Minor League Report: More Early Success

We are almost to the point where there is least some difference between what a prospect has done recently and what their season stats are.

Prospects will start getting promoted. Not just the major leaguers, but from A to AA and so on.

I don’t get as excited about this as some other people do. To me it feels more like the team decided to take a couple of weeks to see if a player really is ready to move on rather than just start them in a higher level.

For example: I feel like the guy who started the year in high-A, but probably should have been in AA, had a few good weeks and gets promoted – he gets so much more hype than the guy that had a team that realized “hey he should start in AA”.

This same sorta thing happens with young players in the majors. When a young player makes the majors and struggles while another guy performed well in AAA, people will be quick to forget the once highly touted prospect that had a bad 100 plate appearances.

Basically, use this stuff to your advantage in trades. Yes, Juan Soto is hitting really well, but maybe someone now has higher hopes for him with the promotion and you can make a trade for Eloy Jimenez or something to that extent.

Buddy Reed
.413/.431/.698, 6 2B, 4 HR, 3.1 BB%, 24.6 K%, 5 SB

Buddy Reed struggled more than you would want a college hitter to struggle between low-A and class-A in his first two minor league seasons, but it is at least a good sign that the team bumped him up a level every year and he hasn’t repeated a level to this point. The struggles bumped him off the radar for a lot of people. Now Reed is getting into some of that potential showing off some power and speed in the early going.

Reed is nothing more than a super deep add right now.

Lucius Fox
.383/.456/.483, 4 2B, 0 HR, 10.3 BB%, 16.2 K%, 4 SB

I was pretty excited for Fox a few years ago as that young SS prospect you want to be something more than he will probably be. I kind of think that is going to be the case with Fox now – always hoping he will be better than he actually is. There isn’t enough power, and while there is some speed it’s nothing ground breaking.

Fox is probably more ownable than Reed because you can turn him into something better trade wise, but I am not really excited to own him as anything more than a trade chip.

Jesus Luzardo
14 2/3 IP, 1.23 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, K: 25 (45%), BB: 5 (9.1%)

A big riser in 2017, Luzardo has a plus fastball that can reach the upper 90s and has some sink. He adds to it a plus changeup and an average curve. He showed nice control last season walking five batters over 43.1 innings, although he already has five walks this season. I would like to see him add another pitch. I have a hard time falling in prospect pitcher love with a guy with only three pitches, even if they are all good. Even if it is adding another fastball, I like a four-pitch mix for a starter.

For the most part I am probably not going to end up with Luzardo. I think the hype train is far above where I value him for now. If I owned him I would see if I can use that to my advantage in a trade.

Hudson Potts
.354/.400/.600, 7 2B, 3 HR, 4.3 BB%, 12.9 K%, 0 SB

Potts struggled to hit for average last season, but still managed to hit 20 homers. His power is his best tool, but it isn’t anything to write home about as scouts rate it as average to above average. The good news for Potts is that he is still young and has room to grow. The 20-homer season came as a 18-year-old in class-A. Sure, the .253 average was a bit of a letdown, but that power was nice to see.

This could be a big season for Potts if he shows off power again. I would like to see a little more average production to get super excited. I think Potts needs to be owned in anything with less than 300 prospects, but that could jump to 200 or less if this hot start continues.

Austin Riley
.386/.435/.754, 8 2B, 3 HR, 8.1 BB%, 24.2 K%, 0 SB

Riley is starting to create some “he should be in the majors soon” type buzz. I don’t think it happens this year unless something crazy changes, but it at least says how good his start has been. He has some nice power that he will need to (and should) keep as he climbs the ladder. After a dreadful start to the 2017 season he still managed to finish with a .275/.339/.446 line and 20 homers.

Riley is the future for the Braves at third, at least he should be. There isn’t star potential here, but he definitely should be owned anywhere with 150 or fewer prospects.

Tom Murphy
.373/.449/.712, 8 2B, 4 HR, 8.7 BB%, 20.3 K%, 0 SB

Murphy has been on the cusp of the majors for what feels like forever. Chris Iannetta, barring injury, looks like he will hold the job over Murphy. Murphy’s defense has always been an area of concern, even if the offensive potential is salivating.

Even in a redraft or shallower keeper league; if you start two catchers I think Murphy needs to be owned.

DJ Peters
.322/.420/.593, 2 2B, 4 HR, 14.5 BB%, 26.1 K%, 0 SB

The hype train for Peters keeps building as he keeps hitting. At 6’6” 225 Peters has the body you want for a prospect and the power to go with it. He tends to get into strikeout trouble, like any power hitter, but I think he makes enough contact to make it work. The Dodgers minor league system and major league outfield are pretty crowded. I wouldn’t be shocked if Peters was one of those non top-100 prospects moved in July.

He is 22 now so hopefully he does get moved so he can get his major league career started. If he is stuck in LA he might be looking at 2020 before he can have any legitimate production.

Jesus Sanchez
.333/.354/.571, 6 2B, 3 HR, 3.1 B%, 21.5 K%, 0 SB

I love Sanchez’s five category fantasy potential. None of the tools are great, but all of the tools are solid. When it comes to hitters this is the type I like investing in. His speed probably doesn’t translate to anything more than 10-15 steals, but that isn’t a big concern. He has above average power and you could argue a plus hit tool already, and the odds that one, or both, of those turn plus is enticing.

 

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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.

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