With the MLB draft in full swing this is a fun time for the prospect hounds.
Hundreds of new players entering the potential fantasy picture. Many will be years away, as many of you probably already know. Hunter Greene has probably four years before he makes an impact, and even the potential quick-moving college players won’t be up until the latter half of 2018 at the earliest.
It doesn’t mean this isn’t an exciting time. If your player pools are open and you can grab players once signed, don’t leave any stone unturned.
Now for our players that are already in the minor leagues.
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All stats are through Sunday June 11.
- Yoan Moncada 2B/3B – White Sox (AAA) (#1)
- Amed Rosario SS – Mets (AAA) (#58)
- Derek Fisher OF – Astros (AAA) (#19)
I took Faria off of this list the week he got called up. He looks to get a long leash now with Jose De Leon and Matt Andriese on the shelf for a while. I would much rather have Faria than the other recent rookie call up including Sean Newcomb. If I added Newcomb (and I didn’t) for that first start I would be looking to shop him to some pitching desperate team. I don’t trust him to all of a sudden fix his walk woes he has had his entire career.
Moncada has struggled since coming off the DL. I am starting to think it might be the middle of July now. Derek Fisher could easily be up now, but the Astros don’t need him and have no reason to rush his service time.
Francisco Mejia C – Indians (AA)
- 2017: .369/.412/.631, 8 HR, BB: 12 (7.3%), K: 21 (12.7%), 3 SB
- May 26-June 11: .398/.446/.723, 7 HR, BB: 8 (8.7%), K: 13 (14.1%), 3 SB
Mejia is the best fantasy catching prospect in the minors right now. I didn’t completely buy in on Mejia preseason, and I might still not be now, but he has picked up where his breakout 2016 season left off.
One thing that I will always hold against Mejia is the position he plays. With many leagues only needing one catcher, and even the elites not playing every day, the production just isn’t worth the investment.
If you do enjoy investing in a catching prospect that will, likely, cost a premium to acquire then Mejia is as good of a bet as any. The upside might be 15-20 homers and a .290 average. Those numbers would make him a top-5 catcher, but the numbers upside isn’t worth paying for.
Rafael Devers 3B – Red S0x (AA)
- 2017: .307/.368/.540, 10 HR, BB: 20 (9.0%), K: 40 (17.9%), 0 SB
Devers is finally having that big numbers year that many had been expecting.
In about a month when midseason rankings come out Devers is going to find himself in the top-10 of a lot of those lists. The potential has finally combined with numbers.
At his peak I think Devers can be a 30-35 home run hitter with a .270-.280 average. He won’t provide any steals, but he should be a top-50 player for a large part of his career.
I wouldn’t bet anything on it, but if Boston doesn’t fix its third base situation by the end of the season we might see Devers in September. This might be the last time to buy Devers at a reasonable price.
Mike Soroka P – Braves (AA)
- 2017: 69 2/3 IP, 2.45 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, K: 64 (23.2%), BB: 15 (5.4%)
- Last three starts: 21 IP, 1.29 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, K: 13 (16.0%), BB: 1 (1.2%)
Not a lot has changed with Soroka since I wrote about him back in April. He is coming off of back-to-back scoreless starts with 15 innings in that stretch.
What I love about him is he has his walks in good shape already. What will prevent him from being a real fantasy asset are the strikeouts. His strikeout rate has dropped since his last appearance here, and even in his good stretch it is just 16 percent.
Invest in deeper leagues, but he is falling down my board as a prospect because of the strikeouts. In a deep league he isn’t a bad hold, but in 10-15 team leagues I don’t know if the upside is worth the wait.
Joey Lucchesi P – Padres (A+)
- 2017: 66 2/3 IP, 2.43 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, K: 86 (32.5%), BB: 17 (6.4%)
- Last three starts: 20 IP, 2.25 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, K: 31 (40.8%), BB: 1 (1.3%)
Lucchesi was nowhere near my radar until I saw his last three starts. Those starts went nine, 12, and 10 strikeouts.
He was drafted in 2016 as an old fourth round pick (he is already 24) and has been great ever since. He was a strikeout pitcher in college amassing 308 strikeouts in 269 innings between South East Missouri State and Chabot College.
While Lucchesi is old for his level, it isn’t because he has been held back in his development. Lucchesi is a super deep league player only at this moment.
Eloy Jimenez OF – Cubs (A+)
- 2017: .293/.398/.560, 6 HR, BB: 12 (13.6%), K: 13 (14.8), 0 SB
Jimenez missed a chunk of the season due to injury, and since his mid-May debut he has been the prospect we had hoped he would be.
He will probably be floated around in a lot of trade talks over the next month in a half, but I think the Cubs will view him as a piece too valuable to give up even in an attempt to go for a second straight title.
Jimenez is up there with Devers in terms of high-end prospects. I don’t think Jimenez has the hit tool that Devers has, but he can steal some bases to make up for it. I think Jimenez can also hit 30 plus homers, and the 8-10 steals he will throw in every year will help add to his value.
- Lucas Giolito has made two starts since the last update. In his June 5th start he struck out 11 over six innings, but his most recent starts wasn’t as exciting.
- Nick Williams’ promotion feels like it should be coming pretty soon. Even with his season so far I wouldn’t be rushing to add him in a redraft.
- Austin Hays is hitting .348/.392/.543 with two homers in June.
- Bryan Reynolds keeps on hitting, but the strikeout rate is keeping me from buying in completely.
- Blake Snell might be a AAAA pitcher as he has proven again he can easily handle AAA pitching, but continuously struggled in the majors. I am not giving up hope yet, not really all that close, but it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to get out of the investment while there is some value left.
- Yordan Alvarez will be a big riser this offseason.
- Bo Bichette isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as he is hitting .421/.476/.658 in June, and that is without a single homer this month.
- Michael Gettys should be sold as soon as possible if you own him. He is already nearing 100 strikeouts on the season, and his average is not sustainable.
- Fernando Romero struck out six over 5.2 innings in his last start.
- Vladimir Gutierrez saw his ERA balloon to 5.08 after a four-inning six run start his last time out.
- Thomas Hatch has come back to Earth already with his strikeouts with just nine in his last two starts.
- Chance Adams might replace Tanaka when he gets a phantom injury and misses a couple starts.
- Jordan Humphreys has given up one run in his last 19 innings.