Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Eye On The Minors: RotoBaller Prospects Road Trip!


This week, I am going to depart from my usual format and review the Minor League road trip I’ve been on for the past week. On Thursday, I left on a 2,500 mile drive from Scottsdale, Arizona to Andover, New Jersey. Normally, that drive can be done in two REALLY long days or three pretty long days of driving. But there is so much baseball between the desert and the northeast, so why rush.  I was able to see games in Albuquerque, Tulsa, Kansas City (MLB), Indianapolis and Columbus – seeing six triple-A teams, two double-A teams, plus the Twins and Royals – over the course of a six-day drive.

 

MLB Prospects Update: Late April Edition

Though my article is only supposed to focus on National League prospects, I am going to break the rules and write about each game I saw and the guys who impressed or bombed - even if they are AL players.

 

THURSDAY 4/17: El Paso (SD) vs. Albuquerque (LAD)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Joc_Pederson.jpgThe Isotopes prevailed 2-1 in a pitchers’ duel. Outfielder Joc Pederson continued to impress. He had two hits and stole his fifth base of the season, showing more speed than I observed in Spring Training. He now has 30 hits in 72 triple-A at bats, five homers, 16 walks a .523 OBP and nothing else to prove at this level.

Also featured on the ‘Topes is Alex Guerrero, who lost out on the Dodgers’ second base competition this spring. Guerrero is also having no problem with triple-A, notching a hit in 14 of his first 30 at bats with a 5-to-1 K/BB ratio. Dee Gordon is off to a hot start in LA, but Guerrero should be up and producing in the big leagues as soon as an injury hits or Gordon slumps. For El Paso, Padres’ outfielder Cameron Maybin was on a rehab assignment – and not hitting well. He’s managed a few multi-hit games since I saw him, but he’s off the fantasy radar until he can prove he can be healthy and productive. That’s a shame for a guy once thought to have 20/20 potential.

 

FRIDAY 4/18: Northwest Arkansas (KC) vs. Tulsa (COL)

This was an ugly game where five errors by Tulsa led to a 6-5 loss.  Royals’ prospects OF Jorge Bonifacio and 3B Cheslor Cuthbert were the biggest names in this game. Bonifacio is extremely talented, but also very young. Same for Cuthbert, who was once considered one of the organization’s top young hitters. Both guys will need to show more in double-A before getting a promotion. Neither is fantasy-worthy this season. The only prospects worth looking at with Tulsa are their two big starting pitchers, Jon Gray and Eddie Butler. Unfortunately, neither was starting on Friday night. I did talk to Butler, though, and get his autograph in hopes that he makes it big with the Rockies!

 

SATURDAY 4/19: Twins at Royals

I just wanted to see another game at one of the best and underrated ballparks in the MLB. The Royals won 5-4 as Bruce Chen earned a win despite allowed four runs and 12 baserunners over five innings. Danny Duffy spelled him in relief and tossed two strong innings, making me wonder which pitcher should be in the rotation.  In any case, Duffy has carved out a niche in the Royals’ pen and is a smart pick-up in leagues with holds. He could end up starting by the end of the season and has good strikeout and rate-stat potential.

 

SUNDAY 4/20: Louisville (CIN) at Indianapolis (PIT)

This was an Easter Sunday matinee in a great triple-A park in downtown Indy. The visiting Louisville Bats won 5-1, but I was most interested in seeing Pirates’ prospect Gregory Polanco. Polanco has torn up triple-A this season to the tune of .419/.456/.649. The Pirates are struggling in the outfield with Travis Snider and Jose Tabata seeing regular at bats. It is just a matter of time before Pittsburgh calls upon Polanco to join McCutchen and Marte in the slickest-fielding outfield in the majors. Polanco will be an impact fantasy player as soon as he gets the chance. I’m sure the Pirates would love to wait it out for arbitration clock reasons, but a slow start in the standings may force their hand earlier.

 

MONDAY 4/21: Toledo (DET) at Columbus (CLE)

Since American League prospects aren’t necessarily my purview on RotoBaller, I’ll just give a few notes from the Clippers’ 6-4 win. Columbus 2B Jose Ramirez went 4-for-5 with two homers. Ramirez is tiny (5’9”) and is blocked by Jason Kipnis, but he could be a utility guy in the majors right now. First baseman Jesus Aguilar looked really good, launching a homer on a 2-for-3 night. Aguilar has five homers in 17 games and a .393/.464/.721. Small sample sizes beware, but he could be a factor in Cleveland before the season is over. Toledo has a hard-throwing reliever named Jose Ortega who is a hot mess. He throws the ball around 96-97 MPH, but seemingly has no idea how to control it. He took the loss as a result of two wild pitches (that were, somehow, scored passed balls) in the eighth inning. It wasn’t pretty, but it was fun to watch.

So that recaps my road trip. If anyone gets a chance to see a game or two at a minor league park near you, it is totally worth it: cheap tickets, cheap concessions and amazing ballparks.

 

Next Thursday, I will return to my usual format of reviewing a handful of National League prospects who could get the call soon, including the Marlins’ Andrew Heaney and Cubs’ Arismendy Alcantara.

 




More Recent Articles

 

Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More


Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More


The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More


Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More


Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More


Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More


Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More


Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More


Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More


Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More


Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More