Whatta day, here’s how it started. I woke up around 5 am, drank lots of coffee, did work stuff, got word around 8:15 that Alex Bregman would get the call this weekend and was set to join the surging Astros in Seattle. I then proceeded to pat myself on the back, throw a finger to the haters, and all the people who lived in the buildings I was prospecting in front of that called the cops on me when I was trying to make some money to feed my daughter. It was show and prove time for mi numero uno perspectiva fantasia. No longer would readers lament my existence while they starred down a dead spot on their rosters. For it was Bregman day and it was glorious. Then POOF it wasn’t, as A.J. Hinch decided to open his fat mouth and tell everyone that numero uno perspectiva fantasia Alex Bregman , would NOT be joining the team in Seattle. He did offer one assurance, Bregman could help the team down the stretch. Ahhhhh, hi A.J., my name’s Ralph, NO SH**. I’ve only been saying that forever. Doesn’t matter, he’s coming up. Maybe not this weekend, but maybe next week. Hell, maybe Monday! I’m the captain of the SS prospector, and I will sink this ship before I change course! Knowing I was writing this post for today, I thought “how appropriate everything is coming together for Ralph, The Summer of Ralph!!!”. Meh, enough of that let’s talk about the rookies that will give your redraft team a boost in the second half.
Alex Bregman, SS/3B Astros: “Heyyyyyy, you were just talking about this guy.” Yeah, no shizz dummy I done been talking about this guy.” He’s pretty much the Leonardo of my prospect ninja turtles. He went 3 for 5 in the Futures Game and finished a homer run short of the cycle. He’s done all he can do in the minors, it’s time to unleash this beast on the world. He’s going to give you slashline nirvana, with average, on base skills, and power, all part of the package. His multi-position eligibility will only boost his value.
Trea Turner, 2B/SS/OF Nationals: Welp, he finally got the call before the break, god damn I hope this one sticks. Turner gives the kind of varied production and counting stats potential that wins championships. The power won’t be eye-popping, but the speed will be close to that, and he’ll help you in batting average. Let’s hope Dusty doesn’t screw this one up.
Lucas Giolito, SP Nationals: He was demoted pre-break to keep him on a regular schedule, he should be promoted again this weekend. You saw how good he can be, and that he’s also still a rookie in his first two starts. Expect more of the same but he’ll have his moments of dominance.
Aaron Judge, OF Yankees: This one comes with a qualifier, how hurt is he? If the PCL sprain is minor and he’ll be good to go by say August 1st, he could have a major impact on how home run and RBI categories are decided down the stretch. He’s 24, there’s no reason to hold him down for the zombies that make up the Yankees lineup.
Josh Bell, 1B/OF Pirates: In his first three plate appearances he’s 2-2 with a walk, a grand slam, and 3 runs scored. Yes he’s scored in every at bat he’s had in the majors, he also has more runs than at bats. Give him the reins at first and see what happens, Pirates!! John Jaso’s emergence has only had minimal financial gains for the organization based on t-shirts sales in the lots of the current Dead & Co. tour.
Jose de Leon, SP Dodgers: Since returning from the DL in early June, De Leon has made 7 starts and put up some pretty eye-piping numbers in the hitter friendly PCL. How eye popping? Try on a 13.35 K/9 to a 3.34 Bb/9, and a 3.03 ERA. He’s been a little homer prone, but Dodger Stadium and some road dates in San Diego and San Francisco should help. He’s a big K pitcher, and probably would have been up already had it not been for injuries. In fact I wouldn’t be shocked if De Leon provides more value than Urias in the second half of 2016.
Hunter Renfroe, OF Padres: If I told you I knew what to expect I’d be lying. He’s a Padres hitting prospect, reliant on home runs to really be of value. That’s not to say he won’t hit enough homers to be of value, but I’d be cautious. He’s nearly allergic to walks, this lowers his floor in my opinion.
Manuel Margot, OF Padres: The Friars really do have a handful of potentially impactful prospects in close proximity. Margot for my money, long term at least, could be the best of them all. There’s a bit of a log jam now with Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton Jr., Jon Jay, Alex Dickerson, and Travis Janikowski. I’d be interested to see if any of the aforementioned trio of Kemp, Upton, and Jay find a one way ticket out of town. If so, that’s when you’ll see an outfield of Margot, Renfroe, and Dickerson.
Tyler Glasnow, SP Pirates: I feel like I should cut and paste the Giolito blurb, but I can’t because only one sentence makes sense. You saw the good and the bad on Glasnow in his one start. He can dominate one inning and get himself into a jam the next. The strikeouts will always be there.
Carlos Asuaje, 2B/3B Padres: Yet another Padres prospect, you’d think they have a chance to be good in a few years. I’m not sure that they have great prospects as much as they have close prospects. Asuaje was the throw in the Kimbrel deal and he’s gained a ton of buzz in the first half performing nobly in minors.
Jordan Patterson, OF Rockies: Recently Patterson has seen time at firstbase with AAA Albuquerque, this is a good development for a potential promotion to Coors. The lefty bat offers some 5 category production, with his weakest asset, his power, getting a boost in Denver. Once again, we would need some trade help to clear up a log jam, but a few of these will happen. Patterson is a worthy flier for a power/speed guy on a bad team in a good hitting environment going nowhere.
Jeff Hoffman, SP Rockies: A big upside arm who’s stock has been hurt by his future at Coors. Jonathan Gray and Tyler Chatwood, have shown Rockies pitchers can be useful in spurts, and Hoffman has as much ability, if not more, than both of them. His 4.03 ERA in the PCL on its face looks unspectacular, but he’s had two awful starts over the last month that have inflated his ERA.
