Dynasty Performance Report: Minor League Middle Infielders 2.0

Middle Infielders seeing their dynasty value rise.

The middle infield position always feels like a top-heavy one. Routinely you see a handful of the top fantasy performers occupying a middle infield spot, especially shortstop, but then there is usually a significant drop off from there. Let’s dive in to see which MiLB players are trending up or trending down to start the year.

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


Felnin Celesten, SS, SEA


The dynasty baseball community was robbed a season ago, as one of the most highly anticipated signees from the international class was unable to get into game action due to a hamstring strain. Fortunately for us, it appears that Celesten is more than worth the wait.

Due to missing out on professional ball a season ago, it was natural to think that maybe Celesten would have some rust in his batespecially given that he skipped the DSL and went right to CPX ball. That certainly has not been the case thus farthrough his first 11 professional games, Celesten is triple-slashing .386/.500/.636 with two home runs and three steals.

This is obviously not a huge sample size, but when the production is that good then we might already have an indication Celesten is too advanced for his current level. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Celesten head to Single-A once Complex ball concludes. The buy window on him has probably slammed shut, but if you have an opportunity to acquire him, the asking price is only going to go up from here.


Alex Freeland, SS, LAD


The Dodgers seem to have prospects producing all over the place this season and Freeland is one of those highlights. After a ho-hum 2023 at High-A where the switch-hitting shortstop triple slashed .240/.345/.362, the now 22-year-old opened up 2024 repeating the level. That didn’t last long, though.

Freeland spent 23 games at High-A, hitting .346 with two home runs and five steals. He walked 24.5% of the time while striking out just 14.5% of the time, and he added in 10 doubles and two triples for good measure. It’s tough to argue against that type of production and the Dodgers didn’t, promoting him to Double-A. In 11 games there, he has once again logged two homers and five steals. His OPS has come down to “just” .955, while his walk and strikeout rates still remain elite (17.3% and 9.6%, respectively).

The big question around Freeland is whether or not these gains he’s made in strikeouts are legitimate. Just a season ago he was striking out nearly 30% of the time. Players can improve, of course, but this type of improvement feels drastic and likely a case for regression.

Still, Freeland has been one of minor league baseball’s top performers so far and he is a prospect that wasn’t given much consideration in dynasty leagues until now. There is a good chance he is still not rostered in many leagues, but that’s going to change quickly.


Honorable Mentions


Jeral Perez, 2B, LAD: Speaking of Dodgers that can’t stop hitting, here’s Perez. The 19-year-old has been tearing up Single-A, triple slashing .325/.456/.538 through 32 games. He’s also walked 17.7% of the time while keeping his strikeouts in check (22.4%%). It’ll be curious to see how his walk and strikeout numbers change as he climbs the minor league ladder, but for now, Perez is profiling as a high-contact second baseman with above-average pop. It’s noteworthy that Perez posted ISOs above .200 at both the DSL and CPX levels.

Kristian Campbell, 2B, BOS: Campbell had an incredible week at the start of the month, hitting .500 with three home runs and two doubles in five High-A games from April 30 through May 4. That put the second baseman on people’s radars. He’s still been hot since then, triple slashing .282/.417/.513. The Red Sox took Campbell with the 132nd overall pick in the 2023 draft. At the time he was seen as a hit-tool-oriented prospect with some speed, so his six home runs through 29 games is a pleasant surprise. He’s striking out close to 30% of the time so there is some risk here, but Campbell has been a pop-up prospect early in the 2024 season.


Dynasty Fallers


Adael Amador, 2B, COL


I mentioned Amador in the honorable mentions in the April edition, but he’s still ice-cold, so it’s worth highlighting him again here. Amador broke out at Single-A in 2022, triple slashing .292/.415/.445 with 15 home runs and 26 steals in 115 games. Amador spent a good chunk of 2023 proving that his previous season was no fluke, hitting .302 at High-A while notching nine home runs and 12 steals in 54 games. He missed seven weeks of the season due to a hamate injury, so we couldn’t get an extended look to see if Amador’s power surge (.212 ISO) was for real.

