Minor league report: Judge finally shows in game power

The dog days of summer are here as the calendar goes from June to July. Just because you are out of the race, and even those in the race, don’t let the middle of the long season get to you. Stay on top of the minor league markets and find the next A.J. Reed that goes from off the radar to top-25 from one season to the next.

Top-100 stock up

Aaron Judge

  • June 12-26: .370/.491/.913, 2 2B, 7 HR, 10 BB, 12 K, 2 SB
  • 2016: .266/.351/.486, 14 2B, 15 HR, 33 BB, 76 K, 5 SB

All I can say is finally. The power is finally showing up in games for Judge. He has nearly doubled his home run output for the season during this stretch while hitting for a pretty high average. I don’t think an average over .280 is sustainable for him, but he won’t be in the Chris Carter range of average. I had concerns about him because the power wasn’t showing up in games, but this recent surge has lowered the concerns a little. There is still 30 and 40 home run potential in his bat.

Outside the top-100

Jabari Henry

  • June 12-26: .294/.400/.784, 1 2B, 8 HR, 7 BB, 19 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .245/.341/.490, 2 2B, 11 HR, 19 BB, 50 K, 1 SB

Henry isn’t really a prospect in the way you would think. He is 25 and was was a 39th round pick in 2012 out of college, and he still hasn’t made it past AA. With all that being said it is hard to ignore his 30 home run season in 2014. The power is coming back again as he is on pace to hit 30 again. Henry is a really deep league flier. He is already older, but could get a call at some point and provide some solid numbers for a handful of seasons. I am not saying he is going to be Adam Duvall, but he is in a similar situation – A lot of time in the minors and called up to the majors at a later age and hit the ground running.

Thomas Szapucki

  • 2016: 6 innings, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 13 K, 0 BB

Now that is how you start the season. Szapucki was a fifth round pick out of high school last year and only had one start. He signed a little over his draft slot in order to keep him from going to college. It will be interesting to follow his season, but at his age and his level this should be just that. Don’t add him unless its a deep league, but don’t let 13 strikeouts in six innings, for his first start of the season, be forgotten.

Sean Reid-Foley

  • Last three starts: 20 innings, 0.45 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 19 K, 4 BB
  • 2016: 71 innings, 2.41 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 74 K, 25 BB

He was recently promoted to high-A and debuted with a 12 strikeout performance. His best pitch is his fastball, and it has helped him be a big strikeout pitcher so far in his short minor league career. The big concern, like a lot of minor league pitchers, is his ability to consistently throw strikes. Throughout his time in the minors he has averaged a 12.5 percent walk rate. The good news is the rating has improved at each stop. The high walk rate have also hurt his ERA and WHIP. If he can keep his walk rate where it has been in 2016, or improve, he could be making some heads turn before long with his strikeout numbers.

Scott Schebler

  • June 12-26: .352/.410/.630, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 13 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .301/.346/.526, 10 2B, 7 HR, 10 BB, 38 K, 0 SB

Schebler was the losing half of the Cincinnati position battle with Adam Duvall. Scheduler struggled mightily in April and May but has really turned it on in June. For the entire month he has a 1.163 OPS with six of his seven home runs coming this month. He has two seasons of 27 plus home runs on his minor league resume and has similar potential of Duvall. If Jay Bruce gets traded Schebler could find his way into more playing time.

Austin Hedges

  • June 12-26: .409/.460/.955, 3 2B, 7 HR, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .364/.418/.739, 6 2B, 9 HR, 7 BB, 12 K, 0 SB

Hedges technically isn’t a prospect anymore; he has 137 major league at bats and has exceeded the rookie threshold. Ignoring that, Hedges has been on a tear in the minors this season. It could be attributed to the hitter friendly PCL, or maybe Hedges finally figured it out. He is a catcher so really anything he can do is interesting for how bad catchers have performed for fantasy purposes. I don’t know if I buy the 20 plus home run pace he is on. I do think he can hit close to .300 at the major league level with 15 or so home runs. Anything near that at the catching position is a top option.

Cause for concern?

Amir Garrett

  • Last three starts: 16 1/3 innings, 3.31 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 K, 11 BB
  • 2016: 82 2/3 innings, 1.96 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 82 K, 34 BB

Garrett has really struggled to throw strikes in his brief minor league career. In 414 innings he has a 9.6 percent walk rate. I wrote on his upside earlier this season, and I still believe there is a lot of upside here. I was hoping that he could make a short debut in the majors this season, but if he can’t figure out the walks he might be making his major league debut as a 25-year-old.

Robert Stephenson

  • Last three starts: 16 innings, 5.63 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 12 K, 10 BB
  • 2016: 75 2/3 innings, 3.93 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 60 K, 40 BB

Another Reds pitcher that has some upside and struggles with control. Stephenson is closer to the majors; he made a brief debut earlier this season, but the upside is far lower. The walk rate in AAA this season is 12.3 percent which is in line with what he did last season. The strikeout numbers are solid, but not nearly as enticing as one would hope with his walk rate. I would try to move Stephenson if I could.

Checking in

  • In case you don’t follow any news Lucas Giolito is getting the call to the majors.
  • Josh Bell is still rolling along, hitting .349 in his last 10 games.
  • Jake Thompson has thrown 14 2/3 innings and allowed only two runs in his last two starts. The bad news? Only six strikeouts
  • Tyler Mahle followed up his no hitter with eight strikeouts in five innings.
  • Another crazy good outing from Chris Paddack, five no hit innings with nine strikeouts. He has allowed only one walk with 28 strikeouts in his last 15 innings. When I say only one walk I literally mean only one walk. He hasn’t allowed a single hit during that three game stretch. 
  • Willie Calhoun has been ice cold lately with just a .163 average in his last 10 games.
  • Bobby Boyd is still hitting but the steals haven’t been there in the past week.
  • Tyler Glasnow has now thrown back to back no-hitters. His last two starts he has combined for 13 innings, no hits, 14 strikeouts and 11 walks. He was passed over in favor of Chad Kuhl for the start on Sunday. 


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Andy Germani

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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.