We are back! Over the course of the last few seasons, this series has aimed to detail every prospect promotion across each week of the entire regular season. After reviewing feedback from our readers, we have decided to mix things up a little bit for 2023. Instead of outlining every prospect that gets the call, the series will highlight some of the bigger names that receive a promotion. These players will be discussed in more detail. Some other notable prospects who head to the bigs will also be discussed, but this time around there will be more focus on detailing these top prospects and less focus on players who are being brought up as a depth piece for a doubleheader.
Of course, this means there will be some variance in what this article looks like week to week. Some weeks there will be several notable young players who are joining their major league club while other weeks there will be hardly any. Either way, there should be more than enough players to break down.
Additionally, each week, I’ll do a quick note on the featured players from the week prior. This will mostly focus on recent performance and whether or not it appears that the player will stay with the big league club moving forward.
Last week, we took a look at Wade Meckler and Osleivis Basabe. Meckler is a hit-over-power prospect who succeeded at every minor league level, but he’s struggled out of the gate in the bigs, going 4-for-27 while striking out more than 50% of the time. The Giants have been searching for some offensive production all season and if Meckler doesn’t provide some soon he will likely be back in the minors. Basabe has been the exact opposite for the Rays hitting .303 in is first eight games at the MLB level. Given his production and the likelihood that we don’t see Wander Franco for quite some time, Basabe has an opportunity at a full time gig, which is a bit uncommon for Tampa Bay call ups.
Now, onto this week’s promotions.
Noelvi Marte, 3B, CIN – We all know that the Reds youth movement has been one of the more exciting 2023 storylines, and Marte is the latest to join the cause. Marte’s stock has been up and down over the last few years, though it hasn’t been for a lack of production.
Marte became a well-known prospect as 17-year-old in Rookie Ball for the Mariners back in 2019. There, he triple slashed .309/.371/.511 in 65 games, while also nine home runs and 17 steals. Obviously without a minor league season in 2020, we didn’t see Marte in a professional game again until 2021, where he spent the bulk of the season at Single-A and hit .271 with 17 home runs and 23 steals in 99 games. He got a brief taste of High-A to close the year.
In 2022, Marte put up similar numbers yet again. He spent the entire season at High-A, though he was traded from Seattle to the Cincinnati as part of the Luis Castillo deal. In totality, he triple slashed .279/.371/.458 with 19 home runs and 23 steals in 115 games.
This year, again, Marte has had similar production. Between Double-A, Triple-A and handful of games in the ACL as part of rehab assignment, the 21-year-old has hit .279 with 11 home runs and 18 steals in 92 games.
Marte has been slotting in as a third baseman and hitting toward the bottom third of the order to start his MLB career. He’s already collected two steals in his first three games and while his steal numbers will likely decrease in the not-so-distant future, he might be able to provide a decent power/speed combination for the rest of the 2023 fantasy season, depending on how often he plays. For the long-term, Marte has always posted solid walk and strikeout numbers, so he feels like a safer bet to have a good MLB career. The ceiling may just be not as high as it was though to be when he first burst onto the scene.
Kyle Harrison, P, SFG – Harrison has become one of the most divisive prospect arms out there. The big lefty is one of the best strikeout pitchers in all of minor league baseball, but comes with some control issues.
The Giants selected Harrison in the third round of the 2020 draft. He tossed 98.2 innings at Single-A in 2021, finishing with a 3.19 ERA and 23.9% K-BB rate. That kind of production propelled him up prospect lists, and he broke out even more in 2022. Last year, Harrison kicked off the season in High-A and made seven starts – he struck out 59 hitters in 29 innings while allowing just five earned runs. Naturally, this led to a promotion to Double-A where he threw 84 frames and finished with a 3.11 ERA and a 25.2% K-BB rate.
