Minor League Sleeper Team of the Week

Under-the-radar players are vital to your dynasty teams; players such as Bryan Reynolds, John Means, and Hunter Dozier are among the many players who started the season predominantly unheralded and have made big impacts for fantasy teams. This is a weekly article about some players who are putting up interesting numbers in the minors and how they should be stashed in your dynasty leagues. As a rule, the player must be 5% owned or less in Fantrax leagues. 

 

Catcher: Raudy Read (1% owned); Washington Nationals; Age: 25

 

Current Level: Triple-A

Raudy Read‘s only fantasy-useful trait is his power, but he has a good amount of it. Coming off a PED suspension a year ago that cut his season to just 53 games, Read has performed really well this season. Spending the entire season in Triple-A, his .290 ISO and 13 home runs in 206 plate appearances are pretty impressive. His plate discipline isn’t great with a 8:38 BB/K ratio, and there’s no speed in his profile. As a bat-first catcher, if he ever gets the chance in the majors, he’d be really interesting. It’s a crowded situation in front of him, but he’s worth stashing in case he gets that chance. 


First Base: Dermis Garcia (3% owned); New York Yankees; Age: 21

 

Current Level: High-A

Dermis Garcia is really good at hitting home runs. He has legitimate top-end raw power and has consistently shown it off in the lower levels of the minors, with ISOs consistently ranging in the mid to high .200s. His 17 home runs this season lead the Florida League of High-A. Unfortunately, that’s really all he’s shown an ability to do. His 35.4% strikeout rate this season is especially bad when combined with a below-average 6.4% walk rate. Adding Garcia is making a bet that a guy with big-time tools can tweak something and improve his plate approach. 


Second Base: Yonny Hernandez (0% owned); Texas Rangers; Age: 21

 

Current Level: Double-A 

Yonny Hernandez has two really good traits for his level: a super mature plate approach and really good speed. He’s consistently had more walks than strikeouts, including this season with a 57:54 BB/K ratio across 366 plate appearances against High-A and Double-A pitching, which is extremely impressive to me considering how much younger he is than his competition this season. He’s legitimately one of the fastest players in the minors also, and with how high his contact rate is, he gets a lot of chances to steal bases. There’s legitimately no power in the profile, but as a high-average/speed threat, Hernandez is interesting enough to be more owned than he is. 


Third Base: Drew Ellis (2% owned); Arizona Diamondbacks; Age: 23

 

Current Level: Double-A

As a 2017 second-round pick, Drew Ellis hasn’t put together eye-popping numbers in his stops in the lower-levels of the minors, but there’s been enough flashes for him to be here. Ellis has shown 60- to 70-grade raw power and has a very aggressive swing that has led to major pull rates in his early career. He also shows a very good plate approach, especially this season in Double-A with a 46:73 BB/K ratio in 320 plate appearances. Given his 6’3”, 210 lb. frame, there’s reason to believe as he fills out, there could be more power, but that’s not his issue. He has an extreme fly-ball heavy approach, which for most prospects would be good but for Ellis has led to such low averages that it’s hard to tell if he’ll hit enough in higher levels. Ellis is somebody who could put up crazy numbers in the PCL, so I’m still optimistic, but a slight change in his approach could do wonders. 


Shortstop: Mason McCoy (1% owned); Baltimore Orioles; Age: 24

 

Current Level: Double-A 

Mason McCoy has pretty quickly flown up the Orioles farm system. Starting the season in High-A and now in Double-A, he’s shown off a new swing that has led to him having much more of an all-fields approach. The results have been great, with a .332/.390/.440 slash line on the season. There’s not a ton of power in his bat, but there’s average speed combined with a really good hit tool that could lead to big-time double totals as he progresses. He’s carried average walk rates with fairly low strikeout rates, and he’s also a really good infielder and profiles to be able to handle shortstop or second base. I would be surprised if he doesn’t start 2020 with the Orioles, so in deep dynasties, I would be adding him now. 


Outfield: Donovan Casey (0% owned); Los Angeles Dodgers; Age: 23

 

Current Level: High-A

Donovan Casey’s power-speed combination is what puts him on this week’s team. His 16 home runs and 18 steals in 82 games this season in High-A are very intriguing. His raw power is legit, but the speed is overstated by poor High-A catching. His recent performance has been insanely good, as over his past 28 games, he has eight home runs and a 1.139 OPS. A Double-A call-up should be coming soon, and I will be watching to see if the recent speed breakthroughs can maintain themselves as well as whether he can cut his 30% strikeout rate against higher-level pitching. 


Outfield: Zach Reks (0% owned); Los Angeles Dodgers; Age: 25

 

Current Level: Triple-A 

As a 10th-round pick in 2017, Zach Reks has continuously performed well against minor-league pitching, but 2019 has been a completely different story. After a 2018 in which his first test against Double-A pitching went fine with a .753 OPS and three home runs in 296 plate appearances, he adjusted fantastically in 2019. In less than half the plate appearances, he hit nine home runs, had a .978 OPS, and drastically cut his strikeout rate. After that dominant stretch, he was called up to Triple-A, where his fantastic performance has continued. In 230 plate appearances, his 12 home runs and .894 OPS are better numbers than he showed in any level prior to 2019. The power is the main trait that has come out of nowhere. He entered 2019 with seven home runs in 523 career plate appearances but has tripled that total in 2019 against higher-level pitching. Reks is an older prospect, so the intrigue level gets dialed down a bit, but this could be another case of the Dodgers finding a gem out of nowhere. 


Outfield: Jacob Robson (1% owned); Detroit Tigers; Age: 24

 

Current Level: Triple-A

Jacob Robson combines good speed with average power and good plate discipline and has become a legitimate prospect in the Tigers organization. The former eighth-round pick probably strikes out too much to ever be an everyday bat, but his numbers in Triple-A this season as a 24-year-old are encouraging. His six home runs with 17 steals and a .752 OPS in 311 plate appearances don’t scream future stud, but there are enough tools here that if he gets a chance, he could make an impact.

 

Starting Pitcher: Cody Bolton (2% owned); Pittsburgh Pirates; Age: 21

 

Current Level: Double-A

After dominating High-A to the tune of a 1.61 ERA with a 69:14 K/BB ratio in 61.2 innings, Cody Bolton has struggled a bit since getting called up to his first test of Double-A, but I’m not too worried about it. His best pitches are his fastballs, both sitting about 92 mph. He’ll throw his four-seamer for strikes, and he uses his two-seamer/cutter as his out pitch thanks to its noticeable sink. He lacks a consistent third pitch but throws a slider and a changeup that need some work before he’s ready for the upper levels. His control is also very good, which is a big part in me believing he’ll improve against Double-A hitting. 


Relief Pitcher: Marshall Kasowski (1% owned); Los Angeles Dodgers: Age: 24

 

Current Level: Double-A

With a deceptive motion and a fastball-heavy approach, Marshall Kasowski has dominated every level at which he’s pitched . In 37.1 innings in Double-A across the past two seasons, Kasowski has a 2.41 ERA with a 59:23 K/BB ratio. His control can lack at times, but he’s fantastic at missing bats. He’s currently on the IL, but if he comes back and continues his dominant performance, there’s a chance he finds himself on the major league squad by the end of the season.

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Jt Kohout

Twenty years old. Huge baseball, basketball, and football fan. Most importantly a diehard Orioles fan. Also write for FakeTeams of SBNation and Numberfire.

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