Minor League Report: Not the typical May

May is typically an exciting month for dynasty and prospect people because we will see a handful of top prospects come up as we hit service time limits.

The bad news is I don’t know how many will make it up to a full-time role in May. The 2017 season feels like many of the top-level players with a chance at an impact in will get called up in June or July when the bigger thresholds are in the rear-view mirror.

This is typically the time of year where some redraft owners will get annoyed that the Yoan Moncada types, minor leaguers that were drafted, are not up yet and get dropped after waiting all this time.

The good news is the rest of us can now add these guys, in some cases, without having to wait as long for their arrival.

I really hope I am wrong about this, but I don’t think I am. I feel as more analytics and numbers guys get into front offices, the money and years of control that could benefit clubs keep teams from promoting early, meaning they wait until midseason.

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 April 30.

Redraft Radar

  • Yoan Moncada 2B/3B – White Sox (AAA) (#1)
  • Bradley Zimmer OF – Indians (AAA) (#8)

Moncada is starting to look like he won’t be up until June which is a little disappointing. The strikeout rate for both of these players is going to be a concern.

  • Cody Bellinger 1B/OF – Dodgers (AAA) (#24)
  • Jesse Winker OF – Reds (AAA) (#32)

After stating Bellinger had a murky ETA he was called up, I think the same night this ended up getting posted. I think he gets sent back down (something the club has already publicly stated) regardless of what he does for the rest of the time he is up.

  • Tyler Beede P – Giants (AAA) 

The Madison Bumgarner injury open things up for Beede who now has an opportunity to get into the rotation via Matt Cain or Ty Blach, though I don’t think a call up is imminent.



Who’s hot

Franklin Barreto SS/2B – Athletics (AAA) (#26)

  • 2017: .349/.413/.566, 4 HR, K: 31 (33.0%), BB: 7 (7.4%), 1 SB
  • April 16-30: .340/.385/.532, 2 HR, K: 18 (34.6%), BB: 4 (7.7%), 1 SB

It feels like Bareto has been one of those prospects with an outside chance for a call up for a few years, but he is still just 21 years old. He missed time early in his career with an injury which probably slowed down his ETA to the majors, even though he is still on pace to make it there before he turns  22.

Baretto, like Rosario below, doesn’t have a ton of fantasy upside, but I do think there is more upside than Rosario. I think he has more power potential than Rosario as well. I could see him hitting 20 in his best years with 15-18 most years.

I don’t know if he will steal more than 15-20 bases in the majors, but he has at least shown the potential to steal that much. He hasn’t had a great minor league success rate as he climbed the ladder. I don’t think he has .300 average potential, but he can sit solidly in the .280 range with some solid pop and speed to be a nice middle infield option.

Ahmed Rosario SS – Mets (AAA) (#58)

  • 2017: .404/.448/.506, 1 HR, K: 13 (13%.3%), BB: 6 (6.1%), 7 SB
  • April 16-30: .440/.482/.620, 1 HR, K: 7 (12.5%), BB: 5 (8.9%), 4 SB

I was, am, low on Rosario compared to everyone else. This hot start doesn’t really change all that much for me. If anything it creates an amazing selling opportunity. He is a hit tool guy that can field well at short with some solid speed.

This comparison is going to completely make people disregard everything I said about not liking him, but I think he is going to be what we thought Francisco Lindor was going to be until he started hitting really well.

Solid average, low double-digit homer pop, double-digit steals, and will stay at short because of his fielding ability. That’s fine and dandy for MLB teams, but for fantasy, outside of deeper formats, that isn’t a top-15 short stop and it is a borderline middle infield player.

The hit tool first guys do develop power sometimes; Lindor is a prime example, but the amount that stay as boring 12-15 homer types far outweigh the hit tool guys that develop power.

Also, I get the ability, but throughout his minor league career before he broke out last season, Rosario was nothing special. A .257/.302/.350 slash line with just five homers and 22 steals in 238 games.

I do think there is talent there, but he is not a top-10 prospect for me, not after one great season and two that show no signs of excitement.

Ryan O’Hearn 1B – Royals (AAA)

  • 2017: .312/.361/.571, 5 HR, K: 18 (21.7%), BB: 5 (6.0%), 0 SB
  • April 16-30: .372/.400/.628, 3 HR, K: 6 (13.3%), BB: 1 (2.2%), 0 SB

I have liked O’Hearn from a deep league standpoint for a few years now. The power is his only real asset to a fantasy team, but it is an asset.

He will strikeout, I don’t think the low 20 percent rate of this year is legitimate. He struck out almost 300 times combined in 261 games between 2015-2016, but it came with 49 homers.

The intrigue now is for him becoming the first baseman of the future, or even this season if Hosmer gets dealt in July. Many believe Hosmer has very little chance to stay in KC, and O’Hearn is expected to be next in line.

What we could be looking at is a .250 hitter with the potential for 30 homers in his best years.

Chris DeVito 1B – Royals (A)

  • 2017: .323/.356/.635, 8 HR, K: 27 (26.0%), BB: 5 (4.8%), 0 SB
  • April 16-30: .362/.391/.862, 8 HR, K: 14 (21.9%), BB: (4.7%), 0 SB

This is probably one of those random prospect hot streaks that will eventually turn into nothing, but eight homers in a 15 game period, and five homers in his last five games, is at least worth monitoring from a 2016 draftee.

He has a low walk rate this season for someone hitting for power. He also hit just nine homers in a larger sample last season. At the University of New Mexico he hit 16 homers in his final college season with a .375 average.

I will be interested to see what he can do over the next few weeks  because there is very little book on him, which will come from an eighth rounder that is coming out of college. In his two years as a regular in college he had nearly an even strikeout to walk ratio at 58/52.

It looks like he is already being moved to first after playing catcher in college. He could be an under the radar 20 homer .300 average hitter.

DeVito is the type of player I like to rotate into one of my final minor league bench spots to see what happens. He is so far away that you probably don’t have to unless it is a super deep league. You can probably wait a month, maybe two, to see how things work out before anyone in your league has any inclination of picking him up.

Checking in

Week 3

  • Juan Soto has brought his average up to .400 with seven hits in his last four games.
  • Mike Soroka saw a dip in the strikeouts (four), but only allowed one hit in five innings.
  • Carlos Rincon hit his sixth homer on Sunday and is hitting .340, but is still striking out a ton.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes has had three multi strikeout games and no homers since the last post. He is still hitting above .350, but the early success might be a hot streak and not a new trend.
  • Cedric Mullins hit his fourth homer and had his first multi strikeout game of the season. He is currently on the minor league DL.

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.

 

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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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