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Eye On The Minors: Andrew Heaney & Kyle Parker

The last of the big projected June prospect call-ups just debuted Thursday night as Andrew Heaney, the Marlins’ top prospect, made his Major League debut against the the Mets. The Marlins officially marked the beginning of their new regime this week, when they brought up Heaney and fellow rookie Anthony DeSclafani, while cutting bait on veterans Kevin Slowey and Randy Wolf.

They also re-called young outfielder Jake Marisnick, making Miami one of the youngest teams in the National League, while they stay in the hunt in the NL East. Heaney was the tough luck loser in his debut on Thursday, going 6 IP with 3 Ks while allowing just 5 baserunners and 1 ER, a solo shot to David Wright in the first inning. If it was first inning jitters, he settled in cruising through the next 5, but came up against a dominant performance from Zach Wheeler who threw a complete game shutout with 8 Ks.


Andrew Heaney - LHP, MIA

Andrew Heaney Miami Marlins MLB News

Heaney is a 23-year old left-hander, drafted out of Oklahoma State in 2012. In 2013, his first year of pro ball, he jumped all the way to Double-A Jacksonville and to the top of the Marlins’ prospect list. In six Double-A starts last year, he held his own with a 1.19 WHIP and 2.94 ERA, posting a 4-1 record in 33.2 innings of work.

He returned to Jacksonville this season for eight starts, where he whiffed around a man per inning, recorded a 2.35 ERA and earned a promotion to Triple-A. At four starts with New Orleans, he had one clunker (a six-inning, 11-hit debacle) and three other starts where he allowed two total runs. Most impressively, he struck out 27 and walked only two in 23 Triple-A innings.

Heaney has a fastball in the low 90’s (he can reach back for more), a slider and a sinking changeup – all better than average pitches. He is definitely a control pitcher, posting a nearly 4-to-1 K-to-BB ratio in the minors. He can be expected to contribute in all four starter categories in fantasy baseball, and got a weak Mets offense in his first start Thursday where he pitched well. With a big park behind him and some weaker opponents on the schedule, he should have mid-rotation fantasy value immediately.


Kyle Parker - 1B/OF, COL

The Colorado Rockies have been hit hard by injuries and have seen any chance at a playoff berth slowly fade away. With Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and Michael Cuddyer all benched with injuries, the Rockies have turned to Kyle Parker and Tim Wheeler to take some at bats at the infield corners. Wheeler figures to just hang around as depth until Arenado is ready, but Parker has a chance to stay on the roster to help fill Cuddyer’s shoes.

Parker is regarded as the better of the two prospects after clubbing 23 homers in Double-A Tulsa last season and adding seven more at Triple-A Colorado Springs this year. As we all know, power plays huge in Coors Field. With Morneau at first and a glut of outfielders on the roster, I doubt Parker will see enough time to make him a worthy pickup unless your league is very deep. I can see him sticking as a platoon bat versus lefties and a pinch hitter, but not for much else, unless the injury bug hits again.


More MLB Prospects News and Notes

The Cardinals curiously sent Oscar Taveras back to Memphis when Matt Adams came off the DL. Taveras was not producing much in the majors, but will be back soon. It’s hard to say whether this is a service-time move or a means of development, but I would expect the Cards to clear room for their top prospect at the trade deadline.

Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts just keeps hitting and now they are trying him out in the outfield in the minors. He tore up Double-A and is now batting .292 with two homers in 48 at bats for Triple-A Pawtucket. Betts’ natural position is second base, where he is blocked in the organization, but with the Sox’s woes in the outfield this year, he may contribute before the year is out.