The results have been a bit more mixed for Harrison in 2023. In 65.2 frames at Triple-A, Harrison recorded a 4.66 ERA. The strikeouts have been there – Harrison notched a 35.6% strikeout rate – but his walk rate ballooned to 16.3%. Harrison’s always had higher than ideal walk rates, but a walk rate that high will not lead to success at the MLB level.
For 2023, Harrison is not someone I’m chasing. The 2023 walk rates in the minors are a bit scary, and perhaps more importantly, outside of their top-end pitchers, the Giants typically don’t let their starters go deep into games.
Masyn Winn, SS, STL – The Cardinals selected Winn in the second round of the 2020 draft, and he had his breakout campaign in 2022. After performing fairly well but without much power at Single-A for most of 2021 season, Winn triple slashed .283/.364/.468 with 12 home runs and 43 steals between High-A and Double-A a season ago.
Winn’s power took another step forward this season with the shortstop belting 18 home runs in 105 Triple-A games. Winn has a cannon for an arm (no doubt you’ve seen the highlights) and looks to be the Cardinals shortstop of the future. From a fantasy perspective he should be able to contribute across the board, and if his power continues to tick up, he could become a fantasy star given his efficiency at stealing bases (a roughly 90% success rate in the minors). For 2023, he may not have much to offer outside of a hot stretch here or there as he’s only 21-years-old and hitting at the bottom of the lineup.
Everson Pereira, OF, NYY – It’s no secret that the Yankees’ offense has been close to nonexistent for much of the season. Periera has put up successful campaign after successful campaign in the minors – albeit with some red flags – and has had arguably his best season to date in 2023.
The 22-year-old kicked off the season in Double-A, where he triple slashed .291/.362/.545 with 10 home runs and seven steals in 46 games. From there, he got the call to Triple-A where he slashed .213/.286/.551 with eight home runs and four steals in 35 contests.
Periera now gets the call to the bigs and should presumably have a chance at everyday at-bats for the rest of the season. The outfielder’s red flags are his strikeouts – historically, his strikeout rates usually flirt near that 30% line. He’ll need to keep the punchouts in check to find success against big league pitching, but I imagine there will be an adjustment period here.
Minor League Prospects
Ethan Salas, C, SDP (High-A to Double-A) – By now, you’ve probably heard that Salas, who turned 17-years-old in June, has made the jump to Double-A. The phenom spent all of nine games at High-A before this promotion, and although he struggled in that small sample (he went 7-for-35), the Padres clearly think that their future backstop is advanced enough to handle Double-A pitching. Many believe that the jump between High-A and Double-A is the most difficult to make, so we’ll see how Salas adjusts at such a young age.
Dylan Crews, OF, WSN (High-A to Double-A) – It’s not surprising that Crews, the top position player taken in this year’s draft, was not having any trouble at High-A. The 21-year-old hit .355 with five home runs in 14 games. He’s now at Double-A and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him produce there right away, either. Crews will be a consideration for the top pick in all FYPD drafts this offseason.
Xavier Isaac, 1B, TBR (Single-A to High-A) – Isaac is a bat-first teenage prospect that performed well in his first full season of minor league ball. The Rays selected Isaac toward the end of the first round in the 2022 draft and he’s entire season to this point at Single-A where he put together a .266/.380/.466 triple slash with 13 home runs in 90 games.
Samuel Zavala, OF, SDP (Single-A to High-A) – Well look, another aggressive promotion by the Padres. If it wasn’t for Salas, this Zavala promotion would get more attention. The outfielder turned 19 about a month ago and is now on the move to High-A after posting a 139 wRC+ with 14 home runs and 20 steals in 101 Single-A games. Zavala walks and strikes out at a high clip, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see his batting average dip at the higher level, especially given his age.
Tyler Locklear, 1B/3B, SEA (High-A to Double-A) – The Mariners took Locklear in the second round of the 2022 draft and he’s raked at High-A, triple slashing .305/.422/.549 with 12 home runs in 61 games. He missed some time due to injury in the middle of the season, but has been back in action since the first week of August.
Photo courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)