Fantasy baseball minor league report
JUN 09, 2014 1:27p ET
Ken Rosenthal hit on a few minor league prospects and their promotional timetables in his news and notes column on Monday.
Here's my around-the-horn fantasy baseball sidebar with names owners should know when scanning the waivers this summer, planning for 2015 keeper season and beyond. All stats as of 6/9/14
Gregory Polanco (OF)
Stats (AAA): .347 / .405 / 7 HR / 47 R / 49 RBI / 15 SB
The wait is over.... My dream has officially come true ⚾️ Pittsburgh, see you mañana!!— Gregory Polanco ☕️ (@El_Coffee) June 10, 2014
It was bound to happen eventually, but Polanco’s highly anticipated call-up was a roster move after Neil Walker had his appendix removed and landed on the DL. Polanco hasn’t displayed huge power in the minors, but a consistent bat with the ability to swipe 20-plus bases the rest of the season – if given the green light. Like George Springer earlier this season, he should be added in all leagues.
Speaking of Springer, be patient with Polanco if he starts cold. The Astros’ hot bat hit .182 in his first 55 at bats. The sky is not falling.
Joc Pederson (OF)
Stats (AAA): .332 / .440 / 16 HR / 48 R / 37 RBI / 16 SB
Fantasy Liner: The Dodgers’ outfield is crowded with Carl Crawford frustrated, Matt Kemp inconsistent at the plate, Yasiel Puig raking and Andre Ethier wondering when the call to pack his bags will come.
On top of the logjam, the Dodgers’ believe the 22-year-old Pederson could still work on his strikeout rate (29.3 percent) and on-the-field maturity issues (see previously: Harper, Bryce).
Mookie Betts (2B/OF)
Stats (AA): .355 / .443 / 56 R / 34 RBI / 22 SB
Fantasy Liner: After tearing the cover off the ball at Double-A, Betts earned a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket just last week. He’s hitting .269 in seven games for the PawSox.
With Dustin Pedroia, 30, locked into a long-term contract, Betts has been forced to learn the outfield, more specifically, center. A quick review of the stats illustrates how instrumental Betts could be to overhauling the top of the lineup with Jacoby Ellsbury now with the Yankees. No offense to Brock Holt. (He’s offended.)
Jake Marisnick (OF)
Stats (AAA): .258 / 4 HR / 31 R / 14 SB
Fantasy Liner: Marisnick was very close to beating out Marcell Ozuna for a spot on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster. Turns out Miami made the right choice with Ozuna providing some pop down in the lineup with 11 homers and 39 RBI in 61 games.
I’m no sports psychologist, but for as well as Marisnick hit during spring training, starting the season at Triple-A may have impacted his psyche at the dish. He only hit .182 with a .239 OBP in April, but flipped the script in May with a .347 average with three homers, 23 runs and 13 ribbies in 28 games.
Kris Bryant (3B)
Stats (AA): .356 / .461 / 21 HR / 55 R / 54 RBI
Fantasy Liner: Chances are the 22-year-old Bryant could help the Cubs’ 25th-ranked offense and 29th-ranked batting average immediately, but according to this CSN Chicago report there doesn’t seem to be a huge rush to rush him through the system … for now.
For what it’s worth, the two third basemen ahead of Bryant on the depth chart are 22-year-old prospect Christian Villanueva (AAA) who is hitting .228 and platooning Mike Olt (Cubs) who, despite some decent power, can’t keep his batting average above the Mendoza line.
Jake Lamb (3B)
Stats (AA): .311 / .385 / 9 HR / 45 RBI
Fantasy Liner: It’s been a disappointing season to-date for the Diamondbacks, but Lamb should give fans reason to smile. Arizona’s second baseman of the future is second only to Bryant in total bases within the Southern League (AA).
Thinking back, the Matt Davidson trade which sent him to the White Sox makes more sense with Lamb in the pipeline. With Aaron Hill now 32, I wonder if Martin Prado (also on wrong side of 30) could slide over to second, Chris Owings at SS and allow Lamb to start at third. I’m also interested to see if the team continues to experiment with Didi Gregorius at second base. Paul Goldschmidt, Didi, Owings and Lamb could be the Diamondbacks’ starting infield by 2015.
Joey Gallo (1B/3B)
Stats (A+): .323 / .463 / 21 HR / 53 R / 50 R
Fantasy Liner: Mere hours after FOX Sports Southwest’s Anthony Andro wrote a feature on Rangers’ prospect Joey Gallo with a focus on Gallo not wanting to rush things, the big bopper smacked a walk-off homer in his first game with the Frisco Roughriders (AA)…
Aside from Gallo’s raw power numbers, two areas he’s drastically improved in is his batting average and strikeout rate, which are normally linked. Gallo struck out 37 percent of the time last season and finished with a .245 average with 38 homers. In 58 games at High-A ball this season, he hit 21 homers with a .323 BA / .463 OBP and a strikeout rate of 26 percent. Still far from perfect, but trending upwards.
Corey Seager (OF)
Stats (A+): .348 / 12 HR / 49 RBI
Fantasy Liner: Along with Puig and Pederson, part of the Dodgers’ next generation of outfielders. Should be fun to watch.
The Next Billy Hamilton?
Billy Burns – OAK (OF)
Stats (AA): 27 stolen bases in 50 games
Jose Peraza – ATL (2B)
Stats (A+): 30 stolen bases in 60 games
Padres’ Single-A outfielder Mallex Smith leads all minor league players with 46 stolen bases in 59 games. He stole 64 in 110 games last season.