Minor League Report: How the new DL rules could change things

The 10-day DL has really changed the fantasy baseball landscape, but it probably won’t do much for top prospects. Top prospects, typically, don’t get called up for an expected 10 game period to get sent down. Cody Bellinger is more of an exception than an expectation.

Many times it will be the low upside prospects to fill the gap for a week or two then get sent back down and carry on their way. The guys who really don’t matter if they get an extra year of control, or older players that don’t have team control concerns.

For deeper dynasty formats this might be a chance to make a change in how we manage our minor league systems. It might be time to stock the last one or two spots for the Nick Pivetta and Gift Ngope’s of the world. Guys that are a short MLB DL stint away from a call that can provide a couple of weeks of performance with a chance to stick around if it goes well.

Now 10, 12, 15 team leagues probably don’t have to worry about this. Carry on, scroll to the prospects and sorry for the brief waste of time. But for 20 teams and deeper, when you only have so many bench spots, using a minor spot or two on low upside close to the majors players can help extend your bench.

One thing that I did not note last week that I meant to. When you see the numbers that go with a sample of dates, for this week April 23-May 7, those are the dates I use to gauge if a player is on a hot streak or not. It isn’t an end all be all, but I think it is better than a one week sample which might only be five games. The dates are a Sunday to Sunday sample which is 15 days. For pitchers last three starts it’s basically the same 15 game/day range. I wanted to make sure I got a three start sample rather than the potential two I might get if I use the strict dates.

As usual if you have any questions on anything fantasy baseball, feel free to ask about them in the comment section below or on Twitter

All stats are through Sunday May 7.

Redraft Radar

  • Yoan Moncada 2B/3B – White Sox (AAA) (#1)
  • Bradley Zimmer OF – Indians (AAA) (#8)
  • Jesse Winker OF – Reds (AAA) (#32)
  • Tyler Beede P – Giants (AAA) 

There isn’t a ton of interest here right now. Moncada might not be up until July, and Zimmer has cooled after a hot start. Lewis Brinson is entering the conversation, but I don’t know where he would play. Right now I don’t know if any prospect currently in the minors is worth a speculative roster spot.

Who’s hot

Derek Fisher OF – Astros (AAA) (#19)

  • April 23-May 7: .359/.379/.594, 3 HR, BB: 2 (3.0%), K: 14 (21.2%), 1 SB
  • 2017: .328/.386/.555, 6 HR, BB: 11 (8.3%), K: 14 (10.5%), 3 SB

I was really high on Fisher in the preseason, a little too high looking back on it, just because of the guys I had him over and not because my mind changed on him.

I think Fisher could be similar to Bradley Zimmer, a high strikeout, low average, good OBP player with 20/20 potential.

After a huge spring racking up stolen bases, Fisher has struggled finding success this year – just three steals in nine attempts. He had success stealing in a limited sample in AAA last season, so for now I am considering this small sample bad luck.

Fisher has nowhere to play for the foreseeable future so he will need a trade out of Houston to come up this year, or a long-term injury to an outfielder.

Kolby Allard P – Braves (AA) (#33)

  • Last three starts: 17 IP, 1.06 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, K: 19 (28.4%), BB: 3 (4.5%)
  • 2017: 33 IP, 1.36 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, K: 28 (21.7%), BB: 7 (5.4%)

Allard is coming off of his best game of the season, a six inning 11 strikeout no walk game, and is gaining a lot of popularity among shallower dynasty formats, although I think he should have already been owned in anything that has 50 or more prospects even as a young arm.

The best part of this early season success for Allard is that it is coming as a 19-year-old at AA. Prior to this stint at AA he had only 97.2 innings of professional pitching between rookie ball and low-A.

The strikeout numbers, other than his most recent start, haven’t been as good as I had hoped, but I am not worried because of the previously mentioned aggressive assignment.

My hopes as an Allard owner are that he keeps on having success and he debuts sometime in mind to late 2018. I think he will most likely be up in 2019. Allard has top of the rotation upside, but if I was a buyer I would definitely move him in July. There is a good chance the hype train will be in full force by then and any time you can get a nice return for a young arm you have to do it.

