Dynasty Performance Report: Minor League Catchers/Corner Infielders 1.0

Highlighting some MiLB Catchers and Corner Infielders.

After picking out some dynasty risers and fallers at the MLB level, it’s time to look at some minor league options. Much like the big leagues, there are plenty of hot and cold starts in MiLB to dissect. Minor League stats have more variables, such as player age, level, and player history, but here are a few corner infield and catching options that caught my eye to start the 2024 season.

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page to check out other helpful articles such as the dynasty performance report for outfielders!


Dynasty Risers:


Kyle Manzardo, 1B, CLE:


Coming off a down year, it felt like Manzardo was written off as a once top prospect, and being traded from the Rays to the Guardians didn’t help his case. But Manzardo has bounced back in a big way to start 2024 with Triple-A Columbus. A slash of .306/.387/.548 with three home runs has Manzardo back where he was near the peak of his prospect status. A 13/10 K/BB ratio in 62 at-bats has Manzardo sitting at a 14.1% strikeout rate and a 16.9% walk rate. The numbers and advanced metrics are mostly trending in the right direction for Manzardo, putting him back near the top of prospect ranks.

Manzardo has a compact and quick swing that generates plenty of home run potential from raw power. He loads his power on his back leg and moves his hands back as the pitcher begins his move to the plate. There isn’t much to dislike about the swing as he stays on fastballs and off-speed just as well. Manzardo most likely breaks camp with a lot of other big league teams, but the Guardians are the Guardians. Still, it’s unlikely they can keep him in Triple-A much later than the end of May. He’s a great target in dynasty leagues and should make an impact at the big league level shortly.


Aidan Miller, 3B, PHI:


Widely regarded as one of the more advanced high-school bats in the 2023 MLB Draft, Miller is impressing early on. An older prospect coming out of high-school, he’ll turn 20 mid-summer. Miller may move quickly after his birthday given his above average profile. Prior to 2024, Miller looked to have a bit of a hitch/long pre-load in his swing. This hasn’t been there early on in 2024, and his swing looks phenomenal and similar to Evan Longoria’s. Miller has above average or plus tools across the board, and is comfortably a top 100 prospect.

To kick off his 2024, Miller has hit two home runs and tacked on five steals at Low-A Clearwater. Pair that with a slash of .318/.367/.545 and a 10/4 K/BB ratio, and Miller is showing signs of someone putting it all together with his new swing. He’s someone that was mentioned a lot in the offseason as a potential breakout, but also someone that could debut in late 2025. Still in Low-A, and his first full professional season, you’d like to see Miller at least see Double-A action in 2024. The strikeout rate will need to get under control, but he’s hitting the ball to all fields in 2024, and has above average or plus tools across the board, and is comfortably a top 100 prospect. Once Miller gets hot, he’ll stick at the top of most prospect rankings.

Honorable Mention

Ralphy Velazquez, C/1B, CLE:

Quickly becoming one of the more impressive bats from the 2023 MLB Draft, Ralphy Velazquez is off to a great start in 2024. He’s slashing .366/.430/.704 in 18 games between Rookie ball and Low-A. Velazquez has also launched six home runs in the small 71 at-bats, while adding in six doubles and two stolen bases. An 18/10 K/BB ratio also shows an ability to be patient and work a walk. The K rate is something to keep an eye on, but it might not catch up to him until High-A/Double-A. Given how advanced the bat is, Velazquez could see High-A before July in his age 19 season.

Blake Mitchell, C, KCR:

One of the top high-school bats in the 2023 MLB draft, Blake Mitchell hit .147 in his professional debut in 2023. Off to a better start this season, Mitchell is slashing .292/.469/.500 for Low-A Columbia. The strikeout rate is a bit high, but he’s also walked a fantastic 20 times. He’s also tapped in to some power, with two home runs and four doubles over his first 13 games. A good athlete, Mitchell doesn’t have the best speed, but has added in six steals in 2024. He may not be as polished as others in his draft class, but the Royals liked his potential enough to take him 8th overall in a deep class. Just 19 years-old, Mitchell could be the leader behind the plate in Kansas City for some time once he makes his debut in a few years.


