Minor League Report: Rodgers shows elite potential

As we inch close to September the minor league season is in its final weeks, and this will be the last traditional “Minor League Report” of the season.

There will still be two more installments of minor league pieces for the season, just with a slightly different format.

For those of you that have followed this, I hope you enjoyed the traditional format and will tune in for the September call up version next week.


Brendan Rodgers

  • August 7-August 21: .353/.404/.706, 3 2B, 5 HR, 3 BB, 14 K, 1 SB
  • 2016: .287/.350/.494, 29 2B, 19 HR, 34 BB, 89 K, 5 SB

I am really excited to see what Rodgers can do at the AA level. So far in 140 games between the Rookie league and Class A he has 22 home runs and a .283 average, and he just turned 20 earlier this month. Power, speed, batting average, a great home field, and he plays shortstop; what more can you ask for? There might be some who question if he stays at shortstop because Trevor Story currently mans the position, but Rodgers should move Story elsewhere and it shouldn’t be an issue.The upside is immense and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is behind only Yoan Moncada on prospect lists this offseason. Any real buying opportunity might be gone now, but if you can buy him do it. There is potential for him to be a first round caliber player annually.

Sean Newcomb

  • Last three starts: 17 2/3 innings, 2.04 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 25 K, 6 BB
  • 2016: 123 innings, 4.10 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 133 K, 64 BB

The big if for Newcomb has always been if he can control the walk rate. Since the middle of June his walks have dropped to about 4.2 per nine. The strikeouts have always been a big part of his appeal; he had struck out at least 11 per nine the past two seasons and is sitting at 9.7 this season. After last season I don’t think anyone that invested in Newcomb was ever expecting a great walk rate. The hope was for what he is doing now. A good enough rate to keep the strikeout upside worth investing in. It might be time to get excited about Newcomb again.

A.J. Puk

  • Last three starts: 12 2/3 innings, 1.42 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 20 K, 2 BB
  • 2016: 25 innings, 2.16 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 32 K, 6 BB

Puk was someone I wasn’t all that excited about when he was drafted. The control worried me and the safety versus upside wasn’t as interesting as some of the other first round arms. With that being said, Puk is doing his best to make me forget about my concerns. In this small sample he has cut his walk rate and shown an impressive strikeout rate. He probably should be owned in most true dynasty leagues where there is an actual farm system, but I would still much rather have an arm taken after him in the name of Jason Groome.

Outside the top-100

Dylan Davis

  • August 7-August 21: .308/.390/.692, 2 2B, 6 HR, 6 BB, 16 K, 0 SB
  • 2016: .291/.362/.530, 25 2B, 23 HR, 46 BB, 105 K, 4 SB

He is finding his power stroke this season as shown by the 23 home runs this season. He won the 2012 Cape Cod League home run derby and showed off his power potential there. He has cut down on his strikeouts from last season. He has fixed his pull happy approach from 2015, and it has led to a big jump in his average. In the end I don’t know if Davis has real big league potential. The power isn’t elite enough to overcome the potential batting average risk and the non-existent steals. If you’re investing in really deep leagues cross your fingers and hope his new approach and stats are the new norm.

Austin Riley

  • August 7-August 21: .306/.393/.755, 4 2B, 6 HR, 7 BB, 15 K, 1 SB
  • 2016: .261/.317/.455, 34 2B, 16 HR, 36 BB, 135 K, 3 SB

I was interested in Riley during the preseason, but the intrigue quickly faded when he was hitting .252 with just three home runs through mid June. Since June 23 (53 games) he has 13 home runs with a .272 average and a 22 percent strikeout rate; a big drop from the 33 percent strikeout rate he had prior to that. Riley is interesting because the power upside he has is coming as just a 19-year-old. As he ages this could be a future 30 plus home run player if he can do what he is doing now at just 19.

Alec Hansen

  • Last three starts: 17 innings, 0.00 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 27 K, 9 BB
  • 2016: 43 2/3 innings, 1.03 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 70 K, 16 BB

Hanson was drafted in the second round of this years draft. He can touch 99 with his fastball and has a plus slider to go with it. In his last four starts he has piled up 38 strikeouts in 23 innings. He has definitely hit the ground running, and after just three dominant outings in the Arizona league (11 strikeouts and just one hit allowed in seven innings) earned a promotion to the Pioneer league. Hansen is going to be one of the intriguing names involved in the offseason drafts that involved only players from the 2016 draft class. While I wouldn’t take him over Puk I think he might be worth a top 30 selection if things keep going his way this season.

Jaime Schultz

  • Last three starts: 16 2/3 innings, 2.70 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 27 K, 11 BB
  • 2016: 125 innings, 3.10 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 155 K, 65 BB

His month by month strikeout rates; 10.3, 9.5, 10.7, 12.2, 13.7. This has all come in AAA this season after striking out 11 batters per nine in a full season at AA last season. However, the walks might make an owner sick to their stomach. Schultz is already 25 and should be in the majors at some time next season. Like Hansen, Schultz can also touch 99, but he is just 5’10” and there could be concerns about his arm as a starter long-term. I would take a chance on Schultz as a potentially high upside arm that is close to the majors.

Cause for concern?

Joey Gallo

  • August 7-August 21: .264/.371/.604, 4 2B, 4 HR, 7 BB, 26 K, 1 SB
  • 2016: .242/.374/.561, 15 2B, 26 HR, 67 BB, 136 K, 2 SB

The Rangers keep finding other players to use instead of him when a spot opens up. Carlos Gomez is the newest name to keep him in the minors. There were also rumblings that the Brewers insisted on Brinson when the Rangers tried working Gallo into the Lucroy deal. The organizations know more about these players than the outsiders do. His fielding could be a liability and his strikeout rate definitely is. This could be the perfect time to buy low on Gallo, or if you own him this could be the last chance to sell him with the name value he has.


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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.

One thought on “Minor League Report: Rodgers shows elite potential”

  1. So I cut bait on Gallo mid season spun him for Piscotty and Valencia. I didn’t have time to wait. I have JP Crawford as a 20th round keeper. I have one last slot and saw Rodgers sitting out on the wire. He would be a 15th round keeper. Should I make the move?

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