This is an exciting time for many dynasty league owners. This week is bringing two high-end prospects to the majors in Alex Bregman and David Dahl. I normally try to avoid talking about things that every other outlet is going to be talking about, but I couldn’t call myself a prospect guy if I let this slide by.
Dahl’s playing time is less secure than Bregman’s, but it might be a sign that the Rockies expect to move an outfielder by the end of the week. There is such an enticing power speed combination available with Dahl, and playing in Colorado is even more interesting.
Bregman might not provide a ton of steals in the majors, but he should provide above average numbers in every other category.
Long term Bregman and Dahl both have superstar fantasy potential, though if I had to choose one I would go with Bregman.
As usual, here are some minor league players that are having some success in the past few weeks.
- July 10-July 24: .370/.452/.759, 3 2B, 4 HR, 7 BB, 15 K, 3 SB
- 2016: .270/.349/.480, 25 2B, 15 HR, 45 BB, 103 K, 10 SB
After a horrible April and May Diaz has turned things around in a hurry. At the end of play on May 24 he was hitting .199 with three home runs, and since then he has hit .324 with 12 homers. You might remember him as the prize in the Jean Segura trade with the Diamondbacks this past winter. He doesn’t have one standout tool, but he has solid potential across the board to be a 20-20 type player – falling closer to 15-10 most seasons. He has gotten a lot of work at short, but has also found some time at second this season.
- 2016: .421/.440/.724, 7 2B, 4 HR, 5 BB, 17 K, 3 SB
Bichette was a second round pick in this year’s draft and has been on fire ever since showing up to the rookie league. He has some nice raw power, the evidence comes from his 2015 Under Armor All-American Home Run Derby win. If you have been following baseball for a while the last name might remind you of his father Dante Bichette. Those bloodlines can only get him so far. The power and bat will be what can get him to the majors because his defense and speed are both sub par.
- July 10-July 24: .325/.386/.750, 2 2B, 5 HR, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 SB
- 2016 (majors included): .310/.294/.442, 11 2B, 17 HR, 27 BB, 93 K, 1 SB
Not a technical prospect anymore, Park didn’t adapt to the majors like many might have hoped this preseason. He has picked things up since being sent down – that is the good news. The bad news is that he could just be a AAAA type bat. When we see these gaudy numbers from the KBO players and expect them to come over and do the same thing, remember that Eric Thames hit 47 home runs and had a .381/.497/.790 slash line in the KBO last year. If you can buy Park on the cheap I think it is worth investing just in case he has started to figure things out here.
- July 10-July 24: .302/.339/.585, 1 2B, 4 HR, 3 BB, 10 K, 0 SB
- 2016: .299/.360/.510, 15 2B, 15 HR, 31 BB, 72 K, 2 SB
He is finally hitting for power like people thought he would when he signed. There isn’t much in front of him if the Rangers are so set on having Joey Gallo be a third baseman only. If he can keep up the power this season into next season the Rangers might be convinced he can be a first baseman once Fielder or Moreland are out of the picture.
- July 10-July 24: .362/.392/.543, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 17 K, 0 SB
- 2016: .279/.354/.557, 17 2B, 25 HR, 44 BB, 122 K, 7 SB
Palka is coming off of a 29 home run season in high-A last season to go with an unexpected 24 steals. The Twins got him in return for Chris Herrmann this past winter and have already moved him to AAA. The 30 percent strikeout rate isn’t something that people want to invest in, but there are a number of prospects like Palka that have the high-power, high-strikeout risk reward. Palka is probably available in almost all leagues; I just added him in a 30-team league that rosters 20 minor leaguers this past week. In these past two high home run high strikeout seasons he has hit .280 and .279. I don’t think Palka can do that in the majors, but he might be able to hit 30 home runs with a .250 average in the majors if he gets a chance.
- Last three starts: 17 2/3 innings, 0.51 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 25 K, 8 BB
- 2016: 34 1/3 innings, 0.52 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 55 K, 12 BB
The Mets have hit on a lot of pitching recently, and Szapucki might be yet another pitcher in a line of great young arms. He was dominating the rookie league to earn a promotion to low-A and he went 5 and one-third innings scoreless with eight strikeouts. There is still a long way to go with the 20-year-old. In deeper formats these are the kinds of stats you want to jump in early on, and if you are wrong dumping them if things turn out poorly. Whether you trust the team’s recent success in the development of pitchers or you like the stats, he needs to be on the radar, if not owned, in leagues that roster 200 or more prospects.
- Last three starts: 13 2/3 innings, 1.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 17 K, 6 BB
- 2016: 89 1/3 innings, 3.53 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 87 K, 37 BB
He has three above average pitches in his fastball, curveball, and changeup. The big concern about Sheffield is his size. At only 5’10” he is undersized for the typical ace in an MLB rotation. I don’t think he will be a big time bat misser in the major leagues. He has the better pedigree with the first round selection than a guy like Szapucki, but the stats of Szapucki have me more excited. Odds are you have someone in your minor league system more droppable than Sheffield if you are even considering someone like Szapucki, but if given the two I think I am taking the chance on Szapucki.
- Last three starts: 16 1/3 innings, 1.65 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 27 K, 3 BB
- 2016: 73 1/3 innings, 4.79 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 73 K, 27 BB
He is coming off of a 14 strikeout performance in his last start in high-A, it is his second double-digit strikeout game since July 4th. There is a lot of risk with him. He hasn’t had a ton of success this season and wasn’t a big strikeout pitcher in past seasons. The big strikeout numbers he has recently fallen into could be a blimp or a potential trend. It is worth keeping an eye on either way.
Cause for concern?
- July 10-July 24: .195/.267/.244, 2 2B, 0 HR, 19 K, 3 BB
- 2016: .235/.301/.335, 10 2B, 7 HR, 97 K, 24 BB
Nottingham is hard to worry about in a big way because of what little is expected from the catcher position. The shaky month of July is coming after back to back good months in May and June. I can’t even worry about Nottingham a little bit at this point, but if it continues maybe I will.
For additional Minor League prospect news, player analysis and links, head on over to Fantasy Rundown