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I just couldn’t stand the idea of waiting until next May to write another one of these, so how about five more dynasty-league targets, this time from the High-A leagues?

Anthony Banda, LHP, Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks)

The 22-year-old Banda has been a revelation since joining the Diamondbacks, the organization that drafted him out of high school, didn’t sign him, but then acquired him at the 2014 deadline for Gerardo Parra. Banda tallied plenty of strikeouts as a Brewer but spotty command of a three-pitch mix limited his upside to that of a potential back-end starter or a bullpen role. It’s been encouraging, then, to see him trim his walk rate to 6.4 percent (2.38 BB/9), which pairs nicely with his 23.5 percent strikeout rate (8.71 K/9). The resulting 3.66 K:BB ratio is a top-10 mark among Cal League hurlers who have thrown more than 80 innings, a sample that excludes relievers but captures 40 regular Cal League starters. Banda’s game is about consistency of delivery, sequencing, and limiting hard contact more than pure stuff and projectability, as not one of his fastball, curve, or changeup grades out above a future 55. Pitching prospects who lack electric stuff can be boring investments but Banda has done enough on the field to reasonably project that he can hack it as a fourth or fifth member of a major-league rotation. That’s not the kind of player who can carry your staff, but it does have value in deeper formats.

Matt Chapman, 3B, Stockton Ports (Athletics)

First off, you should go read Wilson Karaman’s excellent reports on Chapman from a Ten Pack in June and an Eyewitness Account in late July. I’ll second what Wilson said about his arm; I saw Chapman back in 2013 when he was part of USA Baseball and the cannon he showed off then stands as the best I’ve seen before or since. But we’re talking fantasy here, so who cares about his arm?

What we do care about is his thump, and he’s showing plenty of it in the Cal League. Even though he didn’t start his season until May 7th because of a knee injury and missed more time in August with an ailing wrist, Chapman’s 23 bombs are tied for sixth most in the league. Stockton isn’t quite High Desert or The Hanger but it is a pretty cushy place to hit and 16 of his 23 dingers have come at home. Even after accounting for the context discount, 2015 has been a huge success for Chapman after he struggled his way to a .237/.282/.389 triple-slash in the Midwest League last year. For all the mechanical reasons Wilson detailed, whether Chapman will hit enough to make his power useful is an open question but bear in mind that Chapman was a two-way player at Cal State Fullerton and only recently shifted all of his focus to hitting.

German Marquez, RHP, Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays)

The Rays, of course, have a long history of developing pitching, and with Blake Snell, Taylor Guerrieri, and Brent Honeywell in the queue, that reputation isn’t going anywhere. One flying under the radar is German Marquez, the youngest starter to throw a meaningful sample in the Florida State League this season. Marquez features a three-pitch mix, anchored by a heavy, potentially plus fastball that some sources have up to 96 mph. The development of his changeup lags behind that of his curveball but what stands out about Marquez, especially given his age, is the ability to command all three offerings.

Generally speaking, pitchers in the FSL issue fewer free passes than those in the other High-A leagues, but Marquez’s 5.0 percent walk rate (1.93 BB/9) is impressive nonetheless. If there’s a knock on Marquez, it’s that his ability to miss bats has backed up from the 23.9 percent strikeout rate the achieved in the Midwest League as a 19-year-old. Marquez is currently striking out less than seven batters per nine innings but did turn in his best performance of the year his last time out, striking out nine without a walk over seven innings. Did I mention that he’s 20 years old?

Tyler O’Neill, OF, Bakersfield Blaze (Mariners)

The next home run O’Neill hits will be his 31st and it’s easy enough to say, “yeah sure, but it’s the Cal League and it’s Bakersfield.” Consider, though, that until Matt Olson and some person called Dennis Raben did it in 2014, no Cal League slugger had crossed that threshold since Paul Goldschmidt in 2010. I’m certainly not comparing O’Neill to Goldy simply because he’ll eclipse an arbitrary number that’s divisible by 10 because, again, Dennis Raben. But it’s not as common as you might think and the home/road splits show that O’Neill’s power isn’t solely a product of his launching pad of a home park. O’Neill has gone long in San Jose and Modesto, too, relatively pitcher-friendly environs as Cal League stadiums go. His over-the-fence pop is no real surprise; O’Neill hit 13 big flies in 59 Midwest League games last year and most importantly, scouting reports suggest he possesses above-average-to-plus bat speed and raw power.

Almost as eye-popping as the home run total is his strikeout rate, which currently sits at 30 percent. With O’Neill’s walk rate deteriorating, it’s fair to wonder, based on the numbers, if he is stalling the development of his hit tool by selling out for power. There is immense risk here because the of the swing-and-miss but there seems to be immense potential reward, too, and I haven’t even mentioned yet that he’s 20.

Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton Marauders (Pirates)

Just yesterday, Jeff Moore filed a Note from the Field suggesting that Ramirez deserves to have a higher national profile and I agree. Among Florida State League players with at least 200 plate appearances, the only batter even close to Ramirez’s 172 wRC+ is the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins. Ramirez is currently slashing .346/.412/.477 and that batting average leads the FSL, with the OPS coming in second to Hoskins. Ramirez hit for average last year too, posting a .309 performance in an injury-shortened 2014 season in the Sally but the progress in his approach stands out in his 2015 line. Ramirez has continued to be aggressive but his walk rate has risen from 4.9 percent to 7.9 percent.

While his home-run total of four seems underwhelming for a well-built guy with unrealized raw power, it’s important to remember the league context and the fact that Ramirez has played the whole year at age 20. It is perhaps worth mentioning that Ramirez’s slugging percentage is getting a boost from his wheels, as he has six triples among 21 extra base hits. By isolated power, Ramirez is just inside the top 25, still impressive but less misleading about the current status of his in-game power. About those wheels: they are a big part of his fantasy value but he’ll need to improve his base-stealing efficiency as he climbs the ladder. After an 80 percent success rate last year, Ramirez is down to 60 percent against the more advanced batteries of the FSL.

Thank you for reading

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Hate to see a lack of comments on this ... this was the most interesting piece to me today simply because none of these guys are currently owned in my league. Really appreciate a look at some up and coming guys who aren't all first-rounders or J2 signings.