Pitching prospects are funny. Sometimes the best major league starters seemingly come out of nowhere. A mechanical tweak, or improved grip on a breaking pitch can sky rocket a prospect’S status to new heights. Sometimes, a high floor prospect that wasn’t getting too many prospect hounds or dynasty managers excited, progresses to the point of at least real mid-rotation upside. The later seems to be the case of the Reds AA righthander Tyler Mahle. On the heels of a perfect game just about a week ago. One in which, he made quick work of the 27 batters, throwing just 88 pitches. He produced another strong showing Friday, going 6 scoreless innings, striking out 6, and allowing 5 to reach. Mahle’s displayed pinpoint control throughout his time in the minors, and the results have been good outside a blip during his first go-at AA last season. A four pitch arsenal includes an average low 90’s fastball, a plus changeup, and a slurvy breaking ball. He’s not someone I foresee breaking a K per inning rate, but so far the swing and miss has been there, with 34 K’s in 32.1 innings. If Injuries to Reds starters begin to pile up, we might see Mahle in the big leagues by mid-July. As always Great America Ballpark is a horrible landing spot for any young starter, but I’m more inclined to believe in one with control and tendencies to induce weak contact (14.8%) and ground balls (44.4% GB).

  • Another week, another strong performance from Cubs prospect Ian Happ. He hit his 8th homer of the season in grand fashion, crushing a grand slam. As he drove in 5 in Thursday’s game. I feel like every week is rinse and repeat with this guy.
  • I wanted to update everyone on the status of super prospect Rio Ruiz. He hit a homer last night. .220 batting average be damned!
  • Don’t look now, but Bradley Zimmer slugged his third homer of the season last night, and is now hitting .282. If he can manage to keep the strikeouts under a barely acceptable level, Zimmer could be a good fantasy asset this year.
  • For the Gleyber believers like myself, there was a beam of light through the clouds yesterday. He struck his mighty thunder stick, the one producing a puke inducing .220 average, and hit a homer. His first of the season.
  • Dylan Cease bounced back from his worst start of the season, with a gem on Saturday. The Cubs top pitching prospect struck out 10 in 4.2 innings of work, allowing 6 walks, 2 hits, and 1 run. The stuff is filthy with Cease, an upper registers fastball with sink, and a hammer curve.
  • After struggling in his first callup to AA last season Christan Stewart is making the most of his second tour. At the moment the Tigers slugger is slashing .290/.395/.594 with 6 homers. The k rate is way down sub 20%, and the walk rate is still elite. He’s a fringe fielder, and a ready made DH type.
  • Washington Nationals outfield prospect Daniel Johnson is making some noise down in Hagerstown. The 2016 5th rounder is hitting .296/.351/.606 with 6 homers, and 2 steals. He’s shown plate approach as well striking out only 15.6% of the time. Definitely a player to add if you’re looking for a lottery ticket at the end of your minors. The league would have to be pretty deep though.
  • Update Callup: Rafael Bautista was called up by the Washington Nationals a hours after I posted this article. Bautista is an absolute SAGNOF, if he manages to see regular playing time. He should hit for a decent average, steal some bases and score some runs. There’s little to no power to speak of, but he could be Jarrod Dyson like with regular at bats. More than likely Michael Taylor sees the majority of at-bats.

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb

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JC3Bagger
JC3Bagger
5 years ago

Ralph, posed this question to Grey, but he suggested I ping you. What do you think the timelines are for Brinson and Hader? Some think Brinson could be up sooner rather than later, others think the Brewers will wait well past the super 2 cut. I’m much in need of a SP stash than someone like Brinson, but not sure Hader is too close at this point. If not him, anyone else I should target? What are your thoughts on Luke Weaver potentially?

Thanks!

Big Red Machine
Big Red Machine
5 years ago

I know he was just drafted but when do you see Senzel making an impact in the bigs? Appreciate the input Ralph.

Oddball Herrera
Oddball Herrera
5 years ago

By the way, what are your thoughts on Mazara? An adjustment away from stardom or a guy we’re always waiting on the power from? Is Brinson better in fantasy because of potential across the board stats?

