It’s week four in the minor league season and we have presented another group of young minor leaguers who had great weeks. In fact, given we are only into the season about 20 games, most have had a great season. There are some “famous” names such as Vlad Guerrero who now stands as the number one prospect in the game to Jalen Beeks, who only hardcore Boston Red Sox fans are familiar. Hopefully, as you read this, you’ll want to explore further some of these players as possible adds to your fantasy leagues or just to act smart when chatting with friends.
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Vlad Guerrero Jr. (3B, TOR) – With Ronald Acuna and Gleybar Torres now in the major and Victor Robles recovering from an elbow injury, the best player in the minor leagues is Vlad Guerrero Jr. He’s a different player than the other three with double-plus future power potential to go along with a plus hit-tool. He’s showing both tools in spade to begin the 2018 campaign with a .388 batting average while slugging .600. Oh, and he just turned 19-years-old and is already playing in Double-A.
Micker Adolfo (OF, CHW) – We’ve been talking about Micker Adolfo since he was signed by the White Sox for $1.6 million dollars in 2013 from the Dominican Republic. His development has been slowed by frequent injuries and an inability to make consistent contact. However, in the early going so far this season, his double-plus has shown through with five home runs and he has shown better overall plate discipline. That said, there is still a lot of room to improve as his strikeout rate is still at an unacceptable 40%.
Dustin Fowler (OF, OAK) – Dustin Fowler was my sleeper for the American League Rookie of the Year. So far, it’s not going well as he has yet to make it out of Triple-A. But, with a crazy strong week that had him go 9-14 over a three-game span, the Oakland brass could decide to promote him sooner than later. He’s a plus runner with some pop and could be a nice addition for fantasy owners.
Peter Alonso (1B, NYM) – Nobody in the minor leagues has been hotter over the past week that Peter Alonso. To-date, he’s batting .400 with a .788 slugging and eight home runs through 22 games in Double-A. He has power with a good idea at the plate but still likely needs the full year in the minor leagues before a potential call-up to the major leagues. Then again, he’s been pretty ridiculous and with Adrian Gonzales a shell of himself, you never know.
Christin Stewart (OF, DET) – Another slugger on this list who is off to a strong start is Christin Stewart. While he has double-plus raw power has already translated to in-game power, his inability to control the strike zone was pointing to a 30 home-run output with a .220 batting average. This year, at least in the early going, there is progress. He has 14 strikeouts, 12 walks in 93 plate appearances.
Taylor Trammell (OF, CIN) – One of my favorite players in the minor leagues is Taylor Trammell. He has speed, power and an approach that should allow him to hit and get on-base at a high rate. While he’s only batting .286 in the early going, he’s only walked nearly as much as he’s stuck out while hitting three home runs and two stolen bases. The Reds should promote him to Double-A in the second half with a chance to see Cincinnati in the second half of 2019 or early in 2020.
Jesus Sanchez (OF, TB) – Adding another two bombs this week, Jesus Sanchez has five on the season in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. While he’s batting .337, his two walks in 90 plate appearance and his .419 BABIP would suggest some regression should be anticipated. With double-plus raw power and a little speed, there’s a lot to like in Sanchez, but he needs to learn to control the strike zone better or he’ll likely never get to his secondary skills.
Brendan McKay (LHP/1B, TB) – While Shohei Ohtani has led the way, Brendan McKay could be the better two-way player in the end. While he’s batting .273 with over twice as many walks as strikeouts batting, he’s been downright dominant on the mound. In four starts, he’s struck out 24 while walking only one batter. As an elite college pitcher, it’s probably time for the Rays to move him to High-A and then Double-A over the course of the year.
Jalen Beeks (LHP, BOS) – Jalen Beeks has gotten off to a great start in Triple-A with the Pawtucket Red Sox. In 19.2 innings, he’s struck out 37 while walking only six. He throws a variety of pitches including a fastball that sits 89 to 91 MPH. It’s not great stuff but he has some deception and with an effective pitch-mix, keeps batters off-balance.
Yennsy Diaz (RHP, TOR) – With 10 strikeouts and no earned runs across 11 innings, right-hander Yennsy Diaz gets a call out on our list. Unfortunately, the 10 K’s came with seven walks, so control is currently an issue with the 6-foot-1 Dominican. His stuff is raw with a fastball that sits 92 to 93 MPH with an emerging curve and change-up.