Alec Hansen (RHP)—White Sox
One of my favorite sleeper prospects, the 22-year-old Hansen is absolutely dominating at Class-A Kannapolis. In 66 2/3 innings he’s posting a 29 K%, 7.8 BB% and 2.57 ERA, all while averaging six innings a start. It evidently was smart of the White Sox to baby Hansen a bit and let him work out his command issues at a low level of the minors. He’s old for the level, though, and is very clearly ready for a tougher test against High-A bats. If he does in Winston-Salem what he’s done in Single-A he could make a serious push for being a top-50 dynasty league prospect. The raw stuff is that good.
Michael Chavis (3B)—Red Sox
Congrats if you stuck with Chavis through his rough 2015 and 2016 seasons. You probably were the only one, but your patience is being rewarded big-time. Chavis is mashing right now, hitting .345/.414/.694 with 17 homers through 232 plate appearances at High A. He’s not super young for the level (he’ll turn 22 in August) and the BABIP isn’t sustainable, but scouting reports indicate his power looks real, and he’s not striking out at a super-alarming rate for someone with his pop. Double A will be a more meaningful test for someone of Chavis’ age and pedigree, but for a player we were ready to leave for dead in dynasty before the season, this is pretty much best-case scenario.
Lewis Thorpe (LHP)—Twins
Did you know that Thorpe is still just 21? It seems crazy, given how long we’ve been talking about him, but it’s true, and the southpaw has finally retaken the mound at High A. It’s only been three starts, but so far so good for Thorpe, who has struck out 16, walked four and allowed two earned runs in 13 innings. Even dynasty leaguers aren’t desperate enough to treat 13 innings as any sort of meaningful sample, but for a dude who missed nearly two full seasons with Tommy John surgery and mono, any return to the mound is a resounding positive. I recently added him in #TDGX.
Lucius Fox (SS)—Rays
Remember Fox? He fell off the map a bit after a 2016 trade to the Rays, but he’s showing the tools that had the GIants thinking he was worth $6.5 million. It’s just Single A, sure, but Fox is hitting .290/.367/.370 with 17 steals in 227 plate appearances. Sure, the power is non-existent and he’s striking out a quarter of the time, but given how quickly he’d trended toward irrelevance it’s a win all the same. Fox is about to turn 20 and still doesn’t have 600 professional plate appearances to his name, so we can be only so optimistic, but he’s put himself back on the map a bit.
Scott Kingery (2B)—Phillies
You might or might not have heard that Reading is a good place to hit, but that alone doesn’t explain Kingery’s explosive 2017 offensive numbers. Viewed as a light-hitting speedster headed into the season, Kingery has added power to his game. He’s hitting .306/.382/.625 with 18 bombs and 14 steals in Double A to this point, and he just turned 23 in April. Kingery’s performance oversells his MLB upside, but it’s entirely possible he’s progressed from “fringe dude who might rack up steals on a bad team” to a potential legitimate MLB starter. He’s a top-100 guy for me, based on his proximity to the big leagues and the power/speed combo.
Braden Shipley (RHP)—Diamondbacks
Yes, I’m aware he’s not technically a prospect, but… about once every six weeks, while I’m mindlessly watching a game or some TV show or when I’m really hung over, I’ll try to manually look over every FA available in #TDGX, which is ~*literally*~ 500-plus dudes. Every time I do this, I get super excited when I see Braden Shipley and think I’ve found a steal. Then I check his stats, and then all I feel is sad. Shipley has truly topped out at Triple A. He doesn’t miss bats, he gives up too much contact and his walks are even up from his “prime.” I’m a fan of post-hype guys, but we can probably stop checking in on him altogether.
The Quick Hits
• Ryan Mountcastle (SS)—Orioles: He’s up to .321/.350/.563 in High A. Yes, he is really good. Yes, I will keep updating you as to his status. I love him.
• Kevin Newman (SS)—Pirates: A rough .234/.299/.318 in Double A. He’s battled injuries. He turns 24 in August. Hit well in Altoona as recently as last season, but probably not a top-101 guy right now given that the bat is the only real fantasy tool.
• Brady Aiken (LHP)—Indians: Aiken has walked more batters than he has struck out. This concludes your Brady Aiken analysis.
• Ian Anderson (RHP)—Braves: Anderson is walking too many batters, but he’s also striking out 30 percent of the opposition as a 19-year-old with Rome. He could be a fast riser.