It’s been another fun week in the world of minor leagues, and things are far from slowing down. The Prince Who Was Promised, Victor Robles, has returned to baseball, and a 2016 first rounder has already reached Triple-A. Let’s get to it!
On The Shelf
Don’t panic, but Bradley Zimmer suffered a minor injury to his third and fourth fingers in a bunt attempt. Zimmer is expected to be fine, but will miss a few games as he returns to full strength. This is a lucky break for Zimmer, all things considered, as a broken finger could have robbed him of the rest of his season and a potential September call-up.
Movin’ On Up
The rapid ascent continue for 2016 first-rounder Zack Burdi, who has already reached Triple-A. The promising relief prospect has flown through the minors leagues, pushed through by an organization that clearly believes in both his potential and readiness. This year, he’s spent a single inning in Rookie-ball, five more in High-A, and 16 more in Triple-A, where he struck out batters at a 13.5 K/9. It’s possible that Burdi could join the ranks at the major leagues as a September call-up, though the White Sox might want to give him a bit of time to catch his breath, even though it’s not really his style.
Christin Stewart, the Detroit’s promising young slugging project, has made it to Double-A Erie after having one of the better offensive campaigns in the Florida State League. The 2015 1st round selection slashed .262/.401/.524, demonstrating his patience and discipline as well as impressive in-game power. This was quite the development for Stewart, who had been labeled as ‘ultra-aggressive’ by scouts in his previous campaigns.
Possessor of a elite baseball name and mid-90s fastball, Rookie Davis has also acquired a spot on the Triple-A Louisville roster. Fully recovered from a lower-body injury he suffered earlier this year, his velocity has returned to its previous benchmark, and Davis had found success at Double-A despite a low strikeout rate. The Reds acquired Davis last year in the Aroldis Chapman trade, and he has proved a valuable asset in the organization since. It’s possible Davis could receive a September call-up, but an arrival in 2017 is more likely.
Derek Fisher, a supplemental draft pick in 2014, has arrived at Triple-A Fresno after checking all the boxes in Double-A. Fisher has always been billed on his tempting power and speed combo, but the contact issues are still a factor. At Double-A, Fisher slugged .431 and swiped 23 bags, but struggled in the batting average department. When Fisher arrives at the major leagues, he may prove to be a more valuable fantasy asset than real life player, though there’s still some upside in the profile.
The Rockies have promoted German Marquez up to Triple-A Albuquerque. The Venezuelan native has flashed mid-rotation potential, posting promising ratios and demonstrating the effectiveness of his above-average fastball. It’s unlikely that Marquez could be an impact talent in fantasy due to the Coors effect, but he could find himself filling a gap in the major league rotation as early as this year.
Back In Action
Sound the trumpets! The heralded Victor Robles has returned from injury to bring us joy through his exploits on the field. Robles, whose name has practically become a buzzword for prospect hounds, missed time due to a hand injury, and is being eased back into baseball by beginning at the Gulf Coast League. After a rough first game back, where he struck out twice, he homered in Wednesday’s game, and is quickly returning to form. Now wearing a protective glove on the basepaths, Robles will be up to speed in a few days and should be rejoining High-A Potomac in no time.
Nick Travieso, Cincinnati’s first-round selection in 2012, has returned to the Double-A Pensacola rotation this week after missing three weeks. Travieso had missed time due to a right shoulder injury. In his first game back with the club, he hurled 3.1 scoreless innings, striking out a pair, continuing his effective campaign at Double-A this year.
The Cardinals have shifted Paul DeJong to shortstop at the Double-A level. This is a rare move for any team to make, let alone for a career third-baseman at this high of level. DeJong had a great campaign at Low-A in 2015 that convinced the Cardinals to let him bypass High-A completely. It’s clear that DeJong is on an irregular development path, though if any organization has a track record of pulling together surprising campaigns out of these type of prospects, it’s Saint Louis.
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