David Dahl, OF Rockies: This one seemed like a bit of a long shot as recently as a month ago. Even though Dahl was raking at AA Hartford I expected him to remain on the Yardgoats until late July. That didn’t happen, he was promoted to Albuquerque on Independence Day and has done nothing but mash since joining the Isotopes. If only they stayed in Springfield. I’m still skeptical of a promotion to Colorado before September without a string of injuries or trades going down, but it is Colorado so both are viable.
Ryon Healy, 3B Athletics: He’s been killing the PCL in the first half, and looks like he’s ready to get his first run in Oakland. Should provide a little pop, with average and on base. He’s shown the ability to do all three the last two and a half seasons across three levels. Though I wouldn’t expect the slugger we saw in AA early this term.
Orlando Arcia, SS Brewers: Admittedly, I’m lower on Arcia than many in the prospect world. Why you ask? Because he looks like a .260 hitter with speed, at least for 2016. His numbers aren’t gaudy for playing in one of the better hitting environments in the minors, so I’d temper my expectations.
Joey Gallo, 1B/3B/OF Rangers: In terms of talent and ability we’re talking one of the top 5 players listed in this post. The problem is, where does he play. He’ll surpass his rookie limits at some point in the next three months. The question is, will it be in July, August, or September. Should be added immediately in all leagues upon promotion.
Jake Thompson, SP Phillies: Since making a mechanical adjustment following a May 31st schalacking at the hands of Norfolk, Thompson has been lights out. How lights out? Try 4-0 over 7 starts with a 0.79 ERA, a .204 batting average against, and an increased GB%. He’ll never be a K/9 stalwart, but he’ll have his useful moments as a streamer.
Braden Shipley, SP Diamondbacks: The D-Backs top pitching prospect has been solid at AAA Reno this year, and pitched in yesterday’s AAA mid-summer Classic. His profile of low K/9 and rough home park make him less than desirable. I prefer the aforementioned Thompson a touch more.
Jesse Winker, OF Reds: I was extremely excited for Winker coming into the season, and while his average and OBP have been up to snuff, the non-existent power kills his value. Too bad because he’s shown mid-teen power throughout his professional career. He’s also shown the ability to walk more than he strikes out, with walk rates in the mid-teens.
Robert Stephenson, SP Reds: Another much ballyhooed Reds prospect that’s been less than advertised at AAA. He’s now been passed over by each and every pitcher he could be passed over for in the upper levels of the Reds system. The walks are an issue, starting to wonder if he might be better suited for the pen. He’s here because he could get hot and string together some solid starts.
Joe Musgrove, SP Astros: Was phenomenal in AA earlier this season, but has struggled here and there during his stay in Fresno. He started the futures game, and has sported solid K rates, and Bb/9’s in the low 1’s throughout his time in the minors. Could see a few starts here and there.
Alex Dickerson, OF Padres: Has been solid in his 18 games with San Diego so far in 2016. During his time in AAA earlier this year Dickerson slashed .382/.425/.524. Seems like a guy who could schmotato his way into your lineup.
Longshots With Some Buzz: Players that might not be up until September if at all, but there’s something that makes me not want to dismiss them altogether.
Yoan Moncada, 2B Red Sox: This is a long shot, but much of this tier is. If you saw the Futures Game then you know why there’s so much fuss about him. If there’s an injury to Pedroia in the second half the calls for Moncada will reach red alert levels. The Boston ownership is far more susceptible to fan influence than they’d like to admit. Plus he looks big league ready. Dombrowski’s waxing poetic about his success with promoting directly from AA when questioned on Benintendi, tells me it could happen. If he does find himself in the Red Sox lineup, OH MY GOD!!
Andrew Benintendi, OF Red Sox: If you read the above blurb on Moncada then you know that Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski mentioned that he wasn’t opposed to promoting players directly from AA. I do feel we see Benintendi and Moncada at some point this year. Whether it’s with the Sox is a matter of debate. Benintendi is easier to part with than Moncada. It’s not strictly a talent thing either, it’s the $35 million they spent to sign him, and the additional $20-$25 million in penalties for exceeding their pool. Is it possible that Benintendi could be showcased for a week or so, and then moved? Maybe but not likely, a more likely scenario is that the duo see Boston sometime in late August to early September. Anything earlier would be due to injury. I’ve said this a million times but it bears repeating, Benintendi and Moncada are 5 category contributors and will have a very real impact in fantasy.
Gary Sanchez, C Yankees: We’ve been hearing about Sanchez for what seems like forever, but he s still just 23. He played in last nights AAA all-star game for the International League, going 0-1. Wouldn’t be shocked if we see him this month.
Dan Vogelbach, 1B Cubs: Played for the PCL side in last nights AAA ASG. I wanted to see him many three letter capitalized groups I could use in a sentence. Vogelbach, has continued to hit, slashing .312/.426/.547. Ideally he’s traded to an American League team in need of a DH/1B, and starts immediately. Seems like a real possibility.
Here’s some players that are talented and in AAA, but more than likely will see minimal time in MLB this season, limiting their impact.
Josh Hader, SP Brewers, Austin Meadows, OF Pirates, Alex Reyes, SP Cardinals, Nick Williams, OF Phillies, Harrison Bader, OF Cardinals, Amir Garrett, SP Reds, Reynaldo Lopez, SP Nationals
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