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Hot Prospects – Week 12

The minor league system marches on with the second half of the season for most leagues beginning later this week.  As I did last year, I had a chance to take-in the California League All-Star game.  This year’s game had better talent and was more pleasurable to attend.  Last year’s game was in Visalia California, where the game-time temperature was 109 degrees.  This year, the game was in Lancaster California, one of my favorite places to see a game.  It’s not a particularly nice stadium, but the fans are great and the ball flies out.  Both occurred this year, but only one of the teams was hitting.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player. 

Evan White (Sea, 1B, High-A) – Most minor league games I attend, and I attend a lot, don’t have many players that will make it to the show.  I try not to think about it too much, otherwise, I get bummed for the players, and bummed by my career choices.  But on Tuesday, I had a chance to see the California League All-Star game in Lancaster California and the teams were full of future major leaguers.  One of the most famous guys who played was Evan White, the Mariners first round pick in 2017.  He’s having a middling season, batting .263 with two home runs.  As one of the better college players coming out of that draft, I’m assuming the Mariners are disappointed.

At least for one evening, White showed his potential.  He pulled a 90 MPH fastball for a home run and hit a solid single later in the game.  He showed good bat speed and balance at the plate.  What he didn’t show in batting practice or game time was any leverage in his swing.  It’s a swing more geared to contact than power.  This is a problem as he’s a first baseman and this will not play.  At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, he’s big and strong enough to generate power, but as we’ve seen with Joe Mauer and James Loney, to name two, sometimes power just doesn’t come.

Dairon Blanco (Oak, OF, High-A) – The most impressive player at the California League All-Star game was Dairon Blanco, a 25-year-old Cuban émigré that last played ball in 2013.  He went 4 for 5 with a popup that turned into a home run.  Yeah, that happens a lot in Lancaster where the wind usually blows out to right field and it’s hot with an elevation. of 2,500 feet.  Despite the home run, he doesn’t project for much power but can hit with plus speed.

Alex Kirilloff (Min, OF, Low-A) – Fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery last season, Alex Kirilloff is showing the kind of talent that made him a first-round draft pick in 2016.  In 61 games in the Midwest League, he’s hitting .340 with 12 home runs and a reasonable 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.   After batting .371 in May and .387 in June, it shouldn’t be long before he calls Fort Myers his home.

Nick Senzel (Cin, 3B, Triple-A) – Most of the big prospects we thought would be promoted this year have in fact been promoted, except for one – Nick Senzel.  Unfortunately, he lost three weeks of time due to another bout of Vertigo.  The same thing sent him to the disabled list at the end of the 2017 season.  Hopefully, the problem is behind him; at least his production says it is.  In 15 games in June, he’s hitting .371 with a .532 SLG showing a good control of the strike zone.

Jo Adell (LAA, OF, High-A) – This is getting ridiculous.  Jo Adell continues to mash the ball and the 19-year-old is showing no signs of resistance since his promotion to High-A.  In 23 games, he’s hit eight home runs with five stolen bases.  It’s not all perfect as he has an ugly 30/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 112 plate appearances.  So, if you think Adell is going to do a Ronald Acuna, he needs to improve his 28% strikeout rate first.  That said, the other four tools will play and possibly very loudly at that.

Yordan Alvarez (Hou, OF, Double-A) – After spending five weeks on the disabled list, Yordan Alvarez went 7 for 15 with two home runs in his first three games back.  Overall, he’s slashing .320/.384/.582 with eight home runs in 30 games in Double-A.  Plus, he’s still young.  He only turns 22 next week.  The problem, of course, is he’s blocked all over the place in Houston.  The Astros have moved him to the outfield, but that didn’t help much as not only are the Astros stacked in the outfield in the majors, they have Derek Fisher in Triple-A and uber-prospect Kyle Tucker sitting in front of him.  As is always the case, playing time usually gets worked out.  It’s a good thing too, as Alvarez is becoming one of the best prospects in the game.

Taylor Ward (LAA, 3B, Triple-A) – In 2016 it looked Taylor Ward’s career had stalled.  He was asked to repeat High-A, which is never good for a first-round draft pick, particularly a college pick.  But, he started to figure things out and since then, he’s shown the talent that made him a first-round draft pick.  He was recently promoted to Triple-A and through 14 games he has a 1.030 OPS with three home runs and three stolen bases.  I don’t think he’ll be a star, but he showing enough in the upper minors that fantasy owners should take note.