BigE
BigE
5 years ago

Dynasty league: senzatela, jordan montgomery, fedde, or freeland

Currently own tim anderson but Happ, Albies, and K. Tucker are all out there. I’m a year away from competing and have russell, kinsler, rodgers, rosario to play the middle. Should i be targeting one of those 3?

And when do you think we could reasonably see Otani in the MLB?

Thanks!

OldMilwaukeePounders
OldMilwaukeePounders
5 years ago

Ralph & Razzballers,

One more question that just popped up….

12 team keeper league, standard scoring, keep 5 forever. I’ve got 5 very solid keepers (Trea, Rizzo, Springer, Mookie, Edwin). Currently, I have Bellinger but it looks like his stay won’t be long-term for now. Moncada’s owner just dropped him and I have #1 waiver priority. Is he a must add in this format?

Thanks!

Another Dan
Another Dan
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz:

Was expecting to hear much more noise from you regarding Bellinger, Ralph. In particular on a day when Benintendi also homered. Thanks to you I own Bellinger in more leagues than I don’t (he was sonovabench in a couple though !!).

What did you think of Yankee stadium ? I wasn’t that impressed and I preferred Citi Field more when we visited (think I heard Halp say the same thing). That said, it was a few years ago and we visited Citi Field a few times on the same trip, so I got to really like the place.

Best wishes,

Dan

einstein2u
einstein2u
5 years ago

any chance torres is up this year?

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

Thanks Ralph!

At this point what are your thoughts on Jankowski? Ok to drop him for Deshields?

OldMilwaukeePounders
OldMilwaukeePounders
5 years ago

Hey Ralph!

Got a trade proposal to run by you if you don’t mind. It’s a 10 team roto, 6×6 w/Holds&OPS;

I give: Segura & Kimbrel
I get: Carlos Correa & Ceasar Hernandez

Steals are my weakest spot, but this is still an upgrade, right?

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  OldMilwaukeePounders
5 years ago

@OldMilwaukeePounders:

I’d want Correa

OldMilwaukeePounders
OldMilwaukeePounders
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
5 years ago

@Malicious Phenoms: That’s my thought, MP. His inclusion makes me think it’s a must take

Mindicohn
Mindicohn
5 years ago

Just unloaded A.rosario and Urias for Sale,Oh and Ellsbury in 14tn dynasty. Need to restock my farm. Right now only bullets I have
Glasnow
Lourdes Gurriel
Rowdy Tellez
Fedde
Isan Diaz
Newcomb
R.quinn
W.calhoun

Its deep so most of top 75 are taken.
Contemplating dropping someone for
Alex jackson
Dylan cease
Dinelson lumet
Tristan mckenzie

Or do I stick w what I have and await the next hot prospect to crack top 100

Mindicohn
Mindicohn
Reply to  Mindicohn
5 years ago

@Mindicohn:
Forgot Jose De Leon as well…have him too.

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Mindicohn
5 years ago

@Mindicohn:

I agree with Ralph, Cease and McKenzie are special.

Packers
Packers
5 years ago

Ralph, I would like to stash a SS in a 12 team roto dynasty keep all. Torres, Rodgers and Albies are gone. This is a OPS league as well. Who do you suggest I stash. You have Barreto, Adames and Rosario ranked the highest. I’m looking for a 2018 SS.
K. Tucker is out their too, should I take him and wait on SS.

mrbaseball
mrbaseball
5 years ago

O. Arcia Mil – SS your feeling for him – I was offered him for Josh Hader in keeper league – Hader control is not there as far as I see and not sure how many years before he contributes

Not your average Joe
Not your average Joe
5 years ago

Hi Ralph! Always appreciate those who take time and keep the content going on weekends.

So I got two adds left this week. I’m dropping Corbin since I was only streaming him, and I’ll probably drop Duvall unless you think that’s nuts. The following players are all available and I’m debating them for various reasons: Piscotty (slow start, but peripherals suggest it’s just a slump), Schleber (hot schmotato of the week?), Pillar (hot schmotato of the month?), Dahl (DLing all chill), A.Wood (two starts this week), T.Walker (is he breaking out?). I

Thoughts on who my adds are?

