lower levels like a fish to water? In the grand tradition of recency bias, Nick Madrigal has emerged as our early favorite for the superlative “first to the majors”. Despite going 0-for-5 Saturday night, he’s hitting .389/.390/.472 with 2 steals through 10 games at Low-A Kannapolis. Here’s the remarkable thing, across 51 plate appearances between the AZL and Sally League he’s yet to strikeout. Zero. He hasn’t walked a ton, drawing a free pass just twice, and he hasn’t shown a ton of power either, he’s yet to homer in the 15 games he played. Instead knocking just two doubles. Hopefully due to the quality of contact he can fall into a dozen plus homers in his prime years. So I suppose that begs the question, is it a “better in real life” profile? There’s a good chance that’s the case, he could be a .285 hitter with 10-14 homers and a dozen steals. That’s a solid player, but it’s not what you’re looking for at the top of your first year player draft. That however is worst case scenario in my opinion. The ceiling looks like this; the power develops into a 17-20 homer number, with a .300+ batting average, and 15 or so steals. He scores a ton of runs, your team loves it, and everybody gets ice cream. That’s not a pipe dream to wish on either, this kid’s hit tool is a legit 70. That alone should give him a pretty good shot at being a top of the order, run producing type of player. I’m a big fan of Madrigal, and believe in the upside, but I’d be remiss to not mention the downside. Here’s some other players of note in MiLB.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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One of the things I’m tasked to do around these parts, is to identify the ETAs of some of the best and brightest prospects. Often the most difficult part of my job is weighing need vs service time vs development for each of their respective clubs. Sometimes numbers, even in the high minors, can be deceiving. Not to mention, each team has a unique approach to its handling of home grown talent. One player I’ve been asked about, almost as much as any in 2018, is the Astros Kyle Tucker. While Tony Kemp, Jake Marisnick, Josh Reddick, and Marwin Gonzalez split time in the Houston outfield, Tucker waits. The waiting game however, has not halted Tucker. Instead, he’s been in full fledged assault-mode the past few weeks, slashing a silly .400/.444/.650 with 9 runs, 8 RBI, a homer, and a perfect 4-for-4 on the basepaths. The lefthanded hitting Tucker has the ability to contribute in a full 5 categories in roto leagues, bringing an advanced approach, and a swing conducive for power growth. He’s worth stashing and streaming in RCLs, on the off chance he gets the call, and is 100% a priority stash in deeper mixed leagues, though he’s likely owned. Tucker is a top five fantasy prospect at the moment and needs your attention. Here’s what else I’ve seen over the past few days.
Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kyle Tucker smokes a 400ft sac fly. 1-0 Fresno. pic.twitter.com/bXyPT1dzeK
— Koby Farries (@kobyf98) June 16, 2018
We should just stop freaking out about Fernando Tatis Jr every April. He hates April. Tatis dislikes April the way the Joker dislikes Batman. All the native son of the world’s greatest fake Microsoft Paint artist has done is slash a cool .350/.421/.621 with 7 homers and 7 steals since May 1st. It gets even better! Over his last ten games Tatis is hitting .390/.432/.585, including a 4-for-5 performance last night where he scored three runs, drove in three, and stole a base. Are you excited yet? You should be, Tatis is a true middle infield talent with the ability to hit for power, run, and get on base at a fairly high clip. Now for the question on all of your minds; “when’s he up, Ralph?” Ehhh, you’re not going to like this answer. But, what reason do the Padres have to call him up? Net zero. He’s just 19, and will be for the entirety of the season. Likely the earliest we see Tatis is September, outside of some whacked out scenario where every usable middle infielder is injured. My guess is we’re looking at a June 2019 ETA, there’s a chance that timeline is moved up depending upon what the next few months look like, and how the Padres look a year from now. If their window opens earlier than expected, we could be looking at the Acuna timeline. I traded Tatis for Ozzie Albies in one dynasty recently, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of regret it. Crazy. Here’s what else went on in MiLB the last week.
Fernando Tatis Jr. HR #10 pic.twitter.com/VaA8jSZcz1
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) June 1, 2018