Adrian Morejon (SD, LHP, High-A) – I was disappointed that neither Chris Paddack nor Adrian Morejon pitched in the California League All-Star Game.  Maybe Morejon was tired after striking out 12 of the 23 batters he faced four days prior.    Morejon has some of the best stuff in the Padres system and with three quality pitches already, could start to move quickly on his way to the big leagues.

Dane Dunning (CHW, RHP, Double-A) – The Adam Eaton trade continues to bear dividends for the White Sox – and yes, I’m in denial about how bad Lucas Giolito has been.  Dane Dunning, the third pitcher in the deal started the year in Winston-Salem but had no trouble in four games and was promoted to Double-A.  In 10 starts he’s posted a 2.78 ERA with 65 strikeouts and only 19 walks.  He’s not a flamethrower, sitting more 92 to 94 MPH but his secondary pitches have taken a nice step-up this year.

Adonis Medina (PHI, RHP, High-A) – I really liked Adonis Medina when I saw him pitch in Lakewood last season and was disappointed when he got off to a tough start in High-A.  He hit the DL in early May and has come back showing the kind of stuff and polish I saw last year.  In his 24 innings since his return, he’s given up three earned runs while striking out 27 and walking seven.  This includes a 10 strikeout performance earlier this week.

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Week 13 Waiver Wire

Our Week 13 Waiver Wire article has 20 players that could be able to help your team. As always we try and go deep with players that some of your fellow owners might not be considering. We also try to anticipate some moves that might happen in a few weeks so you can be the first on the block to take advantage.

The list can be found here.

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Hot Prospect – Week 11

Believe it or not, we are getting to the half-way point in the minor league season with the all-star games beginning next week.  It also signals the start of the expanded minor league season with short-season contest beginning.  That’s seven additional leagues in which to pull players.  Perhaps I should expand the list to 15?

With your feedback, I went a little deeper this week.  I focused on some guys who had truly great weeks, but not great seasons.  Are they real or just hot?  Read on and find out.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player. 

Jo Adell (LAA, OF, High-A) – Jo Adell continues to swing a hot bat and is hitting .340 in the month of June.  He’s a toolsy player with plus raw power and plus speed that could translate into a 20/20 player once he has fully developed.  The best part is that he’ll play the entire season as a 19-year, not turning 20 until next April.

Jake Rogers (Det, C, Double-A) – After hitting three home runs in a game earlier this week, Jake Rogers makes our Hot Prospect List.  Granted, he’s only hitting .187 for the season, but when you hit .381 in the month of May with a 1,000 SLG, you get noticed.  Rogers is a plus defender with a cannon for an arm and if he can continue to cut down on his strikeouts, he might be more than just a backup catcher in the big leagues.

Ryan Noda (Tor, OF, Low-A) – After batting .169 in May and .233 in April, Ryan has hit .406 since June 1st with six home runs and a SLG of 1,000.  Through his struggles and success, one thing has stayed constant – his ability to take a walk.  To-date, he has more walks than strikeouts with a 23% strikeout rate.  There is definite intrigue with Noda as he has a nice approach with plus raw power.  Before jumping totally in, let’s see what he can do as he moves to Dunedin of the Florida State League.

Keston Hiura (Mil, 2B, Double-A) – We know that Keston Hiura can hit, but since being promoted to Double-A on June 1st, he has five stolen bases. That’s nine for the year to go along with eight home runs and a plus hit-tool.  The Brewers are pushing him hard and he’s responding.  With Jonathon Villar sporting a 30% strikeout rate and a BABIP induced .277 batting average, it’s only a matter of time before Hiura pushes Villar to the utility role that better suits his skill set.

Khalil Lee (KC, OF, High-A) – After a slow start, Khalil Lee is starting to heat up.  In 11 games in June, he’s slashing .325/.386/.625 with two home runs and two stolen bases.  He still strikeouts out too much but the effect is muted given his ability to work a walk.  If it all comes together, he profiles as a prototypical corner outfielder with plus power.

Jhailyn Ortiz (Phi, OF, Low-A) – I really liked Jhailyn Ortiz entering the season, but after a rough start to the season and a trip to the DL, I was getting worried.  He’s really heated up in June with a .395 batting average and a .750 SLG.  The raw power is real but the approach is not.  In 37 games, he has struck out 50 times while only walking seven times.  Granted he’ll play the entire season as a teenager, but he needs to learn to control the strike zone better in order for him to reach his ceiling.