12-team, h2h, 5×5, redraft.

C – Realmuto; 1B – Freeman; 2B – Dozier; 3B – Machado; SS – Correa; OF – Benintendi, Yasmany, Duvall; Util – C.Santana; Bench – Polanco

SP – Tanaka, Maeda, Duffy, Hamels, Eickhoff, Severino, Corbin (streamer)
RP – Holland, K-Rod, Bush, Kelley
DL – Odorizzi

Not your average Joe
Not your average Joe
Reply to  Not your average Joe
5 years ago

@Not your average Joe:

Oh, Triggs is available too, though his peripherals are all over the place.

Not your average Joe
Not your average Joe
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Great minds, King Ralph. Great minds.

James T Kirk
James T Kirk
5 years ago

Thoughts on Alex Jackson? Looks like the Braves have moved him to catcher! And he is finally hitting! Both have to boost his prospect status…right?

Pousse-Pousse
Pousse-Pousse
5 years ago

Does Zimmerman do anything well enough to be a real fantasy asset? The book seems to be: average killer (.220-.250 AVG); okay power (which I take to mean 15-20 HR); above average speed (15-20 SB).

Isn’t this just a poor man’s Joc Pederson?

Pousse-Pousse
Pousse-Pousse
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks. I hope so. I’m feeling depressed about the late-round prospect fliers I grabbed in my keeper league: Zimmer, Tommy Joseph, Josh Bell, Snell, Cotton, Tom Murphy, Margot, Buxton (ugh, not late round). Looking like zero hits out of 8.

At least I got Thames in the 20th!

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Pousse-Pousse
5 years ago

@Pousse-Pousse:
What is this Zimmerman’s first name?

Pousse-Pousse
Pousse-Pousse
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
5 years ago

@Malicious Phenoms: Whoops, I meant Zimmer.

Ryan Zimmerman is currently torching me in my weekly H2H league, so he’s in my head apparently.

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Pousse-Pousse
5 years ago

@Pousse-Pousse:
Yeah, that makes more sense..lol

Chet
Chet
5 years ago

Ralph, Brinson or Happ in a dynasty league?

Chet
Chet
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks!

BM
BM
5 years ago

It looks like Acuna is heating up. His owner knows what he has there, but I’m getting this crazy idea of offering Senzel and seeing what happens. Is that crazy?

Tigres
Tigres
5 years ago

Hey Ralph – Any chance that Robles gets mid-season call up for Nats, with Eaton now out for the season? Thanks for the regular updates!

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz:
Nats are calling up Rafael Bautista ( Ralphy Bats?)

E
E
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz:

What is SAGNOF?

Brian Blacklow
Brian Blacklow
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

When you say 2018, are you thinking he starts the year with the Nats? REALLY intrigued by him and could trade Edwin Diaz for him in a dynasty league.

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  Brian Blacklow
5 years ago

@Brian Blacklow: a RP for robles straight up in a dynasty. yes.

Oddball Herrera
Oddball Herrera
5 years ago

In other news Amed Rosario looks set to end April with a .400 average, which is ridiculous

Organigram Dan
Organigram Dan
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: If the Mets had the balls they would have called him up and played him at short where it would help the Mets defense and the pitchers. Cabrera is looking really slow at SS, and he is playing hurt. But they dont have the balls. Reyes and his below 200 average must be better right?

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz:
The Mets are a MESS. All their pitchers are hurt, Not sure what they are doing wrong but how could you have so many stud arms hurt..All their stud prospects are ready, but they would rather go with Reyes, Duda and Grandy..Old timers day at Shea, err, Shitty Field.

SOOOOOOOOO glad I am a Yankees fan! We know how to rebuild and we know how to win.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Geoff
5 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: his mets analysis lacked 100% analysis. Not smooth at all

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
5 years ago

@Malicious Phenoms: it’s pretty simple, they overworked nearly all of them, matz wasn’t probably ever healthy since he before he was in MLB. NY media pretty much dared harvey to overwork himself.