With 120 teams and 5,000+ players spread through four levels (not to mention the Dominican Summer League and the Rookie Complex leagues in Arizona and Florida), identifying the next prospect breakout can be difficult. If you wait until end-of-season wrap-ups, a prospect may get too much coverage and no longer be available.
You can scout stat lines all year, but that can be tedious, and it’s difficult to keep an eye on every tweet and post. We may have renamed this column but fear not, intrepid dynasty league manager, this is still THE place to find your potential prospect diamonds in the rough.
For those unfamiliar, this is a weekly column where I’ll select four prospects (typically 2 hitters and 2 pitchers) who performed outstandingly in the prior week. Not only will you get a name, but also we’ll dive into what powered their results and where their future value stands. “But,” you may think to yourself, “what makes this column so different than any of the countless other blurbs, rundowns, and general prospect lists that are published?” Glad you asked!
First and foremost, this column is dedicated to the deep dynasty manager. If you’re in an 18-team league, or rostering 30+ minor leaguers, then this is your spot.
Secondly, and I don’t want to honk my horn (toot toot) but in year 1, we had a pretty solid track record of recognizing some names that have risen in value entering this season including: Kyle Manzardo, Yainer Diaz, Evan Carter, Justin Dirden, and Will Benson.
With that said, let’s get to this week’s prospects…
Player of the Week: OF Moisés Gómez, STL, AAA
Stats: (6 games) 8-24, 6 HR, 0 doubles, 8 RBI, 7 runs, 0 SBs
By now, we should all be familiar with the Cardinals’ penchant to allow OF prospects to age in the farm before being sent out to other teams to blossom into stars. 2020 brought us the legend of Randy Arozarena while 2021 was the year of Adolis García. Ironically, the Cardinals pulled the reverse Uno card on Tampa Bay, snagging OF Moisés Gómez after he was released by the Rays.
"The defending home run king strikes again!"
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 1, 2023
After hitting a MiLB-leading 39 home runs combined between AA/AAA last season, Gomez is at it again. Armed with a thick build similar to Garcia, Gomez doesn’t have the same foot speed to be a double-digit stolen base threat. Additionally, Gomez is even more chase-happy than Garcia was at this level; currently, Gomez is sporting an 18% SwStr. But if Gomez can finally crack an MLB team, he could be an Adolis-lite in the outfield and a source of cheap power in dynasty leagues.
Honorable Mention: 3B Dalmiani Palmegiani, TOR, AA
Stats: (5 games) 8-28, 1 HR, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 runs, 0 SBs
Full disclosure: I did add Palmegiani in my 20T league after looking at his stats and some video. Not much of a statline, huh? You might be asking, “What gives? I read this article for guys that are tearing up minor league pitching and on the verge of flying up charts.” I get it, but hear me out. He’s probably never going to be a highly-ranked prospect.
For one thing, he was drafted with no defensive home so many analysts were dubious of his ability to stick out as an everyday player. Secondly, he has no plus tools BUT he seems to do a lot of things quite well. 24 HRs combined between A ball levels last season, a SwStr rate perpetually ≤ 10%, and this year, he’s at AA with a 14% walk rate and 75% contact rate to support his .277/.393/.459.
He’s probably free in your 16T or more, he plays both CI well enough and if the Blue Jays continue pushing him up, he could be knocking on the door this time next year.
Pitcher of the Week: SP Yu-Min Lin, ARI, High A
Stats: (1 start) 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 BB, 13 Ks
Sometimes, it’s difficult to identify a pitcher for The Prospect Watchlist that really stood head and shoulders above the rest in any given week. But sometimes, it’s really obvious. As this past week wound down, Lin put up the best pro start of his career.
Even though Lin is still a few years away from the majors, he’s showing the strike-throwing and whiff-inducing abilities that we commonly covet as dynasty managers from pitchers. Per Tommy Nestico (@TJStats), Lin is in the 95th or above percentile in K-BB%, Whiff %, and CSW% for all High A pitchers.
It’s your call whether you want to invest in Lin now or wait to see him perform in the gauntlet known as AA Amarillo but he’s absolutely announced himself as a pitcher to monitor for the rest of the season.
Honorable Mention: SP Spencer Arrighetti, HOU, AA
Stats: (1 start) 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, 1 BB, 12 Ks
Arrighetti popped onto some radars in ’21 with his 40+% K rate at Low A. This season, Arrighetti continues in AA after finishing his season last year at the same level. Especially notable seems to be how he’s picking up momentum in his performance as the weather warms.
Arrighetti was named the Astros’ minor league pitcher of the month for May and his numbers back it up; 37 Ks, 8 walks, .67 ERA, and .135 BAA all point to a pitcher who’s getting comfortable at AA.
The fastball seems to get some horizontal movement glove-side along with being located at the top and bottom of the zone for strikes. We know the Astros mold their pitchers just right until they’re ready to show up just in time for the big league club (see: Valdez, Framber; Brown, Hunter; France, J.P.) so I wouldn’t be surprised if Arrighetti shows up in late ’24/early ’25, fully formed much to the surprise of your league. Take heed now.