Chris Paddack (SD, RHP, High-A) – I’ll be at the California League all-star game next week and I’m assuming that Chris Paddack will get the honor to start the games for the South Team.  If not, there should be an investigation.  In eight starts, he has struck out 70 batters while only walking three.  Yes, that’s a 70-3 strikeout to walk ratio.  I’m assuming that game will be his swansong to the California League.  He’s primarily a fastball/change-up pitcher with his change-up being absolutely unhittable at-times.   I hear the curveball still needs work but will let you know once I see him next week.

Josh James (Hou, RHP, Triple-A) – In each of my Dynasty Leagues, Josh James was added over the past week.  Yes, that makes him the flavor of the week, and for good reason.  With a 2.36 ERA and nearly a 13.9 strikeout rate, he’s making the PCL look pretty easy.  The arsenal says starter, but if you haven’t seen him pitch, the delivery still says reliever.  There’s just a lot of effort in his delivery but so far, he looks like he can repeat it.

Jesus Luzardo (Oak, LHP, Double-A) – Jesus Luzardo continues to dazzle with back-to-back five-inning three-hit, eight strikeouts, and zero walk performances.   The former Nationals draftee has premium stuff with good control and should start to make noise for a big league promotion sometime next year.

Justin Dunn (NYM, RHP, Double-A) – When the Mets drafted Justin Dunn with their first pick in the 2016 draft, I cheered.  I loved the combination of stuff, athleticism, and makeup.  However, last season was a tough year for the 22-year-old right-hander as he pitched to a 5.00 ERA.  This season though has been a different story.  He righted the ship with a return to the Florida State League flashing his premium stuff and pitching to a 1.52 ERA in eight starts.  The Mets promoted him to Binghamton last week and in his debut, he pitched seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts.

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Week 12 Waiver Wire

“Another week, another waiver wire article.” I know that’s what a lot of you are saying, but we dig deep to find the best names for you to consider on your fantasy teams. I know, there isn’t a name that can replace Strasburg or Ohtani, boy do I know, but nonetheless, the game is won through small and strategic plays throughout the year.  That’s what we aim to provide.

The list can be found here.

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Hot Prospects – Week 10

To celebrate the annual MLB Draft, we have included a number of former top draft picks, who just so happened to have had really good weeks.  Royce Lewis and Keston Hiura continue to impress after going number one and number nine overall from last year’s draft and Mickey Moniak, the 2016 number one overall pick makes our list after having a terrific week.  Included also in the list is Sixto Sanchez, who is quickly climbing the ranks of the best pitcher in minor league baseball and one of my breakout players this year, Jonathan Loaisiga.

I could go on and on, but why when you can simply read the capsules below.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player. 

Royce Lewis (SS, Min, Low-A) – Royce Lewis took the honor of being selected 1:1 last year and has been making the most of his opportunity this year.  Even with a rough start to June, he’s still batting .292 with a .341 OBP while stealing 15 bases and slugging 3 home runs.  He’ll likely spend the majority of the year in Low-A as he just turned 20  on Tuesday and is one of the younger positional players in the Midwest League.

Keston Hiura (2B, Mil, Double-A) – After posting a .925 OPS in High-A, the Brewers finally promoted Keston Hiura to Double-A to start the month of June.  He picked up right where he left off in High-A, hitting .353 so far in June.  We all knew he could hit and that’s playing out and with a little pop and speed, he could see Milwaukee sometime in 2019.  The best news is he’s finally playing the field.  Since May 16th, he’s seen most of his playing time at second base.

Mickey Moniak (OF, PHI, High-A) – It’s been a tough go so far for Mickey Moniak, the 2016 first overall pick.  He struggled mightily last season in Low-A as well as the first part of this season in High-A.  But over the past couple of weeks, he’s hit .357 with a home run.  Sure, it’s a small sample size and I will admit, a somewhat contrived sample size at that, but hey I wanted to include him in the list; and, he’s been better.  Still, there is a lot of work to do.  He’s still striking out too much and never walks.  In 46 games this year, he has a 49K/6BB strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Will he make it?  At this point, I’m not sure.

William Contreras (C, ATL, Low-A) – I know this one will play tricks on you, but Willson Contreras has a younger brother and just like the Molina clan, he’s a catcher.  William Contreras plays for the Braves and is off to a nice start to the 2018 season and has been red-hot over the past week.   He’s showing a nice ability to control the strike zone and while he doesn’t have the same kind of pop as his brother, should develop at least average power.  He’s still three years away, but there is a lot to like with the younger Contreras.