Mitch Keller P – Pirates (A+) (#46)

  • Last three starts: 20 IP, 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, K: 23 (31.1%), BB: 4 (5.4%)
  • 2017: 31 1/3 IP, 2.88 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, K: 34 (26.0%), BB: 5 (3.8%)

I have been lower on Keller than most, I think. Keller shot up lists this offseason, and in a handful of places made it above fellow Pirate prospect Tyler Glasnow. I didn’t really understand this. Glasnow had success at all levels of the minors, was a top prospect already, with a brief struggle in the majors last season, and an expected rotation spot for 2017, and Mitch Keller was ahead of him… but I digress.

Keller is a good prospect in his own right with a nice fastball, curveball, changeup mix.

He is just in high-A now so I wouldn’t expect to see Keller for a while, maybe limited innings in 2019 with a full-time spot in 2020. The Pirates have, in many cases, been mind numbingly slow to promote prospects, and with Keller’s injury history I expect more of that here. Injury history should be a red flag (as it was a forearm injury), and any time you get an injury scare with a pitching prospect you should try to dump them when the prospect hype is near its peak.

My pause with Keller is that I don’t think he has the top of the rotation type upside others do. I think he should be a solid middle of the rotation arm, but I don’t think he will strike out enough batters to really be a big fantasy asset.

Carter Kieboom SS – Nationals (A)

  • April 23-May 7: .333/.382/.725, 5 HR, BB: 3 (5.5%), K: 13 (23.6%), 0 SB
  • 2017: .333/.402/.590, 6 HR, BB: 10 (8.5%), K: 23 (19.7%), 2 SB

Kieboom has a hit in nine of his past 10 games, including a three homer game. Kieboom is overshadowed in his own organization, by Victor Robles and Juan Soto, and in the 2016 draft, Nick Senzel, Micky Monica, Blake Rutherford, etc., but he is making a name for himself this season.

He is a bat first prospect that I think will end up being a third baseman when he makes it to the majors, not just because of Turner, but his skill set will lead him there.

The upside isn’t huge. I don’t see 30 homers or a .300 average being possible. A .280 average and 15-20 homers is a realistic expectation if you want to get excited long-term, just remember this is long-term. Kieboom probably wont be making a big league impact until 2021, and unless you are in a crazy deep league, his upside isn’t worth a stash this year.

Dustin Fowler OF – Yankees (AAA)

  • April 23-May 7: .380/.426/.720, 2 HR, BB: 4 (7.4%), K: 5 (9.3%), 2 SB
  • 2017: .302/.345/.557, 4 HR, BB: 7 (6.2%), K: 20 (17.7%), 4 SB

Fowler has been one of those guys that, if you follow the prospect world, gets touted a lot as the underrated, or looked over, prospect.

Fowler has the capability to be an all around fantasy asset, but not producing a ton in any single category. The upside has been said to be 20/20 I don’t think he has that much power, but the short porch in right field could help him hit a couple more. I might put him in more of a 15/15 mold with a .280 plus average.

He has never been a big strikeout guy, and if that continues the .280 average should be a pretty reasonable expectation with some upside for more.

The downside for him is even at 22 he really isn’t that close to the majors. The Yankees have a full outfield (and then some) at the big league level, and Clint Frazier will likely get the call before Fowler, and long-term Blake Rutherford will get time in the outfield over Fowler.

Checking in

Week 4

  • Lewis Brinson is hitting .400 in his last 10 games and is looking like a potential May or June call up, even with a crowded Brewers outfield.
  • Dylan Cease struck out 15 in his last two outings over 4.2 innings – the seven walks are a concern.
  • Ryan McMahon is hitting .390 with just two strikeouts since April 17.
  • Brett Phillips homered once last week and is now hitting .288 on the season.
  • A.J. Puk is still not pitching deep into games. He pitched just 2.1 innings in his last start with four strikeouts.
  • Tyler Mahle had a big let down performance after his perfect game; he allowed four hits and struck out seven bringing his season ERA to 0.55 and WHIP to 0.52.
  • Luis Urias is still showing off the hit tool, but not much else, as he has brought his average up to .405 with no homers and no steals in his past 10 games.

Week 5

  • Franklin Barreto is hitting .375 with hits in nine of his past 10 games.
  • Ahmed Rosario is garnering attention for a call up with Asdrubal Cabrera possibly heading to the DL, but I don’t think it comes this month, even with his .377/.425/.500 slash line.
  • Ryan O’Hearn has gone ice-cold with just five hits in his last 35 at bats.
  • Chris DeVito is staying hot by going 14 for his last 41.


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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.