Minor league pitching prospects report
JUN 11, 2014 1:41p ET
Be sure to check out our latest fantasy baseball prospect hitters feature, too. Between Joey Gallo, Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant, some big bats are flying through the minor leagues.
Stats as of 6/9/14
Taijuan Walker (SEA)
Stats (AAA): 0-1 (2 starts) / 9.00 ERA / 12.60 K/9 (shoulder)
Fantasy Liner: Despite the 9-10 record, Walker thrived at Double-A and Triple-A last season with a K/9 rate over 10 at both levels. He earned a three-game cup-o-coffee and finished 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 7.20 K/9 in 15 innings of work.
He has been activated from the 2014 disabled list and was sent to Tacoma where he’s made two rehab starts and one official start. Now, the Mariners are thinking out their options as they do have a hole at SP5, but they don’t want to rush Walker who allowed seven runs in 10 innings pitched over the last two weeks.
The way I see it, although shoulders should be handled with TLC when it comes to pitching prospects, the fact it’s not an elbow issue is a relief in this year of the Tommy John epidemic.
Aside from the long rehab road and unflattering outings as of late, Walker remains a middle of the fantasy rotation arm as long as he experiences no setbacks in his health.
Archie Bradley (ARI)
Stats (AAA): 1-4 / 5.18 ERA / 8.51 K/9 (elbow)
Fantasy Liner: Most Diamondbacks’ fans believed Bradley deserved a spot on the Opening Day roster and a slot in the Opening Day rotation, but management sent the 21-year-old top prospect back down to Triple-A for some more seasoning. Well, Bradley struggled mightily in the hitter-friendly PCL before hitting the shelf with an elbow strain in late-April. He hasn’t pitched in a game since, but plans are for him to return to the bump in late-June.
Bradley was 17-5 with an ERA under two and K/9 rate well over 10 last season with the D-Backs’ Single-A and Double-A clubs.
At 100 percent, Bradley’s fastball clocks in the mid-90s. Oh, and he throws a knuckle-curve. Here’s to hoping this elbow strain is a minor setback to a potential Rookie of the Year candidate.
Alex Meyer (MIN)
Stats (AAA): 4-2 / 3.30 ERA / 10.77 K/9 rate
Fantasy Liner: The Twins’ team ERA ranks 28th in MLB at 4.43, but when you remove the bullpen, their starting rotation’s 4.90 ERA is the worst in baseball. Somehow Minnesota is only four-and-a-half games out of FIRST in the American League Central.
If Kevin Correia or Ricky Nolasco suddenly come down with a case of “tired arm,” expect Meyer to get the call up to the bigs. The prospect, acquired in the Denard Span deal with the Nationals, stands 6-foot-9 with a fastball that hits the high-90s.
At 24-years-old he could be considered a “late-bloomer” in some circles, but the front office recently said they would like to see Meyer develop a little more before they promote him.
Andrew Heaney (MIA)
Stats (AAA): 3-0 / 2.74 ERA / 10.57 K/9 rate
Fantasy Liner: If the Marlins grow tired of Jacob Turner’s 5.90 ERA in eight starts, expect Heaney to be the next big arm up for the fish. The 23 year old has only lost seven games in 36 minor league starts. During that same timeframe, he’s allowed more than three runs in a start only three times.
Henry Owens (BOS)
Stats (AA): 7-3 / 2.24 ERA / 9.21 K/9 rate
Fantasy Liner: Jon Lester is on the wrong side of 30 years old, Clay Buchholz is approaching his third decade, and John Lackey and Jake Peavy are in their mid-30s. It’s time to start thinking ahead to who will join Brandon Workman and, most likely, Allen Webster in the Red Sox post-2015 rotation. Some scouting reports suggest Owens could wind up in the bullpen, but as his stats illustrate, he’s been thriving in the starting role at Double-A thus far this season with a six-inning no hitter and flirting with a second a few weeks later.
Jesse Biddle (PHI)
Stats (AA): 3-6 (12 starts) / 3.99 ERA / 9.09 K/9 rate
Fantasy Liner: If his subpar 2014 stats weren’t the low point of his season-to-date, Biddle missed a late-May start because, and I’m not kidding, he was hit in the head by large hail and complained of headaches to team trainers.
The 22 year old’s 2013 Double-A stats placed him on the hot list among national scouts after he posted a 3.64 ERA with a 10.02 K/9 rate in 27 starts (5-14 record).
Dylan Bundy (BAL)
Stats: (Rehab short season begins June 15)
Fantasy Liner: The Orioles’ top prospect this time last year, Bundy will take the mound in short-season rehab starts less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Back in 2012, Bundy struck out 119 (104 IP) and only walked 28 with 9-3 record and a 2.08 ERA to show for it while playing for three different teams within the Orioles’ farm system.