Minor League Report: Honeywell dominates

Remember when I said this report was coming once a month? Well I lied.

The format will be changed slightly. There will be around 10 players (give or take) profiled weekly who are recently hot or cold, as well as a few small updates from players that were on previous weeks reports.

There will be hot and cold players that are top-100 level players, and some who are hot or trending up that are outside the top-100.

I am going to try to avoid the obvious names who are the cusp of a call-up. A lot of places are going to hit on the likes of Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner with their promotion imminent so no need to beat a dead horse here.
All stats are as of the end of games on April 24

Top-100 stock up

Brent Honeywell – Rays (A)

  • 2016: 24 2/3 innings, 0.73 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 26 K, 2 BB

Could he turn into this year’s Blake Snell? Starting the year in A ball, but flying up the ladder in the minors. He has a great screwball that should blow minor league hitters away. I expect his numbers there to be great. I worry that major league hitters will be able to hit that pitch. If he can keep his screwball as an above average pitch at the major league level he can be a number two or three starter in a big league rotation. I don’t see big time ace potential here but definitely an arm that will be a must own.

Hunter Renfroe – Padres (AAA)

  • 2016: .339/.381/.661, 7 2B, 4 HR, 4 BB, 15 K, 1 SB

Manny Margot is the big name in the system that people will be waiting on to get a call when the Padres continue to struggle, but Renfroe might be ahead of him in the pecking order. He is off to a hot start, and at age 24 he is getting to an age that he needs to be promoted sooner rather than later. He has some nice power potential that helped him get drafted 13th overall in 2013. His issues this season and last are the strikeouts. He hit 20 home runs last season, but it came with 132 strikeouts. Don’t be surprised to see him get the call this season if he continues to hit. Playing in the PCL could inflate his numbers a bit. Renfroe is another player where I see some quality major league stats, but maybe in his case it will be better to flip him using his PCL stats and a major league call up in your favor.

Wilson Contreras – Cubs (AAA)

  • 2016: .373/.421/.451, 4 2B, 0 HR, 4 BB, 7 K, 1 SB

There isn’t any power potential with Contreras, but he has a good bat that can provide a nice average from the catcher position. The Schwarber injury opens up a spot for him on the major league roster. David Ross is Lester’s personal catcher and a great clubhouse guy but nothing with the bat, and Miguel Montero is far from a great hitter. If Contreras continues to hit he could be up and the primary catcher for a team in the pennant race.

Alex Bregman – Astros (AA)

  • 2016: .340/.431/.660, 1 2B, 5 HR, 6 BB, 5 K, 2 SB

Tearing up AA so far this season. The potential is huge for Bregman. There isn’t a whole lot else to say. Even with Altuve and Correa manning the middle infield, I still don’t see any possibility that they trade him. Bregman might end up at third – either way he could be a future star. Even though he was placed on the DL Sunday. I wouldn’t expect that to change his timeline on reaching the majors.

Brendan Rodgers – Rockies (A)

  • 2016: .313/.380/.594, 3 2B, 5 HR, 6 BB, 14 K, 2 SB

Like Bregman, there is future superstar potential here. The Trevor story hype is at an all time high, but he will easily move to either second base or a corner outfield spot once Rodgers is ready. If you can get him, get him now.



Top-100 stock down

A.J. Reed – Astros (AAA)

  • 2016: .246/.323/.526, 4 2B, 4 HR, 7 BB, 13 K

His stat line doesn’t scream stock up or stock down; I would lean towards stock down though. The power will always be there. The average should climb 30-40 points, and I don’t think his future potential changed at all. The short-term expectations have taken a bit of a hit with Tyler White finding some success at the big league level. The longer White stays afloat the longer Reed has to wait for the call. In dynasty leagues, don’t worry. He will still be a big time power provider in future seasons.

Tim Anderson – White Sox (AAA)

  • 2016: .190/.190/.224, 2 2B, 0 HR, 0 BB, 17 K, 4 SB

Not a good start at all for Anderson. It looked like he would have a good chance to get a call in May or June moving Jimmy Rollins to the side. He has big time steal potential once he does get promoted, but the longer he struggles the longer he has to wait. I was back and forth on Anderson a lot this offseason – finally settling on liking him. Hopefully this is just a blip and he can snap out of it soon.

Outside the top-100 stock up

Ryan O’Hearn – Royals (A)

  • 2016: .380/.430/.718, 6 2B, 6 HR, 6 BB, 20 K, 0 SB

I became a fan this offseason after seeing what he did in 2015. He is following up a nice 27 home run season by hitting homers and for average early on. O’Hearn is still a few years away and is blocked by Eric Hosmer for the time being. If Hosmer doesn’t resign when his contract is up, O’Hearn could be the future first baseman for the Royals. The biggest thing I want to see from O’Hearn this season is a repeat in his power numbers. If he can put up another 22 plus homer season he could be a big sleeper coming into the 2017 season.

Ke’Bryan Hayes – Pirates (A)

  • 2016: .393/.426/.536, 5 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 SB

Hayes is only 19 but raking so far this season. There isn’t a ton of power right now, but that could increase as he gets older. He profiles as a .300 hitter who can provide 15 home runs if everything works out well. There is a lot of room to grow with someone as young as he is.

Colin Moran – Astros (AAA)

  • 2016: .304/.344/.411, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 15 K, 2 SB

General Manager Jeff Luhnow said he was on the short list to make the team, and his nice start helps his cause for 2016. Luis Valbuena being the primary third baseman helps his cause too. He isn’t a big time power bat, but he can hit for a nice average with doubles power. Unfortunately for him, Houston is a very right-handed friendly park for power. In deeper leagues he will be a great guy to have on your roster. In leagues with 12 teams or less there will be a lot of players like Moran on the waiver wire season to season.

Lucas Sims – Braves (AAA)

  • 2016: 19 2/3 innings, 2.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 31 K, 14 BB

Considering how highly touted he was after getting drafted in 2012 , he has fallen pretty far off the radar. He missed some time last year after suffering an injury in a freak bus accident. His promotion to AA last season came with some better numbers than he had in A-ball. Still only 22, there is a lot of potential for Sims to join the Braves this season. He has already earned a promotion to AAA, and if the handling of Aaron Blair is any indication, the Braves aren’t afraid to call up their prospects in a rebuilding season.

* * * * *

Checking in on players from the last minor league report

  • Josh Hader is still rolling along. His ERA is down to 0.53 and he has 27 strikeouts in only 17 innings.
  • Ozhanio Albies still isn’t stealing bases like one would expect. He is getting on base at a .408 clip and only has two steals with three caught stealing to show for it.
  • Yoan Moncada is going to be an MVP at some point. Great average and plenty of steals. His stat line has me super excited, and he hasn’t even homered yet.
  • Travis Demeritte has really slowed down, expectedly. After four homers in his first two games he has two in the next 13 with 27 strikeouts. Big power potential with bigger strikeout potential.

 

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Andy Germani
I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.