The halfway point, kind of, is in the rearview mirror as we exit the All-Star Break. That means a lot of trade rumors will be getting thrown around in the next two weeks.
Quick side bar on that. This is one of my most annoying parts of the baseball season. Hearing and seeing reporters link players to teams. Hey, the Cardinals are interested in Josh Donaldson, but they haven’t had any real discussions. Shocking that any team in baseball would be interested in adding a premiere player. Oh, you said the Dodgers would like to add Zach Britton – well duh.
My favorite quote when venting this frustration to someone was their response, “I am interested in getting _____, but talks haven’t gone beyond that point.”
What I wanted to do before I got off track was point out the classic flags fly forever motto. The Cubs went and got their pitcher in Jose Quintana, and some bashed them for doing it for a lot of “he could be” statements. As a prospect guy I still do think I value them too high, but don’t play for 2020-2025. If you can win in 2017, you win in 2017.
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All stats are through Sunday July 16.
- Yoan Moncada 2B/3B – White Sox
- Chance Adams P – Yankees
- Willie Calhoun 2B – Dodgers
The Chance Adams door might have been opened with Michael Pineda’s injury. The Yankees could also be looking at an outside arm to fill that spot. I think Moncada is up by the end of July, but I could be wrong again. I took Amed Rosario off as I just don’t think he gets called up this year, and like I have mentioned many times, I don’t know if he is an impact bat.
Jose Miguel Fernandez 2B – Dodgers (AAA)
- 2017: .31o/.366/.485, 13 HR, BB: 20 (6.1%), K: 20 (8.2%), 0 SB
- July 2-16: .327/.411/.633, 5 HR, BB: 6 (10.1%), K: 5 (8.9%), 0 SB
A Cuban signing that kind of went under the radar that has been doing well since coming stateside.
He has already shown more power this year than he ever did in Cuba, and is already in AAA after proving himself in AA.
I have been touting Willie Calhoun as the guy they need to call up to play second, but maybe the Dodgers have Fernandez in mind to takeover that role.
Starling Heredia OF – Dodgers (Rookie)
- 2017 (17 games): .451/.524/.845, 5 HR, BB: 11 (13.4%), K: 10 (20.7%), 5 SB
Heredia was a big J2 signing in 2015 as an exciting potential power speed combination. I don’t think the speed that was hoped for will actually be a thing for Heredia. I would be eyeing up the classic big home run, big strikeout type bat.
If it all works out I could see him being a routine 30 homer bat in the majors. I need to see a lot more above rookie ball to determine what a realistic average would be. Based on what I understand maybe a .260 hitter, but the jury is still out.
He is really far from being even in consideration for the majors, maybe 2020-2021. With that ETA he is the kind of guy I try to include in a trade.
Ramon Laureano OF – Astros (AA)
- 2017: .224/.296/.347, 5 HR, BB: 26 (7.4%), K: 75 (21.4%), 19 SB
- July 2-16: .316/.339/.614, 2 HR, BB: 2 (3.4%), K: 9 (15.3%), 2 SB
I got a question on why I was still buying in on Laureano last week and figured I could reiterate it here in article form.
His strikeout rate is down a little from last year, but his BABIP has taken a huge hit.
Typically a high BABIP guy with his speed, a sub .280 BABIP is not sustainable for him – the good kind of regression will be coming there. If it normalizes to around .350 that could be another 60-80 points in batting average to go his way.
He is hitting some more infield pop ups this year, and his line drive rate has dropped slightly, from about 25 percent to 20.
In terms of his spray chart, he had a lot of success going to the opposite field last year, 21 percent of batted balls to right field down to 13 percent this year. Other than that, the spray chart doesn’t look that much different.
I would use this as an opportunity to buy Laurenao as people have forgotten about how much hyper there was preseason.
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS – Padres (A)
- 2017: .272/.368/.505, 16 HR, BB: 47 (12.1%), K: 100 (25.7%)
- July 2-16: .333/.474/.911, 5 HR, BB: 12 (21.1%), K: 11 (19.3%)
Tatis Jr. was one of the biggest prospect risers across the board as midseason lists have been coming out.
He is having a big power breakout this year at just 18 years old. The power is expected to be his best tool, and he should be able to steal enough, maybe double digits in the majors.
When comparing him to the previously listed 18-year-old (Heredia), Tatis Jr. Is someone I would rather hang on to if possible. I think you can really get people to buy all in on him if they are completely rebuilding.
He is always going to be a big strikeout guy given his approach. He has triple digit strikeouts already in the low-level minors which is a concern for him.
Daz Cameron OF – Astros (A)
- 2017: .237/.312/.431, 9 HR, BB: 30 (8.8%), K: 86 (25.2%), 20 SB
- July 2-16: .380/.421/.620, 1 HR, BB: 5 (8.8%), K: 12 (21.1%), 4 SB
I feel like many, including myself, wrote Cameron off after the complete mess of his first two years in the minors, and even most of this year.
Cameron’s recent hot stretch has shown people what they hoped for back in 2015 when he was drafted, the ultimate power speed high school bat that has people drooling with upside.
He struggled a lot with strikeouts and injuries last season, and the power had been almost non-existent.
Not surprising that Cameron has still been piling up the steals, 56 in 172 games, but for a speedster in the low minors this is more of an expectation than something to really be excited about.
Maybe I was too quick to give up on the former top draft prospect before his age 20 season. Maybe this is a good buying opportunity from someone who has given up hope; he is still hitting just .235 through his minor league career. But maybe this is just another toolsy bat that will just be tools and not actually a baseball success. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened.
- Tyler Glasnow has dominated since being demoted and is throwing primarily from the stretch. It could be a new tweak to turn his career around, or he could come up and do what he did before like Blake Snell.
- Dillon Tate didn’t follow-up the big strikeout game with another big strikeout game, but Tate still has an ERA of just 3.00.
- Eric Lauer is coming off of a rough start, giving up five earned in five and two-thirds.
- Corbin Burnes has given up one earned in his last three starts, 18 innings.
- Austin Gomber had a good start over the weekend in a nice rebound from his previous start.