The Graduates: Didi Gregorius (Previous Rank: 3)
Gregorius was activated last Friday and has started each of the Yankees games since.
Mancini and Joey Rickard are short-side platoon partners of Seth Smith and Hyun Soo Kim. I suppose the potential for an expanded role still makes Mancini stashable, but it’s not clear if he or Rickard would get the extra run if need be, and Mancini’s 37.5 percent strikeout rate is worrisome.
Barnes, his Stash List debut a week ago: 15 batters faced, six outs recorded, five earned runs allowed. I hate save speculation.
After some helpful conversation with Mike Gianella, who’s closer to the Philly situation than I am, Alfaro gets the boot despite his immense tools and strong Triple-A performance. He has only one option left, needs defensive refinement, and could stand to develop more plate discipline. On the big-league side, it makes sense for Andrew Knapp to be the short-term beneficiary if they want to reduce Cameron Rupp’s role.
.311/.386/.522, five homers, six steals. It won’t be long now.
Royals GM Dayton Moore suggested recently that Soler would stay at Triple-A Omaha until Wednesday. While he does need the reps after missing nearly all of spring, I suspect this has as much to do with Jorge Bonifacio as it does Soler. Bonifacio is slashing .300/.382/.500 in nine games since taking over the starting right-field job, and the Royals can’t rightfully send him down if performs near that level for another week. I fully expect to see Soler in a full-time role regardless of what happens with Bonifacio, and his .333/.429/.533 line while out on rehab provides some optimism regarding his productivity upon recall.
The Indians outfield has a wRC+ of 120, fourth best in baseball, behind only units that contain Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Aaron Judge. It’s reasonable to expect a healthy Michael Brantley (.280 TAv) to produce at a high level. I’m less optimistic about Abraham Almonte (.283 TAv) and Lonnie Chisenhall (.269 TAv) continuing to hit like above-average players, and the latter is stretched in center field. The timeline for Zimmer’s arrival could be elongated due to the early success of Almonte, but I still expect Zimmer to be up in plenty of time to contribute power and speed, even if the average hurts.
Berrios has allowed four earned runs in 33 Triple-A innings this season, posting a 35:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the process. Nick Tepesch reportedly is going to start this weekend, the first time in a while the Twins have needed a fifth starter. Makes sense.
How much leash does Tommy Joseph have? His .565 OPS is the second-lowest among 27 qualified first baseman. This could very well be a cold spell, but it’s worth wondering if there’s a book out on Joseph that didn’t exist during his surprising 2016 debut. He played just 121 games in the previous three seasons combined. This isn’t all about Joseph, though. For his part, Hoskins is demolishing Triple A to the tune of a .350/.477/.675 line that includes seven bombs, tops in the International League. He’s also striking out at a 16 percent clip, his lowest career rate at any level. Already 24 years old, there’s not much reason for the Phils to hold Hoskins back.
10. Matt Duffy (SS)—Tampa Bay Rays (Previous Rank: 13)
Murphy’s forearm fracture is healing slower than expected, and he’s still a week or two from resuming baseball activities. Duffy ran the bases for the first time since last year’s heel surgery. That probably counts as a baseball activity, but a rehab assignment is still a week or so away. Tim Beckham is hitting .321/.361/.643 since April 16 (arbitrary endpoint alert!), giving the Rays plenty of cover to slow-play Duffy’s return. Duda was slated to come off the disabled list when eligible this past Monday, but he felt some discomfort in his hyper-extended elbow over the weekend, which stalled his rehab. He’s taking dry swings again and should return to game action soon, barring another setback. Given how things are going for the Mets, I’m not holding my breath.
Bradley’s back after a one week absence, and what I saw this past week gives me greater confidence that he’ll be the guy when the Diamondbacks replace Fernando Rodney and his double-digit ERA. In two of his past three outings, Bradley’s been the last pitcher up prior to Rodney getting the ball. In the third, Bradley pitched the ninth inning of a tie game. Crucially, he’s come after J.J. Hoover and Jorge de la Rosa—the other two widely speculated names for the closing job—in recent games where all three have pitched.
15. Mike Clevinger (RHP)—Cleveland Indians (Previous Rank: 18)
16. Reynaldo Lopez (RHP)—Chicago White Sox (Previous Rank: 17)
Corey Kluber hit the disabled list yesterday. The Indians called up reliever Joe Colon in a corresponding move, but I imagine Clevinger is the favorite for Kluber’s Sunday’s turn that’s now open. Clevinger pitched Tuesday and will be on full rest. Lopez’s most recent start wasn’t his flashiest—six innings, three hits, one walk, six strikeouts—but it might have been his best of the year. Limiting free passes and being more efficient with his pitch count are two things he needs to do to become a reliable starter, in real life and fantasy.
18. Ketel Marte (SS)—Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous Rank: 19)
Reed leads the PCL in walks, Marte in hits. Whether Reed can provide any fantasy value will depend on his ability to hit for an acceptable average. He was dreadful in a small sample a season ago, hitting .164, but has managed a .303 mark in his second go at Triple A. He looks to be sacrificing some power for hit, spraying line drives around the yard with an all-fields approach. Marte has just six strikeouts in 113 plate appearances. He isn’t going to displace Chris Owings, but Nick Ahmed is hitting .216/.245/.314 as an occasional starter. That line won’t fly for a club that looks like one of the National League’s best in the early going, no matter how much they like his glove.
19. Amed Rosario (SS)—New York Mets (Previous Rank: 23)
21. Raul Mondesi (SS)—Kansas City Royals (Previous Rank: 25)
Rosario would be pushing the top five if I thought he was going to be up for a meaningful portion of 2017. I’m similarly concerned about Barreto’s timeline, and mildly worried about his 32.4 percent strikeout rate. Mondesi notched a golden sombrero in his first game at Triple-A Omaha, then stole three bases in a game a few nights later. That pretty well sums up the Raul Mondesi experience.
22. Raimel Tapia (OF)—Colorado Rockies (Previous Rank: Honorable Mention)
23. Phil Ervin (OF)—Cincinnati Reds (Previous Rank: Honorable Mention)
Two 24-year-old former first-round picks here (OK, supplemental in Smith’s case) who took a while to get to Triple A, but are performing now that they’re there. Either could approach double-digit power and speed with regular playing time or, more likely, hit his way out of a job. Smith has played most of the past two seasons in left field. The 9-18 Blue Jays are currently running Steve Pearce out there most days, Ezequiel Carrera on the others.
Alex Avila is currently the top-ranked catcher. Austin Hedges is below the Mendoza Line and ranked seventh. There are two Brewers in the top 11. Yeah, I’m worried about Swihart’s stat line too, but you can’t just write off talented catchers given the current state of the position.
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