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Minor League Report: The final stretch

We are already halfway through August. And while that is awesome for those of us in playoff races, us prospect people have less than a month of regular season minor league baseball left.

We do have the Arizona Fall League to look forward to, but in many leagues add drops are closed by then and anything taken from the AFL are just notes for the offseason draft.

With the minor league season coming to a close soon that means the Minor League Report will be going away too. Conveniently enough for me, this year the first week of playoffs for the minors, when I typically stop writing this, coincides with the first week of the football season.

So, if you’re a football guy and a prospect guy, you don’t have to have any gap or overlap between the seasons.

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

All stats are through Sunday August 13. 

Redraft Radar

  • Willie Calhoun 2B – Rangers
  • Brent Honeywell P – Rays
  • Ronald Acuna – OF Braves

Calhoun and Honeywell are the only two I might spend a roster spot on. If you are hoping for a true difference maker right now I would lean more towards Honeywell. I don’t think Acuna comes up, but as a difference maker from the hitting side I think he is the best of what is left.

Did that look familiar? It should have. I literally copied and pasted it from last week. There just aren’t a lot of high-end prospects close to a promotion for this September.




Who’s hot

Isaac Paredes SS/3B – Tigers (A)

  • July 30-August 13: .365/.450/.635, 4 HR, BB: 6 (10%), K: 7 (11.7%), 0 SB
  • 2017: .275/.356/.431, 11 HR, BB: 35 (8.0%), K: 60 (13.6%), 2 SB

You may or may not recognize the name. Paredes was involved in the deadline deal that sent Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to the Cubs.

There is some interesting power in his bat as he is still only 18 and has 11 homers playing in A-ball. Typically guys tap into more power as they age which is only good news for him.

He has been playing mostly short in the minors, but scouts think he will eventually move over to third.

Like a lot of guys that will, and have, appear here this year, he is a watch guy, not an actionable player right now. Even in a deep league of 20 plus I would probably just watch him and see what happens.

For now the wait and the upside isn’t there for me. I would rather try a different teenage prospect with super high risk but a higher reward.

Eloy Jimenez OF- White Sox (A+)

  • July 30-August 13: .340/.407/.698, 4 HR, BB: 6 (10.2%), K: 8 (13.6%), 0 SB
  • 2017: .308/.381/.581, 16 HR, BB: 30 (10.3%), K: 55 (18.9%), 0 SB

An elite level prospect, Jimenez is expected to be a big part of the White Sox next contending team. He has the size and bat to be a middle of the order for a long time, and at just 20 years old, don’t be surprised if he grows some more.

After posting a pretty sub par walk rate for a few years Jimenez has nearly doubled it to where it is now, a jump that is promising for him processing to the majors.

I have seen him compared to Giancarlo Stanton, and I don’t know if I can get on board with that because I don’t think the power is quite as absurd as Stanton’s. But I do think he will hit 30 every year assuming health and 40 in his peak years, with an average better than what Stanton will typically do.

The difference between Jimenez and some of the other prospects you will find in the top-10 (Acuna, Moncada, Robles, etc..,) is I don’t think you can count on any steals contribution from Jimenez.

Chris Shaw OF/1B – Giants (AAA)

  • July 30-August 13: .318/.362/.705, 4 HR, BB: 2 (4.2%), K: 14 (29.8%), 0 SB
  • 2017: .291/.348/.522, 20 HR, BB: 33 (7.6%), K: 109 (25.1%), 0 SB

It is so fitting that Shaw is a Giants prospect. There isn’t extreme upside, but there is a floor that will likely mean Shaw will likely be part of fantasy rosters for a long time.

Shaw strikes out a little too much to reach some elite potential with the average and power, but not enough that he can’t be of value. The power, like most Giants prospects, probably won’t play up. Much of his power output this year was likely aided by playing in the PCL.

I don’t typically invest in Shaw type prospects in shallower 12-team leagues because the upside is limited, but in leagues with more than 12 his proximity has him worthy of a roster spot.

He has been playing some outfield this year so there is a pretty decent chance the 23-year-old makes a debut for the Giants in the outfield later this season.

Nick Kingham P – Pirates (AAA)

  • Last three starts: 23 2/3 IP, 0.76 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, K: 15 (17.9%), BB: 3 (3.6%)
  • 2017: 95 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, K: 79 (19.9%), BB: 25 (6.3%)

If it feels like Kingham has been around for a while, it’s because he has been. Drafted way back in 2010 Kingham and first appearing on lists in the middle of the 2013 season, Kingham has been slowed by injuries.

When it seemed like he was on the cusp of a big league debut in early 2015 he went under the knife with Tommy John Surgery and only threw a combined 77.1 innings in his age 23 and 24 seasons.

Kingham is back now and should be near a promotion.

He likely won’t be a top of the rotation guy for fantasy or real life, but will no doubt be someone you will want to own.

Rogelio Armenteros P – Astros (AAA)

  • Last three starts: 15 2/3 IP, 1.72 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, K: 28 (40%), BB: 6 (8.6%)
  • 2017: 103 2/3 IP, 2.26 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, K: 125 (29.6%), BB: 33 (7.8%)

Based on every scouting report I have seen, and some video, I am not entirely sure how he is having the strikeout success he is having. If you extend his games back to his last four games he has 36 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.

For the crazy deep leaguers I would add Armenteros as he is close to the majors. It is worth noting that his current success (last seven starts) have come in the hitter friendly PCL.

Pedro Avila P – Padres (A+)

  • Last three starts: 20 2/3 IP, 1.74 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, K: 29 (36.7%), BB: 2 (2.5%)
  • 2017: 104 2/3 IP. 3.96 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, K: 135 (30.3%), BB: 27 (6.1%)

He came to the Padres for Derek Norris in what ended up being a disaster trade for the Nationals.

Avila struck out 17 batters in his last start, and it was the third time this season he struck out double digits.

Overall he has a mid 90s fastball with some decent movement and a big slow bender for a curveball.

He is just 5’11” and that will bring on some concerns about his ability to handle a starters workload.

After this performance, in any league with more than 150 prospects, I would give him an add. Mainly because there are a lot of guys that, if this doesn’t work out, you can add with risk reward potential.

Don’t be surprised when he makes a lot of noise this offseason, I think that might be a good thing to use to your advantage and trade him away.

Checking in

WEEK 17

WEEK 18

  • Billy McKinney is hitting .311 with four homers in August.
  • Sheldon Neuse is hitting .386/.457/.675 with seven homers since being traded.
  • Gavin Lux has raised his average 24 points in three weeks.
  • Nick Senzel is hitting .417 with five homers in August.
  • Franklin Barreto has his strikeout rate up to 28 percent, but has improved on it since the beginning of July.
  • Ronald Acuna at just 19 is showing he might not have anything left to work on in the minors as he is hitting .328 in AAA after starting the season in high-A.

 

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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.
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