Brandon Marsh (OF, LAA, High-A) –Brandon Marsh was promoted in mid-May to High-A and after an adjustment period has been on fire over the past week, going 11 for 26.  He’s got size, speed, and power and while the stat line is still kind of ugly, if it all comes together, the tools could make him an all-star.

Braden Bishop (OF, Sea, Double-A) – After batting only .176 in April, Braden Bishop hit .315 in May and a robust .421 through four games in June.    He has plus speed but is starting to show some pop this year with six home runs,  While the profile is likely a fourth outfielder, if the power continues to develop, he could get regular at-bats at the highest level.

Sixto Sanchez (RHP, PHI, High-A) – Pitching at the ripe age of 19, Sixto Sanchez has pitched extremely well in the Florida State League this year.  In eight starts, he’s posted a 2.51 ERA, striking out nearly a batter an inning while limiting his walks to two per nine.  The best news is his stuff is nasty.  With a fastball that he can run up to the upper nineties and a curveball that continues to improve, he has everything to pitch along with Aaron Nola at the top of the Phillies rotation very soon..

Jonathan Loaisiga (RHP, NYY, Double-A) – Somebody asked me who the next Yankees call-up might be once the Domingo German experiment is over.  The easy answer is Chance Adams, maybe Josh Rogers who has pitched well, or even the Yankees top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.  But, none of those guys are on the 40-man, but you know who is?  Jonathan Loaisiga.  Sure, he’s only had four starts in Double-A, but in 18 innings, he’s struck out 20 while only walking three.  This included a five-inning gem he threw this week where he struck out eight and did not walk anyone.  It’s a long shot, but don’t be surprised if you see Loaisiga in the big leagues at some point this year.

Lewis Thorpe (LHP, Min, Double-A) – Lewis Thorpe was my emerging prospect for two years.  Once was before TJ Surgery and once was after.  He’s now in Double-A and having a nice season.  In 10 starts, he’s pitched to a 3.74 ERA, striking out 10 per nine while walking three per nine.  Last week, he pitched 11 shutout innings, striking out 14 while walking four.

Hunter Greene (RHP, Cin, Low-A) – I loved Hunter Greene entering last year’s draft – athleticism, great makeup and character, and oh yeah, a fastball that can hit triple-digits.  He got off to a rough start to the season but has improved as the season has progressed.  His last outing was his best.  In five innings, he struck out eight, didn’t give up a walk with only one earned run allowed.  Perhaps it’s time to go to a fellow owner and talk up his 6.32 ERA and see if you can get him on the cheap.  I know I’m going to give it a shot.

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Week 11 Waiver Wire

This is the first week that our waiver wire does not include several high-end prospects making their way to the major leagues.  Well, I guess you could call Ronny Rodriquez still a prospect but at 26, he’s barely one.  That said, there are still a number of great names for you to chose from.  Some surprising names for guys who were once good and could be once again.

The list can be found here.

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Hot Prospects Week 9

BREAKING…Vlad Guerrero Jr. went 0-4 on May 30th.  It doesn’t happen very often but the best prospect in baseball who is still batting nearly .450 for the month of May can have an off-night.  Since he didn’t make our list, so many of our readers love seeing his name, I thought I would oblige.

So with Vlad in a one-game funk, I turned to Fernando Tatis as our lead player this week.  While he’s not Vlad, he’s very good and a .342 batting average with a .632 SLG in the month of May reminded the baseball world what he can do on a baseball diamond.  There are a ton of good names on the list this week, including a Buddy, a Daz, and a Cionel.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player. 

Fernando Tatis (SS, SD, Double-A) – After batting a lonely .177 in April, Fernando Tatis has turned things around nicely in May, hitting .342 with a .632 SLG.  He also hit six home runs during the month of May for a total of nine and added five stolen bases.  While it’s easy to be a little disappointed in Tatis production to-date, given what Vlad Jr. and Juan Soto have done this year, remember he’s only 19 and is already playing in Double-A.  The future continues to be very bright with a chance to hit for power with above-average speed on the base paths.

Eloy Jimenez (OF, CHW, Double-A) – Eloy Jimenez continued to rake and finished up the month of May with a .379 batting average and a .650 SLG.  He still doesn’t walk a ton but his power is for real and he makes enough contact to put him into a Khris Davis type of category.  That should be translated as a 40-home run bat with a .250 to .260 batting average and a low .300 OBP.

