They're too good for the minors, but haven't stuck in the majors yet.
We have articles every day analyzing major leaguers and our prospect team does a fantastic job covering actual prospects, but there’s a player type that inevitably falls through the cracks. They’re too old to be considered prospects and have been deemed too flawed to be regulars in the majors, at least right now, but they’re also too good for the minors. Call them Quadruple-A guys or stat-head favorites or any number of other things. You know the type. In decades past BP championed the causes of hitters like Roberto Petagine and Erubiel Durazo, and before that Bill James (but definitely not Frank Costanza) had Ken Phelps.
Every once in awhile I get curious about those guys, if only because someone ought to be checking in on them. In looking over the current candidates I’m not sure that anyone warrants a full-blown “FREE HIM!” campaign like the old days—perhaps teams have just gotten better about giving them opportunities?—but plenty of intriguing names are having big seasons mostly out of sight. Below is my attempt to build the best lineup from Triple-A hitters who are at least 25 years old and have spent most or all of this season in the minors, with a focus on players I think could actually be assets to major-league teams.
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May 15, 2014 6:00 am
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies righty Eddie Butler and Padres outfielder Rymer Liriano.
Hitter of the Night: Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres (San Antonio, AA): 3-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K.
One of the few impact position players in the Padres farm system that is close to being major-league ready, Liriano is hitting for more power now than he did before missing the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. He is still an overly aggressive hitter. which could hurt him in the majors.
Pitcher of the Night: Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K.
Butler’s strikeout rates are down this season, but he is generating lots of weak contact thanks to his heavy sinking fastball.
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September 18, 2013 6:00 am
Intriguing tools and draft pedigrees belie flawed fantasy skill sets in this quintet.
The AL outfield prospect scene is the California goldfield of fantasy fool’s gold players.
That’s partially due to sheer numbers: there are more outfield prospects than offensive prospects of any other ilk (#analysis). It’s also partially due to the requisite skill sets that outfielders possess. Some are very fast. Some are very powerful. And some tease enough of both tools to make fantasy owners feel special feelings.
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