So far in 2024, not much about Amador’s output has been encouraging. Through his first 31 games, he was hitting just .138. That .212 ISO at High-A last year? It cratered all the way down to .009. That’s not a typothe ISO sat at .009. That’s because, through 109 ABs, Amador had only managed one extra-base hit, which was a double back in late April. I guess that’s what happens when you run a ground ball rate close to 60%.

If you’re looking for some encouraging signs for Amador you can squint and find them. He’s always had an elite plate approach and despite the early season struggles, his strong approach remains intact as he’s walked and struck out at an equal 17.6% clip. His .176 BABIP is astronomically lower than any number he’s put up throughout his career, so it almost has to go up from here. And he’s still swiping bases at a good raterecording 15 steals in 18 attempts. So it’s not all bad, but it’s mostly bad.

Amador isn’t the first Rockies prospect to struggle at Double-A Hartford, and he likely won’t be the last. He’s only 21 years old so there is still plenty of time to turn it around. But there was a decent chunk of the prospect community that saw this struggle coming, and the fact that it has in such an extreme way gives some hesitation with him moving forward.

*As an update, Amador must have caught wind of this articlehe is six for his last nine with three home runs.


Curtis Mead, 2B/3B, TBR


Mead has exhausted his prospect eligibility as he now has 186 plate appearances at the major league level between 2023 and 2024, though he hasn’t done much with them, triple-slashing .235/.297/.312 with two home runs and two steals. Mead was actually a near-average bat in 24 games a season ago, posting a 95 wRC+, but stumbled out of the gate this year seeing that number drop down to 63 in 26 games. He was optioned to Triple-A on May 6. He’s been okay there since then, triple-slashing .263/.364/.342 in 11 games.

It’s never wise to give up on a 23-year-old who only has 50 MLB games under his belt. There is almost always an adjustment period needed once players reach the big leagues and that appears to be the case for Mead. It wouldn’t be shocking if he blossoms into an above-average big-league hitter at some point, and it’s also possible that that could happen as soon as this season.

But there are some red flags here. It’s all a small sample, so we’ll keep that in mind, but Mead’s 2024 chase rate at the MLB level ballooned to 39%. For context, league average is 28.4%, so he chased pitches at an extreme rate. Despite this, his zone swing rate is right around league average. So, his swing decisions could use some improvement. He might figure it out in Triple-A, but after losing some of last season to injury, it now feels like it’s been quite some time since Mead had his break out.


Honorable Mentions


Arol Vera, 2B/SS, LAA: The Angels tend to be hyper-aggressive with their prospects, and Vera is no exceptionthe middle infielder earned some exposure to Double-A last season as a 20-year-old. The thing is, Vera hasn’t really produced at any level. He had a very productive 38 games in Complex ball back in 2021, but he hasn’t done much at any level since. It feels like one of those situations where repeating a level at some point probably would have been beneficial for Vera, but the Angels have just kept moving him along.

Vera’s spent 33 games at Double-A thus far and, quite bluntly, he’s been one of the worst hitters in all of minor league baseball. He’s posted a .176/.219/.231 triple slash with zero home runs and just one steal. He’s striking out nearly 30% of the time and walking 5% of the time. There is not a lot in this profile that speaks to better days ahead. Vera hasn’t had a wRC+ above league average since that Complex showing in 2021, and he should firmly be avoided in all but the very deepest of dynasty leagues going forward.

Brice Matthews, SS, HOU: The Astros took Mathews with the 28th overall pick in the 2023 draft. He has an intriguing power/speed combination but also comes with some hit tool concerns. Coming into 2023, Matthews was a prospect for me that needed to show that he could overcome those concerns. So far, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity.

Matthews has played 10 games at High-A so far, triple slashing .229/.364/.286. That’s not an encouraging line, though it is a small sample. But he also hasn’t played in a game since late April due to a back injury. There is plenty of time for him to put it together when healthy, but since he was a prospect with a pretty big question mark coming in, his lack of playing time hurts his stock more than most.



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