Minor League Sleeper Team of the Week

Jesus Sanchez, Joshua Rojas, and all of the other major prospects who moved teams last week are covered in this week's Minor League Sleeper Team of the Week

Under-the-radar players are vital to your dynasty teams; guys such as Bryan Reynolds, John Means, and Hunter Dozier are among the many players who started the season unheralded and have made a big fantasy impact. With trades including prospects happening this past week, this week’s edition of the minor league sleeper team of the week will focus more on the players moved at the recent July 31 trade deadline and figuring out an idea of their worth in dynasty leagues.

 

JB Bukauskas, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks, Age: 22

 

Current Level: Double-A

JB Bukauskas entered 2019 with a good amount of prospect hype, emerging on multiple top-100 prospects lists. His 2019 season hasn’t been exactly what he hoped it’d be with a 5.36 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, and most alarmingly 5.7 BB/9. Those statistics are a bit clouded by a start to the season in which he was completely lost, posting eight innings of 17-earned run baseball with a 7:12 K/BB ratio. Since then, he’s looked more like the prospect he’s shown himself to be with a 4.00 ERA and a 99:44 K/BB ratio in his past 81 innings. He has great stuff, and that shows itself with a 10.7 K/9 on the season, but he has more of a bullpen arsenal with a really good fastball, slider combination and if he moves there he could see himself in the majors by as early as next season. 

 

Seth Beer, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, Age: 22

 

Current Level: Double-A

It was a bit of a surprise to see Seth Beer included in the package back for Zack Greinke, not because he isn’t an interesting prospect (he certainly is) but because of the fact that no player has a clearer designated hitter profile in the minor leagues than Beer. Beer is one of the slower players in all of baseball, rating out as having 20-grade speed on most outlets, which is as low as the tool scale goes. He makes up for that with his outrageous power; Beer has 35- to 40-home run upside written all over him if he gets a chance as an everyday pro. The plate approach isn’t terrible either, as his strikeout rates have been above average so far in the minors, but those will likely find themselves at average to slightly below average rates when he makes it to the majors because of an at times overly aggressive approach. His dynasty value fades a bit with this move because I don’t think he can play in the field everyday; however, if reports of him at first base continue to be optimistic, then I can see him quickly rising through the minors and getting a chance as an everyday first baseman by 2021. 

 

Joshua Rojas, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks Age: 25


Current Level: Triple-A

As a 26th-round pick in 2017, Joshua Rojas has had a different path than most prospects. In his first professional season, he was sent to High-A immediately after being drafted, hit very well, and then was sent to Triple-A for the last four games of the season. In 2018, he spent most of the season in Double-A, where he was fairly mediocre. He started this season in Double-A and completely dominated and has done similarly well in Triple-A. He’s never struck out a ton, but a 55:66 BB/K ratio in 458 plate appearances across the two levels in 2019 is extremely impressive. His 38 steals a year ago and 33 so far this season aren’t representative of what he’ll do as a major leaguer, but he should be able to get to 15-20 steals per season. Rojas has posted career highs in home runs and OPS in 2019 with marks at 21 and 1.009 on the season. If the power is real, Rojas could present himself as a very real power-speed combination with lots of positional eligibility. The profile reminds me a lot of Marwin Gonzalez if Marwin showed more speed in the higher-levels of the minors, and Rojas should get a chance in the majors soon. 

 

Cal Stevenson, OF, Houston Astros, Age: 22

 

Current Level: High-A

It would be very Astros-esque to make a trade with Toronto and acquire the three best pieces in Aaron Sanchez, Joe Biagini, and Cal Stevenson for Derek Fisher. Stevenson had a huge 2018 after being drafted, showcasing exactly what got him drafted, a good hit tool, good speed, and a super mature plate approach. His 64:24 BB/K ratio is one of the crazier stat lines posted last season, but it also made sense given the Blue Jays kept him in Rookie Ball for 59 games. In High-A this season, he has posted impressive numbers, with a more realistic 51:52 BB/K ratio in 398 plate appearances with 13 steals and a .781 OPS. Stevenson is probably more of a fourth outfielder, but if he develops more power in the minors, there’s a higher ceiling than that. 

 

Jazz Chisholm, SS, Miami Marlins, Age: 21

 

Current Level: Double-A

Jazz Chisholm is a very fun prospect. He has legitimate 60-grade raw power and has shown it in his past couple of seasons with ISOs ranging from .228 to .268. He also has above average speed and is solid in the field. As a left-handed hitter, he’s continuously struggled against left-handed pitching, with OPS rates of .612, .670, and .575 in the past three seasons against lefties. He has a very aggressive swing, which has helped him in the power department but has also led to strikeout rates ranging around 30% the past couple of seasons. I think his profile lines up very similarly with Rougned Odor‘s, except if Odor were a better base runner—which is a useful player but not a particularly stable one. Chisholm has rebounded very well after a disastrous start to his season, so I am monitoring because if he can cut that strikeout rate, he has a chance to be one of the most exciting hitting prospects in baseball. For now, Chisholm is a very toolsy, fun player but also one with clear flaws. 

 

Jesus Sanchez, OF, Miami Marlins, Age: 21

 

Current Level: Triple-A

Jesus Sanchez profiles similarly to Chisholm as toolsy, overly aggressive hitters with great bat speed but underwhelming plate discipline. Sanchez also doesn’t have the speed Chisholm has but has more raw power. He’s also continuously played against much older competition, which makes me not as alarmed by the at times underwhelming stat lines. He needs to improve his quality of contact, as he hits the ball really hard but is hitting too many ground balls to show off his power upside, but all of his flaws are surrounded by the fact that he’s 21 years old and has performed fairly well against older competition. Out of the prospects acquired at the deadline by the Marlins, Sanchez is my favorite, but at the same time, there is some Nomar Mazara in this profile.

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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