Dynasty Fallers:


Diego Cartaya, C, LAD:

Once looked at as the next big prospect behind the dish, Cartaya slowed down once he reached High-A. Now spending his last two seasons at the Double-A level, Cartaya hit .189 in 93 games during the 2023 season. Off to a similarly poor start in 2024, Cartaya is hitting .152 in his second attempt at the Double-A level and seeing his stock falling rapidly. With Will Smith signed to a new contract, Cartaya will unlikely be debuting for the Dodgers as a catcher. A transition to outfield, first base or DH could be in his future if the hit tool creeps back up.

Another prospect that for me personally felt as though too much was expected early on in his career, Cartaya has a great swing that doesn’t do too much when he’s at the plate. His body is calm and stays on the ball, and he’s a big body at 6’3″, with a lot of power potential. All that being said, he needs to show he’s an everyday player above High-A, not just potential. Tied to the hit tool is the 117/37 K/BB ratio in his 93 games last season. That’s just far too high of a strikeout rate to believe the average can live above .250, even with the talent Cartaya possesses. The lack of hit tool is way too high of a concern to not lower Cartaya in any ranking at this point.


Yohandy Morales, 3B/1B, WSH:


The 40th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, Morales got off to a torrid start in pro ball. He slashed .349/.423/.494 and reached Double-A just a few months after being drafted. Known for his raw power in his early amateur days, Morales did the opposite and hit .408 as a senior in college and .349 in his first 42 games of pro ball, while not tallying a single home run in his brief pro debut. A prospect I was hesitant to be high on due to some contact concerns, Morales seemed to put that to bed in 2023. However, after a slow start to 2024 with a .195 average through 12 games, Morales may have run into some better competition at the Double-A level.

As a corner infielder, power is going to separate the top-tier dynasty assets from the mid-tier players. Morales has a nice swing, but it can get a bit long at times. A smooth and powerful hitter, there is 25+ home run upside here. However, the .349 average in 2023 is unsustainable and the .195 average to start 2024 raises old concerns. If Morales continues to struggle to hit for average without making up for it in plus home run totals, he’s a low tier option at corner infield. Only 54 games into his career, Morales already turns 23 in November of 2024. He’ll need to produce at the Double-A or Triple-A level before getting a cup of coffee in Washington. For now, Morales has a few too many question marks that need to be solidified before I buy in.

Honorable Mention

Ivan Melendez, 1B, ARI:

Melendez was known for hitting absolute mammoth home runs while in college at Texas. Now in his third professional season, Melendez has continued to hit for massive power. The problem? In 29 games in 2022, and 11 games in 2024, Melendez has hit .206 and .211. During his only full professional season in 2023, Melendez hit .272 over 96 games.

While Melendez did perform better in a longer time frame in 2023, the K/BB rate was concerning. With 146 K’s to 31 BB’s in 2023, Melendez still put together a successful season despite the drastic strikeout total. He crushed LHP that year, as he hit .343 with 10 home runs and 13 walks to 23 strikeouts in 91 plate appearances. He managed a solid .255 average against RHP, but had 18 walks to 123 strikeouts in 335 plate appearances. Now 24 years-old, Melendez is only 49 games into his Double-A career, and the hit tool is just too much of a concern as he climbs levels and tries to stick as an every day player. There is 30+ home run power in the bat, but he’ll need to prove the strikeouts aren’t an issue.

Mac Horvath, 3B, BAL:

A sleeper pick in a lot of 2023 FYPD rankings, Horvath hasn’t gotten off to the hottest start in 2024. Horvath was a fringe tier 2 pick for first year player drafts due to the speed and power combination, and five home runs and 14 steals to start his professional career in 2023 showed counting statistic potential. However, Horvath did struggle to hit for average at High-A to end 2023, and is having the same issue to start 2024. A .162/.311/.324 slash line, paired with just one home run and four steals has pumped the breaks on the Horvath dynasty stock. The positive spin here is Horvath only has a 9/8 K/BB ratio to start the season, indicating good plate discipline skills. Horvath was personally one of my top prospects to watch from the 2023 MLB Draft, but his rank takes a hit after a slow start.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photo by David Jensen/ Icon Sportswire

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