The BP Prospect Staff released scouting reports of the U.S. and World rosters for the upcoming Futures Game. Read them. Get to know them. Love them. That’s where you can find the real meat and potatoes of this dish. I am looking to translate those scouting reports into a usable fantasy context.
Whether you find this overview beneficial, do yourself a favor and read Ben Carsley’s take on Team USA. It’s better than mine. Promise.
We Thought We’d See You Here
Although a talent gap exists here, both flamethrowers are top-50 prospects who have the gaudy strikeout totals that make dynasty owners salivate. Reyes boasts a 32.7 percent strikeout rate, despite a delayed start to the year due to testing positive for marijuana, and is the more “sure thing” and gets a #CardinalsDevilMagic bump. Lopez, on the other hand, had a 30.4 percent strikeout rate in Double-A, but could ultimately be bound for the bullpen due to his shortish stature and control issues. Fortunately, the 22-year-old projects to be a shutdown reliever who would still have fantasy relevance.
La squadra del mundo boasts some of the most exciting offensive talents in baseball. Adames is hitting .264/.360/.450 with eight homers and nine stolen bases as a 20-year-old in Double-A, so he’s quickly establishing himself as one of the premier shortstop prospects—one who could help across the board in standard fantasy formats. Mateo is less polished; however, the dude swiped 82 bags a year ago and doesn’t project to be Billy-Hamilton-kinda-sad with the bat. He could wind up being fantasy gold.
Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez are known quantities due to their big-market homes. Dilson has seemingly been around forever, yet he’s only 22 years old and already has 11 homers in Triple-A. Before too much is made of his approach issues, fantasy owners should remember that he hit .327/.382/.511 with 11 homers and 13 stolen bases just a year ago in Triple-A as a 21-year-old kid. The development path may be a bit strange, but he’s still very good.
The unsung gem of this group may be Manuel Margot, who is hitting .301/.353/.422 with four homers and 23 stolen bases. Playing for the Padres can make fantasy owners forget that almost anyone exists (the Padres and the Brewers are the two least-guessed teams on Sporcle’s “MLB Teams” quiz, which seems scientific enough to report this as fact), but Margot is poised to be a difference-maker atop the Padres’ lineup in the second half. I could see him being a Denard-Span-type fantasy producer for a decade.
What a Lovely Surprise
Look, buddy. I know Jimenez is a minor-league reliever and it’s supposedly dynasty-league suicide to invest in relief prospects, but there are exceptions to every rule. Jimenez offers straight filth on the mound and has allowed just one run (earned or unearned) in 31 innings this year. He’s struck out 54 batters. He’s also going to the Reliever Wasteland, better known as Detroit, where he could serve as the club’s closer as soon as next year, even if the Tigers exercise K-Rod’s 2017 option.
Angel Perdomo is a fast-riser in the Blue Jays’ system. He’s a guy who posted a 2.60 ERA between the Appy League and the Northwest League and has followed it up with a 2.54 ERA in 71 innings for Class-A Lansing. The 32.3 percent strikeout rate will get a pop-up pitcher noticed in dynasty leagues in a hurry.
Asuaje was an afterthought for many in the Craig Kimbrel trade, yet he’s hitting .317/.382/.452 in Triple-A and could be their everyday starter at second base in the coming months because
Detlef Schrempf Ryan Schimpf currently serves as their primary second baseman and that’s a bit offensive to my delicate sensibilities. Naylor and O’Neill have massive power ceilings. Naylor is a 19-year-old trying to find his way in full-season ball, but has plus raw power and is one of the better first-base prospects in the game. O’Neill has somehow gotten better in every facet of his game upon being promoted to Double-A, which feels a bit like the moment when G-Baby listened to Big Poppa on the mound. He hit 32 homers a year ago and has 14 this year.
Welcome Back to Fantasy Relevance
Adalberto Mejia, LHP, SFG
Mejia wasn’t exactly bad in 2015, but it’s impossible to argue that he didn’t lose his fantasy luster when he only struck out 18.1 percent of the hitters he faced. That number jumped to 22.8 percent in Double-A this year and 23.7 percent in Triple-A. He’s firmly back on dynasty owners’ collective radar, especially given his friendly home park.
The power is finally starting to come for Ronald Guzman. The 6-foot-5 Dominican Republic native received a $3.45 million signing bonus and looked the part of a dominant slugger. It’s taken the better part of five years, but he’s hitting .291/.352/.480 with 10 homers and a .189 ISO as a 21-year-old in Double-A. And, yes, this means the Rangers have yet another quality prospect in the upper levels of their system.
Mejia fell off many dynasty radars in 2015 because he hit .243/.324/.345 in A-ball and failed to reach the double-digit-homer plateau. The 20-year-old demolished A-ball in his second go-round, compiling a .347/.348/.531 slash line with 17 doubles, three triples and seven homers, and recently got promoted to High-A. He has defensive chops, too, which should help facilitate a steady rise through Cleveland’s system.
Now’s a Good Time to Sell High
Cotton is a 24-year-old reliever who lacks the strikeout potential or the run-prevention success that someone like Joe Jimenez possesses. Plus, the Dodgers already have Kenley Jansen, and I’ve talked to multiple scouts who suggest he has a big-league future. Chih-Wei Hu is a potential back-end starter who will get more fantasy love than he deserves due to his sparkling ERA. Neverauskas is a middle-relief prospect who has given up more runs than letters in his last name. And although Unsworth will intrigue dynasty-league owners who scout stat lines, he doesn’t have secondary offerings that can miss bats in Double-A, much less the major-league level.
Jorge Bonifacio, OF, KCR
Bonifacio used to be a dude in the Royals system, lost his way, and has seemingly rediscovered his power stroke. He’s hitting .293 thanks to a .357 BABIP, but is much more power-over-hit as a prospect. It’s unclear if he’ll even get on base enough to be an everyday option at the major-league level. Someone will see the 13 homers and his Futures Game appearance, though, and maybe offer something intriguing near the fantasy trade deadline.
Thank you for reading
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