Minor League Report: Big name prospects changing places

The trade deadline is exciting all around baseball. Fans can watch their contending teams add big pieces for a title run or rebuilding teams get a look at their future.

For us prospect hungry fantasy players we get to see prospects change teams and, hopefully, get a quicker path to the major leagues.

Below are some of the names that have been traded since Saturday.

Clint Frazier

Frazier comes with a nice power speed combination and doesn’t kill the batting average. If you have read up on Frazier since this deal you probably are seeing a lot about his great bat speed. Right now Frazier isn’t a great power hitter, but I think as he matures he can flirt with 25 home runs annually. The speed part of his game isn’t as good as his bat, but Frazier should be able to add 10-15 steals annually in an ever declining major league stolen base department. I would expect Frazier to get a cup of coffee at the end of this season and potentially be manning a corner outfield spot opposite Aaron Judge in 2017.

Lewis Brinson

He has had a horrible year, but I still love the power potential here. I think Brinson has future 30 home run 15 steal potential. The average has been bad, but he has a career worst BABIP. The strikeout rate is below 20 percent. Invest in Brinson if you can.

Grant Holmes

He has a lot of control issues that he needs to iron out before he can really be an impact player in the majors. Right now I think he can be a strikeout per inning type pitcher as a major league starter, but the ERA and WHIP might be average because of his control issues. As of right now he is two or three years away from being in a rotation full-time.

Jharel Cotton

Cotton is a really intriguing arm because of what he has been able to do in the PCL. His ERA and WHIP might not look amazing, but he is striking out 11 batters per nine and walking three. His best combination is his fastball that can get into the mid 90s and a plus changeup. Cotton might have had a shot to pitch in the majors with the Dodgers this season, but the move to Oakland might end those chances because the Athletics have no reason to rush him.

Frankie Montas

He has been hurt and missed a large part of the season but when he is healthy his fastball can reach up to 102 MPH, and he has an average slider as a second offering. He will be given a shot to be a starter, I would assume, but if he fails like many starting pitching prospects have he could turn into an elite bullpen arm with his fastball slider combination.

Luis Ortiz

He is a projection type arm. The hope is that he can be a top-30 starter, but I don’t know if he can ever get there – he has had elbow issues already in his career. His upside isn’t worth investing in for someone who already has some potential elbow issues and is still recovering from an injured groin suffered in July. If you can flip him I would do it. If you can’t get anything of real value you can stay invested; just hope the injury bug stops biting.



Dillon Tate

Tate has had a terrible 2016 season. The ERA and WHIP are sky-high and he is only striking out 19 percent of his batters faced. He was the fourth overall pick in the draft last season. There are concerns that he ends up as a bullpen arm long-term. If I owned Tate right now I might use the current publicity he is getting from national media to move him in a deal. A-ball struggles plus bullpen worries would make me want to part with him if I could.

Justus Sheffield

I had just written on Sheffield last week. Not much has changed for him other than I fear for his ability to keep the ball in the park a little bit more going to Yankee Stadium.

Lucius Fox

He is a huge stolen base threat. The 25 he has to this point in the season doesn’t even show his true potential as the 25 steals are coming with just a .305 OBP. He is still just 18 and in A-ball so he has a long way to go, but if he can manage a decent average this could be a future 30-steal player in 2020.

Dilson Herrera

He technically lost his rookie eligibility last season, but he has only 169 plate appearances across two different MLB seasons. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally well for fantasy.  He has 15-20 home run power and can toss in a handful of steals, but nothing worth noting. I think he is a player that will end up being more exciting for real baseball than for fantasy owners unless it is in a deeper league.

Phil Bickford

He can throw a four-seam fastball that can reach the upper 90s to go with a two seamer, changeup and a slider. He is a top-100 prospect on some lists this year, but there are a lot of people who think he will end up in the bullpen. I don’t think he has the upside as a starter that I would be really excited to invest in him if I had the chance.

Charlie Tilson

He was a really good get for the White Sox giving away reliever Zack Duke. He is mainly a speed threat. While he might hit the occasional homer this isn’t a player that you are ever expecting to hit 10 home runs in a season, but you could see him stealing 30 plus bases if he finds an every day role. Tilson is expected to be called up and play a lot in centerfield for the White Sox starting this week.



Other prospects to monitor

Mitch Haniger

  • July 17-July 31: .429/.486/.984, 9 2B, 8 HR, 6 BB, 16 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .339/.427/.620, 30 2B, 24 HR, 53 BB, 85 K, 9 SB

Haniger is putting up some pretty eye-popping numbers, even for the PCL. The slash line is great; the power even if it is an outlier in his career is intriguing, but what I like the most is the 1.046 OPS comes with just a 19 percent strikeout rate and a 12 percent walk rate.  Last season across high-A and AA he hit .310 with 13 home runs. Before joining the AAA team he was hitting .294 with five home runs in 55 games. At 25 he isn’t a young prospect by any means, but he is worth an add, or at least monitoring, in either deep or NL only leagues. The former first round pick could just be another AAAA player in the Diamondback’s system or he could be a late-blooming prospect.

Tom Murphy

  • July 17-July 31: .371/.463/.686, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 BB, 9 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .307/.339/.642, 16 2B, 15 HR, 11 BB, 65 K, 0 SB

One of the popular late round picks in two catcher leagues in drafts. Murphy hasn’t gotten a chance to perform in the majors yet this season, but maybe he will soon. He is hitting .540/.586/1.079 in July with eight home runs. The concerning numbers for him are a combination of the 29 percent strikeout rate and the five percent walk rate. Murphy could get a look later this season if you want to try something new at catcher. He might settle in to more of a .270 hitter with some decent pop and playing in Colorado shouldn’t hurt.

Luke Weaver

  • Last three starts: 21 1/3 innings, 0.84 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 22 K, 2 BB
  • 2016: 70 innings, 1.29 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 79 K, 9 BB

Weaver didn’t make the top-100 on the midseason list, but he wasn’t left off by much. He has only allowed more than two runs in one of his 11 starts this season and had five games where he left without allowing an earned run. Weaver shouldn’t have fantastic strikeout numbers in the majors; he might be an 8 strikeout per nine type with a good ERA and good WHIP in the majors.

Brandon Woodruff

  • Last three starts: 20 innings, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 29 K, 3 BB
  • 2016: 113 innings, 2.71 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 127 K, 32 BB

He was promoted to AA in mid May. Since then he has had a 3.28 ERA and is striking out 10 batters per nine. The strikeouts might not be normal for him, he only struck out 5.8 and 7.2 per nine in his first two minor league seasons. He is pretty far off the radar right now, but he is worth monitoring if he can keep things up in AA.

 

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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.