Daz Cameron (OF, DET, High-A) – Daz Cameron had a nice month of May where he slashed .324/.418/.544 in 68 games.  The most important aspect is he cut down on his strikeouts, something that has plagued him since the Astros drafted him 37th overall in 2015.  He has plus speed and enough power to be a regular performer at the highest level.  If he can learn to control the strike zone better, his tools give him the upside of an all-star performer.

Buddy Reed (OF, SD, High-A) – In a stacked Padres system, Buddy Reed is having a very nice season playing for Lake Elsinore in the California League.  He’s batting .348 with a .587 SLG and eight home runs.  He is already 23-years-old and is coming off a poor season in Low-A, but he has plus speed (23 stolen bases) and some pop.  He has altered his swing to try and find a more consistent swing path; so far, it seems to be working.

Seuly Matias (OF, KC, Low-A) – At the ripe age of 19, Seuly Matias leads the Sally League in home runs at 14.  The approach is aggressive and there is length in his swing, but clearly, the raw power is for real.  But, the 36% strikeout rate will have to improve in order for that power to play as he moves through the minor leagues.  As stated, he’s only 19 and will play the entire season at that age so he has time on his side.

Evan White (1B, Sea, High-A) – When I wrote about Evan White last fall, I wasn’t sure what to make of him.  After two months this season, I’m still perplexed.  There is a lot to like.  He’s a double-plus defender at first, runs well enough to steal double-digit bases, has always been able to hit but his swing doesn’t project a ton of power.  The problem is he’s a first baseman or perhaps a corner outfielder – usually positions in which you want to see power.  He could develop 15 to 18 home run power but I don’t see much more unless he changes his swing.  He was on fire last week, going 9 for 24.

Andres Gimenez (SS, NYM, High-A) – At 19 and playing in the Florida State League, Andres Gimenez has more than held his own.  He’s hitting .270 with a .344 OBP and a .401 SLG.  He also has 14 stolen bases.  With his plus speed, he’s got the profile of a top-of-the-order bat.  While he’s blocked by Amed Rosario at short, he could move to second and be just fine.  Then again, Rosario has not been very good, much to my chagrin, so perhaps he could become the future shortstop for the Mets.

Cionel Perez (RHP, Hou, Double-A) – Cuban émigré, Cionel Perez is having an impressive season at Corpus Christi for the Astros.  He’s striking out over 11 batters per nine which have led to a microscopic 1.88 ERA.  He doesn’t have premium stuff but relies on extreme command and control.  That said, he can run his fastball to 93 to 94 when he needs something extra.  Another mark against him is his size.  He’s 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds.  The Astros believe they have something here and given the success, they’ve had in developing pitchers, it’s hard to argue with them.

Ryan Helsley (RHP, STL, Triple-A) – As I write this article, the news of Alex Reyes having a “significant” lat injury is crossing the wires.  As an owner, I’m bummed as I missed the call-up this week and of course, I’ll miss him for what, 4-6 more weeks?  Gotta love this game.  Anyway, Ryan Helsley could be a candidate down the road to fill-in for the Reyes.  He’s had three excellent starts at Triple-A, including seven shutout innings, 10 strikeouts against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox this past week.

Logan Allen (LHP, SD, Double-A) – I invested heavily in Logan Allen in the off-season and was dismayed when he got off to such a rough start to the season.  At the end of May, he’s shown flashes of being the guy I thought he was when he struck out 12 batters over six innings two weeks ago but then followed up that gem with a five earned runs in 5.1 performance last week.  He’s got very good stuff with above-average control.  If you are an owner, hang in there.  If he’s on your waiver wire, you might want to consider adding him to your roster.

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Waiver Wire – Week 10

Happy Memorial Day to everyone living in the US.  I trust you will have a great and fun-filled day and will enjoy wall-to-wall baseball.

Enjoy our waiver wire list. There are a ton of great names.  The list can be found here.

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Hot Prospects – Week 7

I didn’t want to do it, but I just had to.  Vlad Guerrero Jr. makes our list.  It’s been just ridiculous for the 19-year-old.  Let me repeat…he’s 19.  He walks more than he’s striking out, he’s hitting everything in sight and with power.  How long will it be?  Well, nobody knows, but my colleague Tim McLeod decided not to partake in the Juan Soto sweepstakes last week and put a small bet instead on Vlad Jr.  I thought it was a brilliant move that could very well pay dividends this year.  Hint…it’s time to invest.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player. 

