Double Feature Sunday! Every weekend, I will be posting about the minor leaguers you should be stashing on your team. This list will be arranged by impact for this year only. Players that will be called up sooner will be ahead of players with more talent who might only be called up late in the year.
1) Yoan Moncada, 3B/2B, Chicago White Sox AAA, ETA: July
His Status in AAA is currently listed as Temporary Inactive List. Whatever that means. He has been good the last week going 5 for 17 with three runs, one homerun, three RBIs, and no stolen bases. In fact, he only has one stolen base while being caught twice in the past 12 games. Not sure if that is concerning or not but it’s not ideal. Situation has not changed much, he played games last year and the White Sox want to keep him down until mid to late July. Hold now if you can.
2) Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers AAA, ETA: July
Keeping up with players moving up and down from the minors is difficult. Last week I did not include Lewis Brinson but that wasn’t oversight, I left him off on purpose because he looked absolutely lost in the bigs going 3 for 31 with only 3 walks and striking out 13 times. He was sent back down to Colorado Springs and I wanted to see how he responded before including him again. He has lit the world on fire in the PCL, 23 for 54 with 13 XBHs, four of which were homeruns, 17 RBIs, 16 Runs, 3 SBs and most impressive, only six strikeouts. With Ryan Braun cramping up, the Brewers could call Brinson back up.
3) Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies AAA, ETA: Late July/Early August
In 666 career plate appearances, Tommy Joseph has 36 HRs, 90 RBIs, and a .256 Avg. That is not bad, but actually quite decent. With 5 years of control left and a pre-arbitration contract, the Phillies could get quite a nice return for him. Perhaps they see Tommy Joseph as the person they know what they will get performance wise from and will keep him and ship out Rhys Hoskins instead. Either way the two players cannot occupy a roster together or one must go. Hoskins has been a bit cold recently with only five hits in his last nine games, two for homeruns, but he is doing his part in creating a dilemma for the Phillies GM.
4) Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros AAA, ETA: July
Fisher has not responded as well to his demotion as Lewis Brinson has going 10 for 56 in the 14 games since he was sent back down. He does have three homeruns with 11 RBIS and 8 runs in that span so not all is bad. I like his speed and power combo and it is nice to see production even when the bat has gone a little cold. You should catch him in the Futures game this week as he represents the American Team for the Astros organization.
5) Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets AAA, ETA: July
He is fourth ranked prospect in the Baseball America mid-season prospect list. He deserves it having hit .327 with 55 runs, 7 HRs, 52 RBIs, 16 SBs in 83 games this year. He is in the MLB Futures game and could be up sometime this month. The New York Post had a good article about Jose Reyes mentoring Amed Rosario. Amed is hitting .378 the past 10 games, including a 4 for 5 effort in his last game vs El Paso.
6) Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets AAA, ETA: Late July/Early August
The New York Post had a good article on what the New York Mets could look like in 2018. They fully expect Dominic Smith to be the first baseman going forward and he warrants that depiction. He has been red-hot lately going 15 for 43 the past 10 games with four homeruns and 12 RBIs. The Mets should look to unload Lucas Duda this month and Smith could be up in two weeks or less. He has very good contact and plate discipline and will not be as prone to the hot and cold streaks you will see with other players on this list. He has great power, but needs to show it more in game situations, but he has improved each year and could eventually be a 25-30 HR guy.
7) Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers AAA, ETA: August
Now ranked 35th by Baseball America, Alex Verdugo is coming up in some trade chatter as the Dodgers have been linked to a number of players including JD Martinez. I would not give up Verdugo for half a year from JD Martinez but a World Series drought of nearly 30 years will make you desperate. Verdugo has an absurd 32:35 K:BB in 291 ABs in AAA. Yes, he has more walks than strikeouts and he started the year as the youngest player in the PCL. He is hitting .346 with 25 XBH, and will be in the PCL All Star Game. We would like to see a little more pop from him but that bat is amongst the best in the minors and is MLB Ready. The Dodgers could use him as a piece in a deal, either way he should be up in August.
8) Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox AA, ETA: August
He is second to only Scott Kingery in extra base hits in AA with 40, as he now has nineteen doubles, three triples and eighteen homeruns. He was the sixth ranked prospect on Baseball Americas mid-season prospect list climbing from the 14th spot in the preseason. Rafael Devers is doing everything he can to warrant a promotion to AAA or even MLB. The Sox have a placeholder in Tzu-Wei Lin at 3B, who owns a .805 OPS though 14 games, but the spot is strictly reserved for Devers.
9) Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies AAA, ETA: August
When it comes to prospects in the lower leagues, I always look at XBHs instead of homeruns. In 2016, Scott Kingery had only five homeruns but had 36 doubles and 3 triples. The power was there and in 2017, he unleased it with an AA leading 43 XBHs in 69 games, earning him a promotion to AAA where he continues to hit. Scott has some speed stealing 23 times in 26 attempts and looks like a 20/20 guy with a decent average. Scott is displacing his positon mate, Ozzie Albies, from this list and it is because I believe Scott Kingery will be better in 2017. However, I like Scott in fantasy more than Albies even beyond 2017 and would do that deal straight up if offered to me. Albies has a hard time vs RHP and which could be exploited in the bigs.
10) Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians AA, ETA: Late August
It is tough to call it a cold streak because he has hit .308 the last 10 games, but his avg has dipped 10 points from .349 to .339. He has only struck out 3 times in the last three games but has also only walked once. He makes good contact and probably will be a top five player at his position once he does get the call. I’m excited to watch him in the Futures Game today.
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