Vlad Guerrero Jr. (TOR, 3B) – Vlad Guerrero is slashing .425/.479/.694 as a 19-year-old in Double-A.  He’s only struck out 18 times in 41 games while walking 17 times.  He’s the best player in the minor leagues and if it weren’t for my lack of creative ways to write about him, would likely appear on this list each and every week.  When does he arrive in the major leagues?  I’m not sure, but the Super-2 date passes in about a month and that feels like the right time.

Jo Adell (LAA, OF) – Jo Adell lasted all of 24 games in Low-A, but after posting a .979 OPS the Angels had seen enough and promoted him two days ago to Inland Empire of the California League.  He’s only 19 and a young 19 at that, he still needs some work on developing a solid approach at the plate.  However, his combination of speed and power is very intriguing with a potential impact player profile at the highest level.

Daulton Varsho (ARI, C) – When a catcher steals 11 bases in the first six weeks of the year, it gets your attention.  Arizona catcher Daulton Varsho has done just that.  He can hit with a little bit of pop and obviously good speed, particularly for a catcher.  The problem is he might not be a catcher long-term as he has an average arm at best.  However, he is athletic enough to move to the outfield or even second base.

Kevin Smith (TOR, SS) – The Blue Jays drafted Kevin Smith last year in the fourth round and he’s had little trouble with Low-A.  In 41 games, he’s posted a 1.081 OPS with seven home runs and 10 stolen bases.  As a highly drafted college player, it’s reasonable to expect him to move through the level quickly. However, he came in with an average at best hit tool showing poor contact and an aggressive approach.  So far, he seems to have corrected that.  If it’s sustainable, the Jays might have found a gem.

Oscar Mercado (STL, OF) – Oscar Mercado makes a repeat appearance on our Hot Prospect list by going 15 for 24 over the past week.  For the year, he’s hitting .329 with a .491 SLG, six home runs and 10 stolen bases.  If that line feels a little like Tommy Pham, you’re thinking what I am.  The problem of course is he’s blocked by a plethora of outfielders in St. Louis.  However, if he continues to hit, he’ll get the chance to play.

Jeter Downs (CIN, SS) – The Reds drafted Jeter Downs last year in the first round and at 19-years-old, he has more than held his own over the first six weeks of the season.   He’s shown plenty of speed, stealing 14 of 17 bases while belting six home runs; three over the past week.  If it all comes together, he could be a dynamic top-of-the-lineup bat in three to four years.

MJ Melendez (KC, C) – MJ Melendez, the Kansas City young catcher, had a terrific week going 10 for 27 with three homes in Low-A.  He’s already a fairly advanced backstop who has good power but currently needs to work on controlling the strike zone.  In 138 plate appearances, he has a 31% strikeout rate while only walking 10 times.

Michael Kopech (CHW, RHP) – Since we included Vlad Jr. in the list, I decided to remind everyone that Michael Kopech, one of the best pitchers left in the minor leagues is also having a terrific season.  His stuff was on display last week when he pitched seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts and two walks against Columbus.  He followed that up with a solid outing against Norfolk yesterday.  He still walks too many but has elite stuff with an upper nineties fastball and a slider that is his primary swing and miss pitch.  The change-up is still not there and with below-average control, he still could profile as a reliever.  But, he’s an exciting arm that should see Chicago sometime in the second half.

Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY, RHP) – Everywhere you turn, the Yankees seem to have a hard-throwing pitcher that is moving through their system quickly.  Jonathan Loaisiga is the latest.  He started the year off in High-A and after dominating in four starts (26K/1BB), he was promoted to Double-A where he’s had little trouble.  In three starts, he has pitched to a 2.08 ERA with 14 strikeouts and three walks.  He has a nice three pitch mix with a fastball that can touch the upper nineties and a nice curveball that looks like he has finally harnessed this year.  He is 23 already with TJ surgery on the books, but he is a kid that bears attention.

Jonathan Hernandez (Tex, RHP) – Jonathan Hernandez has been quietly having a terrific start to the 2018 season.  In seven starts, he’s struck out 51 while walking 15.  In his last two starts, he did not give up a hit; striking out 10 in his start on the 23rd in only six innings.  He’s shown better control than he has in the past, but given his violent delivery, he’ll likely never have plus control.  However, he has really good stuff with a nice fastball/slider combination.

 

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Waiver Wire – Week 9

As we approach Memorial Day, it’s past time to do some soul searching on your fantasy teams.  We present some fine options for you to explore that can help your fantasy team…NOW…and a few in the future.

You can access the list here.